When to travel to New Zealand?

Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 05:00 AM
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When to travel to New Zealand?

Hi: I'm planning a trip to New Zealand and was thinking of Mid December 2015 to mid January. After visiting an old friend in Auckland, I'll be traveling to Wellington and Christchurch via train and ferry before returning to Auckland for a few days.

I've discovered recently that these dates coincide with school holidays in NZ. I can travel later in the year (2016) so am wondering if a delay is a good idea. Since I'm not planning to pre-book all my accommodations, does it make sense to wait until school break is over?

Thank you for any feedback.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 11:28 AM
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I wouldn't travel anywhere in the world during major school holidays. You would have to book ahead for all your accommodation and usually pay more. We've found March a great time to visit New Zealand, still comfortable weather, trees starting to change colour and no need to book ahead for a bed.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 02:18 PM
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Avoid Chinese New Year! It's been crazy here and the drivers are insane.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 10:51 PM
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There has been some dangerous driving happening over the last few weeks. Early February once school goes back but staying a month would go into Chinese New Year. March would be a good time to visit too.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2015, 09:30 AM
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I've seen some of it first hand nelsonian, drivers on the wrong side of the road, drivers almost backing into a kid, and yesterday, a driver almost backed into us as we walked by, no warning, just a sudden backward lurch (in every instance an Asian driver). Understandably, we tourists get flak for most of the poor driving, but we've seen some bad Kiwi driving over the past few weeks too.

One more reason not to visit in high season IMO.

When did Chinese New Year become a marketing ploy here in NZ?
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Old Mar 4th, 2015, 03:16 AM
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Hello,

NZ is my all time favorite place for long holiday. You can go in December.
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Old Mar 5th, 2015, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for all these helpful suggestions, which gives me things to think about regarding dates for the trip.

Interesting comments about tourists driving in NZ. That won't be an issue with me as I'm looking forward to the train and ferry to South Island and what appears to be an extensive bus network.
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Old Mar 5th, 2015, 10:10 PM
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takeaway7 -

I've been to NZ some dozen times and have not encountered much in the way of bad driving until this year. Believe me, plenty of it has been on behalf of the locals, who are perhaps short on patience with the number of high season tourists.

FWIW - IMO driving is the absolute best way to see NZ - you cannot beat the flexibility.

Have a great trip.
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