it's either through SH6 (through Cromwell) or through the Crown Range. At Cromwell, you can see fruit farms and purchase fruits in season. Of course, Crown Range is the highest road on the island and offers superb scenery.
For car rental, can also check out Ezy. They have good rates (but sorry, they don't provide frills like rice cooker and handphone.) They are very near Christchurch airport, about 5 mins drive away and provide airport transfers. We drove a Nissan 1.6L for 17 days on all kinds of terrain and the engine was very good.
I personally think YHA chain is quite expensive. BBH would be relatively cheaper.
And i think depending on when u're going, say off peak season, u need NOT necessary book your accomodation in advance. Probably only for the 1st day will suffice, and the rest u just check it out when u reach the town's I-Site for the list of budget backpackers/motels.
crown range has got it's own nice sceneries, so u wouldn't miss out alot. (Anyway, EVERYWHERE is nice!) In addition, you get to see stretch of fence where the people hanged up their bras.... an interesting view. But be forewarned, the beginning part of the road from arrowtown to Wanaka via Crown Range is quite winding, but the later half is quite easy driving.
1. At the CHC airport, do rembr to get a copy of the 'Hot Deals'. Behind the booklet, there are various discount coupons that can be used for activities such as Milfound Sound Cruises ($5 of per pax), Queenstown Combos Activities ($15 off per combo package), Thermal Pool at Hanmer Spring (with free upgrade to Private Pool), etc.
2. If you can find a car rental company located within CHC, you may consider taking a shuttle bus from the airport to the CHC central. Only $5 per pax. and you can collect your car the following day upon arrival - so will save one day of rental charges. (check out mac donald's rental... their coy is located within CHC). But the con is that you may have to bring your luggage around in CHC from the Central to your 1st night location, so have to plan carefully. I learnt this when i realised that basically i do not really require the car in CHC cos most attractions ar within walking distance.
3. The most expensive petrol is at Lake Tekapo (avoid!)... cheapest within CHC. So for those who are cost-conscious, it will be good to arrive back at Queenstown with no more more than 1/4 tank.... again careful estimation of your fuel efficiency and distance. In general, the bigger the town the cheaper it is.
sorry i am so busy lately.
Thanks Angel. I really miss NZ everytime i see my pics.
I didn't go to the Mt. Hutt.
Is Trigerfish here? I heard from Alglenn motel that you went there.. How was it?
If anyone want to go for hot balloon.. you should.. for me, i didn't go coz we don't have enough time. Christchurch is the cheapest place for hot air balloon in the world. That's what i heard
btw.. if you all haven't got a photographer for your actual day.. i would also recommend to use the photographer i used. The way He shoot the photo is different from other photograppher. And he will present it in a nice album. Love it. you can see the photo here http://je110.multiply.com
Let me know if anyone need his contact.
Hi, I have come out with the below itinerary and wonder anyone can comment on it.
Day 1 SIN-AKL-CHC
Day 2 Airport- Lake Tekapo â€“Mount cook â€“ Lake Tekapu
Day 3 Lake tekapo â€“ Queenstown
Day 4 Queenstown - Te Anau
Day 5 Te Anau - Milford Sound â€“ Queenstown
Day 6 Queenstown â€“ Wanaka - Fox Glacier via Haast Pass
Day 7 Fox Glacier â€“ Franz Josef â€“ Hokitika â€“ Greymouth
Day 8 Greymouth â€“ Punakaiki â€“ Hanmer Spring
Day 9 Hanmer Springs- Christchurch
Day 10 Christchurch - Singapore
Yes. I stayed at Alglenn Motel for a total of 3 nights! We had a great time staying with them. The place is clean & comfortable, host is very chatty & helpful plus their rates are reasonable. Highly recommended.
I will give a few pointers here, & hopefully it will help those planning for a trip to scenic South island.
1. I think the better way to see South island is to take a Tranzalpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, then pick up yr car from there.
2. For Manuka Honey fans,cheapest place I have found is at the Te Anau Supermarket. Think it's $15 for a 500gram bottle.
3.Watch yr speed especially at town where the posted speed limit is 50Km. Police tend to hide in corners, waiting to gun you down for speeding.
4. There are a few major supermarket in NZ, but the cheapest is this chain called "Pak n Save". Go there to stock up yr supplies for yr trip.
5. Plan a realistic itineary, buffer ample time for many scenic walks along yr journey.
Hi, people. I will be planning a NZ trip across the New Year for 12 days (strictly on the road). Have been diligently reading through all the responses in this thread. Thanks for all the tips and advice.
I have drafted out my itinerary. Can the experienced NZ travellers (e.g. kite, yours2lynn, kwan, triggerfish) comment on it? Is it realistic, packed or relaxed? Any suggestions on further improvements? Thanks.
Hello all. This is my brief itinerary, for your easier viewing. Appreciate any comments. Tks.
Day 0: SIN-CHC
Day 1: Arrival at nite â€“ Stay at CHC
Day 2: TransAlpine train to Greymouth â€“ Punakaiki â€“ Greymouth â€“ Stay at Hokitika
Day 3: Hokitika â€“ FJ Glacier â€“ Fox Glacier hike â€“ Stay at Fox Glacier
Day 4: Lake Matheson â€“ Haast â€“ Stay at Wanaka
Day 5: Puzzle World â€“ Deer Park Heights - Stay at Queenstown
Day 6: Queenstown â€“ Glowworm caves â€“ Stay at Te Anau
Day 7: Mirror Lake â€“ Milford Sound cruise â€“ Stay at Lumsden
Day 8: Lumsden â€“ Otago Peninsula â€“ Stay at Dunedin
Day 9: Dunedin â€“ Moeraki â€“ Stay at Twizel
Day 10: Mt Cook â€“ Hooker Valley walk â€“ Lake Tekapo â€“ Stay at Ashburton
Day 11: Ashburton â€“ Winery? â€“ Stay at Kaikoura
Day 12: Whale watching â€“ Hot spring â€“ Stay at Hanmer Springs
Day 13: Hanmer Springs â€“ CHC â€“ Stay at CHC
Day 14: CHC - SIN
your itinerary quiet diff with me.
