YHA or Top Ten Camping for 26-day trip?

Old Apr 7th, 2006, 03:44 AM
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YHA or Top Ten Camping for 26-day trip?

hello! i hope you can help me!

i was wondering if you can help me
decide between staying at the YHA Hostel Network and camping/cabining at Top Ten Holiday Parks during my trip to NZ, which is going to happen Feb 1-27, 2007.

With YHA, we can purchase a package deal that includes:

17 nights in hostels throughout NZ
Unlimited coach travel on the Newmans/InterCity network
One Cook Strait ferry crossing within this period
One one-way TranzScenic train journeys, including the famous TranzAlpine and Tranz Coastal
The cost per person for this package is $750.697 USD.
Here is their website if you want to check it out:
We'd be staying at their hostels at all of our stops, except the milford and routeburn, tracks and a 2 night kayaking trip.

With Top 10, it looks like the average cost for a Standard Cabin is $28 USD/night and a campsite is $15.00 USD/night. We could also join the "Top 10 Club" for a discount on all of our accomdations through them. Both the standard cabin and the tenting would require communal facitilites (kitchen, bathroom).

Basically, I'm just wondering which one of these - YHA or Top Ten is going to be cleaner and in better locations. If you have time to let me know, i would appreciate it so much! thanks so much for your time and smarts!


btw, in case you are wondering, this is our itinerary:

Thursday, Feb - Saturday, Feb 3, 2007 (Days -2, -1 and 1)
Flight from PHL to Wellington

Day 1 - Sat, Feb 3
Arrive in Wellington
Night in Wellington

Day 2 - Sun, Feb 4
Museum of Te Papa
Night in Wellington at Wellington YHA

Day 3 - Mon, Feb 5
Make our way from Wellington YHA to InterIslander
Ferry from Wellington to Picton.
Bus from Picton to Nelson
Night in Nelson

Day 4 - Tues, Feb 6
Hike some of the coastal track in Abel Tasman Nat'l Park
Night in Nelson

Day 5 - Wed, Feb 7
8:00am pick up for 2 night kayaking adventure
Night in Abel Tasman Park camping/kayaking
adventure $455 per person ($278.00 USD)

Day 6 - Thurs, Feb 8
kayaking adventure
Night in Abel Tasman camping/kayaking
adventure $455 per person ($278.00 USD)

Day 7 - Fri, Feb 9
Return from Kayaking adventure at 5:00pm
Nelson Central YHA - Nelson

Day 8 - Sat, Feb 10
8:00am - Rent car in Picton.
1:00pm arrival after 5.5 hour drive to CHC,
stopping off in Kaikoura
Night in CHC

Day 9 - Sun, Feb 11
Day in Christchurch
Night in CHC

Day 10 - Mon, Feb 12
8:15am-1:25pm train from christchurch to Greymouth
1:30-2:00pm - Pick up car
2:00-4:00 - Drive 20 minutes north to visit the
Pancake rocks
4:00-8:00 - Drive to Franz Josef
Night in Franz Josef
Franz Josef Glacier YHA

Day 11 - Tues, Feb 13
Full day hike on Franz Josef (8 hours, NZ $135.00)
4:00pm - Drive 3 hours to Wanaka
Night in Wanaka

Day 12 - Wed, Feb 14
8:00-noon - Drive 4 hours to Te Anau and drop off
1:15pm Bus Te Anau to Te Anau Downs (18 miles) hour. Adult $17.00
2:00pm Boat Te Anau Downs - Glade Wharf 1 hour trip. $55.00
3:30-5:30 - hike Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut
Milford track - night 1 of 3 on track (Night at
Clinton hut)
Adult hut passes @ $120 pp

Day 12 - Thurs, Feb 15
Hike Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut (6 hours)
Milford track - night 2 of 3 on track (Night at
Mintaro Hut)

Day 13 - Fri, Feb 16
Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut (6 hours)
Milford track - night 3 of 3 on track (Night at
Dumpling Hut)

Day 14 - Sat, Feb 17
Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point (6 hours)
2:00pm boat Sandfly Point to Milford Sound (20min) $ 28.20
2.30pm Bus Milford Sound to Queenstown 4 hours $75
Total $181.00 USD
Night in Queenstown)
Day 15 - Sun, Feb 18
Day activities in Queenstown
Night in Queenstown

Day 16 - Mon, Feb 19
From Queenstown
Coach & Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises ($190.00 USD)
Night on Doubtful Sound

