We're planning a trip to NZ's South Island in late March/early April. We have 15 nights total there, and we're flying from the USA. We love nature, easy to light-intermediate hiking, kayaking, coastal towns and small towns in general. We're not into big cities, although some can be fun (Paris! Buenos Aires!). We'll be renting a car, and have a UK-trained driver used to the "other" side of the road, but we still prefer not to drive more than 4-5 hours in a day if it can be avoided (longer with stops is OK).
Here we go with try #1 (here's where we'd spend the night):
Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook x 2
Te Anau x 5
Wakana x 2
Franz Josef x 2
We're planning a helicopter ride to the top of the Kepler trail, with a one day walk down, and a one-day Milford Sound kayak tour. We'd like to kayak somewhere else, or even standup paddle board if there's anywhere to do that (we're experienced SUPers). Thoughts? Suggestions? Too long in Te Anau area? I wanted to add more days to the trip total, but work doesn't allow it. Thanks in advance!