I didn't go by TransAlpine train as i rent the car in CHC. Have you check whether you can return the car in CHC? if you can, i believe it will cost more.
So, I decided to rent the car from Teddy in CHC and from his suggestion, taking train and car.. not much different. if you have spent many days in NZL, all the scenery are very nice and they more or less look the same (i mean the mountain with the snow on the top)
Well, no doubt there are places that are spectacular compare to the rest. I'm glad that we drove so we can stop in the Arthur pass when the snow falls and have a glass of Hot chocolate.
I didn't go the Punakaiki as well and I went to FJ Glacier instead of Fox Glacier although i stayed overnight in Fox.. coz that time was rainy.. so we can't do the walking. Then I go to FJ instead.
Well, i dint go to Dunedin as well. Can't advise anything .. sowwy
I suggest you to take the 1pm Sheep shearing so can catch the hot spring in Hanmer Springs. They got 2 shows in a day. Drop by to the small cart in front the sheep shearing to get the scallop sandwich.. new thing to try. Nice.. i like it.
oo.. dont forget to consider Alglenn Motel for your CHC.
I did go to Lyttelton. Nice scenery from the summit road. I passed both Sign of Takahe and Sign of Kiwi.
Go inside the Sign of Takahe. It's actually a restaurant now, I met a nice man in the restaurant that told us a history behind the Sign of Takahe and Sign of Kiwi.
I can tell that Lyttelton is not a must but it's not far from CHC.. so why not have a glance?
Thank for sharing. I have another doubt, hoping if you or anyone can advise me. I am actually planning to go to either fox glacier and franz josef glacier. If i am taking the heli flight, should i still do the half day climb or can i just do the Sentinel Rock walk at franz josef glacier? Or which of the walk is better?
if you doing the heli-hike, no point to do the half day climb. It's streneous and you don't get as good view as a heli-hike, esp. you cannot see the ice caves at lower altitude. You do get time on the ice when you go on the heli-hike. After your heli-hike, if you still don't get enough of the glacier, then take your own walk at the base of the glacier. For heli-hike, I understand that there's no diff. if you choose Fox or F.J. No concern on the terrain difficulty since you will not be climbing.
For me, I did the Fox glacier half day climb as I find the heli-hike expensive. I have no regrets though as it was definitely a very good experience. Rough it!
The heli-hike is weather permitting and in good demand...I suggest you pop into the office to check the weather conditions and flight departures and book yourself on the earliest possible.
I did the drive on the Summit Rd to Akaroa. It comprises a very narrow and winding mountain road (only a single vehicle can pass at only one time, so have to give way but very seldom you see vehicles on that road). Very taxing on the driver's concentration. It was the hardest road to drive in our opinion. The drive there took much longer than we expected. Can't remember that well....but think we took 1.5hr to cover that stretch of mountain road that supposedly was about 20km. We were going at about 15km/hr only. We went back to Christchurch via the highway. It's very much faster and safer.
Hope you will enjoy your trip regardless where and which way you go.
Thank for the advice. I am wondering whether i should book the heli-hike here, then when we go there just get ready. Wonder if this is feasible?
Cos now i have last two days free at CHC, I am thinking where we can go nearby CHC but not too taxing. The way u describe the drive along the submit sound pretty scary. Is the view that worth it? Any stop point for us to view the scenery ?
For Akaroa, it is worth to do the cruise? Without doing the cruise, is there anything much to see at the town? Do you have any idea if the beach at Le Bons bay is nice? Hhehe, sorry got so many questions. Hope you dun mind me.
So coincident, I was viewing your photos too when u replied me.
Thank for your schedule. I have already start to book my accommodation but to my surprise quite a few places were fully booked. Now i am still researching any other nice place to go. I saw from your photos u went whale watching. It is nice ? Cos i am wondering to go up to Punhakaiki also. Can advice?
Well, lucky that day i change from 7 morning to the next one. Coz, the 7am trip only see 1 whale. But my trip manage to see 3 whales. But on top of that you will definately see lots of dolphins coz they will use a tool to call the dolphins. And we will see albatros during trip and some seals.
i think most prob I'll just book airticket and accomodation myself. As for the transport, I guess I'll join the "intercity coach" for Southern Island Discovery. I've compared my DIY-itinerary with those from tour agency, I guess mine is still cheaper..or at least it covers the places that I wanna go..hehe..now so excited.
For those have ever taken up the Coach passes for South Island, pls kindly give comments/feedbacks ^_^
May I know whether these attraction sites in NZ (e.g. Hot Air Baloon, Ride Gondola, Shoot Over Jet, Kiwi and Bird Life Park, Glowworm Caves, Red Boat Cruise, Fox Glacier Walk) are closed during X-Mas and New Year's Day ?
Is there any coach service from Greymouth to Christchurch via Arthur's Pass? I only know got tranzAlpine train which does such route.
Thanks mngo! Will bring lots of thick clothings..
am_blessed, which part of the south island do u intend to cover? Have u book your accomodations? I am going in less than 1 month's time, and I have yet book anything... Oh gosh..
Actually i am a new driver myself, have jus pass my license in Dec 05. But my hubby can drive, so we've decided to do a DIY self drive, which we thought would be cheaper and we can spend more time at places that we wish to stay longer, rather than book tours.