2 weeks in NZ South Island

Old Sep 20th, 2023, 07:30 AM
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2 weeks in NZ South Island

I have been helping our nieces with planning their gap year trip. Most is now sorted with the exception of NZ. They will have 2 weeks there next September but I am at a loss as to where to suggest they visit to make the best of that all too short time. We have spent a LOT of time in NZ over the years which is part of the problem, there is just so much I think they should see that I am struggling to narrow it down!

The flight routes are fixed - into Christchurch from Sydney and out of Auckland to San Francisco. The dates can be varied (any public hols to avoid in September?

I am researching backpacker tours and HOHO buses/hostels but from what I have seen so far, the tours seem very expensive. Perhaps a cheap campervan - there are three of them so it could be cost effective.

Any thoughts as to transport and accommodation and sights to see would be much appreciated.
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Old Sep 20th, 2023, 02:01 PM
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How inexpensive are they trying to go? I think they can find reasonably good motels/hotels with triple rooms for about $70NZD each share. If you haven't done too many motel stays, they nearly always come with tea/coffee/milk, maybe even a few snacks, and have a refrigerator. Sometimes a microwave. So staying in a hostel to save on meals isn't essential. Motels also typically come with outdoor BBQ, perhaps a more fully outfitted kitchen.

This one in Auckland in particular was a really good value (dated but great location in Parnell). So long as there isn't any special event such as a concert or sporting event. If you are able to book far enough ahead, there is a triple room.


On my recent trip report I listed all of the motels/hotels we stayed at, I would describe them as "good value". A few were nicer and a few lesser but all okay.
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Old Sep 26th, 2023, 11:36 AM
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Belated thanks for those mlgb! Judging by the WhatsApp I just got from them, seems they have (almost) decided on a WildKiwi organised tour for a week from Christchurch topped and tailed with a couple of days in and around the city. Thanks for the link to the Auckland place I shall pass that on. My ex PA now lives in Auckland so I may well see if she is willing to put them up for a couple of days ( not sure how she will react!!)
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Old Oct 13th, 2023, 01:17 PM
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Which destinations does that Wildkiwi tour out of Christchurch cover?

Driving distance from CHC can be long. For instance, people going towards the West Coast to visit the glaciers or towards Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook. These are long drives.

Christchurch is nice but unless they enjoy hanging out around the city, there's not that much to see. It's more interesting to visit Lyttleton Harbour or Akaroa. They can get to Lytteton by public transport I think but probably no9t to Akaroa.

Obviously the other big attractions in the SI include Wanaka, Milford Sound and Queenstown. All quite a distance from CHC and once you go down there, it's easier for instance to fly from ZQN to AKL to connect to the flight back to SFO. You certainly shouldn't double back to CHC by land.
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Old Oct 18th, 2023, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts scrb. AFAIK they have chosen the southern voyager trip which takes them from Christchurch to Tekapo to Queenstown to Milford to Queenstown to Frank Joseph back to Christchurch.

they are on a RTW ticket and so can’t change dates but not destinations so the fly into CHC and out to Auckland which is set. I agree with you re Christchurch and did suggest Akaroa as we loved it there. But, being twenty somethings they probably have different priorities to me 😂
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