Back from South island New Zealand

angy

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Oct sch holiday still not that bad cause the weather is neither here nor there... foggy, cloud and sometime sunny.

It is the Dec summer holiday the worst.

I rest my case. All school holidays are expensive time to travel. Many traffic on the road. Motels want to make money and prices go up.
 

fxsg123

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I rest my case. All school holidays are expensive time to travel. Many traffic on the road. Motels want to make money and prices go up. Dec is Summer to them, definitely appealing not just to local/Aussie but tourist from US and EU.

Dec is Summer to them, definitely appealing not just to local/Aussie but tourist from US and EU.

All school holiday terrible, just lesser of the two devil.

+ side is no Chinese tourist.
 

keigo22

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From experience the September holidays are the least travelled by kiwis. Mostly because any high school kids are preparing for exams, or winter sports tournaments on. Locals will use local facilities more during holidays so attractions will be busier, but not excessively so. I dont expect it will affect accommodation prices and attractions at all.

But of coz current situation is there is a huge labour shortage going on in Queenstown and some shop choose to close early or refuse accepting people to prevent their staff overwork.

Like I say the worst will always be Dec & Jan, cause that is when the kiwi clear all their leave and those rich will fly out and those so-so will tour within their country. This is what my fren and I do during Dec by clear almost a month long leave.
 

magners

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The day 2 drive can be a little challenging - best taking turns to drive etc. Nearest "big" town would be Greymouth. Not so much to do there and I know many cafes and restaurants have closed down.
Day 9 too could be a little far but not impossible. Take note Te Anau is a quiet town.

Overall the aftermath of the Pandemic has left many places shuttered and some people a little edgy so do take note. In my experience babies and toddlers do not like helicopter rides and the heli guys at both Fox Glacier and Franz Josef can be reluctant to have little ones that young on board. Best check with them ahead.

The Antarctica centre can be good but perhaps only for the oldest of the 3. NZ is overall not troublesome for young kids but there isn't a huge amount of activity catered towards them. Queenstown Jetboat ride or for that matter any of the jetboat rides you won't be able to accommodate even the 4 1/2 year old as a example.

Let me know if you have specific questions and will try to help out.
Thank you. Do you mind elaborating what you meant by challenging in day 2?
noted on the helicopter rides and the antartica center.

Also, since we are bringing kids. We are also worried if the kids fall sick during the trip and I read some of the GP will not accept you if you are not a resident, is that true?
You chose a wrong time to fly. NZ school holiday starts at 1 oct to 16 oct. I recommend goto NZ after 16 Oct or depart NZ by 30 Sep. If not, you will be paying high price for accommodation (or all the places will be fully booked), fighting to see all the places of interest, car park issues and car rental issues
ah! did not know it is a holiday period. But we have booked most of the accomodation and flight
Since you got 6 months old...and given kids to adult ratio is almost 1:1. I will advice to do more relax iteineraries.

day 0: flying from Singapore
day 1: arrive Christchurch - free and easy (take this time to go supermarket shopping and also double check if your SG cloth is enough cause there are too many SG "Winter cloth" look thick but useless as most are cotton cloth.
day 2: drive to Lake Lyndon, Castle Hill, Arthur's Pass, stop at Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre West Coast Road, Arthur's Pass Village, New Zealand for lunch. Then drive to franz josef
day 3: Fox Glaciers Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing
day 4: drive to wanaka via Haast (alot of see along the way)
day 5: Wanaka 4wd Safari and also Puzzle world (good for kids)
day 6: Drive to Arrow town for lunch then to Queenstown
day 7: glenorchy day trip
day 8: TSS earnslaw + walter peak farm
day 9: Queenstown free and easy
day 10: Drive to te anau (evening go for glow warm)
day 11: milford sound
day 12: Drive to Dunedin
day 13: Larnach Castle, Sandyfly Bay, Penguin Place, Royal Albatross Centre etcs
day 14: drive to Moeraki Boulders and then back CHC
day 15: CHC New Brighton Beach, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, International Antarctic Centre etcs
day 16: fly back to Singapore

Actually since u got 6 mth only... Fox glaciers not a recommend place also I find the Helicopter Flight over price and so-so.

Now already Jul, you need to start booking already...

Also you forgot about Lake Tekapo....
do you have any suggestion on where I can get a good winter cloth in Singapore?
your itinerary above seems similar to mine except the last leg to Dunedin, May I know which part that you think will be challenging with the kids? We are skipping Tekapo as this is our second trip to new zealand for all the adults and we had visited Tekapo in our first trip.
 

fxsg123

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Also, since we are bringing kids. We are also worried if the kids fall sick during the trip and I read some of the GP will not accept you if you are not a resident, is that true?

