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dengen Nov 11th, 2009 06:40 AM

New Zealand. Are reservations difficult during last half January
We would like to plan a road trip in NZ for three weeks beginning in the last half of January. Have been concerned that we will not be able to find hotels or motels along the way because of the high season, school holiday travel. Does anyone have experience with this?? thanks

stormbird Nov 11th, 2009 12:24 PM

I think you'll find it will be a very busy time and should definitely be making your bookings now.

dengen Nov 11th, 2009 01:45 PM

thank you Stormbird. We really enjoy traveling without an agenda to rush to the next place. you do feel that we will have difficulties with motels even if we are flexible with the amenities. And does that pertain to the beginning of Feb as well? Working on the airline details right now.

Melnq8 Nov 11th, 2009 03:56 PM

Hi dengen -

For the last half of January, I'm with stormbird, I'd book now.

Kids go back to school between Feb 2-5, 2010. There's a public holiday on Feb 6, 2010. School holidays in NZ are VERY busy.

BUT, February is still high season, so you'll be taking a chance in the smaller remote towns if you don't wouldn't be much fun to turn up in Franz Josef or Fox Glacer late in the day without a booking, as it's a LONG drive to the next town. If visiting Mt Cook, you'll definitely want a booking, although you might luck into a place to stay in nearby Twizel at the last minute.

Bigger towns shouldn't be much of an issue. If you're set on winging it, you might want to carry a motel guide with you and book as you go, maybe a day or two ahead of time.

Good luck.

mlgb Nov 11th, 2009 06:35 PM

The worst places are the glaciers, Mt. Cook (but you will find something in Twizel), the beach resort areas, and sometimes Christchurch. If you book even that morning (better yet a day or two ahead) it is much better than showing up after 6pm and expecting to find something.

I used wotif quite successfully with a day's notice.

Also if you are on a budget, or even not, you might consider booking at least for popular locations, the cancel policy is pretty liberal even though you would need to prepay.

mlgb Nov 11th, 2009 06:36 PM

Oh yes, Te Anau also seems to always be tight.

dengen Nov 18th, 2009 08:59 AM

Thanks so much for the good information. We will try to book at least some of the key stops.

kiwitravelbug Nov 20th, 2009 02:31 PM

Book ahead of time! School holidays are insane! Top 10 campgrounds are great facilities and have cabins as well. cheap and have everything you need, highly recommended.

dengen Dec 4th, 2009 04:01 PM

Thanks again, and I'll keep checking in. Will post some additional questions as we develop more of an itinerary and attempt to book some rooms. The information provided by several of you on posts here have been tremendously helpful.

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