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I am currently planning a 12 day trip to the South Island of New Zealand from December 13th - December 24th. I am incredibly excited, but need need some help figuring out the right itinerary.

I will be traveling with a close friend. The two of us are males in our mid-20s, in good shape, and are hoping to take on one or two of the following Great Hikes:

  • Heaphy Track
  • Milford Track
  • Routeburn Track
  • Kepler Track

We are very flexible in terms of budget - and are very happy to pay a little more in order to save time. Most of our constraints are related to time. In particular, we need to:

  • Fly into NZ on December 13th
  • Rest and recover from jetlag for 1-2 days
  • Fly out of NZ on December 24th

I'm wondering:

  • Where should we fly in and out of in NZ?
  • How can we get from these places to the hike?
  • Can we fit in two of the great hikes?
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closed as off-topic by Ankur Banerjee Oct 22 '13 at 10:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions covering tasks normally performed by travel agents such as constructing travel and tour itineraries (including scheduling and budgeting) are off-topic. They are generally too specific to your personal preference, with many variables and possibilities, and are probably not helpful to others. See also The WANTA debate." – Ankur Banerjee
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5  
Welcome to the site. Please have a look at the help center - as it stands, your question is very likely to get closed. For a start, you've asked at least 6 questions in one, which is usually frowned upon. Also try to stay away from subjective questions or polling questions - "what would you do?", for example. I'd suggest breaking them up into multiple questions. Awesome area of my country that you're visiting though, and definitely the best island :) –  Mark Mayo Oct 22 '13 at 3:27
    
For the hiking question, see The Great Outdoors. –  gerrit Oct 22 '13 at 9:55
    
Best airport is probably CHC (Christchurch). Some carriers will take you to CHC directly but a greater number of flights go to AKL (Auckland). You can get internal flights from Auckland to Christchurch as a matter of course. Any travel agent will be able to book these for you along with your international flights. If you book the internal flights early you can get excellent rates AKL-CH. Je=t Star and Air NZ offer low cost "grab a seat" internal flights. You will be able to manage 2 trips if you plan carefully. Note that tracks may be booked out and you need to book asap. –  Russell McMahon Oct 22 '13 at 12:54
    
Routeburn can be "walked" in 1, 2, 3, or 4 days (or run as a Marathon!!!). 3 is usual, 2 is not hard if fit. 1 is silly but people do it. My wife and I did it in 4 and enjoyed the scenery. Other tracks are the Greenstone and Hollyford. Hollyford is fairly long and further away from area most others are in. Milford is THE classic - most liable to be booked out. There is a (very) well developed industry serving transport to and from track ends and from Christchurch to and from the tracks. Any good NZ South Island travel agent will handle this regularly. –  Russell McMahon Oct 22 '13 at 12:57
    
Where are you coming from? I doubt that you need the jetlag recovery time. If you allow 2 days from CHC to track end it should be enough if you have all your gear already. If you have more money than time then you can get light aircraft flights to locations near track ends.Even more $ gets you a helicopter :-). I can help with specific questions if you wish - see my profile for email address. –  Russell McMahon Oct 22 '13 at 13:03