Tour vs independant NZ travel

Nov 20th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Tour vs independant NZ travel

My wife, 22 year old daughter, and I cashed in some frequent flier miles and will be in NZ March 18 - 31 (14 nights). I am considering a rail/drive tour from Holiday New Zealand. It looks like this:
1. Auckland - Rotorua (rental car): Kingsgate Hotel Rotorua
2. Roturua
3. Rotorua - Mt. Ruapehu: Skotel Alpine Resort
4. Mt. Ruapehu - Wellington: Kingsgate Hotel Willis Street
5. Wellington - Picton (ferry) - Christchurch (train): Camelot Hotel
6. Christchurch - Mt Cook Region(car): Countrytime Hotel, Omarama
7. Mt. Cook Region - Dunedin (Cargills Hotel)
8. Dunedin - Te Anau: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
9. Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown: A-Line Hotel
10. Queenstown
11. Queenstown - Fox Glacier: Fox Glacier Hotel
12. Fox Glacier - Greymouth; turn in car - train to Christchurch.
So, I'd appreciate advice on this itinerary, and whether an independant trip might be better. Cost is $850 pp (car, hotels, train).
fb is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 10:43 PM
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If those are NZ$ your talking about it sounds a pretty good deal.

I have just planned a 37 day independent trip for four people which I estimate will cost NZ$4,646 per head. Costs include all meals and entrace to all attractions, jet boats, glacier flights etc and separate motel units for each couple.

As a family of three you would find motels cheaper than two rooms in a hotel.
Tangata is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 12:31 AM
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Am I assuming right that these are US dollars as the cost seems low for NZ dollars for 12 days, if US then it appears to be correct and good value.
You are getting a good mix of transport with breaks from driving, the train journey is a classic and very highly rated, it is a good itinerary which covers the most travelled areas for first time travellers here.
Enjoy yourselves.
KathyNZ is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 05:27 AM
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The cost is $850 USD which is about $1350 NZD.
fb is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 01:34 PM
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This trip comes to comes to about NZ$5400 for 12 days which seems quite expensive to me, considering you have to budget for food, activities and petrol as well.

I'm sure you could do this route for about NZ$3000 if you rented a car at Auckland ... (ask about leaving the car in Wellington and picking up another one in Picton as it's not worth paying to get the car on the ferry)... and turned it in at Christchurch.

Don't discount hiring with the smaller firms like National etc ... which will be cheaper then Avis and Hertz but are just as reliable.

Accom. is up to you, you could stay in hotels, motels (pretty good in NZ) or homestays and B&B's for about NZ$150 or less.
If you do decide to go with the Kingsgate option ... change your Wellington overnight to Kingsgate Oriental parade. Much nicer and good harbour views.
A good discount website is

Check out , you might find some useful information here.
Christa is offline  
Dec 13th, 2003, 09:53 AM
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Anyone else have comments?
Also, I'm a bit confused about accomodations. What they call motels seem to have larger rooms and have more facilities than hotels, yet are cheaper ($1320 hotel vs $1205 motel NZD pp). Are the motel rooms more dingy, out of the way, or what?
fb is offline  
Dec 13th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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New Zealand motels are generally good value, well located and well maintained. The hotels are mainly located in the inner city which can be noisy at times. Motels are often on the beachfront or just out of the city centre but with a car that wouldn't cause too many problems. If you don't have transport, most motelliers are happy to provide a courtesy pick-up /drop off service.

Hotels are good for business travel as they offer all the services motels generally dont ...(ie, room service, restaurant, bar, gym )

For leisure travel the motels would probably be more suitable for you ... as well as save you a few $$$$.
Most motels provide cooking facilities as well which can mean big savings on eating out all the time.
They also provide daily cleaning, fresh towels and the standard soap and shampoos.
For three you could estimate (NZ)$90 - $130 for most motels, some charge more ... some less.

Christa is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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I was always wondering the difference between a hotel and a motel. Here in Breckenridge Colorado a hotel means it is usually more exspensive yet has more ammenities. A motel means that you can park your car in front of your room and can access the room from the outside. For more information on motels and hotels in the area of summit county check out
SH is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Posts: 576
I spent a month in NZ last July. ABsolutely loved it! I stayed in a number of different accommodations, all which were pretty inexpensive to USD standards. I loved the farmstays the most. I also stayed at motels, which were absolutely fine. In Queenstown I stayed at the Rydges, a full service, hotel, b/c I knew I would need to do some drycleaning and the other accoms were all kind of expensive as it was ski season. If you can, try to split it up a bit so you get a taste of all NZ has to offer. I also used to book some of the hotels. This is a great service where you can book about 2 weeks ahead and get good discounts. There is also a website for B and Bs, but I can't remember it off the top of my head. Go to google and type in NZ bed and breakfasts and it should pop up. It will take a little time to do some research but it's well worth it. You are not spending enough time in Wellington. It's a beautiful city. Rotorua people like, definitely do a Maori dinner, but it stinks of stale eggs b/c of the sulfur. Have a great trip-I'm jealous!
Abby43 is offline  

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