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Thread: New Zealand South Island August

  1. #1

    Default New Zealand South Island August

    guys,

    I am planning a trip to New Zealand south island in late August. I have been there before in summer so I am mainly looking for advise that is Winter specific.

    1) how is the driving like in Winter? Will be driving from Christchurch -> Greymouth -> Haast pass -> queenstown -> Mt Cook -> christchurch.

    2) Is the road from Te anau to milford sound easy to drive in winter? I heard that is the only road that requries chain. I have never driven with chains.

    3) Is the sand flies active in Winter?

    Should I go to the northern part of South island? That is the only part which I did not visit on the earlier trip.

    Any good accomodation recommendations? I am looking for 2 bedroom apartments for a party of 4 adults and one baby.

    thanks for any help

  2. #2

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    Aug is more to Spring is not Winter. more rain.

    If you are traveling in Winter, have to remember that a short day in winter, probably only from 7.45am-4.45pm at New zealand South Island. don't plan too long the road to travel.

    Morning, the road would be more wet, dark area will have snow, drive carefully, preferably use a 4WD.

    Remember to heat the engine up before driving, if freezing at the windscreen (Especially the early morning or evening from restaurant drive back to the motel), use warm water to melt it slowly (Not Hot Water).

    North of the South Island has good beaches (Golden Bay) and orchards, especially apples, vineyards and wineries (Nelson / Marlborough area), but may no have fruit in the winter. If you like the concept of wildlife and whales, do not miss out Kaikoura. (Black colour Beach is also very special, there are also fresh live lobster).

    Hope enjoy your journey


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    KS is right. NZ is in southern hemisphere, so the 4 seasons is reverse to northern hemisphere. Aug is not winter, is spring.

    1)Driving in NZ is quite easy on the highway cos not many cars. But often need to go up and down mountains. So rent a higher cc car.
    Do not speed juz because of less car. Some road are at the edge of mountain.

    2)Road from Te Anau to Milford Sound can be quite challenging. A lot of mountain road and there is a very steep tunnel which is also very dark.
    Plan your timing so that you won't end up return during evening/night.

    3)Sand flies are afraid of cold.

    Go to NZ website to find accommodation. Is quite easy.

  4. #4
    Member DrSpock's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    I think TS know that it is Winter time hence the questions. FYI, Aug is the last month of winter and not spring yet. At times it will still snow especially at the southern part of Sth Island in places like Dunedin and Queenstown. If it does you're one lucky guy cos the scenery will be out of this world. Although Sth Island is significantly colder than Nth Island in winter, the rain is more persistant in the Nth than Sth hence conditions for driving could be excellent, if not for any snow fall.

    The advice is to be extra vigilant and careful whilst driving in these wet & ichy conditions and never take any unecessary risks. If you want to enjoy the scenery look only after you hv parked the car in a safe spot and never ever just stop in the middle or side of the road. My dad did not follow this advice so he, my mom, my sis & hubby ended up over the cliff into the ravine few hundred feet below in the 4x4. Thankfully all survived with just minor scratches
    Last edited by DrSpock; 7th July 2010 at 11:32 PM.
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  5. #5

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSpock View Post
    I think TS know that it is Winter time hence the questions. FYI, Aug is the last month of winter and not spring yet. At times it will still snow especially at the southern part of Sth Island in places like Dunedin and Queenstown. If it does you're one lucky guy cos the scenery will be out of this world. Although Sth Island is significantly colder than Nth Island in winter, the rain is more persistant in the Nth than Sth hence conditions for driving could be excellent, if not for any snow fall.

    The advice is to be extra vigilant and careful whilst driving in these wet & ichy conditions and never take any unecessary risks. If you want to enjoy the scenery look only after you hv parked the car in a safe spot and never ever just stop in the middle or side of the road. My dad did not follow this advice so he, my mom, my sis & hubby ended up over the cliff into the ravine few hundred feet below in the 4x4. Thankfully all survived with just minor scratches
    ????? serious? few hundred feet below? what happened? someone knocked them over?

