NZ Lodging - Motels, campervan or farmstay?

Old Mar 21st, 2005, 05:59 AM
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NZ Lodging - Motels, campervan or farmstay?

We are arriving soon in NZ as a group of 6 adults & 1 five-year old . We are looking forward to a range of experience from campervan to farmstay but have a few questions:

- Is it ok for all of us to occupy a 2-bedroom unit in the motels? Some info sources state 'Maximum 2 per room' while some floor plans indicate 3 beds per room...

- Is ours too big a group for arranging farmstays?
Any recommendations on any farms/orchards & activities that would be interesting?

- If we were to stay in a campervan (the biggest type naturally), is the maneuvering on the roads going to be a breeze?
We couldn't exactly figure out the charges at motorhomes, how much do we normally pay & for what?
Would we be sleeping in the cabin or in the motorhome?
Would you recommend campervan in the first place?

thank you all!

Manda
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Manda -

With a group of your size you might want to consider staying in a house, depending of course on where you want to visit and how long you wish to stay. There are alot of homes and apartments for rent throughout both islands - some require stays of at least a week, others don't. Here are some sites that might help you out:

www.placestostay.co.nz

www.holidayhouses.co.nz

There are also many B&B's - you might consider staying in multiple rooms at a B&B. That way you could all dine together, yet still have a little privacy.

I guess it comes down to how well you know your travel buddies and how much privacy might be required.

Good luck.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 08:03 AM
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Manda -

I did a quick search on farmstays and the first farmstay I pulled up had four rooms available, so it appears that you can book your group into a farmstay as well. Here's the site I found:

http://www.kiwiaccommodation.co.nz/n...n/farmstay.php

I think you'll find that NZ is a good place for groups and families, and there are many, many options.

Sorry, I can't help with your campervan questions, but keep in mind that the roads in NZ are narrow and squiggly, and driving a large campervan will require a bit of concentration, especially if you're not accustomed to driving on the left.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 10:13 AM
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I know this wasn't my post, but I wanted to say thank you for the links to places to find rental properties! We were trying the American websites (like www.vrbo.com) and weren't finding so many options.

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 11:03 AM
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I am normally an advocate of campervan travel, but a motorhome large enough to fit your group will be hard to drive in some areas, where there are narrow and/or twisty roads. Also, the rental prices for big motorhomes is, IMO, astronomical. I would hire a passenger van and stay in B & Bs, motels, or holiday parks. Most holiday parks have 1-2 bedroom 'tourist flats', which might accommodate your party (or get 2 rooms). Many B & Bs can handle a group your size. I'd suggest buying the 'New Zealand Bed and Breakfast Book' (www.bnb.co.nz), which details most of the choices throughout the country. You can check out most properties on their Web site. Many B & Bs are on farms where you can watch and/or participate in farming activities.

We have friends who own a B & B booking service (www.bookin.co.nz), primarily for higher-end properties. If you are interested in such accommodations, I would highly recommend them.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 12:06 PM
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thanzx Alf for the info!
actually i have done some research accom, however i am quite confused btw the difference of BnB and Holiday Home.. Is it possible for you to tell me the difference and which would u recommend
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Hi Manda

Generally if you are renting a holiday home here you are renting just the home. It wil be fully equiped with beds, linen, cooking equipment, TV etc. But no food is provided. A B&B will generally be a hosted accomodation situation. i.e. attached to someones house and you will be provided with breakfast

We prefer the holiday house idea ourselves when we go away. Slighty more freedom IMO.

The following two links may be useful to you in your search for accomodation.

http://www.newzealand.com/travel

http://www.kiwigetaway.com/index.sm

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Steve
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:17 PM
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My family and I had 3 weeks touring the South Island in a campervan hired from the Maui firm. Now, we had an absolute ball in that campervan, BUT, we were 2 adults and 4 children (2 of whom were quite small) and we had the biggest campervan. 6 adults would have been far too squashed, and the 1 child would have to sleep on the floor! (or on someone elses bed).

In the North Island we hired a people-mover and stayed in tourist units, apartments etc - they were plentiful an almost all were of a good quality.

Planned out where you are going yet?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 07:26 AM
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Thank you for all the tips & info! I have found most of the links very helpful.

