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Antihack1

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Hi guys! New here, would like to ask for some advice. I'm travelling to NZ, arriving 3rd of June and departing 15th of June. I know it's winter season, and I'm doing a self drive trip. No experience driving in ice/snow conditions, but never try will never have experience right? Would like to know roughly how much buffer time to add to a journey, as of course would drive slower when unsure (60km/h or less?) and assume never keep stopping to see scenery, and surely include like 15mins break every approx 2 hours drive. E.g. Christchurch to Hokitika is around 3 hours 20 mins drive on google maps, how much buffer should I add? 20%? 30%? Thanks in advance!
 

BlurKillerEX

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Hi guys! New here, would like to ask for some advice. I'm travelling to NZ, arriving 3rd of June and departing 15th of June. I know it's winter season, and I'm doing a self drive trip. No experience driving in ice/snow conditions, but never try will never have experience right? Would like to know roughly how much buffer time to add to a journey, as of course would drive slower when unsure (60km/h or less?) and assume never keep stopping to see scenery, and surely include like 15mins break every approx 2 hours drive. E.g. Christchurch to Hokitika is around 3 hours 20 mins drive on google maps, how much buffer should I add? 20%? 30%? Thanks in advance!

Hmm, maybe 10%? I don't think you'll need to drive that much slower. On clear days you can easily arrive 10-20% quicker than Google maps timing
 

keigo22

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Hi guys! New here, would like to ask for some advice. I'm travelling to NZ, arriving 3rd of June and departing 15th of June. I know it's winter season, and I'm doing a self drive trip. No experience driving in ice/snow conditions, but never try will never have experience right? Would like to know roughly how much buffer time to add to a journey, as of course would drive slower when unsure (60km/h or less?) and assume never keep stopping to see scenery, and surely include like 15mins break every approx 2 hours drive. E.g. Christchurch to Hokitika is around 3 hours 20 mins drive on google maps, how much buffer should I add? 20%? 30%? Thanks in advance!

1 to 15 June still don't have snow yet. Even got it is just a 1 day event. But do remember to rent snow chain for your car to play safe.

Winter the day is short so plan for late morning start around 9am to drive out and end your driving by 3~4pm.
 

Antihack1

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1 to 15 June still don't have snow yet. Even got it is just a 1 day event. But do remember to rent snow chain for your car to play safe.

Winter the day is short so plan for late morning start around 9am to drive out and end your driving by 3~4pm.

Thank you for the heads up. I have already included snow chains in my car rental. :) I'm not that worried about driving in pitch black darkness as I've done that often in other countries, my main concern would be ice/snow which I have not experienced before. I have some parts of the trip that I would have to leave earlier than 9am, like approximately 7am. I assume as long as not sure, just go slow?
 

keigo22

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Thank you for the heads up. I have already included snow chains in my car rental. :) I'm not that worried about driving in pitch black darkness as I've done that often in other countries, my main concern would be ice/snow which I have not experienced before. I have some parts of the trip that I would have to leave earlier than 9am, like approximately 7am. I assume as long as not sure, just go slow?

The reason I say don't drive before the sun is up and until the air is heat up is not because I worries for you to drive in pitch black darkness.

Cause during winter period there is something call black ice due to frosting. FYI, black ice you cannot tell by seeing cause it look the same like road, and if your car go over it. Bye bye.. enjoy your flight...:s13::s13:

Slow how slow is your slow? FYI with snow chain you can only drive 20~30km/h only. So you will drive at this speed early in the morning?

Tell me which area you want to drive at 7am and I can let you know it is safe or not.

O For all who is going during winter, prepare for plan B cause if Southerlies come with heavy snow, all the road will be close and you can be stuck. Also prepare food in your car at all time, there will be cases you are on the way when snow storm hit and you will be stuck on the road for the night and have to wait for rescue to come.

Should you really get stuck on the road and have to stay in the car for the night. Please off your car engine, take out all your cloths to cover yourself warm. Wind up all your car windows to keep inside warm. And when inside the car start to get too cold then on the car engine and turn on heater for half~an hour then off your car engine to preserve your petrol, cause the night will be very cold. I'm got into this kind of situation before, my car is always loaded with winter sleeping bag so not much of a problem for me.

Here is some fact news report
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9erEo1SqbZw
 
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Antihack1

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The reason I say don't drive before the sun is up and until the air is heat up is not because I worries for you to drive in pitch black darkness.