Day 17 - Tues, Feb 20
Return 12:00pm from overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound
Go back to Queenstown
Night in Queenstown

Day 18 - Wed, Feb 21
Hike from Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls Hut (2
Hike Routeburn Falls Hut to Mackenzie Hut (6 hours)
Night at MacKenzie Hut $25.00 USD per person/ per night = $50.00 USD

Day 19 - Thurs, Feb 22
Hike Mackenzie Hut to The Divide (5 hours)
Rent car
Drive to Mount Cook
Night at Mount Cook

Day 20 - Friday, Feb 23
Day at Mount Cook
Night at Mount Cook

Day 21 - Sat, Feb 24
Day at Mount Cook
Night at Mount Cook

Day 22 - Sun, Feb 25
Afternoon drive from Mount Cook to CHC
Last night at CHC

Day 23 - Mon, Feb 26
Fly from CHC to AUK to LA to PHL
Arrive in PHL at 6am on Tues, Feb 27
aprildon6 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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Hi - great trip you have planned there.

I can't comment on Top Ten Holiday Parks, but do know the YHA network in NZ. Stayed at many - and have no complains about any of them. And yes, they are clean.

You will know better than I about the locations - doubtless both organisations list their establishments and you can find them on a map.

But why tie yourselves into a package deal. NZ is the easiest of places to travel in - especially on a budget. It's all set up for you. Any main tourist centre will have a local operating a mini bus to the next one down the line.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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Just a few of of observations.

Why are you returning to Queenstown after the Milford Track. You have to pass through Te Anau/Manapouri on your way to Qtn. It would make more sense to change your O/night on Doubtful to Feb 18, stay Feb 17 in Te Anau (YHA or Top 10), O/night Doubtful on 18th, and 2 nights (19th & 20th) in Queenstown.

Why don't you do the Routeburn in the oposite direction (The Divide to Glenorchy/Queenstown), Then you could stay in Te Anau after the Doubtful o/nite, and get the shuttle to The Divide. Save back tracking, and a far shorter drive to Mt Cook after you leave Queenstown.

It seems you are keen on tramping, so 3 nights at Mt Cook probably makes sense, but if you just intend sight seeing, then one full day is probably enough. You might be better spending more time in Qtn, or Wanaka, or even going up the West Coast and doing the Glaciers. (Fox and Franz are close to Mt Cook by air, in fact they start on the upper slopes of Mt Cook)

Can't comment on YHA v's Camping grounds,having never stayed in either, but the quality of cabins in camp grounds is extreemly variable, YHA's tend to be fairly uniform in quality. If it was me I'd opt for the YHA.
vbca is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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thanks so much for the replys. SO HELPFUL!

i will definitely take your advice on the itinerary changes for everything. i'm trying my best to order things the way that makes the most sense, so this is extremely helpful. Great suggestion for the Routeburn. i like the idea of losing some of the time at Mount Cook to give a second night to Franz Josef and another night to Queenstown.

thank you, thank you, thank you!

We're going to go YHA.

aprildon6 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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The YHA hostels area generally huge like college dorms. THe kitchens area huge and allin all they are ok. SOme are party noisy places, some not.

I much preferred the BBH hostels. THey tend to be smaller and I enjoyed them so much more. We didn't have to share bathrooms with as many people. and there are over 400 of them throughout the country to choose from. The YHA has many, many less locatioins. Mostly in big cities.

Oh and you can also buy a discount BBH card to reduce your rate everynight.

Top Ten campsites...as already mentioned they can vary greatley. We stayed in a cabin at Top Ten ( DO splurge for the cabin!) at Frans Josef and it was really great. We had our own little cabin with small kitchen...loved it. After that we thought about getting the discount card for future Top tens' but were glad we didn't. The next one was not as good or clean. It was at Wanaka and it wasn't to bad I suppose, but what we didnt realize is that it did not have any pots and pans or any plates or anything we could use to prepare adn eat our meal. We were used to hotels having big kitchens...so if you are prepared to eat out, or to carry around allyour dishes and pots and stuff, they'd be ok.

BUt , bottom line.. either stay at equipped cabins at Top Tens or get teh BBH card and stay at their hostels. They have a book listing all of them and it's also on line.

As far as the transportation that comes with YHA, work it all out seperate to see if it's a good deal.

Good luck.

kodi is offline  
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