What's a young man to do???

Mar 7th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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What's a young man to do???

My son will turn 21 this summer and he and a good friend wish to visit another friend who is studying in Christchurch (all guys).
So far, they have 2 weeks planned in NZ. I found an airfare that will allow them to stop over in Tahiti. I always think more travel is good.
I need opinions on a few days in Papeete (I found dorm style, beach front accommodations), the idea of flying into Auckland and renting a car and driving to Christchurch all as opposed to just flying to Christchurch and spending their time (2-3 weeks) in that vicinity.
Thanks for any help!!
welch is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 08:31 PM
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What is their budget, and what are their interests?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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Hi Welch!

For your 21 year old son, the first place I would suggest is that he and his buddies go to Queenstown after they visit Christchurch.

While I don't know what his/their interests are, I'm just responding to their age. Queenstown is the "Adventure Capital" of New Zealand, so lots of activities like bungy jumping, white water rafting, the luge, 4WD, etc. The vibe in town is young and active, lots of possibilities.

As for Tahiti, Papeete is NOT the place to go when travelling to French Polynesia; that said, it's not really a destination for 20-something single guys either...bear in mind this is a huge, romantic, honeymoon type of destination where people will be "coupled up"; except maybe at Club Med Mooorea or Bora Bora, which is where I would steer these guys to!

Hope this is helpful!


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wlzmatilida is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 03:58 AM
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Hi - you sound like a lovely Mum (or maybe Dad - hard to tell, but I'd plump for the former).

The biggest favour you could do your son is buy him the ticket and then let him sink or swim. Most folk that age do not have the money to hire cars. Most would feel it seriously uncool to do so.

And besides, spending time driving from Auckland south when the main atraction is friends in Christchurch sounds crazy. If they have to fly into AUK then book a connex flight from there to CHC.

Once there - what do you mean by:

"and spending their time (2-3 weeks) in that vicinity."

In that vicinity? Pardon? "In that vicinity" means a whole island the size of England. There's a huge range of places to go, things to see, adventures to do. All the little darlings need to do is get on a bus and find them!

I am not saying there aren't wonderful places in the NI too.

But I do find it strange that a 20 year old can't ask the questions for himself.

If you want more info try the Thorn Tree.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the help, so far.
I have found that many of my son's friends who travel have amazingly little information about where they are going! I was just speaking to a young woman his age headed to Europe in a month who thought she'd take the bus from London to Paris with no idea the English Channel might impede her! Sorry to sense a little hostility about helping my kid out!!His plane ticket is a 21st birthday gift and I'd like for him to enjoy the trip.
Budget will be low, but they have free accommodations in Christchurch. It will be hostels aside from that. The guys enjoy snowboarding, camping and other adventurous pursuits, so Queenstown is a great idea. Thank you!
I'm familiar with many areas of the world- but this isn't one of them!
Sorry to hear that it's "uncool" to rent the car. They were looking at the cost of flying into Auckland as opposed to Christchurch and the difference for the 2 of them more than paid for it.
It seemed to offer freedom to go where they pleased and when. I take this isn't the case??
welch is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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My husband and I just returned from a 3+ week vacation in NZ and we are in our late twenties. I don't think that your son (given his age) will enjoy the north island nearly as much as the south island however, it does depend on what month they will be visiting. Although the north island is generally warmer, the south has the most dramatic scenery. He will find a lot more activities, nightlife, and adventurous excursions in the south island. He will also find a lot more people his age travelling in the south. Dunedin is a big college town, Queenstown is the adventure capital, kayaking in Abel Tasman, Milford & Doubtful Sound or the glaciers (Fox & Franz) have amazing scenery. We spent 18 of our 23 days in the south island and wish we had more.
CDJD is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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I think they thought even if they drove directly to the South from Auckland it might be worth the price difference. I will suggest they research the South Island and plan to spend their time there, however they might accomplish that!
These guys are planning to drive to San Francisco from Seattle to save money on the flight, so this gives you an idea of what's important...
welch is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 12:41 PM
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When considering whether to hire a car to drive from Auckland to Christchurch, as compared to flying, don't forget to factor in the cost of accommodation for a night or two on the way. I assume the kids will have actually turned 21 before they get there. I know a lot of places won't hire a car to somebody under age 21. As for hiring a car being "uncool" I know my 19 year old and his friends would think it would be "cool" to hire a car because of the extra freedom it gives them. It would just be a matter of could they afford to do so (and in their case the age restriction). Also, I agree that Queenstown is defintitely the place for them to head to. Lots of activities there, albeit some of them fairly expensive, so they might need to check out the prices. It's no use going to the adventure capital of the world if you can't afford the activities on offer and end up being disappointed.
shandy is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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while budget is important (as you point out, they're driving from SF to Seattle, good luck there!), so is TIME.

I'd suggest they fly from Auckland to Christchurch, OR, another suggestion would be to fly to Wellington, check out the very cool Te Papa museum, then take the ferry to the South Island (Picton) and pick up a rental car there to use on the South Island.


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wlzmatilida is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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You make an excellent point about the time! I'm constantly amazed by the distances the kids drive. One of my son's friends, a single girl, stopped at our house in Oakland after visiting Yosemite, LA and Baja, all from Olympia during Thanksgiving break!!
I've found a very good interactive map of NZ that shows driving times between the cities that should give them an idea what they're dealing with. My son's friend is 21 so there isn't a problem with the car rental. I've checked. Thanks!!
welch is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 07:23 PM
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Does this friend have any experience driving on the left (with a right hand steering wheel?)
oliverandharry is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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NZ is eay driving and not much traffic.

But I have mostly posted this reply to say that Tahiti is tarrific. Very worth the stopover.
lorikeet is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Yeah, I would have them fly to Christchurch too. If they hire a car and spend two weeks knocking about the South Island, they will probably be happier than if they drive all that distance. As mentioned by others, Queenstown (and nearby Wanaka) would probably be the best place for them to spend significant time, but I also agree that it would be best to let them figure this out for themselves. There are so many hostels and holiday parks along the way, they will not have much of a problem. The only issue is that it will be cold and rainy (possibly snowy) in much of the South Island during the winter (the northern hemisphere's summer), which might put a damper on some of their plans. If they ski/board, then they might like to try a few of the skifields in the Southern Alps.

As for Tahiti, I'd suggest they take the 45-minute ferry to Moorea, which is a much nicer, more laid-back island than Tahiti. There are only a few hostel-type accommodations there (Moorea Camping, Fare Tata'u, Chez Billy Ruta, Tarariki Village and Chez Nelson), but they are on the water, and the scenery is great! We once camped at Moorea Camping, and the entire place seemed to be nothing but 20-something guys!
ALF is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Welch -

Car rentals are expensive in NZ and rental companies often charge a surcharge for drivers between the ages of 21-24, making the price even higher.

For instance - I did a quick search on Budget for a 10 day rental from Christchurch (their cheapest, smallest car) - the cost was NZ $642.49 PLUS $25+ GST per day surcharge for being under 24 PLUS $25+ GST per day for insurance. These extra charges are going to make an already expensive rental ridiculously expensive.

Since money is a concern, I'd suggest they consider traveling by bus. There are several bus services located throughout NZ which cater to young people and this would offer them the opportunity to meet other like-minded
young people as they traveled.

This site has a comprehensive list of bus services throughtout NZ:


The following sites list hostels throughout NZ:


Melnq8 is offline  
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