travel new zealand

Dec 12th, 2011, 07:21 PM
  #1  
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travel new zealand

We are travelling to NZ in April for 5 weeks, planning 3 weeks in the south island and 2 weeks north island. My query is whether we should fly into Auckalnd and do the north island then the south island, which would mean we would be in May for the south island, would the weather be better if we arrived into Christchurch, did the south island then the north island?
Any good ideas for accomm in Christchurch, b&b or hotel, reasonably central and not too $$. We will be hiring a car.
Also, should we arrive in Christchurch and then train over to Greymouth and collect the car from there, we really want to do the train over Arthurs Pass.
Thanks
patricias is offline  
Dec 12th, 2011, 08:13 PM
  #2  
 
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Lucky you for having five weeks! Three weeks on the SI is ideal and will give you sufficient time to see quite a bit w/o rushing.

Weather shouldn't be a major factor in April/May, but if you'd prefer to stay ahead of potentially cooler temps, you should probably head south first.

A bigger concern (to me anyway) would be traveling over the Easter and school holdays. Easter is a big deal in this part of the world with Good Friday and Easter Monday being public holidays. NZ school holidays run from April 6-23 in 2012 and as they coincide with Easter it's a very time. ANZAC Day, another public holiday is April 25. Many Kiwis will be traveling this time of year, so it's best to book accommodation and any activities you don't want to miss out on if you'll be in NZ over these dates.

Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquakes and some attractions have been lost forever. You'd do well to research the current status of any attractions you specifically hope to see/do before making firm plans.

If the TranzAlpine is high on your list, by all means take the train to Greymoutn and collect your car rental there. Just be sure to book your rental car in advance.

You might consider heading towards Greymouth immediately and then visiting Christchurch at the end of your SI tour, assuming you plan to return to Christchurch.
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2011, 02:31 AM
  #3  
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thank you so much, really helpful.
patricias is offline  
Dec 13th, 2011, 10:21 PM
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Don't get too worried by the school holidays, but if you are going to be in places popular with Kiwis on the Easter weekend definitely think ahead about booking. I would say leave it no later than four or five days beforehand.

You can always take pot-luck and just call ahead on the day but it might mean paying somewhat more than would otherwise be the case.

The problem with hiring a car in Greymouth (or leaving one there) is that it limits you to a handful of rental companies that operate in/out Greymouth - and they charge accordingly. It might be cheaper to hire in/out CHC then train one way and shuttle coach the other.

I was in CHC last week and accommodation is a bit of a problem because of all the out-of-town workers dealing with the quake issues. One motel after the other was showing "No Vacancy" signs so I would certainly book well ahead kin that city.

Yes, the centre of the city was sad to see. I had trouble holding back the tears because it is a city I love and I have many enjoyable nights wining and dining along the Avon and in some of the pubs. Now the buildings that housed them are simply not there any more.

But for all that CHC still has some great cafes and restaurants that up up and running, and a number of the attractions are still available.

There a good article on it at http://New-Zealand-Travel;-Guide.com/Christchurch.htm

As to timing, try to be in Arrowtown around April 20. That the annual Arrowtown Autumn festival. The autumn colours are just sensational and at their best at around that time - make sure your camera has heaps of memory. You'll need it. The festival weekend is a lot of fun. Get more info at www.arrowtownautumnfestival.org.nz/
DavidMorris is offline  
Dec 15th, 2011, 05:27 AM
  #5  
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thank you so much for the info, will definitley keep the Arrowtown Festival in mind, looked at some accommodation around that time, guess will need to book if there is a festival on.
Car hire advice great too.
patricias is offline  

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