Not true but bear in mind the following:
- Most of NZ GP is by appointment only, therefore only relevant to residents
- Most hospital only accept patients with referral from GP, unless emergency.
- Current covid-19 overwhelm its healthcare facilities and will continue to for foreseeable future.
- public healthcare is highly subsidise or even free

You will need to go to private
 

magners

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Not true but bear in mind the following:
- Most of NZ GP is by appointment only, therefore only relevant to residents
- Most hospital only accept patients with referral from GP, unless emergency.
- Current covid-19 overwhelm its healthcare facilities and will continue to for foreseeable future.
- public healthcare is highly subsidise or even free

You will need to go to private
thank you. Does it mean as a tourist, I do not need to make an appointment to see GPs? what does it mean that I need to go private? is it for hospitals or GPs?
 

fxsg123

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thank you. Does it mean as a tourist, I do not need to make an appointment to see GPs? what does it mean that I need to go private? is it for hospitals or GPs?

You may have a chance if you “walk-in” and get rejected but not because you are tourist but becos most by appointment only. Similar to hospital unless emergency.

Your best bet is go private if worry.
 

magners

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You may have a chance if you “walk-in” and get rejected but not because you are tourist but becos most by appointment only. Similar to hospital unless emergency.

Your best bet is go private if worry.

what does private mean? is it private hospital?
Also, I noticed during my 1st visit to New Zealand in 2018, the petrol prices differ, sometimes quite a big margin in a different petrol station. Is it usually affected by the location or specific petrol station brand?
 

hydeyoshi

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Hello.. I am looking to travel to South Island ard mid Nov. Was looking at the flights and Qantas is the cheapest at this moment. Any comments on Qantas flight? Thanks!
 

Squeezer

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Hello.. I am looking to travel to South Island ard mid Nov. Was looking at the flights and Qantas is the cheapest at this moment. Any comments on Qantas flight? Thanks!
Not much options for Nov/Dec.

Direct flights are very ex and its either via Aust or Auckland.
 

fxsg123

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what does private mean? is it private hospital?
Also, I noticed during my 1st visit to New Zealand in 2018, the petrol prices differ, sometimes quite a big margin in a different petrol station. Is it usually affected by the location or specific petrol station brand?

Private can be hospital or clinic, means not free or no subsidy for residents, like our Mount Elizabeth. Public is mostly free or low cost for residents, like our TTSH.

For non emergency, for for private.

Petrol price various across and its becos of regional tax’s, competition and proximity to port and refinery. As tourist, theres no need to stress over petrol price as we fill up whenever require.

You can use Gaspy if need be to check the price.
 

fxsg123

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Not much options for Nov/Dec.

Direct flights are very ex and its either via Aust or Auckland.

If you search SQ to AUC/CHC over De nowc, it’s shockingly expensive + many dates fully booked.

In March/April when searching for Dec Christmas period, SQ direct average 1.4k /1.5k any dates. ANZ $900 direct nobody want.
 

hydeyoshi

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I saw the sq prices and got a shock.

Guess taking Qantas is the cheapest option if I want to travel in Nov.

Will b self driving and this will be my first trip to NZ, is it better to fly in Christchurch and fly out from Queenstown?
 

hermes76

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I'll be in NZ(SI) in Nov/Dec also, we booked with Qantas at around 1.3k+ per pax(2A2C).
In the midst of planning our itinerary. We'll be doing a 50-50 campervan and car+motel over around 12D then overlaying to Brisbane for 5D before heading back home. Below are the places we would like to visit and our est. duration at each place. We'll be joined by my sis fam(2A3C) so will be travelling in convoy.

Seeking the advices from you guys here if there's anything I should amend.

I think we need more activities for the kiddos. Can't expect them to be interested in nature and scenic hikes.

We also need some hypermarkets for stocking up along the way if you have any to recommend.

Thanks much!

