a VirtualTourist member
Hi, I am planning an Auturm trip next year 2013, so want someone there now to give me some feedback about 2012 Auturm in South Island. based on 2012 update, what is the best time to reach south island to find the most colorful season of the year? in different city? normally we can travel with clock sequence or clock reverse sequence starting from Christchurch. So a right way to travel with best timing is being asked by me. appreciate that.
Autumn colours are awesome in NZ and the best place IMHO is Arrowtown and Wanaka. I find the colour is best the 2nd or 3rd week into April, so I note you didn't state your times. However, from Christchurch, I would take the central route via Lake Tekapo, down thru the Mackenzie country, over the Lindis pass and into Wanaka via Tarras. Stay a few days and soak up the splendor of Wanaka. Go into the Matukituki valley towards Mount Aspiring National Aprk and do the Rob Roy Glacier walk if time permits. From Wanaka, head over the Crown Range road into Arrowtown (via Cadrona and the pub). If you have a 4WD head into Macetown and Skippers Canyon (although you won't need a 4WD for Skippers this time of the year, only a bit of driving fortitude. Then into Queenstown, if you want a beautiful loop, head back to Wanaka and head to the West Coast via the Haast pass, up the West Coast and then across Arthurs Pass back to Christchurch. Search google maps for all these places. IMHO, these are the best scenic parts of NZ and in April, the most colourful!!!!!!!!. Enjoy.
Robmj's itinerary sounds great. I have done a similar trip in the first two weeks of April and the autumn colours were outstanding. Anywhere around Queenstown, and especially Arrowtown is wonderful for Autumn photography. I also saw some beautiful autumn scenes driving between Te Anau and Milford Sound. My best tip is to suggest you take warm clothes.
2nd to 4th week of April.