We (both in our mid sixties) are from the UK have booked the flights arrive Christchurch 31 Jan 2011 and depart Auckland midday 4 March. We have the car booked for the whole trip with Apex (that gives us the free ferry from Picton to Wellington) for midday on 14 Feb [this is flexible]
With 14 nights on the South Island and 18 on the North Islands, we hope to see a lot (but not all) so have planned a number of 2 night stays.
We did our own planning (before we discovered this forum) and are pleased that it roughly follows the “standard”.
We have pre-booked the Christchurch, Mt Cook and Queenstown motels but want to keep the rest “flexible”. We are not big on hiking or canyon speedboats hence the short time in Queenstown.
We didn’t want to rush things so didn’t include the drive to Milford but if the weather looks good, we could fly/visit to get the best of the views in a short time.
The main question is about accommodation (plan for all motels at the moment). We thought that after your summer school holidays ended, we should be OK to go as we wish but looking on the hotel websites, it seems some are getting booked up already. Is it that places like Fox/Franz Joseph are so popular and on the one south-north road, that they are a Mecca? Should we be ok on flexibility once we are nearer Greymouth?
Does anyone have a “chart” of accommodation availability or just some experience of early February?. Thanks in advance!
PS: Congratulations on the next Lord of the Rings filming – just heard it will start Mid Feb 2011!!!
Will this affect availability (based on last time they filmed)?
South Island Plans:
Mon 31-Jan-11 Midday Arrive Christchurch booked
Tue 01-Feb-11 Christchurch booked
Wed 02-Feb-11 Mount Cook booked
Thu 03-Feb-11 Mount Cook booked
Fri 04-Feb-11 Queenstown booked
Sat 05-Feb-11 Queenstown am
then drive/stay Wanaka late pm
Sun 06-Feb-11 Wanaka then drive Franz Josef
Mon 07-Feb-11 Franz Josef
Tue 08-Feb-11 Franz Josef
Wed 09-Feb-11 Franz Josef
Thu 10-Feb-11 Greymouth area
Fri 11-Feb-11 Greymouth area
Sat 12-Feb-11 Hamner Springs
Sun 13-Feb-11 Hamner Springs
Mon 14-Feb-11 Picton – Ferry - Wellington
Regards Retiredbri (and now, Retiredbabs)