#1 10-27-2017 12:49 PM

tenaka
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Southern New Zealand

I'm planning on heading to the southern island in the spring. Haven't entirely decided on the rest of the trip so I may include the north as well, or alternatively a portion of Australia. Kind of depends on if my boss wants me to visit any clients while I am there. This leg will be around 8-10 days and looking and where I can use my miles right now probably early March. And I know I'll be renting a car to get around.

If I had to book today it looks like I'd land i Christchurch and leave from Queenstown, just because of where the best looking flights are coming into and out of. And I know the Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook area will be in the mix.

My main focus is going to be photography, specifically nature and architecture. So i'm looking for recommendations of places to take shots. Especially those that might not show up at the top of a google search. Ideally I'd like to see the aurora, but it sounds pretty hard to plan for and I more or less just have to just hope it happens to be visible on a night I happen to be in a good spot away from lights.

In another thread I saw someone mention that you can't trust google maps for driving time there. Can anyone expound on that, like should I add 50% more time? 100%?

Any other general advice?

 

#2 10-28-2017 12:30 AM

fransglobal
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Milford Sound is a must. I really liked Te Anau and Wanaka. Franz Joseph Glacier too.

 

#3 10-28-2017 1:13 AM

shavy
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Re: Southern New Zealand

So much to see on the southern part. Absolutely need a car to see a lot in 10 days and driving can be long sometimes. I would not depending on google maps, we had NZ map download to our navigation system is not free but is worthwhile to have a gps during drive, NZ map is also useful

There are some beautiful spots to see on the south if you arrange well your itinerary. The Milford sound is a must. The Moeraki Boulders is worth of stopby I don't know if this doable for you. My next suggestion is Punakaiki pancake rocks. These are spots on the south which are a bit out of routes

 

#4 10-28-2017 8:55 AM

tenaka
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Re: Southern New Zealand

When you say you would not depend on google maps Shavy, do you mean because the times are off or because the roads are incorrect? My phone plan gives me international data at the same rates so thats what I was planning on using for navigation as I drive. I don't have a separate navigation system and I'm not expecting my car to have one, was planning on a budget friendly car.

Milford Sound is on my list. I was looking at this itinerary (in the opposite direction) and more or less trying to decide what kinds of alterations to make.
https://www.inafarawayland.com/2016/11/ … itinerary/
He also has a 2 week version that is a loop that I was also using for ideas. Though I did want to see if there was a way to go further south in my time frame, I know that would be tight.

I like the Punakaiki pancake rocks and Moeraki Boulders ideas, I'll just need to see what way I can adjust the drive where I could get to them as they're a bit off the link I just shared.

 

#5 10-28-2017 10:19 AM

shavy
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Re: Southern New Zealand

The interface of google map is simple and easy to use but in route information the navigation screen is very limited compared to other apps. For example, you have no insight into your own speed the current maximum speed or the estimated time of arrival, well, it shows the estimated remaining travel time. The time of arrival must then be calculated. However, the app navigates you well to the destination.

Last edited by shavy (10-28-2017 10:22 AM)

 

#6 10-29-2017 7:22 PM

trippin_jen
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Re: Southern New Zealand

tenaka wrote:

My main focus is going to be photography, specifically nature and architecture. So i'm looking for recommendations of places to take shots. Especially those that might not show up at the top of a google search.

What I learned from my trip is that the same spot can look different not only during different seasons of the year, but even at different times of the day. Therefore, I'd say even if it's a top google search,  your photos may turn out different from others.

If you only have 10 days, I'd say stay on one island only. Otherwise you won't have the time. I quite like Lake Hawea, although it is less popular compared to the others. And Crown Range Road is also interesting (but I think it'll be nicer if you're the passenger, not the driver).

I would suggest you read Paulovic's NZ blog cos he's been to really interesting places.

 

#7 10-29-2017 8:25 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Having only 10 days, I would also suggest the one island. Milford Sound is ok, but I expected more. I was told by someone when we were travelling there that Doubtful Sound is much nicer, but a little more difficult to get to. There are some beautiful areas around the South Island, so many waterfalls, glaciers, great coast lines. Oamaru on the east coast is very quaint and not far from the Moeraki Boulders. Catlins Forrest is gorgeous. Enjoy your trip.

 

#8 10-30-2017 8:38 AM

tenaka
Shane
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Let me clarify, my entire trip will be 2-3 weeks. at least 7-10 days of that will already be dedicated to the southern island of New Zealand. The rest will either be the northern island, or more likely a small portion of Australia like Victoria and/or New South Wales. It depends on whether my employer will be asking me to visit any potential clients while I am on that half of the world and I haven't heard back yet.

