Back from South island New Zealand

Squeezer

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Yes. No more air new zealand fly from Sydney to Queenstown . I believe this flight is from virgin Australia liao . Still waiting for their reply from SIA to see what other option we have. Worst service we have from SIA. Didn't even receive any emails from them where they informed us thru WhatsApp to check details from email..

Managed to contact customer service but then halfway conversation told us they would check for alternative flights and then put us on hold and we waited for 1.5 hours plus and we no choice but to hang up the call..
DId SQ come back to you with a satisfactory re-routing? Stand firm and keep pushing and not allow them to cancel and refund.

Buying a new ticket will cost much much more.
 

winningeleven

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DId SQ come back to you with a satisfactory re-routing? Stand firm and keep pushing and not allow them to cancel and refund.

Buying a new ticket will cost much much more.
Yes. Emailed their customer service and told them no changes of our flight date since we already booked all the hotel and car rentals. Initally they want us to reconsidering to fly 2 days earlier. We refused and In the end. They provided us with 2 flight choices . Either fly to Melbourne and transist to queentown or fly to Christchurch and transit to queenstown. We choose fly to Christchurch.

We did not talk to any customer service officer and communicated thru emails..talked to their cso quite frustrating.
 

Squeezer

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Yes. Emailed their customer service and told them no changes of our flight date since we already booked all the hotel and car rentals. Initally they want us to reconsidering to fly 2 days earlier. We refused and In the end. They provided us with 2 flight choices . Either fly to Melbourne and transist to queentown or fly to Christchurch and transit to queenstown. We choose fly to Christchurch.

We did not talk to any customer service officer and communicated thru emails..talked to their cso quite frustrating.

10 hours on SQ to CHC is a good choice. Glad you were able to sort this out.

Enjoy your trip!
 

klavier

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Back from my NZ 2 weeks South Island trip. Don't think many will want to follow my itinery given that I was traveling with elderly and toddler so will just briefly mention same below.

My route:

Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Mount Cook (day trip) - Wanaka - Queenstown - Te Anau - Dunedin - Oamaru - Geraldine - Christchurch

I rented a 6 berth camper for the entire duration even though it was winter (end June/July).
1 driver only. Actually found that apart from blindspots when turning or reversing, road handling for the camper is similar to car (apart from clanging sounds from the pots/pans etc when road was bumpy). Must say I have plenty of overseas driving experience and I am used to driving SUVs (example Fortuner).

For safety, I did not do any night driving apart from within city limits where there is street lighting. By 6pm its already pitch dark during the period I was there. There is also a speed limiter in the campervan that I used so I basically kept to the speed limit throughout the trip.

Stayed at holiday parks every night as it was rather cold. Overall campervan experience was better (and safer) than I thought. Only torture was walking from the camper to the 'facilities' at the different campsites but thats purely because I went during winter and also the need to plug in to power and clearing the waste every 2-3 days.
 

angy

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Back from my NZ 2 weeks South Island trip. Don't think many will want to follow my itinery given that I was traveling with elderly and toddler so will just briefly mention same below.

My route:

Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Mount Cook (day trip) - Wanaka - Queenstown - Te Anau - Dunedin - Oamaru - Geraldine - Christchurch

I rented a 6 berth camper for the entire duration even though it was winter (end June/July).
1 driver only. Actually found that apart from blindspots when turning or reversing, road handling for the camper is similar to car (apart from clanging sounds from the pots/pans etc when road was bumpy). Must say I have plenty of overseas driving experience and I am used to driving SUVs (example Fortuner).

For safety, I did not do any night driving apart from within city limits where there is street lighting. By 6pm its already pitch dark during the period I was there. There is also a speed limiter in the campervan that I used so I basically kept to the speed limit throughout the trip.

Stayed at holiday parks every night as it was rather cold. Overall campervan experience was better (and safer) than I thought. Only torture was walking from the camper to the 'facilities' at the different campsites but thats purely because I went during winter and also the need to plug in to power and clearing the waste every 2-3 days.

Gosh, you did day trip to Mt Cook in NZ winter days? That must had been a long drive. Driving camper during NZ winter limits where you can/should drive after dark.
 

klavier

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Gosh, you did day trip to Mt Cook in NZ winter days? That must had been a long drive. Driving camper during NZ winter limits where you can/should drive after dark.

Yes.. left Lake Tekapo around 9.30am, stop by Lake Pukaki before heading to Mount Cook..
Did a short walk from white horse hill and turn back because of time factor. The original plan was to stay at white horse hill campground for the night but my parents were reluctant after seeing the lack of facilities.

We reached Wanaka at around 5.30pm so there was stilll some light. Not exactly what I would have liked but sometimes hard to please everyone when traveling in a group. I would have stayed at Omamara if I did not think I could get to Wanaka before dark..

This is probably the only day i had to drive beyond 4 hours (with breaks of course). Not ideal and planned for but at least we got to experience light snow during the short walk at Mount Cook.
 

angy

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Yes.. left Lake Tekapo around 9.30am, stop by Lake Pukaki before heading to Mount Cook..
Did a short walk from white horse hill and turn back because of time factor. The original plan was to stay at white horse hill campground for the night but my parents were reluctant after seeing the lack of facilities.

We reached Wanaka at around 5.30pm so there was stilll some light. Not exactly what I would have liked but sometimes hard to please everyone when traveling in a group. I would have stayed at Omamara if I did not think I could get to Wanaka before dark..

