Brad Connor ran most of these trails in a day when he was a scamp of a wee man, says it was the best way to pack them all in.
If you get the chance to kayak to the far end of the Able Tasman trail and run back.....heaven.
Or a boat to the far end of the Queen Charlotte trail and run or bike back....
I don't remember much else other than Blenheim for wine, Nelson for Observatory run and craft ale and chip shop.
Takes me back... I planned to do the whole thing in a day, and loved it. I stopped for a bit of grub at Moturau Hut before tackling the final 10km, basking by the shore of Lake Manapouri, watching a two-person Kayak slowly approaching. The people got out, chatting away with Scottish accents. They turned out to be a couple on honeymoon from Stirling! We got chatting and they invited me to join them in the hut for a slap-up honeymoon meal - their canoe was rammed with champagne, hors d'oeuvres, you name it. A very memorable night indeed. That final 10km the next day was hard work.
All the tracks are so much busier now, but running gets you away from all that. Agree with Jase's recommendations, kayak/boat taxi out on both the Abel Tasman and QC trail and run back, both fab. Great coffee and cake in the cafe at the end of the AT! Dusky is also awesome, much more remote. Ange thumbed her nose at the authorities by chatting up the boat drivers to let her effectively run the Milburn in a day in reverse - forcing people to do that in 3 days is a madness.
I regretted not doing more in the Arthur's Pass area. Also - Mt. Arthur - great walking/running in there.
And then there's all the great stuff on North Island! Very jealous! Have a smashing time.
If you are making it up to Nelson/Abel T feel free to give me a shout. Can help out with recommendations/maps/gear/place to crash. Might be able to sort you out bikes (mtb/road) too if you fancy something different. Or maybe just show you where the beer is best!
#metoo? Back in 93, on the day of the Kepler race, too late to enter, but starting much later the runners scared everyone off the trail so we had it to ourse!lives. Enjoy.
I ran Tasman in a day (watch the tides) and then hitched back from the other side. Another option!
Basically, everyone you know has already been there. Twice. Sorry about the crisp packets ;-P
All the famous trails are like hard like concrete these days - I preferred going "off piste" on the non-touristy ones through the bush :)
'like concrete', really GG? What tosh! You big terrain running softie.
Calum - sounds good. Got your number off Duncan so will fire you a message once we've figured out our post-xmas plans. Probably in AT area just after new year.