The New Zealand Mud Map

The New Zealand Mud Map

Part of the excitement of our New Zealand holiday has been planning the parts of New Zealand where we are wanting to visit. I have been using a great little application called tripit, which is an online itinerary planner. It has been really good for working out a basic outline of our trip, however I have also used this to be quite detailed in parts of the trip.

Christchurch
So we are flying into christchurch on a Saturday and will have a quick look around, then head straight to Hanmer Springs. We were originally going to go to Timaru and continue our trip clockwise around the island, but thought it might be better to go to the Hanmer Springs Thermal Park when it is slightly warming. Although 3 weeks might not make much difference considering the current temperatures are in the single digits already.

Hanmer Springs
We plan on staying a couple of nights in Hanmer Springs, so we can use the full day on Monday to soak in the thermal pools and enjoy the water park. Belinda thinks it might be a bit cold (not sure where she gets that crazy idea from), but I think it’ll be fine.

Photo of Hanmer Springs Thermal Park
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Westport
From Hanmer Springs we head west to Westport, and in particular, Cape Foulwind. Part of the kids adventure, using the Kiwi Guardians programme, is learning about the history of the places that we visit. One of the questions is working out why Cape Foulwind was named so.

We then head north for a short trip to charming creek near Ngakawau (no idea how to say this place), where there is an old railway formation. There has apparently been a major rockfall in the area which may limit where we can visit. Hopefully we will still be able to see some interesting sites.

Fox Glacier
We then start heading south towards Fox Glacier and Haast. I have read the west coast is full of magnificent views but also has a high population of sand flies and mosquitoes. I guess we’ll just need to be a little more prepared and include some good inspect repellent. After talking to some friends, the glacier are certainly a must-do stop on our list.

Wanaka
Next on the list is Puzzling World. I am pretty excited about this place as Brad describes it to be pretty fun for all ages. There are all kinds of illusions and puzzles that keep you thinking.

Puzzling World
Puzzling World at Wanaka

Queenstown
From Wanaka the excitement still continues with the Skyline Luge rides. We plan on spending a few days in Queenstown as everyone I have spoken with describes it as a fun-packed place with plenty to do for all ages. I am yet to convince Belinda to bungee jump, or do something crazy like that, but I figure I will have a good solid week to make my case.

Invercargill
We then head down to Invercargill and Bluff. We haven’t planned much for here so it may be a more scenic approach. There is a big suspension bridge at Cliffden on the way which I hope to stop in and see. We had thought about travelling to Stewart Island to see some penguins and seals, but found that we should be able to see them along our trip.

Dunedin
The kids have been talking about going to the chocolate factory for months now, so this will be another one of our must-do stops. I also want to visit the steepest street (baldwin street I am told) in the world. The kiwi Guardians programme also has more more fun adventures for us here, including sand boarding and seeing sea lions.

Timaru
Our last leg of the journey brings us to Timaru, where Mum was born. We hope to be able to see her house that she grew up in, albeit was only a short period of her childhood, it will be good for the kids to see Grandma’s home town.

Christchurch
We have allowed the remaining time to see the sites of Christchurch. There is a wildlife park that we would like to visit which looks quite popular. If we have enough time I would also like to venture out to Akaroa. Mum recently visited here and said the place was amazingly beautiful. Brad did mention that the trip was quite winding and although it doesn’t appear far took some time to navigate, and to set aside a full day. Hopefully by the time we have spent navigating the roads of New Zealand we will be use to the winding roads and no one gets too car sick.

Stay tuned as we will have lots of photos and stories to share over the coming few weeks.

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