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General planning

Carlisle, United...
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General planning

We are going to New Zealand for February 2013 and intend to travel around by car and stay in reasonably priced motels and hostels. This is a trip to celebrate my retirement from teaching and quite an adventure for us.

We are interested in the countryside, scenery and wildlife and so far have planned the following

Arrive Auckland 23.45 and stay overnight near airport

next day pick up car and leisurely drive to Rotorua stay 2 nights. Then go to Taurangi for 2 nights to walk the Tongariro Alpine crossing.

From Taurangi travel via the Wanganui river to Wanganui. However the NZ Masters games may put paid to that, unless it is realistic to go a bit further towards Wellington the same day before staying overnight.

In Wellington spend a couple of days with friends before going on to the South Island

Then it becomes far more difficult to know how much we can do in 3 weeks.

We leave from Christchurch and hope to include Kaikoura for the Whales, Otago peninsula, Franz joseph Glacier and Milford Sound.

I think it is unrealistic to include Abel Tasman as well.

How much of our accomodation do we need to book in advance as it would be good to be flexible but having nowhere booked could be stressful in the less populated areas? Any ideas and suggestions would be gratefully received.


Napier, New Zealand
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1. Re: General planning

Hi the Jan D welcome to the New Zealand Forums, your trip starts in Feb which is still summer and therfore the busiest time of the year, you are going to need to book most of your accomodation in advance especially in the bigger or more popular areas. An idea for cheeper accomodation alternative is camping grounds and holdiay parks they usually have cabins at reasonable rates and if you used someone like "Top10" when you check out of one they will be able to book you into another area for that night( depending on availability of course)


here is the hostels website to for you to have a look at as well


cheers john

Edited: 09 August 2012, 01:53
Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: General planning

Three weeks is a great amount of time for the SI. I'm sure you can fit in Abel Tasman NP with some careful planning. You would need to book huts at that time of the year if you wanted to do an overnight trip (highly recommended). Otherwise 2 nights at Kaiteriteri or Marahau & a day trip by water taxi in/hike out would work. From ATNP you could drive down the West Coast to Punakaiki, glaciers, Wanaka, Queenstown etc & return to Chch via Mt Cook.

You'll find plenty of 2-3 week itineraries posted here to give you a starting point.

South Island
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for South Island
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3. Re: General planning

Try and visit Able Tasman as you will have time and its a great place to explore. I have travelled many times around the South Island in February and have never booked ahead as it gives you more flexibility. Join one the many hostel networks like bbh.co.nz as they provide good value accomodation. Some of the smaller hostels are ideal for travellers.

Carlisle, United...
8 posts
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4. Re: General planning

Thank you for your suggestions. i will certainly look into them

Wanaka, New Zealand
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5. Re: General planning

From Turangi to Wellington in one day is realistic. Go via State Highway One; it will be a relatively easy drive in summer. Unless of course there was something specific you wanted to see in Wanganui.

Birmingham, United...
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6. Re: General planning

Hi Jan, if you go onto the Top 10 website they will send you a guide of their parks by request, the accomodation goes from Motels thru' to camping with shared facility cabins inbetween.

I have had one sent and it's great. we will almost definately be using at least 3 of them on our S.I. travels.

Also take a look at www.wotif.com for rooms.

Napier, Hawke's...
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7. Re: General planning

Rather than staying in Turangi before/after the crossing you could stay at Ohakune, a much nicer town in my opinion. There are a lot of holiday houses in Ohakune that are used primarily during the ski season, you could rent one of these for a reasonable price for a few nights or stay in a motel. There are variaous shuttles that will drop you at the start of the crossing and pick you up from the end. Be aware that the crossing does require a good level of fitness.

To find hoilday houses try bookabach.co.nz

8. Re: General planning

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