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please give me help

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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please give me help

I posted on Fodors this itenary and someone basically said it cant be done. I followed your plan fairly closely Zappers so what do you think to this one.

25th July to 17th August trip - still stopping in 6 berth motorhome

25th / 26th Auckland

27th Rotorua - Zorb ball for the kids & Mitai evening, Waiotopo Lady Knox Geyser

28th Napier

29th Wellington

30th Ferry (weather depending) to Kaikoura

31st early morning whale watch then to Christchurch

1st Dunedin (relatives)

2nd / 3rd Queenstown - shotover Jet and Bungee for kids

4th Wanaka - Puzzle world

5th / 6th Franz Josef - Lake Matheson & Heli Hike

7th Greymouth, calling in to Hokitika craft centre

8th Westport - Buller Gorge Swingbridge for the males in family and Panakiki rocks

9th Nelson

10th Ferry & Wellington

11th Wellington

12th Okahune

13th Waitiomo - Spellbound cave tour

14th to 17th Auckland (relatives)

Fodors said the whale watch may not run and if it does it will be freezing and too rough and the ferry would be too rough.

So what do you think? We have checked the milage and allowed for extra but we still think it can be done and i have put extra days in places so that we can relax and see the places - plus if we need to stop there are plenty of camps. - I think im trying to convince myself!

HELP!

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: please give me help

Just re-read my post and we will be going to Waiotopo on route to Napier on the 28th.

Brisbane
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26 posts
68 reviews
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2. Re: please give me help

As a skiier I can tell you the road from Dunedin to Queenstown and and Queenstown to Wanaka can be an adventure with a 4 wheel drive and chains.

Doing it in a motor home is even tougher if you hit a patch of bad (or as I consider it - great ski weather) . It can be done but the trip will be slow. If you are not a skilled snow driver I would consider a different route.

That part of the world is the only place in all my years in snow where I've experienced an absolute white out, and the next day found they had over a 30" dump. The storms can come up quickly so be ready to be having a long trip.

The alternative is of course is that the weather look upon you favorably and all is perfect.

Have fun.

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: please give me help

because we want to see queenstown and franz josef and we have already booked and paid our motorhome for 24 nights i don't know how else to do it.

Other than doing Picton to Franz

Franz to Kaikoura, still want to see cousin in Dunedin

and then risk road to Queenstown, but then we still have to get back to Picton.

I'm really struggling now!

New Zealand
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9,406 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: please give me help

Ignore the negative remarks, there's not much you can do about it as you had your heart set on certain things, rellies to visit and the van booked long before coming on here. So we've tried to make the best of bad itinerary and while it's going to be a tight trip and a long one you still have a little bit of room to move if things turn to custard. Unfortunately the weather is going to be the crucial factor!

take heart from vbc's comments on another thread yesterday;

"Don't let thoughts of driving in snow and ice influence your choice of itenerary. I don't know where this perception has come from that the South Island is snow covered in the winter, It's just not true. It's probably due to people mis-interpreting what is intended to be helpful advice, and assuming that it applies to the whole island.

So to re-state, and hopefully not perpetuate the myth. There MAY be snow and ice on SOME roads, SOME of the time. MOST of the time there is NO snow and ice on ANY roads.

Oh, another thing.

IF a highway is affected by snow and Ice (or flooding) there is ALMOST ALWAYS (95%??) plenty of advance warning, and MOST (90%??) of the time there is an alternative route."

So back to your plan;

Whale watching is year round (subject to weather though)- the whales are resident teenagers waiting to mature, they live there all year. If the sea is extra rough the trips can be cancelled, summer & winter, you are more likely to get a trip in by taking the first early morning tour- seas are usually calmer. Take sea-sickness remedy regardless, it's often the lazy swell of the sea and the movement of the boat that will catch you out, you've come all this way for the experience don't have it ruined by spending the whole trip feeling green. Make sure you have breakfast (not a big greasy fry-up either) if you're feeling queasy stand out in the fresh air and look at the land on the horizon. Take ginger-beer(this is not alcoholic) ,ginger-ale, gingernuts(biscuits) to eat. YES it will be cold, it's winter, just wrap up warm. And if the wrose comes to worse and you can't go, don't worry you had to pass this way, anyway!

Ok back to the itinerary;

28th Napier- I still think you could skip Napier & head down the middle. you are not going to see much. This way after the geothermal park you only have to drive to Taupo, Turangi or just a bit further on for the night.

30th Ferry (weather depending) to Kaikoura- you need to get the earliest ferry you can (again more likely to be calmer & most of the day to drive to Kaikoura)

31st early morning whale watch then to Christchurch- I think you should by-pass ChCh (only 2 hours from Kaikoura) and get as far south as reasonable otherwise you're going to have a long day's drive to Dunedin and not much time to catch up with family.

1st Dunedin (relatives)

4th Wanaka - Puzzle world- if you've had a problem with weather up to now then this could be a spare day to use. Do PW on the way to FJ on the 5th.

7th Greymouth, calling in to Hokitika craft centre- I would try to get through to Westport on this day giving you another day in the Nelson area.

8th-9th Nelson

11th Wellington- Here's another day up your sleeve if you've been mucked around by weather.

14th to 17th Auckland (relatives)- and you could also use one of these days if the worse comes to the worse.

Keep an eye on the short-term weather reports each day and have a contingency plan ready, look on each day as an adventure and don't be too disappointed if you miss something, warn the kids that this could be possible and that each thing you do get to do will be a bonus. Hey, who knows you could have perfect winter sunshine the whole trip!

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: please give me help

Thanks Zappers, im sure it will be fine, we will just have to hope the winter gives its worse before we get there. We always knew that things might have to change depending on weather and with having 2 drivers we can just stop when were tired there seems to be enough camps. Its going to be great whatever. We will see what the weather/roads are like for driving straight down from Taupo as you said on a previous that the Desert road may be closed with snow.

Thanks for being positive

Laney

Queenstown, New...
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6. Re: please give me help

Just agreeing with Zappers here- there may be snow - there may not please don't let that change your plans, yes it could cause a slight delay here and there on both Islands, but it is not the norm and if you are prepared for it you will be fine.

My only other comment is yes it can be done but it is a lot of driving especially with kids

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: please give me help

thanks gtn-7, luckily the lads are 14 & 11 and have been used to lots of travelling on all of our holidays - (lots of relatives scattered all over), so long as they get what they want at the end e.g bungee, helihike etc. They have helped choose the things to do and know the amount of travel to get there.

It was actually the 11 year old that chose to come to NZ

Laney

New Zealand
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9,406 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: please give me help

Laney, if the Desert Road is closed then usually the alternative road "National Park" which skirts around the otherside of the mountains and adds about 45minutes to the trip will be open. Very occasionally both roads will be closed in which case heading east to Napier is an option.

But then again if both roads are closed that means a heavy snow dump and it could be that the Napier-Taupo could also be closed............

sorry, couldn't resist! :o)

Lichfield, United...
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41 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: please give me help

Thanks Zappers, i think we shall just buy 4 skis just in case we need to attach them to the wheels! :))

10. Re: please give me help

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