Cause during winter period there is something call black ice due to frosting. FYI, black ice you cannot tell by seeing cause it look the same like road, and if your car go over it. Bye bye.. enjoy your flight...:s13::s13:

Slow how slow is your slow? FYI with snow chain you can only drive 20~30km/h only. So you will drive at this speed early in the morning?

Tell me which area you want to drive at 7am and I can let you know it is safe or not.

O For all who is going during winter, prepare for plan B cause if Southerlies come with heavy snow, all the road will be close and you can be stuck. Also prepare food in your car at all time, there will be cases you are on the way when snow storm hit and you will be stuck on the road for the night and have to wait for rescue to come.

Should you really get stuck on the road and have to stay in the car for the night. Please off your car engine, take out all your cloths to cover yourself warm. Wind up all your car windows to keep inside warm. And when inside the car start to get too cold then on the car engine and turn on heater for half~an hour then off your car engine to preserve your petrol, cause the night will be very cold. I'm got into this kind of situation before, my car is always loaded with winter sleeping bag so not much of a problem for me.

Here is some fact news report
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9erEo1SqbZw

Thanks for the tips and advice.

Some of the areas are:
Hokitika to Franz Josef
FJ to Queenstown
Queenstown to Te Anau
Rest of the days are all after 9am+ 10am.

Also can I ask, snow chains (Excluding mandatory road requirements) only fitted when there is snow? Or as long as the roads are icy? Thanks!
 

keigo22

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Thanks for the tips and advice.

Some of the areas are:
Hokitika to Franz Josef
FJ to Queenstown
Queenstown to Te Anau
Rest of the days are all after 9am+ 10am.

Also can I ask, snow chains (Excluding mandatory road requirements) only fitted when there is snow? Or as long as the roads are icy? Thanks!

Seriously why the rush???? anyway you are only allow to fix the snow chain when the snow chain sign is put up. If you anyhow go and put snow chain you will be fine cause you are damaging the road.

Hokitika to Franz Josef -> from Hokitika is ok to drive early at 7am by the time you reach FJ base before going up the mountain should be 9am plus by then the road will be safe enough

FJ to Queenstown -> This one you are asking for death cause FJ to queenstown I believe you will go by crown range rd. These are mountain road, confirm cannot. if you need to drive so early. Drive off at 8am and start slow like 70~80km/hr until the air is warm enough

Queenstown to Te Anau -> which is highway 6 then to 97.. ya can case it is a flat boring drive. Nothing to see along the way. So if you can rest more and then drive out late and full speed (90+km/h) none stop still a safer option and along the way nothing to see one.
 
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Antihack1

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Seriously why the rush???? anyway you are only allow to fix the snow chain when the snow chain sign is put up. If you anyhow go and put snow chain you will be fine cause you are damaging the road.

Hokitika to Franz Josef -> from Hokitika is ok to drive early at 7am by the time you reach FJ base before going up the mountain should be 9am plus by then the road will be safe enough

FJ to Queenstown -> This one you are asking for death cause FJ to queenstown I believe you will go by crown range rd. These are mountain road, confirm cannot. if you need to drive so early. Drive off at 8am and start slow like 70~80km/hr until the air is warm enough

Queenstown to Te Anau -> which is highway 6 then to 97.. ya can case it is a flat boring drive. Nothing to see along the way. So if you can rest more and then drive out late and full speed (90+km/h) none stop still a safer option and along the way nothing to see one.

Ok, much thanks for all the helpful information. I am trying to pack some activities like the glacier helihike at 915am and a skydive later on in the day at Franz Josef. Packing some the activities early in the trip due to some personal reasons that will have to attend to at the last few days.

I will revise the journey from FJ to Queenstown, thank you!
 

n1ck88

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I am going South Islands in July (13 days) and in interest of time, was thinking of doing a day tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound instead of staying 2 nights at Te Anau. Can I get your help on:

a) What are the must-see/do things at Milford Sound?

b) Any recommended day-tour from Queenstown to MS?

Thanks!!
 

keigo22

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I am going South Islands in July (13 days) and in interest of time, was thinking of doing a day tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound instead of staying 2 nights at Te Anau. Can I get your help on:

a) What are the must-see/do things at Milford Sound?

b) Any recommended day-tour from Queenstown to MS?

Thanks!!

during winter I would also not recommend you to drive to Milford sound due to avalanches.

A day trip tour will be recommended also.Book via here http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/milford-sound-nature-cruises/

Go for Milford Sound Nature Cruises instead of another.. you will thanks me for that cause only local will go for this tour instead of Milford Sound Scenic Cruises which will jam pack with tourists.
 

n1ck88

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during winter I would also not recommend you to drive to Milford sound due to avalanches.

