Honeymoon trip to South Island

Old Dec 7th, 2006, 06:43 AM
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Honeymoon trip to South Island

I plan to visit South Island for 10 days with my wife for honeymoon fr 22 Dec to 2 Jan 2007. Although I have been to NZ for 2 weeks in 2001, some info update is appreciated. Is it necessary to book all hotels in advance during this season? I plan to drive fr CH to stay somewhere along the West Coast, visit the FJ or Fox Glaxier, Mt Cook, then to QT. Any accommodation recommendation especially for CH, along the West Coast, QT?
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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It is not necessary, because you can almost always find a place to stay, except possibly FJ or Fox. Problem is, you may not get one you like.

You should make reservations as soon as you are reasonably sure where you will be. It is easier than looking for one at the last moment. Cancellation policies are usually liberal, so check them out.
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Old Dec 7th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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NZ school holidays may be an issue - schools are out from Dec 14 and Dec 20, 2006. This means NZ families will be traveling as well, and becuse it's already high season, it's likely you'll find several places fully booked.

www.minedu.govt.nz

We traveled during NZ school holidays one year and it made a big difference -attractions were more crowded, hotels and motels booked, prices higher, etc.

I'd suggest booking any activities you don't want to miss out on and booking hotels if you have a specific itinerary in mind or want to stay at a particular hotel/motel.

I'd definitely book lodging on the West Coast (Fox and Franz) and in Mt Cook, as there are limited lodging options.

Congratulations!
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Old Dec 8th, 2006, 08:04 PM
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December 22 to January 2 is going to be such a busy time. You will be fortunate to get accommodations even booking now. I just finished up with a couple about that time and some of the places we had to go for 2nd and 3rd choices.

Its a beautiful time to travel for sure burt school holidays and nice weather attract large crowds.

Another thing we have figured out, you get a better rate of exchane by paying for everything before you leave. You pay in US$ and do not have to pay the fees the credit card companies and ATM machines charge. Its about 3% now. So the more you pay for at home, the better off you are.

Francine
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Just realized most hotels around the glaciers, Mt Cook and QT are full. I have searched on expedia.com and hotel.com and seems very difficult to get a room. Any other suggestions for finding more reasonably priced hotel (US$ 200 to 250 for a double room)?
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Check out wotif.com. Availability is sparse for glaciers, but better for QT. Bad for New Years Eve.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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For Mt Cook, you might consider staying in Twizel (63 km) or Lake Tekapo (99 km). Yes, you'll have to drive to see Mt Cook, but you might have more luck finding a place to stay.

As far as the West Coast, you might consider Hokitika (139 km from Franz Josef).

Suggest you also check B&Bs, cottages and villas - these sites might help:

www.cottagestays.co.nz
www.holidayhouses.co.nz
www.holidayhomes.co.nz
www.kiwinests.co.nz
www.inns.co.nz/
www.accommodation-new-zealand.co.nz/
www.placestostay.co.nz/



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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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Thanks all for help. Will check these websites.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Also use aa.co.nz (Auto club) travel site for lodging choices. I would include Christchurch in the plces that are sometimes hard to book.

Methven/Mt. Hutt and Twizel are two places that seem to have a surplus of rooms and are along your route Chch to Mt Cook.

In Mt. Cook, the Hermitage has a range of rooms under their control. Much less expensive is the YHA hostel, which has private double rooms that are cosy and quiet, with nice views.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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For planning of the itinerary, we shall fly to Christchurch and back to Auckland fr Queenstown. If I want to cover both the FJ glaciers and Mt Cook, should I start fr 1) CH -> Mt Cook -> QT -> FJ and Fox glaciers, back to QT for flight, or 2) CH through Arthur Pass to Greymouth -> FJ glacier -> QT -> Mt Cook -> QT. Which plan is a better option?
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:47 PM
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The second option is probably the better, because the weather is better east of the divide and you can vary the route and stops from Mt. Cook to QT each way.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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How long is the drive fr QT to Mt Cook Village?
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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QT to Mt Cook is 263 km, about 3:30. I've found the following site pretty accurate for drive distances on the SI:
http://www.accommodationz.co.nz/distances2.html
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Any idea abt the time for driving fr QT to Mt Cook?
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Oops, thanks, Melnq8. It seems it is much easier to access Mt Cook Village fr QT than fr CH.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 06:51 PM
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If I want to take a fightseeing, which one is preferred? FJ/ Fox Glaxier fr the West Coast, or Mt Cook fr Mt Cook Village? Heli-flight or fixed-plane?
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 10:38 PM
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Can't compare as I've only done the helihike - Fox Glacier - but it was the highlight of that particular trip.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:32 AM
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Any suggestion for good restaurants in CH and QT to celebrate Christmas Eve as well as NY Eve?
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