    There is always scenic lookouts in NZ for you to park your car away from the traffic.

    I drove in minnesota before in May spring which is around same temp like NZ in august. Nights are below freezing, daytime is slightly above freezing. The frozen windscreen in the morning is a irritating. I usually just park it somewhere in the sun....

    I am not tackling the drive from Te anau to Milford. May be chartering a bus. I heard that stretch is pretty bad during winter and may requrie chains.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    August is definitely still winter in the South Island.
    In general, the road will be fine, though you might have to deal with some snow/ice when going through the Pass/Mt Cook area. Depending on the weather, it could snow down to low levels, thought something like that happening in unlikely.
    There might be ice spots on the road (depending on the weather), so always drive safely. Take it slow when the roads get windy.
    All the surrounding mountains should all be covered in snow, so should make amazing scenery.

    Sandflies should be less active during winter, though you can never be too sure. Those little buggers have a habit of biting you when you least expect it. Having said that, you're most likely going to be wrapped in layers of clothing, so I wouldn't worry too much.

    The top of the south island is very nice. You have the vineyards and the Marlborough sounds, and well as Golden Bay north of Nelson. If you have time, go check it out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    guys,

    I am planning a trip to New Zealand south island in late August. I have been there before in summer so I am mainly looking for advise that is Winter specific.

    1) how is the driving like in Winter? Will be driving from Christchurch -> Greymouth -> Haast pass -> queenstown -> Mt Cook -> christchurch.

    2) Is the road from Te anau to milford sound easy to drive in winter? I heard that is the only road that requries chain. I have never driven with chains.

    3) Is the sand flies active in Winter?

    Should I go to the northern part of South island? That is the only part which I did not visit on the earlier trip.

    Any good accomodation recommendations? I am looking for 2 bedroom apartments for a party of 4 adults and one baby.

    thanks for any help
    Hi,
    As you are going to drive around the island, I suggest you go to the NZ High Comm at Ngee Ann Bldg and get a free copy of Jasons Motels, Apartments & Motor Lodges. (while you are there get some maps as well)This handbook lists all lodgings in North & South Island. It is relatively easy (I did not prebook motels during my drives in North and South Island) to get Motel accomodation. I find that it is very convenient to stay at motels as you can drive up to your room (normally single storey) and just offload your luggages. They usually provide cooking facility in the rooms as well, very minimum you can make your own breakfast. Mini supermarkets are located verywhere.
    A copy of Lonely Planets is also very helpful, I brought one along.
    Cheers & happy driving.
    LEW

  8. #8
    Member DrSpock's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    ????? serious? few hundred feet below? what happened? someone knocked them over?...
    No, my dad & everyone in the Range Rover was so captivated by the scenery he drove straight into a corner...Thankfully there were many cars behind who called the rescue team but the 4X4 was a total wreck
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  9. #9

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    Quote Originally Posted by SHLEW View Post
    Hi,
    As you are going to drive around the island, I suggest you go to the NZ High Comm at Ngee Ann Bldg and get a free copy of Jasons Motels, Apartments & Motor Lodges. (while you are there get some maps as well)This handbook lists all lodgings in North & South Island. It is relatively easy (I did not prebook motels during my drives in North and South Island) to get Motel accomodation. I find that it is very convenient to stay at motels as you can drive up to your room (normally single storey) and just offload your luggages. They usually provide cooking facility in the rooms as well, very minimum you can make your own breakfast. Mini supermarkets are located verywhere.
    A copy of Lonely Planets is also very helpful, I brought one along.
    Cheers & happy driving.
    LEW
    As for the motel, go to http://www.aa.co.nz/travel/Pages/default.aspx
    Support my blog on PhotoTale - http://kiatang.blogspot.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: New Zealand South Island August

    me going this mid september for abt 16 days south island too. used www.aatravel.co.nz to booked all my motels and holidays home for 4 adults and 2 young kids.

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