As of the latest, the group has been reduced to 5 adults & a 5-yr-old.

I have given up the idea of campervan - hopefully we could try it on a next trip, in a smaller group.

We had wanted to split our 13 days between the 2 islands, but we didn't like the pressure of a tight schedule.
After much discussion, we have decided to give the north a miss. At the moment, the route is not finalised but we will be at:

Christchurh - the first 2 days
Lake Tekapo - Mount Cook
Dunedin
Doubtful Sound
Queenstown - Wanaka, Puzzling World
Franz Josef
Greymouth & West Port - stopovers. any interesting sights or activity here?
Blenheim - a winery visit?
Kaikoura
Hanmer Spring
Christchurch

It should be a relaxing trip for all, though i would love an adventurous activity or two. all comments welcome!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Manda -

Your itinerary doesn't strike me as particulary relaxing (14 towns in 13 days), but I can certainly understand you wanting to see as much as possible.

At the risk of adding even more to your full schedule, you might want to consider a day trip from CH to Banks Peninsula, which is a 60-90 minute drive from CH. Here are some activity suggestions on Banks:

Harbor cruises good opportunity to see dolphins and penguins you can also take cruises that include swimming with dolphins, etc.

Visit to the Pohatu Marine Reserve to see little blue penguins (great tour IMO)

Winery/cheesery

Walk to Onawe Peninsula, site of an early Maori tribal massacre 1.5 hour return start
in Duvauchelle great views

Options in Westport include:

Tauranga Bay Seal Colony (15 km from Westport)
Cape Foulwind Walkway (90 minutes)
Coaltown Museum
Brewery tours
Underground cave rafting
Abseiling
Waterwater rafting

You might want to consider ending your trip in either Dunedin or Queenstown and flying back to CH from there to catch your departing flight.

No matter what you decide, you've picked a great place to visit.

Have fun.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 04:29 PM
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A couple of thoughts. Take the punt trip on the Avon in Christchurch - lots of fun. And if you are there when the craft market is on, it's well worthwhile.

I notice that you are seeing Franz Josef - I'd make time to see Fox as well - you could use the time that you won't use at Greymouth (apologies to those of you from there).

Much as the North of the South Island is wonderful, you may be packing too much in. Perhaps consider coming back through Arthur's Pass (which is a great drive) to Christchurch and doing Blenheim, Nelson and Picton etc another time.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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Hi, Melnq8 & guykb

As i was typing out the list, i knew its going to burst. that was a jumbled list of stopovers on-route & sights to visit, oops. yes, fox is in.

i love your suggestions esp. those off the beaten track - would gladly give the tourist hypes a miss. but first, gotta do my bit of homework reading to find out where those names are...

btw, how do you overcome jetlag? does little children cope better than us?


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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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We found the best way to deal with jet lag was to stay up all day and go to bed at a fairly normal hour. The next day we were fine.

Lee Ann
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:34 PM
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Manda -

If the 5 year old sleeps on the plane he/she will probably be running circles around the adults upon arrival.

I travel quite a bit, making 3-4 international trips a year and I have yet to find a good solution for jetlag.

Most people try to do what Lee Ann has suggested, but I can't sleep on planes (especially in coach), so I tend to reach my destination completely comatose and in no condition to do anything.

I usually give into a short nap upon arrival at my hotel, force myself to get up, go out to explore and get some fresh air, then go to bed at a reasonable hour.

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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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We didn't really sleep on the plane, either (maybe 2-3 hours), so we trusted in adrenaline (and a latte for me) to help us get where we wanted to go our first day.

We did end up finding a park in a small town somewhere between Tauranga and Te Puke and napping in the car for about an hour. That got us through the rest of the day.

Lee Ann
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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Hi, Mel & El

I have read somewhere it is worse travelling eastwards than west. As this is my first trip westwards, i wd get to watch the biological clock tune faster rather than slower.

Similar issue for my little one because she has a problem keeping early nights! Positively, this might be a good chance to change her routine...
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Manda -

Jet lag is always worse for me when I travel east vs west.

I've also found that jet lag is worse going home than going to my destination - regardless of direction!

Have a great trip.
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