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Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

London, United...
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Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

Hi,

I will be travelling to South Island of New Zealand and the East Coast of Australia for 4 weeks.

Booking flights however seems very complicated - especially as I am able to be flexible with the dates and airports I can use. As a result I am confused as to how I can book these - is it best to use a travel agent? I have always usually booked flights myself but I would be here for hours trawling through the multiple options.

I am looking for the following flights:

Timings: I am flexible with timings for when I can go - I have 4 weeks of annual leave that I can take anytime between 21st October and 12th December.

To see the South island of NZ and East Coast of Australia, I am flexible as to the order in which I see them in based on the price of the flights. I would like to get the cheapest possible flights both in terms of the long haul flight from/to London and the internal flights within Australia and between New Zealand.

I am hence happy to fly from LONDON INTO or OUT OF the following airports:

- Auckland

- Brisbane

- Sydney

- Melbourne

I am hence looking for prices and options based on the above airports based on my timings above.

Internal Flights:

I will also need internal flights based on the below itinerary - ie. to Sydney, to Melbourne, to Brisbane, to Queenstown, etc but this is subject to the long haul flights I book.

NEW ZEALAND

- Queenstown

- Franz Josef

- Abel Tasman

- Wellington (can skip this if flights are expensive from here)

AUSTRALIA

- Whitsundays (via flight to Cairns?)

- Fraser Island

- Byron Bay

- Sydney

- Melbourne

Are any of the above places I'd like to see better to fly from one place to the next? Ie. if flights are cheap from Sydney to Queenstown then maybe it's better I fly this route, etc.

If anyone has any tips on this and has done something similar, please let me know!

Thanks,

Nina

London, United...
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21. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

Thanks! Yes I will post them there now that I have an idea of my plan.

I've also just realised that the Trailfinders package included the domestic flights from Brisbane to Cairns and back again.. if I dont need to do that and to compare like for like I will need to speak to TF first thing in the morning to see how much it would be. The reason I booked with Expedia was so that I could get a refund if needed.

I've looked into the remaining flights which work out approximately as per below:

Melbourne - Queenstown 166 Jetstar

Wellington - Sydney 130 Air New Zealand

Sydney - Brisbane 50 Jetstar

Based on that it's actually about the same as Trailfinders although TF incl the Cairns flights rtn but then I also would have had to spend time to get from Christchurch to Queenstown as well. Let's see what they say.

Regarding getting around NZ since I am travelling alone, it will make sense for me to get the bus - easier and to meet people too. It is a shame I can't hire a car - I'm a confident driver but I've not driven abroad before and it will be much easier on a bus. Any recommendations? If I'm short of time, can the bus go direct to Wanaka? Once I've got these internal flights booked up, I'll need to research transport and accom.

London, United...
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22. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

PS Return flights to Hamilton island from brisbane are approx £126, not sure if this includes luggage. Is it worth it or ok to go by bus? I will need to go to Fraser Island too if that's on the way up...

noosa
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23. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

To do the South Island of NZ you need at least 10 days, unless you just want to stop one night and off again to the next place. To get over your Jetleg and see Melbourne another 4-5 days. Then you want to relax for 4 days at the end at Byron. That leaves you with 10 days to do Sydney, Brisbane, Whitsundays and Fraser (incl. travel there and back). I think you are stretching it. You must remember Australia is a huge country, as big as Europe. Even you can fly from one place to the next in some cases..you still need to get to the airport 2 hours prior, often the low cost airlines are delayed for hours. By the time you arrive at your next destination a whole day is gone. For instance Brisbane to Byron would be around 3-4 hours each way on a bus. I would do either Byron OR Fraser.

London, United...
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24. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

Or cut down the time in Byron as I'll be relaxing on a beach in most these places I hope?! I can't go to the east coast and not see fraser...

Wellington
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25. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

I honestly think you'll be pushing it a bit, too.

As an example, a few years ago we went to Daydream Island, in the Whitsundays. (It's rather nice, but that's another story.)

We were up at 4am for a 5am check in for a flight that left Wellington at 6.40. (Should have checked in at 4.40, actually, but experience had told us that our airport wasn't open at 4.40, then.) Anyway, we landed in Sydney at 10am~ our time (8am, theirs.) Got luggage, entered the country, located the bus to the domestic terminal our next flight was leaving from, checked in. It was now 10am in Aussie, our flight left at 11. Got to Hamilton island at around 1.30pm. Collected luggage, went to the tour desk, got directed to a jetty, wandered down there and waited - not too long - and boarded the ferry to (among other places) Daydream. Got off the ferry at Daydream at around 4pm. Checked in, got to our room, unpacked etc - you know the drill - by the time our time was our own again, and we could do what we wanted, it was about 5.20 pm. We'd been "on the road" effectively for fourteen hours.

