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People will always say "See your own country first before you go overseas" and that is what I did over the last 8 years.
Went with a tourgroup from Palmerston to the South Island and it was fantastic. A different atmosphere, the people are more relaxed and the sights are out of this world. You can find everything you want in the S.I. from deepsea fishing to Heliskiing and Mountainclimbing to hotwaterbaths.
We went from Picton to Greymouth all along the coast with stops in good hotels with dinners to Queenstown, Te Anau, Stewart Island (optional), Invercargill, Dunedin, Omaru, Timaru, Christchurch, Kaikoura and back to Picton. At the most we were only for 1 hr in the bus and we had to get out to see something else.
You had no time to be miserable, there was always something to do and see. Did this trip two times with some differences to the first trip. This was for people who had done the mean one first. T
his bustrip was organised for elderly people and is almost the whole year round except in the middle of winter and it takes 3 weeks. So every month there is another trip with the same destinations.