A day trip tour will be recommended also.Book via here http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/milford-sound-nature-cruises/

Go for Milford Sound Nature Cruises instead of another.. you will thanks me for that cause only local will go for this tour instead of Milford Sound Scenic Cruises which will jam pack with tourists.


Nice, thanks! Did u travel in winter too? Was the coach packed? Lastly, did they stop by mirror lakes?
 

keigo22

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Nice, thanks! Did u travel in winter too? Was the coach packed? Lastly, did they stop by mirror lakes?

Yes I travel all seasons... coach is pack enough and yes the coach is not just drive u direct to Milford sound only. From Queenstown u will stop a Te Annua, then along the way various stop that is place of interests including mirror lake.

If I'm not wrong there will be taxi service to fetch you from your hotel/motel to the coach in the morning and at night the coach will drop you off at our hotel/motel.

My advice you go New World the night before and buy food to pack for lunch so that you can eat the cruise. Else you buy their lunch set.
 

n1ck88

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My proposed itinerary

Thanks for the inputs so far (had combed through 90 pages 😩)

Here's my proposed itinerary for first two weeks of July (13 days)

Day 1: Collect campervan and set out to Lake Tekapo (~3.5 hours drive) and spend one night at a campsite/freedom ground. This is where I hope to do star gazing, southern lights(?) and church of good Shepard.

Day 2: Tekapo to Pukaki (~40 min drive). Swing by High Country Salmon and Twizel town for groceries (or is there a nearer one?). BBQ at Pukaki.

Day 3&4: Pukaki to Mt Cook (~40 min drive). Plan to do Hooker Valley track on first day and camp at Glentanner Park Centre or White HOrse Hill (any recommended ones?). I am thinking if i should spend 2 nights here and do Muller Hut. Otherwise, what else is there to do on 2nd night at Mt. Cook?

Day 5&6: Travel to Lake Wanaka and spend 2 nights in this area. Plan to do Blue Pools track and Rob Roy track in one day (is this too adventurous?). Second day plan to do Roys Peak trail and then perhaps visit Wanaka town. But not sure where to park campervan in Wanaka area yet.

Day 7: Wanaka to Queenstown, return campervan and check in hotel. I think I will rent a normal car for the 4 nights in Queenstown. Day 7 planning to just chill in city. Any recommended things to do otherwise? Perhaps track up Queenstown hill?

Day 8: Day trip to Milford Sound (taking the tour recommended by Keigo22).

Day 9: Drive to Glenorchy and explore the area.

Day 10: Do two bungees with Canyon Swing.

Day 11: Fly out from ZQN to CHC in the morning. And explore Christchurch .

Day 12&13: Explore Christchurch and depart back to SIN on Day 13 morning.

Hope to hear your thoughts and suggestions!!! Thank you and Happy Labor Day :)
 

keigo22

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Thanks for the inputs so far (had combed through 90 pages 😩)

Here's my proposed itinerary for first two weeks of July (13 days)

Day 1: Collect campervan and set out to Lake Tekapo (~3.5 hours drive) and spend one night at a campsite/freedom ground. This is where I hope to do star gazing, southern lights(?) and church of good Shepard.

Have to see the moon phase on that night. If full moon good luck.


Day 2: Tekapo to Pukaki (~40 min drive). Swing by High Country Salmon and Twizel town for groceries (or is there a nearer one?). BBQ at Pukaki.

Don't need you can go 4 square at Lake Tekapo to buy some groceries.

Day 3&4: Pukaki to Mt Cook (~40 min drive). Plan to do Hooker Valley track on first day and camp at Glentanner Park Centre or White HOrse Hill (any recommended ones?). I am thinking if i should spend 2 nights here and do Muller Hut. Otherwise, what else is there to do on 2nd night at Mt. Cook?

Mt Cook is also nice for star gazing. There are also other hiking track in Mt Cook, go visit the visitor centre at Mt Cook village.

Day 5&6: Travel to Lake Wanaka and spend 2 nights in this area. Plan to do Blue Pools track and Rob Roy track in one day (is this too adventurous?). Second day plan to do Roys Peak trail and then perhaps visit Wanaka town. But not sure where to park campervan in Wanaka area yet.

I don't do campervan so can't advice you.

Day 7: Wanaka to Queenstown, return campervan and check in hotel. I think I will rent a normal car for the 4 nights in Queenstown. Day 7 planning to just chill in city. Any recommended things to do otherwise? Perhaps track up Queenstown hill?

