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Te Anau/Milford over Easter??

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Aug 7th, 2015, 02:41 PM
  #1
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Te Anau/Milford over Easter??

Just realizing that our proposed itin (posted here earlier) will have us in Te Anau / Milford on Easter weekend. We had planned 3 nights there. Am certainly able to book early but am wondering how much crazier road to Milford and Sound itself might be then. ... Thanks for thoughts
glover is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2015, 04:18 PM
  #2
 
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No worries. Everyone will be at the Warbirds over Wanaka that weekend.
Melnq8 is online now  
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Aug 11th, 2015, 07:54 PM
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Please re-read my July 6 post to you about holidays to be aware of.
http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-oznz-itin.cfm

You might also want to look at an earlier posting by Melnq8:
http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...land-of-nz.cfm

In NZ, the school holiday will be observed on Good Friday, Easter Monday and Tuesday after Easter Monday. So it will be a five-day holiday. March is still high season. Traditionally December-January-February are busiest, but March is busy, too, with visitors who wanted to avoid the Dec-Jan-Feb crowds but still want to enjoy more settled weather and reasonably long daylight hours (sun sets at around 8 p.m.). At the end of March, you'll also begin seeing the first of the autumn leaf displays (fall colors peak in April).

I don't think Milford Road will be "crazy," even if it's a busy time. It's only one lane in each direction and some curvy bits must be handled with care. Motor homes will probably make the trip even more slow-going. Road patrols are beefed up over the Easter holiday, so crazy drivers are more likely to be caught (in worst cases, keys taken away and cars impounded). Alcohol limits are stricter now. A new "code of practice" for tourists has been finalised, though I don't know if it will actually make a difference:
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/3...vers-finalised

My husband and I were on Milford Road in March a few years ago but we were doing the reverse commute so to speak, as we were catching the overnight cruise on Milford Sound. The road was busy with people and vans pulled over at popular lookouts, scenic views and attractions (Mirror Lakes, the Chasm, the Divide carpark for Key Summit/Routeburn, near the entrance to Homer Tunnel, etc.). But it wasn't bad at all, everyone seemed to be driving carefully and moving vehicles seemed to be staggered in their distance from other another--we never got stuck behind a long line of cars, unlike when work was being done on Haast Pass.

I would expect more tourists now because international flights to Queenstown have increased. The Asian tourist market has also grown rapidly over the last few years, though the effects of yuan devaluation are yet to be seen.

Even in March, it's alwasy a good idea to check NZ Traffic Info:
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/

You might also want to read their tips for driving Milford Road:
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/proje...re-Milford.pdf

Check these Dept. of Conservation Milford Road factsheet and tips for drivers as well:
http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/par...-factsheet.pdf
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...s-for-drivers/

March is our favorite time for driving around the South Island.
Diamantina is offline  
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Aug 11th, 2015, 08:00 PM
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I should have written, "It's only one lane in each direction and some curvy bits must be handled with EXTREME care." The entire length of Milford Road must be handled with care.
Diamantina is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2015, 06:58 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I was in the Te Anau/Queenstown area last Easter and it didn't seem overly packed to me. One surprise was that on Good Friday some liquor restrictions kick in. All the vineyards were closed, as were all the bars. You could get a drink only if you ordered a meal. The restaurants also charged a holiday surcharge that day. Strangely, none of this was in effect on Easter Sunday!

I had planned a plane/hike/jet boat trip on Siberia Air for Easter Saturday and was able to change it on short notice to Sunday when the weather looked better. They said no worries, everyone works thru Easter for the tourists.
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