Very true TrippinJen, most sites are best photographed either at dawn or sunset so that the light is in the right place so once I know what i want to see and shoot, I definitely have to pay attention to whether it is a morning or afternoon location so that I can be there at the right time of day. Good weather is also paramount but I won't have any control over that. A lot of the pros will camp out at a location for several days to get the perfect weather in order to get the perfect shot and that's not a luxury I will have.

 

#9 10-31-2017 10:48 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Hey Shane, I recently downloaded and app called "Photopills" which has short tutorials on Youtube. It may interest you. Now that you've clarified things, I'd spend the three weeks in NZ, but I'm only saying that as an Aussie who has travelled to NZ. You'll be too rushed in Australia, unless you're going to specific places for your clients and then seeing what's around those areas. Do you know where you clients are located?

 

#10 11-1-2017 10:19 AM

tenaka
Shane
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Hmm, Photopills looks interesting. Normally I don't buy apps but it seems like something I might use on any trip so I'll take a longer look at it when I have some free time.

I hear you on being rushed in Australia. If I do visit clients my trip would be three weeks, if I don't it would be two. Mainly because of the amount of vacation time we Americans get. I wouldn't have to use Vacation days for the time in Australia if I am visiting clients there so that allows me to extend the trip. I'll probably find out later this week. I'm on the software end of the insurance industry so clients are everywhere and its more a question of where I want to be. I'd probably do something like fly into Melbourne and then out of Sydney when I leave. That would give me a day or two in each city where I could make a couple visits and the rest of the time to myself either in those cities, around them, or somewhere inbetween. I know Australia is huge so I'd want to stick with two cities that aren't entirely across the country from each other.

If that gets shot down by our executives, I still may go though for a few days. On the surface it may not seem worth it for a few days because you lose part of one travelling there. But there are two factors in favor. One, the flight would be free because of how excursions work with United. Two, there are no direct flights from southern New Zealand to the US. And the timing of a layover in Aukland  makes it so that a flight from Queenstown or Christchurch becomes an overnight flight. But a direct morning flight from Sydney can reach the US same day (10am to 10pm after the time zone change). So I lose an entire day travelling home if I don't go to Australia. I'd just be limited to like going to Sydney and the surrounding area for a few days.

 

#11 11-2-2017 12:18 AM

jacobi
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Sounds like you're all over it Shane. Happy travels.

 

#12 11-2-2017 11:34 PM

anotherNZer
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Hey Shane....

Use your phone data map/google map app...no need to get a dedicated car gps here imo. I am from here but the driving is pretty easy and self explanatory.

In terms of where to go, if you're driving from Chch to Q'town then stopping at Mt Cook is a must...it's such a beautiful place and although I am biased (have a look at my pics if you want), I would stay at the Hermitage in Mt Cook village for a night and take the 1.5 hour easy walk up to the glacial lake...it's epic.
Or stay at Tekapo and do it as a day trip on your way further south...

Milford Sound is a definite as well, the drive through Homer Tunnel itself is fantastic.

Enjoy

Last edited by anotherNZer (11-2-2017 11:35 PM)

 

#13 11-6-2017 8:44 AM

tenaka
Shane
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Re: Southern New Zealand

Thanks. i was thinking of doing that part as a stay at Tekapo and then day trip to Mt Cook just because i think it'll be easier to do some night sky photography from Tekapo.

So my business trip in Australia got shot down, making this a two week trip beginning the last weekend in February. That will give me, not counting travel days, 10 days in New Zealand (in and out at Christchirch) and 3 days in Australia. My path is looking like it will be:
- Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook
- Lake Hawea/Wanaka
- Queenstown
- Milford Sound/Te Anau
- Drive to the east coast and back up to Christchurch, possibly hitting Catlins, Nugget Point, Dunedin and Moeraki for photos across a day and a half.
- Fly to Sydney for a few days, with a day trip somewhere such as the Blue Mountains.

 

#14 11-6-2017 4:09 PM

jacobi
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Re: Southern New Zealand

tenaka wrote:

Thanks. i was thinking of doing that part as a stay at Tekapo and then day trip to Mt Cook just because i think it'll be easier to do some night sky photography from Tekapo.

So my business trip in Australia got shot down, making this a two week trip beginning the last weekend in February. That will give me, not counting travel days, 10 days in New Zealand (in and out at Christchirch) and 3 days in Australia. My path is looking like it will be:
- Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook
- Lake Hawea/Wanaka
- Queenstown
- Milford Sound/Te Anau
- Drive to the east coast and back up to Christchurch, possibly hitting Catlins, Nugget Point, Dunedin and Moeraki for photos across a day and a half.
- Fly to Sydney for a few days, with a day trip somewhere such as the Blue Mountains.

Sounds like a good plan Shane. If you get a chance and like caves, have a look at these http://www.jenolancaves.org.au

Last edited by jacobi (11-6-2017 4:09 PM)

 

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