New Zealand


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centrino

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Mar 3, 2004
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Plan a trip to south island of new zealand.

Anyone had self-drived there? Would like to check how easy it is to drive there.. what to look out for, etc....

- Is there any tollgate alone the state highways ?
- Is parking space easy to find at hotels and tourist places? What's the cost for parking?
- any good and cheap car renting company to recommend?
- how cold is late April ?

I am planning the following route:
Christchurch -> Greymouth -> Franz Josef Glacier / Fox Glacier -> Wanaka -> Queenstown -> Milford Sound -> Queenstown -> Mount Cook -> Christchurch
If time allows, -> Kaikoura, how long would this need?

Any advise is greatly appreciated :)
 

Alpc

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Oct 10, 2002
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#2
If you had ask in late April, I would have been able to give you some answers... I am heading there myself this weekend and actually heading to all those areas (and more) that you have listed! It should be easy to drive, except some places where it's windy, as all of my friends/relatives have done it.

I have about 15 days there and I think it is still a stretch, but that could because I am spending some time with friends at a location for 3 days. So it might have been better in terms of the amt of hours of driving daily if I could stretch it over all the days I have there instead!

I have not heard of tolls, but I do know that the traffic police there are very "on", so you might get speeding ticket if you are not careful (a friend of mine got caught and the fine were rather hefty).

Other than cities, I think parking should not be a problem... But then that's what I gathered from the accommodations that I am looking at.

Look at weather reports in the metservice for NZ... It should show some idea of the range of temperature. But I am certain that in the night, it will be single digit temperature for most areas - I am bringing my "winter" clothes.

P.S. I had another link on NZ and some sites which I want to go but have not got good exact locations...
 

alan24

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Mar 11, 2009
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I did the above circuit before and it all depends on how much time your want to spend at each places. If just for photography, I think u can do the above in 10 days. more if u intend to stay at a place for longer periods of time.

driving is a bit windy on the west coast and arthurs pass but should be ok.

some sections of the roads in NZ is one lane for 2 ways... so u have to watch out and give way. no toll gate I have seen.

Driving is generally ok if u stay on sealed roads. If u venture onto gravel roads (Scenic routes), please be careful as our car skidded even though we were going pretty slow.

Generally, if u not confident of driving, don't go up the scenic roads. Some of the scenic roads are VERY bendy and narrow. I remember a drive up a lighthouse somewhere near dunedin, it was pretty horrifying as the road were small even for one vehicle and there is only one lane. Lucky we never met any oncoming traffic else really dunno what to do....

I am not sure if u can delay the timing. Late april is autumn right? I went in Feb and there really isn't much snow which makes a BIG difference to the scenary, like the Remarkables is totally bald and ugly. Furthermore, u have beautiful wild flowers, etc. Really u should go in spring when it is not too cold but still have snow cap. I am thinking of making a trip down in Oct again.

I have been to many places and I think south island has the highest number of scenic spots for such a small area. The driving distances are really short compared to other countries (not singapore)
 

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Alpc

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Er, could you perhaps gives more details on these scenic routes that is gravel road? How do we know it's gravel and not sealed? Is there something that we could see now, like in google earth?
 

Xtol19

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Dec 13, 2008
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Plan a trip to south island of new zealand.

Anyone had self-drived there? Would like to check how easy it is to drive there.. what to look out for, etc....

- Is there any tollgate alone the state highways ?
- Is parking space easy to find at hotels and tourist places? What's the cost for parking?
- any good and cheap car renting company to recommend?
- how cold is late April ?

I am planning the following route:
Christchurch -> Greymouth -> Franz Josef Glacier / Fox Glacier -> Wanaka -> Queenstown -> Milford Sound -> Queenstown -> Mount Cook -> Christchurch
If time allows, -> Kaikoura, how long would this need?

Any advise is greatly appreciated :)
1. Toll gates-- generally not. But mostly one would not drive the highways, New Zealand is all about long scenic drives through forests and along lakes, etc.

2. Easy. Free.

3. Rent locally. It's cheaper than booking here thru agent.

4. Warm.

Suggest you drive down the west coast to Milford sound, then up the east coast back to Christchurch. Or vice versa.
 

centrino

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Mar 3, 2004
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#6
thanks for all the replies.. :)

any suggestion on good places to stop overnight along the south island circuit tour ?

anyone stayed in those backpackers' hostels ? thinking of getting the double room there so that don't need to hear the snores at night... :p
 

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