NZ South Island Activities

Old Jun 12th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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NZ South Island Activities

I will be in NZ the last two weeks in Nov. I'm trying to do mix some adventure activities in with some low keyed ones.
I wondered if anyone could tell me if they have been to or experience the following and what comments you have on them.

Milford Sound vs. Doubtful ?

Shotover Jet Boats vs. Others companies?

Do a Maori Feast or NOT?

Helicopter tour of Glaciers or the Fjords?

Central Otago - is it worth seeing, what about the Wineries there?

We are planning on driving most of the itinerary. Does anyone have a good recommendation of a good Rental Agency?

Thanks Mates!

Caligan is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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Doubtful Sound is a much lengthier, more involved tour, because you have to take a boat across Lake Manapouri, then a bus over to the Sound, followed by a boat trip on the Sound. It is therefore more expensive and less popular. I preferred it though, primarily because it is not so jam-packed with tourist boats like Milford can be. On the other hand, the drive to Milford alone is worth it.

IMHO, skip the jet boats and take a whitewhater raft trip instead. Its quieter, and more exhilirating than slamming along in a big loud motorboat!

Can you do a Maori Hangi (feast)on the South Island? I was under the impression that they were pretty much all on the North Island.

I think that a boat tour of one of the Fiordland sounds is better than a helicopter tour. A helicopter tour of Fox or Franz Josef is wonderful, particularly if you land and can walk around for a bit. If you like to walk, you might also consider a guided walk up onto one of these glaciers.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 10:49 PM
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Hi, We did Milford sound in January and loved it. The drive there is totally awesome. Just make sure you leave enough time to stop and admire the sites along the way. Didn't do Doubtful but did hear good things about it too. As far as Jet Boating we did The Shotover and loved it. We also went white water rafting with them and had a blast. We just did the walks into the Glaciers and had a great time. Talked to those who took a helicopter and it all depended on the weather if they enjoyed it or not. Otago Peninsula is incredible. I would definitatly put it on my to do list. We went for a day and ended up staying for 4. As far as rental companies go just get on the net and search away. We got a great deal from an outfit in Auckland but we were there for 7 weeks. The company was called ARF. Have a great trip. Wendy
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Old Jun 13th, 2003, 03:02 AM
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We went jetboating with Shotover Jet out of Queenstown several years ago and had a complete blast. This year we're thinking about a longer trip with Dart River Jet Safaris out of Glenorchy, which is a 40 minute drive from Queenstown.

The jet boats out of Queenstown primiarily use the Shotover and Kawarau rivers and the trip lasts about 30 minutes. The Dart River boat trip lasts about 2.5 hours and is considered more scenic.

Never heard of a Maori Feast on the South Island.

We took the Alpine Guides helihike in Fox Glacier last fall and it was the highlight of our trip, but it all depends on the weather!

There are quite a few wineries in the Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell (Central Otago) area. If you're really into wineries though, you might want to consider driving up north to Blenheim, Nelson and Motueka (Marlborough region).

I highly recommed Nova for rental cars. We've used them twice before and just booked with them again for our September trip to NZ. They work with several reputable rental car companies -they provide instant on-line quotes and booking. Each time our car has actually come from National Rent a car, but through Nova it's cheaper and there are no hidden charges. I've spent the last two days researching car rental prices in NZ, and once again Nova wins. If you're looking for an older car however, you can probably save some money by using Apex.

Have a great trip!
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Jun 16th, 2003, 12:52 AM
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Hi Caligan,
The Dart River jet boat trip is great! The company have a bus which take passengers to Glenorchy, a small town up the Whakatipu River where you catch to jet boat. Its longer and more value for money.
The Maori feast is called a hangi. If you are visiting Rotorua, you can experience a hangi there.
Central Otago is absolutely beautiful! The Marlborough region and the Hawkes Bay in the North Island are huge producers of wine. Central Otago wineries are a growing industry. There are some very nice wineries you can visit in Central Otago.
Enjoy your time in NZ.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 06:15 AM
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Can't reply to all your questions since I only did some of the things you mentioned such as Milford Sound, not Doubtful. I took the return flight to Queenstown but did not do the helicopter ride---did that from Fox Glacier. While I enjoyed the flight over the fiords, etc., the helicopter trip was the NZ highlight for me (only had a short amt of time so did the flight plus landing---a must). It was fantastic.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Hi, could someone list some sample prices for the adventure activities? (especially tandem hang gliding)
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 10:29 PM
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Karla -

I don't know the price of hang gliding, but we paid NZ $195 (about $94 US at the time - Sept 2002) per person for the helihike out of Fox Glacier.
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