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Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

England
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Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

We spent 2 months in NZ in the mid 70s and have always wanted to go back.

Rough Idea is to fly air nz to Los Angeles and stay a few days with friend in order to lessen the jet lag. (we really suffered 2 years ago when we flew direct to Oz). Then fly into Auckland. There we would pick up a hire car and spend about three weeks traveling round both islands. Is three weeks a bit too rushed? I appreciate more time would be nicer. Return journey we would probably do in one hit, unless there is a particuarly nice place to stop over at you know of.

Weather.... We don't like excessive heat and we think Jan/Feb won't be as hot as OZ. Correct?

Accomodation..... On previous touring holidays I have carefully planed each stop and sussed out somewhere to stay in advance. However this time we want to be more flexible. Is NZ the sort of place where you can just turn up at a town and get a room on spec? We'd probably book the first few nights in Auckland.

Costs.... Is NZ as expensive as OZ.? We were quite surprised at the relativly high price of stuff compared to UK in Oz..

Itinerary........ We have a few preliminary ideas, but would someone be prepared to suggest a route taking in the major sights.

Car hire... Is it feasable to take a hire car on the ferry between N and S islands, or would it be better to leave the first car on N Island and pick up a second on S island and a third when back on North?

Thanks in advance

Oz
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1. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Hi,

Three weeks split with one week in the North Island and two in the South Island is the "conventional wisdom" for the minimum time to pick up the icons in both islands.

The wether should be cooler than in Oz at this time of the year but the climate is/has been doing strange things all over the world.

Jan is school holiday and peak times so at a minimum you will need to book ahead to avoid problems , at least until school returns then you still have the DINKS, empty nesters, etc.

Not sure about the exchange rates for you we certainly " win" on the exchange rate from Oz so you need to check price wise.

Look at the RHS of this page for some great suggested itineraries. When you have a rough draft come back for some "fine tuning" by the DEs.

Some companies will let you take a rental between the Islands (Apex?) most will not.

Enjoy your trip,

New Zealand
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2. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Great to have you coming back for another visit :)

I think you will find a few things changed since your last trip - the dining out has certainly improved!

Oz has pretty much covered everything, but here are my suggestions...

Three weeks up and down the country will indeed be far too rushed. Best to begin in the North Island, spend a week there before taking the ferry (Apex allows their cars on the ferry and will help with the cost) for two weeks travelling down the South Island - possibly your route will follow a fish-hook shape so after exploring the lower south you drive up to Chch to then fly Chch to Auckland for your flight out.

There are a good number of three week itineraries here on the forum. Take a look and see what appeals. And yes, Jan will be busy with the summer school holidays, Feb less busy. If you are wanting budget accommodation you will find it heavily to fully booked, more options in the mid price range though you might not get your first choice.

Once you have an idea of where you hope to go, post it here for our comments. Happy planning :)

England
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3. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Thanks Wanaka and Flyer for the feed back.

Will probably wait till feb now you've told me Jan is school hols.

forgot to tell you about us.

we are mid sixties. Reasonably fit and dementia hasn't kicked in yet.

I expect i will see changes after a 40 year gap. Current Mrs Trickster hasn't been before (first one went on to greater things as test pilot in a broom factory)

We like nature,scenery, historical interest and culture, geological wonders, cafes and scrabble. Also as a frusrated 60s failed rock star, I like seeing live bands and musos (excluding jazz ones). I like telling my boring life story to all and sundry.

We don't like bungee jumping, white water rafting, three day mountain hikes (did the Routeburn track first visit... not up to it now).

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Hi trickster9, my partner & I will be in N.Z end of Jan to mid Feb for 3 weeks too, it'll be my 3rd trip, OH's 1st.

I think you'll find prices similar to UK, maybe a bit cheaper. Fuel is a bit cheaper than ours at the mo', eating out is about the same, depends on the kind of places you go to or prefer but the food is a much better quality than standard pub fayre at home.

You won't struggle to find live music at the weekends, nearly every bar I went into last time had something going on.

You will easily cope with the weather, it'll (hopefully) be like England during a good summer with a bit more breeze.