Distances on the map are deceptive. Allow extra time. Consider not coming to NZ, even. You'll have a much more relaxing trip.

noosa
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26. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

Nina, listen to our posts. You don't want to have a rushed, stressed out holiday and come back totally excausted!

England, United...
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27. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

Great you got the 'big' flight booked good price as well.

However your trying to do in 4 weeks an awful lot of traveling. Now I can understand as its such a long way, and perhaps may be the only time you visit. And its only natural you want to see as much as you can, BUT there is a point where you have to slow down.

For what your wanting to do you will spend a lot of time in airports on buses and the like which will eat into massively your precious time.

So, take a wee step back and really look at the distances involved here. Give yourself a breather from planning for a day

If you really want to get around NZ why not hire a car? Driving is fine and its on the 'proper' (!?) side of the road, fair enough some of the roads are high and twisty but I managed it!! You have the freedom to do your own thing and not rely on public transport

noosa
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28. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

NZ is a breeze to drive. Safe as. You can't get lost.

London, United...
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29. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

OK - so having looked at flights, it seems to make sense to stick to the flight from London - Melbourne and Brisbane - London. Even including the low cost carriers, it seems to work out the same or less than TF.

So based on this I have revised my itinerary in the following order:

Activity

7th Nov Fly from London to Melbourne - Night 1

8th Nov Melbourne - Night 2 Recover and see city.

9th Nov Melbourne - Night 3 See city.

10th Nov Fly from Melbourne - Queenstown - Night 1

11th Nov Queenstown - Night 2 Sky dive

12th Nov Queenstown - Night 3 Daytrip to Milford Sounds

13th Nov Bus from Queenstown to Franz Josef - Night 1

14th Nov Franz Josef - Night 2 Daytrip to FJ

15th Nov Bus from FJ to Abel Tasman - Night 1

16th Nov Abel Tasman - Night 2 See national park.

17th Nov Ferry & Bus to Wellington - Night 1

18th Nov Fly from Wellington to Sydney - Night 1 PM Flight - Air New Zealand

19th Nov Sydney - Night 2 Blue Mountain

20th Nov Sydney - Night 3 Bridge - 8am - Opera - Bondi

21st Nov Fly from Sydney to Cairns - Night 1

22nd Nov Cairns - Night 2 Dive Great Barrier Reef

23rd Nov Bus to Arlie Beach - Night 1

24th Nov Arlie Beach - Night 2 Whitehaven Beach & Whitsundays

25th Nov Bus to Rainbow Beach - Night 1

26th Nov Rainbow Beach - Night 2 To Fraser Island

27th Nov Bus to Byron Bay - Night 1

28th Nov Byron Bay - Night 2

29th Nov Byron Bay - Night 3

30th Nov Byron Bay - Night 4

1st Dec Byron Bay - Night 5

2nd Dec Bus from Bryon Bay to Brisbane - Night 1

3rd Dec Fly from Brisbane to London

4th Dec Arrive in London

I know it is a lot to cover but I guess it depends on what you want to do. I'm relatively happy with this and dont mind being on the go as long as I can relax at the end.. also as there are no internal flights between Cairns and Brisbane, I can leave that part as relatively flexible. Although I've allocated a lot of time in Bryon Bay, this gives me the flexibility to add an extra day to Whitsundays or Fraser Island if I'd like to.

Is there anywhere else at the start of the itinerary that you think could benefit from an extra day or so?

Also I just need to double check about the diving on the Great Barrier Reef and going to Cairns for that. I believe it is worth it and very different to diving in the Whitsundays but it is the only reason I'm going up there so I hope it's worthwhile!

Next is to research times, prices and duration of internal flights and buses to ensure I can make it from one place to the next. The tours and accommodation research!

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30. Re: Booking complex flights from London to New Zealand/Australia

......Dizzy reading that..

At the moment dont have a min to go through but quick look yes you can get flights Cairns/Brisbane, Virgin Aust ,and looking at some of those coach journeys... approx 8 hours Queenstown to FJ......still think your trying to fit to much in...

Will have to look more when Im back in..But sure others will have a look as well..