At queenstown you can go for horse riding at high country horse.

Day 8: Day trip to Milford Sound (taking the tour recommended by Keigo22).

Day 9: Drive to Glenorchy and explore the area.

Day 10: Do two bungees with Canyon Swing.

Day 11: Fly out from ZQN to CHC in the morning. And explore Christchurch .

Day 12&13: Explore Christchurch and depart back to SIN on Day 13 morning.

Hope to hear your thoughts and suggestions!!! Thank you and Happy Labor Day
 

mata_hippo

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Thanks for the inputs so far (had combed through 90 pages 😩)

Here's my proposed itinerary for first two weeks of July (13 days)

Day 1: Collect campervan and set out to Lake Tekapo (~3.5 hours drive) and spend one night at a campsite/freedom ground. This is where I hope to do star gazing, southern lights(?) and church of good Shepard.

Day 2: Tekapo to Pukaki (~40 min drive). Swing by High Country Salmon and Twizel town for groceries (or is there a nearer one?). BBQ at Pukaki.

Day 3&4: Pukaki to Mt Cook (~40 min drive). Plan to do Hooker Valley track on first day and camp at Glentanner Park Centre or White HOrse Hill (any recommended ones?). I am thinking if i should spend 2 nights here and do Muller Hut. Otherwise, what else is there to do on 2nd night at Mt. Cook?

Day 5&6: Travel to Lake Wanaka and spend 2 nights in this area. Plan to do Blue Pools track and Rob Roy track in one day (is this too adventurous?). Second day plan to do Roys Peak trail and then perhaps visit Wanaka town. But not sure where to park campervan in Wanaka area yet.

Day 7: Wanaka to Queenstown, return campervan and check in hotel. I think I will rent a normal car for the 4 nights in Queenstown. Day 7 planning to just chill in city. Any recommended things to do otherwise? Perhaps track up Queenstown hill?

Day 8: Day trip to Milford Sound (taking the tour recommended by Keigo22).

Day 9: Drive to Glenorchy and explore the area.

Day 10: Do two bungees with Canyon Swing.

Day 11: Fly out from ZQN to CHC in the morning. And explore Christchurch .

Day 12&13: Explore Christchurch and depart back to SIN on Day 13 morning.

Hope to hear your thoughts and suggestions!!! Thank you and Happy Labor Day :)

there's lots of holiday parks all over NZ for campervans... u can try googling nz top 10 holiday parks... it's rly the website name, not because they only have 10 to intro...

i think u can spend 1 less day in CC, fly out from queenstown only on day 12... CC rly has nth much one...

the extra day u can spend it in wanaka or queenstown... lots of nice trails u can do...
 

MaGixT

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Hi i have got 2 questions

1) i am travelling in first week of Nov. Is it safe to self drive to milford sounds or better to take a coach?

2) i saw one of the post in this thread suggesting to go anticlock wise so that the scenic view will be ahead of us. I will be travelling CHC>Dunedin>Caitlins>Te Anau>Queenstown>Wanaka>MountCook>CHC.
Is this route ok or will we be missing out those scenic views?
 

xorionn

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Milford sound raining tmr all day, not worth it to go if it's raining? Can't see much hmm
 

BlurKillerEX

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Milford sound raining tmr all day, not worth it to go if it's raining? Can't see much hmm

heard from many that rainy days are the best days to visit milford, all the waterfalls will be pouring and it'll be a sight to behold.
 

hawkwind

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Hi i have got 2 questions

1) i am travelling in first week of Nov. Is it safe to self drive to milford sounds or better to take a coach?

2) i saw one of the post in this thread suggesting to go anticlock wise so that the scenic view will be ahead of us. I will be travelling CHC>Dunedin>Caitlins>Te Anau>Queenstown>Wanaka>MountCook>CHC.
Is this route ok or will we be missing out those scenic views?

I was there in early Nov before. The roads should be clear of snow by then but check with your hotel or internet whether the Milford Rd is closed due to avalanche or if snow chains are needed.

I don't think it matters much which direction you travel. Dunedin and Catlins may not have so much mountains but the coastlines are wild and have a different appeal.
 

hawkwind

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Milford sound raining tmr all day, not worth it to go if it's raining? Can't see much hmm

I was told that the sounds area rains two out of three days so try your luck. I visited Doubtful on a rainy day and Milford on a sunny one. Each gives a different complexion which is worth experiencing. The only advice I can give is if you are planning to trek along Milford Rd on a rainy day, chances are the niews will be misted out.
 
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