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Advice on quick stop in NZ

Old Aug 26th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Advice on quick stop in NZ

Am going to Australia to visit my sister who has recently moved there. Am goig in December. Plan so far is to spend x-mas together, then my hubby and I take off for 2 days at Ayers rock. Here is the wrinkle, my sis really wants us to go to NZ (south island) for a long weekend to see her boyfriend's family in queenstown. Sounds to me like between ayers rock and the trip from the US to Aussie, adding NZ for 3 days a lot of travel. But I wanted to get fodorites advice. Is it worth it for 3 days? Will I see breathtaking things on the road from Christchurch to Queenstown? Advice and opinions needed! Thanks!
Ivy is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2005, 09:18 PM
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Personally I wouldn't go to NZ for three days but if you must, then fly into Queenstown. It is a full day's driving from Christchurch to Queenstown and most of it not very interesting. At least by flying directly into Queenstown, you will have more time to look around the area.
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Old Aug 27th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Marge is right on the mark.
Jed is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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I was in Aus last year and decided to take in South Island for 7 days. Flew to Christchurch got Transalpine (train) to west coast Greymouth and travelled down to Queensown . . . then back to Christchurch.
Really regretted that we did not have more time . . . you just can't experience it in so short a time and I think, even if visiting relatives, still crazy to go from Aus to NZ for 3 days.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Posts: 1,123 the others, I think you're spreading yourself too thin. I'm a big fan of Ayers Rock and the Red center. But it's HOT out there in Dec and 2 days doesn't do it justice in my opinion. At that time of year, why not bag the Ayers Rock idea and just spend an extra two days on the South Island making for a total of five?

I politely disagree with marg regarding the Chch-Q'town drive. We did it last year going via Fairlie and Tekapo, including the stunning side trip up the side of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook. While the west coast section is pretty flat, one you start crossing the island, the scenery improves dramatically. That being, said, with just five days or less, you might be better off simply flying to Q'town.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Oops, meant that the EAST coast section is flat.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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I agree with RalphR that it would be unbearably hot at Ayers Rock in December/Jan.

If it was me I would flag Ayers rock on this trip and and add more days to Queenstown region. The reason for this is that you have so many stunning geographic areas especially around Arizona & Utah, that I think you would be better planning a seperate internal trip to the "red lands" there. I suggest you save Ayers Rock for another visit to your sister and include the Great Barrier Reef.

I agree with Marg that you should fly direct into and out of Queenstown, base yourself there, and do as much as you can, in the short time you have. If you can only take 3 days and have to travel from Christchurch to Queenstown by road - it is absolutely not worth it.
Your sister's boyfriends family in Queenstown local knowledge will be a bonus providing they realise that your priority is to see the area. I would hire a car so you can be independent. Take a day trip to Milford Sound.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Thanks everyone, very helpful advice! Will let you all know what we decide - I am also interested in the blue mountains as a side trip to sydney, any opinions on that?
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