getting around nz and australia


May 18th, 2014, 06:11 PM
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getting around nz and australia

I'm slowly in the process of planning a 12 week trip to NZ/Australia in February 2015 with my wife, and two sons, who will be aged 11 and 9. I am hoping to do six weeks in each country, starting in NZ. We are not a camping family and will be looking at sites such as airbnb to find longer term accommodations.

I have two early questions...
One...What is the best way, and most cost effective way to get around with a family? I've considered bus, buying an old car, renting a car, renting a camper, etc. many other postings, what itinerary would be suggested as a family in each spot? We generally dont enjoy city life too much, but will likely spend a week or so in Sydney where we will likely start our Australia trip. Would like to find six different locations/regions to minimize time spent travelling from place to place.

Any ideas? Thanks.
dgeens is offline  
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May 18th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Wow, where to start...first off, good on you for taking 12 weeks!

In NZ, I'd suggest renting a car. You can get reasonable rates on long term rentals from APEX. We've rented from them for up to four weeks at a time, They rent both older and newer cars and you can save $$ by renting older cars. Just be sure the rental is continuous, even if it includes both islands, cheaper this way.

You can also save money with long term accommodation, even if it's just a week at a time. NZ is chock full of interesting accommodation including cottages, apartments, re-purposed old schoolhouses and churches, etc. NZ accommodation is well set up for self-catering. Even the most basic motel generally has some sort of kitchen. Laundry is easy too - plenty of public Laundromats and most accommodation comes with some sort of laundry facility.

Australia also has plenty of serviced apartments and the like, but IMO NZ is a much better value.

I assume you want to split your NZ time between the North and South Islands...but it's difficult to help with an Australian itinerary w/o more info from you. It's a BIG place, lots of options.

Do be aware that February in Australia can be incredibly hot, you'll want to plan your itinerary accordingly.

I'm sure some of our Aussie experts will chime in with suggestions.
Melnq8 is online now  
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May 18th, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Agree about renting a car in NZ. You should get a good look at NZ with 6 weeks.

In Oz, one of the quintessential holidays is the road trip. Perhaps you could rent a car for one week, base somewhere else for another week, mix it up somewhat. We like to drive no more than four hours, if you leave by 8 you are at your destination for lunch. Use the tourist information websites and visitor centres.

The Pacific Highway north from Sydney to say Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast is scenic and has lots of pretty places to stop. Have a look at a road map to get an idea of distances.

Most of the parts north of the Tropic of Capricorn will still be hot in March/April.

If you let us know your interests we can provide more specific answers.
sartoric is offline  
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May 19th, 2014, 04:18 PM
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My trip report is old, but all the things we saw on the North Island are still there.

Lee Ann
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May 24th, 2014, 02:07 AM
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Australia has nice 2 bed cabins in some caravan parks. A nice alternative to camping or towing a caravan.
cathies is offline  
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May 24th, 2014, 06:58 AM
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I would suggest 8 weeks Australia and 4 NZ. A campervan or a car with trailer would be the best solution. Private accommodation can be a good alternative too. As for the itinerary check out my australia travel blog is packed with 400 pages of tips/advice with focus on independent travel. there is a useful page with resources to help you planning your trip and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Mikifanti is offline  
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May 24th, 2014, 04:27 PM
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In NZ look at Bachs in NZ are holiday homes and we've used this site plenty of times to book accommodation (private homes). The car sounds like a good idea.
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May 25th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Wow...what a vacation! Beginning the trip I would "start south and move north" with the goal of minimizing exposure to very hot weather in Australia. That's why I would visit NZ first. Then, see points south in Australia (say Melbourne, Tasmania, Great Ocean Rd) before heading north into the outback and the tropics.

Wholeheartedly agree with sartoric about including a road trip or two or three, for example Melbourne-Adelaide via the Great Ocean Rd, Sydney-Brisbane and Townsville-Cooktown.
RalphR is offline  
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May 25th, 2014, 10:13 PM
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Australians, by and large, are wedded to their cars so public transport outside of the major cities is possible but limited. However, if staying in a large city, such as Melbourne or Sydney, you will not need (or even want) a car. Australia is very large, so if you may find that you want to fly to some places. Check or for flights - both are flight aggregators but will give you a starting point. There are also buses and trains between major towns and cities. The train companies are different in each state (e.g. vline in Victoria) so you'll need to look up using google.

For accommodation, most towns have their own website which can be a great source of places to stay. Also check

With regard to weather, although it may be more humid in the north in February, it won't necessarily be hotter. February in Melbourne, for example, can be very hot and dry. Between October and April, you need to be aware of stingers when swimming off the coast in northern Queensland.

As for where to visit, heaps to choose from so I recommend a good guide book and/or photographic book. Google images can also help. With more specific questions, we can better help.

Good luck with the planning.
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