Which cities to fly in/out of?!

Jan 27th, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #1  
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Which cities to fly in/out of?!

My husband and I traveling to NZ Dec 2009 for our postponed honeymoon using miles, so we have some flexibility for the cities we want to fly in/out of. We are aiming for South Island, and my choices are to fly:
1) in/out of Christchurch,
2) into Wellington and out of Christchurch
3) into Christchurch and out of Wellington

What do you think is best for a trip of just over 2 weeks? We our pretty outdoorsy and want to get in some backpacking/tramping, but also love wine, hence the reason why we're considering flying in or out of Wellington.
gottabee is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:27 PM
  #2  
 
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There's a lot of vineyards up around northern end of the south island and so flying into Christchurch, doing a southern loop and then heading up to Nelson/Marlborough Sounds before either flying over to Wellington or taking a Picton to Wellington ferry [ arranging to leave car at Picton will likely work out cheapest]

Have a look at www.doc.govt.nz if you haven't found it yet.
http://www.winesofnz.com/ and http://www.nzwine.com/intro/ should be useful and http://www.travelplanner.co.nz/ - may need to do a Ctrl click on distances and then click link on next page and you get a handy distances map.

If you're going to take any hiking/camping gear to NZ, make sure it is meticulously clean including boot soles and have it easily available in top of pack etc. as you'll likely find it needing to be inspected - declare it on arrivals card and if the airline hands out apples as part of a meal, do not forget it if you put it away for later on as it'll cost you a huge fine if still in luggage in customs hall.
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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With two weeks, I'd suggest you stick to one island, and with your interests, you'll no doubt love the SI. I suggest flying in and out of CHCH.

You can easily do a loop of the SI in two weeks and fit quite a bit in, with plenty of time for tramping and visiting wineries.

The SI has some fantastic tracks and loads of wineries - the main wine regions on the SI are up around Nelson/Upper Moutere/Motueka, around Blenheim and south in Cnetral Otago (great pinots!) near Cromwell and Wanaka.

You'll also find wineries in Waipara near CHCH, and well, a lot of places....there's certainly no shortage!

If you don't want to return to CHCH for your departure, you might consider ending your trip in Nelson, Queenstown or Dunedin, and then flying back to CHCH from there.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:00 PM
  #4  
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Thanks Bushranger. Is a car rental a must then? Since we are hoping to do some multi-day treks, I don't know if having a car rental will be the safest.

WIthout a car, what would be feasible in 2 weeks?
gottabee is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:18 PM
  #5  
 
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You may be thinking of car hire as unsafe in that Kiwis like Aussies and a few others drive on the other side of the road and heard that roads in NZ are narrower and more up/down and windier than US interstaters - all true

And though it is not unknown for some tourists to have accidents and that Kiwis may not all have great driving attitudes, so many people do hire cars without any great disasters befalling them.

To make the most out of your trip, getting around to wineries etc, is not totally essential but will be a great advantage.
There is a good intercity bus [and flights] network because of minimal trains and plenty of tours and end of line bus operators that could get you to tramping/hiking areas but you'll lose a lot of time with connections and slower travelling because of stops etc.

There are some cheaper car hire companies about and sites like www.backpackerboard.co.nz could have a few links, and www.bbh.co.nz is a handy site too as lots of hostels in NZ are great value with double rooms.
www.bugpacific.com has links to transport options as well.

Another option would be to look at bus touring companies like www.magicbus.com or www.the flyingkiwi.co.nz which offers more outdoorsy touring and see if their routes matches what you may be after.
It'll likely work out just as expensive if not far more so than a car hire and whilst there are a couple of other bus touring companies doing similar services I would not reccomend them.
Bushranger is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 05:37 PM
  #7  
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Melnq8 and Bushranger ... again thanks for your advice. I do think that perhaps go into Christchurch and out of another SI city or just out of CCH might save some $$ on the ferry.

As for safety, I was referring to some post I read earlier about how there was increasing number of car break-in/thefts when cars are left at the trailheads for days.
gottabee is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 08:32 PM
  #8  
 
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Author: gottabee
Date: 01/27/2009, 09:37 pm
Melnq8 and Bushranger ... again thanks for your advice. I do think that perhaps go into Christchurch and out of another SI city or just out of CCH might save some $$ on the ferry.

As for safety, I was referring to some post I read earlier about how there was increasing number of car break-in/thefts when cars are left at the trailheads for days.
.........................
I've posted on that myself re even parks of several hours.
From what I've heard, it is quite possibly more a NI occurrence than on the SI.

Apparently, some rental operators also now have the internal trunk releases disconnected and a sticker put on car windows advising of that.

Going from Picton to Wellington by ferry just as a walk on passenger is only about $40-50 and provides a great look at the sounds there.
Bushranger is offline  

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