This is probably the only day i had to drive beyond 4 hours (with breaks of course). Not ideal and planned for but at least we got to experience light snow during the short walk at Mount Cook.

I thought the driver decides where to stay. hahahah. What a shame. White Horse Hill campground would have been nice for 1 night. No light pollution at night. Omamara would have been cool. Wanaka is too commercial. I pity you. You are the uber driver, no control of the destination, have to listen to parents, wifey and children.
 

klavier

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I thought the driver decides where to stay. hahahah. What a shame. White Horse Hill campground would have been nice for 1 night. No light pollution at night. Omamara would have been cool. Wanaka is too commercial. I pity you. You are the uber driver, no control of the destination, have to listen to parents, wifey and children.
To be fair my eldest kid would have love to stay at White Horse Hill.. Parents + wife were not keen.
Thankfully I still enjoyed the trip greatly. Most days were rather relaxed (did not plan much).. Seems like we spent alot of time looking at lakes and walking around quiet towns.

P.S. I did take a tour at the Royal Albatross Center which I believe you had recommended to others before. Quite informative and worth the effort to get there for those visiting Dunedin.
 

angy

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From Dunedin to the Royal Albatross Centre, hahaha, you will be on very tight and windy road along Port Chalmers close to the sea. I love the 3 metres wing span albatross. If I am not wrong, NZ is one of the main or key breeding ground for the Royal albatross. Chile is the other country. . Check out this interaction map

https://docnewzealand.shinyapps.io/albatrosstracker/Click on to the interactive map. You can how the NZ DOC track the bird flightpath.
 

klavier

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From Dunedin to the Royal Albatross Centre, hahaha, you will be on very tight and windy road along Port Chalmers close to the sea.

Yup I was surprised by the road. In fact one criticism of Google Maps was that it recommended me to go by the back way (uphill in the direction of sandfly bay) as there was some road works on the easier route. I ended up having to turn back towards Larnach Castle as there was a warning sign which discouraged heavy vehicles from continuing with the route.

Would have been better it google Maps include a function where we can mention we are driving a heavy vehicle (or maybe this feature already exist)..
 

snowcrabramyeon

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Stayed at holiday parks every night as it was rather cold. Overall campervan experience was better (and safer) than I thought. Only torture was walking from the camper to the 'facilities' at the different campsites but thats purely because I went during winter and also the need to plug in to power and clearing the waste every 2-3 days.
You used the toilet at the holiday park instead of your camper van despite the cold weather?
 

klavier

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You used the toilet at the holiday park instead of your camper van despite the cold weather?
Big business all at holiday parks.
Small business depends on individual. It made the clearing of waste easier..

We didn't shower at all in the camper.. Space was rather limited in the camper toilet. I always try to request for a parking slot near to the facilities. Hot showers at the holiday parks were actually quite good.

Also good to have some space to walk/sit around rather than just be confine to the campervan..
 

klavier

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angy

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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/sin...y-campervan-highway-accident-3-killed-3480496There's a quote in the above CNA news article on what NZ Transport Agency says.

That is a very sad article.
@emo_121, that campervan is around 4 tonne. By the time you add your own luggage, passengers, food, water and LPG gas, it will be easily 5 tonne. Imagine that is like driving an army truck.

of course NZTA said "Tourists who hold a ā€œfull overseas car licenceā€ can drive any vehicle weighing 6,000kg" but you have to remember, that with such a heavy weight, everything slows down. Turning right or left, slow down, acceleration slow down.

Just drive carefully, keep left, dont speed or overtake and you will be fine. Most important, if you are the nominated, chosen, and selected driver, remember that if you are tired, you stopped driving.
 

emo_121

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One thing to note, the usual travel insurance normally do not cover any damage to the campervan.

Best to either buy full insurance coverage from the campervan company or check with the travel insurer if this is important to the respective traveller.
Yes. Was planning to get full insurance from motorhome company. Is there such a thing as travel insurance also covers damage to vehicle? (Assume normal vehicle, will dig futher if theres such insurance for motorhome as well)
That is a very sad article.
@emo_121, that campervan is around 4 tonne. By the time you add your own luggage, passengers, food, water and LPG gas, it will be easily 5 tonne. Imagine that is like driving an army truck.

of course NZTA said "Tourists who hold a ā€œfull overseas car licenceā€ can drive any vehicle weighing 6,000kg" but you have to remember, that with such a heavy weight, everything slows down. Turning right or left, slow down, acceleration slow down.

Just drive carefully, keep left, dont speed or overtake and you will be fine. Most important, if you are the nominated, chosen, and selected driver, remember that if you are tired, you stopped driving.
Yeah, that is a very sad article. But driving at 1am should also not be attempted on a holiday.

I have experiences in 10ton trailer, 4ton veh and close to 200km/h (toyota hilux similar) on a pitch dark night after a very exhausting "camping". Should be a walk in the park for me. Just not sure not "legal" our license will be in NZ. I only have sg class 3 recognised.
 

klavier

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Yes. Was planning to get full insurance from motorhome company. Is there such a thing as travel insurance also covers damage to vehicle? (Assume normal vehicle, will dig futher if theres such insurance for motorhome as well)

Travel insurance (not all) usually covers vechicle excess. Needless to say, the higher the cover, the higher the excess coverage.
 

snowcrabramyeon

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