Australia/New Zealand Holiday

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Dec 7th, 2018, 01:07 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I agree that an 8am flight out of Sydney will not work. Not enough time for immigration and customs. I think the 10am flight should be OK but you could still be unlucky if your international flight is delayed. The 11am flight doesn't sound like it would work either for you as the time in Brisbane between the two domestic flights is too short, especially with luggage. I'd say allow an hour for immigration and customs in Sydney but if a number of flights all land at the same time, it could take longer.

I guess you have checked all the airlines for flights to Proserpine? Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar (also Tiger?).

Two things to be aware of - Australian customs are super strict about anyone bringing in food to the country. That means anything you can put in your mouth. It's worth declaring anything you have, even if you are not quite sure. If they find anything and you have not declared it, there are steep fines. Sniffer dogs look cute but are there for a reason.

The flight to Proserpine could be on a smaller plane with reduced luggage allowance so it's worth checking allowances in case it's less than your international flight. Also worth checking flights to Hamilton Island, they may go direct from Sydney. If you are staying in Airlie you'd need to get a ferry from the island. Or just stay on Hamilton or a nearby island.

Kay
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Dec 7th, 2018, 05:26 AM
  #22
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Hello, I found a Jetstar flight nonstop for 158$ to Hamilton that leaves at 12 noon. The previous flights into prosperine were 319$. I think we will fly the Jetstar or Virgin to Hamilton and pay the 110$ to ferry to Airlie. Thanks also for the heads up on customs. We were thinking of 2 carryon bags and a checked bag with our heavier clothes as we are visiting both Australia and then New Zealand second. Not sure if Virgin is less likely to charge a fee for 1 checked bag vs Jetstar. My hotel accommodations are guaranteed with card but refundable up until days before trip.
Melnq8, I picked Lake Tekapo, from reading previous Fodor’s forum as a pretty location, as well as views of stars. I have to admit that’s the only reason. I was heading back to Christchurch for a lower fee to rental car return and flight miles return to the states. Would you then make this a one night stay?
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Dec 8th, 2018, 11:36 AM
  #23
 
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Mike -

You can drive from Mt Cook to Christchurch easily in a day - and still stop in Tekapo long enough to see the church and about all there is to see (minus the stars of course). Personally, I'd add those nights elsewhere - an extra night in Kaiteriteri would be my choice - there's just so much to see and do in the Abel Tasman area - I'd probably also add a night to Wanaka, especially if you hope to do some hiking, as the best trails are a couple of hours drive away. Or if you want a full day to explore some of the great tracks around Punakaiki, an extra night there would also be a good option.

Keep in mind I think like a walker - I like a minimum of one full day (two nights) in a given place to explore the tracks. You can cover a lot of territory in a full day in Punakaiki, but on a day that also includes driving, you'll only hit the highlights. But if you just want to take a look at Pancake Rocks and take a short stroll or two, that extra night might not be the best option for you.

I overlooked that you plan to drive from Te Anau to Mount Cook - that's a haul. You might consider going from the glaciers to Queenstown, then Te Anau, then Wanaka, then Mt Cook. It's a long drive day from the glaciers to QT too - I'm in Austria at the moment, so don't have access to my trusty NZ atlas, but do compare the drive times and then add several hours. It can take as long as 6-7 hours to drive from the glaciers to QT - lots of stops - but I don't recall the drive time from Te Anau to Mount Cook off the top of my head.

Last edited by Melnq8; Dec 8th, 2018 at 11:38 AM.
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Dec 9th, 2018, 03:10 PM
  #24
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Hello and thanks for your patience as I attempt to plan a trip allocating days to areas I am not sure about. I have looked at google travel times via car and will present 2 itineraries.
2 nights Christchurch ​​​​​​ with a flight from Sydney, we will be rested for 3 weeks in Australia
3 nights Picton
3 nights Abel Tasman Lodge
2 nights Punakaiki
2 nights Fox Glacier
2 nights Wanaka
3 nights Queenstown
4 nights Te Anau, Milford and Doubtful Sound boat trip
2 nights Mount Cook Village
1 night Christchurch Airport hotel
6:30 am flight home to states
I have one night to add to this itinerary, or

2 nights Christchurch
3 nights Picton
3 nights Abel
2 nights Punakaiki
2 night Fox Glacier
2 nights Wanaka
4 nights Te Anau
3 nights Queenstown
2 nights Mount Cook Village
1 night Christchurch
I have one night to add to this itinerary.
Appreciate your help everyone
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Dec 11th, 2018, 03:48 PM
  #25
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Te Anau to Mt. Cook Village is 422km, 4:56 via AA travel time. That is why I threw out the 2nd itinerary of breaking up the drive to a few shorter segments. I still have 1 night to fill in to the above trips, I do have a confirmation on flights in and out. Have a rental car booked, do they sell you chains for rental car, I have never used and live in Chicago, northern Wisconsin. Also, glow worm trip near Te Anau versus Punakaiki, which do most prefer.
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Dec 13th, 2018, 11:31 AM
  #26
 
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Yes, your rental car agency will rent you chains for the car, but keep in mind that if the roads are bad enough to warrant chains, the road will most likely be closed. You are also responsible for any damage to the vehicle caused by improper use of chains.

You are required to carry chains in your car in the winter on some roads, such as the road to Milford.

My theory is that if you have the chains, you won't need them, which I hope is the case for you as well.
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Dec 14th, 2018, 05:29 AM
  #27
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Melnq8, I hope you had a nice visit to Austria. We loved Salzburg. Something about the monks making beer and views from the Fort above city were beautiful. I would like your advice on the 2 itineraries i posted . I took your advice on the length of driving in the south and proposed a different order to visit these towns. However, i am still confused on where to put an extra day in this itinerary. I have 4 days in TeAnau because we plan to day trip to both Milford and Doubtful sounds. Queenstown and arrowton look like they have much more in town places to visit. Would appreciate some experienced eyes on this decision as we have never been before. Thanks
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Dec 14th, 2018, 10:06 AM
  #28
 
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Hi mcsles -

Still in Austria - currently in St Gilgen freezing our bits off and it's supposed to be even colder tomorrow.

We drove through Salzburg to get to St Gilgen last night but it was so busy and traffic so bad that taking the bus back for a day trip put us off a bit. We're here for three more days, so we'll see how it goes.

I like your second itinerary. Personally, I'd add that extra night to Abel Tasman. So much to see and do - a day trip to Nelson, Upper Moutere...the options are endless. However, because you've chosen to stay in Marahau, you'll have to drive in and out several times to see the surrounding area, which to me, is rather inconvenient.

Marahau is at the doorstep of the park, which is perfect if the park is your primary focus.

However, I much prefer staying in a more central area, such as Tasman Village, Ruby Bay or Upper Moutere, all of which provide easy access to Abel Tasman Nat'l Park, but also provide easy access to the surrounding area - the wineries, the beaches, the opposite side of the park (accessible from Takaka), etc. If you truly want to experience the entire area, an extra night would not go amiss, but keep in mind you will be driving to/from Marahau quite a lot to do so.
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