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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
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I spent a month in NZ few years back; rented a car and drove around, with split 1 week on North and 3 weeks on South Island

On North I'd definitely recommend Tongariro Crossing with side scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe ("Mt. Doom"). Ferry ride Wellington - Pickton over Cook strait is fantastic! (and can be booked in advance)

On South:

-- Abel Tasman NP is beach setting, but very nice hiking with backpack options. I regretted not spending more time

-- visit to Aoraki (Mt. Cook NP) is a must. I did Mueller Hut & it is fantastic day-hike. There are much more adventurous options

-- I'd recommend setting up base in Te-Anau for several days. Day trip to Fiordland (yes, Milford sound is touristy, but still fantastic. They just finished filming of Alien: Covenant there too!). Then Kepler Track. Day hike to Mt. Luxmore was 1 of highlights of my stay.

-- Queenstown is young crowd, touristy spot. Reminded me of Kelowna. If you are there rent a bike; good riding trails around the lake. Otherwise not a big deal if skipped

-- Stewart Island: YES! Very remote, and very exotic. There is day hydrofoil from Invercargill. Fantastic seclude beaches. High waves sometimes on crossing

I did not have time to visit Mt. Aspiring, but heard only good things about it so it might be worth looking at as well.

I have online blog documenting hikes I didwith plenty of pics here
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