Might be worth looking into flying between the Islands to save time & money, www.grabaseat.com have great internal flight prices but be careful with the baggage selections.

I've mainly just booked accomodation at the local i-site (Tourist information) when I hit town, I only had one motel that I though wasn't great and stayed in the Millenium in Q-town for the same price as a motel by doing this, but for the more popular places such as Queenstown & Kaikoura I may book a day or so in advance www.wotif.com (thanks Wanakalakes) seems to be a good site, I've mooched around it and will use it when I'm there.

I bought my tickets about a month ago with Emirates and prices have already gone up by £200 per, so might be worth getting yours booked ASAP.

Happy planning :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

My UK friends complain that NZ is expensive, but when I point out that they are not doing the exchange rate they often change their minds. I find the UK incredibly expensive - rental car GBP60 - and then the last day was only 2 hours because they close at 11 am on Saturdays - yet I paid for 24 hr!! One night in a YHA DORM was GBP50 - you can get a night for 2 in a nice motel for that. (My UK friends recommended a chain of cheap roadside hotels for GBP49 but they were located miles from anywhere!!

Eating out may SEEM expensive - but there is no tipping and no added service/VAT (the price on the menu is inclusive). No highway tolls, no fees for entering National Parks, or most museums.

Decent wine for under $10 in the supermarket!!

England
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6. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Thanks Nardine and Zhuhai. All good info gratefully received.

Nardine..... I see you are from Brum. Me likewise. Born and raised in Selly Oak.

My little 60s covers combo, V60, have a gig at Rubery British Legion. on 24th Nov.

Two bands. We're on second. If you like 60s music come along. Small charge on the door. I'm the one you can just see on my photo. But I was 16 then. In current band I'm the little bald fat one with the red Fender Doncaster (the steam powered one)

I'm going straight from the Villa Arsenal match at Villa Park which inconveniently kicks off at 5.30 so i won't be there till 8

Be there or be square.

Birmingham, United...
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7. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Aha Trickster9 I live near Brum but am actually from N.Z. born but only bred until I was 4 though.

I actually help promote live music in Tamworth , check out www.Tamworthlive.org, you can even add your band bio on there if you'd like.

Zuhai, England really isn't very cheap at all, I would not pay £49 to stay in one of the roadside "hotel's" they're horrible! It's no wonder that not even Brits will stay in the country for a holiday, I recently paid £165 to rent what we call a chalet, you'd call a batch on a holiday park off season for 4 nights. Earlier this year I paid just £215 to go to Paxos in Greece this included flights transfers & accomodation for a week, where's the incentive?

I think anyone having been to N.Z more than about 5 years ago will notice the difference in the exchange rate more, but I still think N.Z is cheaper than the U.K hands down.

England
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8. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Nardine........ Being nosey here. How come you ended up being born in NZ but moving to UK. It's usually the other way round. I'll take a guess. One of your parents is Brit, one Kiwi (can I say that?). They met travelling. Fell in love. Had you, and the Brit persuaded the Kiwi to live in UK. Could be wrong of course.

Tamworth........ In a previous life I was a civil engineer. I worked on a big housing development in Tamworth. I think it was called Stoneydelph or Wilnecote. I was in the area recently and had a drive round. Amazingly after 45 years it's still standing. I'll have a look at your web site and see if I can put our band bio on.

I also moved out of Brum a few years back. You know that adjacent town just to the SE where the people think they are a cut above the brummies. Well it's there. It's so posh we have to get out of the bath to have a p.

Happy days

England
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9. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Tried www.Tamwothlive.org but couldn't get connected.

England
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10. Re: Preliminary thoughts and questions Jan/Feb trip

Doing a fish hook route on SI has been mooted. This would be convenient as my cousin lives in Christchurch so we could finish up with a few days there.

She used to live on the romanticaly named Rocking Horse Road

It's been suggested we fly back from CH CH to Aukland to pick up our homeward flight.

Do we have to go back to Auckland or can we fly direct from Ch Ch to Uk

What sort of money are we looking at to take a car and two between the islands each way? If the hire car co let us take the car from N to south, can we do a one way rental?

We did that in Oz. Collected in Sydney and dropped in Melbourne. Saved a days drive and one o/n hotel.