Day 0
Mon, 21-Nov-22​
8:20 pm​
SIN - MELEnd of Day 0
Day 1
Tue, 22-Nov-22​
6:50 am​
Arrived at MEL
9:00 am​
MEL - CHC
2:20 pm​
Arrived at CHC
Check-in hotel around airportEnd of Day 1
Day 2
Wed, 23-Nov-22​
8:00 am​
Pickup Campervan
Mighty Campers. Christchurch Airport - 159 Orchard Road, Harewood.
10:00 am​
drive to Countdown (5mins)
- stock-up + sanitation
- pack lunch on the go
1:00 pm​
drive to Franz Josef (5hrs)
- Lake Lyndon
- Castle Hill
- Pancakes rocks(20mins walk)
- Hokitika Beach
- Hokitika Gorge
7:00 pm​
check-in CV site at Franz JosefEnd of Day 2
Day 3
Thu, 24-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
Explore Franz Josef
- Lake Mapourika
10:00 am​
drive to Haast (2hrs)
- lunch at South Westland Salmon Farm & Café
3:00 pm​
drive to Wanaka (2hrs)
- National Transport & Toys Museum
- stock-up at New World Three Parks/Metro Wanaka
7:00 pm​
check-in CV site at WanakaEnd of Day 3
Day 4
Fri, 25-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
Explore Wanaka
- Puzzling World
- Lavender Farm
3:00 pm​
drive to Te Anau (3hrs)
- Devil's staircase
- Lake Wakatipu
- Glow worms caves
- horse riding
check-in CV site at Te AnauEnd of Day 4
Day 5
Sat, 26-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
drive to Milford Sound (1.5hrs)
- Milford Cruise
11:00 am​
1100AM - drive to Cromwell (4hrs)
- *lunch at Te Anau
- fruits picking
or lunch on the road
7:00 pm​
check-in CV site at CromwellEnd of Day 5
Day 6
Sun, 27-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
Explore Cromwell
- fruits picking
- wine and cheese tasting
1:00 pm​
drive to Mount Cook/Aoraki (2.5hrs)
5:00 pm​
drive to Lake Tekapo (1.5hrs)
7:00 pm​
check-in CV site at Lake TekapoEnd of Day 6
Day 7
Mon, 28-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
Explore Lake Tekapo
- eat at Greedy Cow Tekapo
- re-visit Mount Cook/Aoraki
- re-stock at Four Square Tekapo
End of Day 7
Day 8
Tue, 29-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
drive to Glenorchy (4hrs)
- lunch
1:00 pm​
drive to Queenstown (1hr)
check-in hotel at Queenstown
2:00 pm​
Collect car
3:00 pm​
Return campervanEnd of Day 8
Day 9
Wed, 30-Nov-22​
7:00 am​
Explore Queenstown
- Luge
- eat at Fergburger
- Arrowtown
End of Day 9
Day 10
Thu, 1-Dec-22​
7:00 am​
drive to Dunedin (3.5hrs)
- Sandfly Bay
- Dunedin Volcano
- Penguin Place
- Royal Albatross Centre
- Baldwin Street
End of Day 10
Day 11
Fri, 2-Dec-22​
7:00 am​
drive to Oamaru (1.5hrs)
- Moeraki Boulders
10:00 am​
drive to Christchurch (3.5hrs)
3:00 pm​
check-in CHC hotelEnd of Day 11
Day 12
Sat, 3-Dec-22​
7:00 am​
Explore CHC
- New Brighton Beach
- International Antarctic Center
- Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
End of Day 12
Day 13
Sun, 4-Dec-22​
7:00 am​
Explore CHCEnd of Day 13
Day 14
Mon, 5-Dec-22​
10:00 am​
Return car at Christchurch Airport
1:00 pm​
check-in Christchurch Airport
3:35 pm​
CHC - BNE
 
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hydeyoshi

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Any recommendations on which car rental companies to book from? I will be picking up the rental car from Christchurch airport and return to Queenstown airport. Thanks!
 

keenklee

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Any recommendations on which car rental companies to book from? I will be picking up the rental car from Christchurch airport and return to Queenstown airport. Thanks!
IMHO.
I only got only one experience, but the next time, I will try my luck with Hertz.

Summary of my rental of Hyundai iMax.
- Right passenger sliding door - jam. More times cannot open. Safety.
- Driver's side headlight bulb blown. Paid for Road Side Assistance. Advise to ownself change and claim reimbursement. Went to town to hunt workshop, finally 3rd workshop managed to help. Paid and claim later.
- Front passenger's side headlight bulb blown.
 

dakota037

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Any recommendations on which car rental companies to book from? I will be picking up the rental car from Christchurch airport and return to Queenstown airport. Thanks!
I booked mine via autoEurope US site and it gave hertz as the cheapest option. Went for that with RAV4 hybrid. 800sgd 9 day. Booked 6 months in advance. Hertz is good cause they got the carpark lots closest to the airport.
 
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