HWZ Forums

Login Register FAQ Mark Forums Read

Back from South island New Zealand

Like Tree220Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 19-09-2017, 08:08 PM   #1741
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 516
What is the FB page of the NZ South Island transport authority?
Just came back from 17 days in the North and South island. Started driving from Auckland, with Queenstown as the final destination.

Some thoughts:

Driving in New Zealand, to be honest, is not difficult. The areas where you can and cannot overtake are clearly marked out.

It's true that there's less traffic at night, but in my opinion, it's not different from how there's less traffic at night in the rural areas of America/Eastern Europe. Didn't stop me from driving, but I limited my night time driving as far as possible, i.e. 2 hours max. The universal safety rules apply: (i) drive to the conditions, go below the speed limit where necessary, e.g. when its raining, (ii) don't drive at night when the temperature drops below freezing, especially at altitude when there might be ice on the road. I followed the NZ South Island transport authority's facebook page religiously, and their updates on road closures and iced/snowed roads were very frequent and accurate.

Am thankful I took the advice from the guys in this forum to just book a coach day trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown instead of driving. It wouldn't have been worth driving 4 hours there and 4 hours back. Paid nzd 70 bucks per pax for the coach by booking early on bookme.co.nz, which included the cost of cruise tickets and a light fish & chips lunch. If I had driven, I think petrol alone would have costed me $80-ish?

Hiking Roy's Peak is worth the pain. Started the trail at 4am, and caught the sunrise at 7am.

I stopped by Arrowtown when driving between Wanaka and Queenstown. There are pharmacies in all 3 towns, but there were significant price markups in Queenstown and Wanaka, compared to Arrowtown. Maybe because Queenstown and Wanaka are more touristy? E.g. the same tube of Lanolin hand cream costed 8 bucks in Arrowtown, and 12 bucks in Queenstown and Wanaka. These were non-promotion prices. Manuka honey was cheaper in the Arrowtown pharmacy too. But if you aren't picky about brand, by far, the cheapest Manuka honey I found was in Queenstown airport, air-side. Cuz of gst waiver and buy 4 get 2 free promotion.
jc777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2017, 08:37 PM   #1742
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 67
What is the FB page of the NZ South Island transport authority?
https://www.facebook.com/nztasouthisland

Some common roads you might be interested in are: Haast Pass if you are driving between the West Coast and Wanaka, Lindis Pass if driving between Tekapo/Mt Cook and Queenstown/Wanaka, and Arthur's Pass if driving between Christchurch/Tekapo/Mt Cook and the West Coast.

I found Google Maps timings to be very accurate. No need to purchase gps from the car rental companies. Just make sure you download offline maps as reception can be very spotty between towns. Useful to buffer extra time for rest stops and photo-taking, especially if you are driving in good weather.

The North island is much easier to drive than the South. And the ferry crossing from North to South was quite pleasant. My car rental company covered the cost of the ferry for the car so we chose not to fly between the islands. This also gave us the opportunity to explore Wellington, the capital city.
darklighter likes this.
yxerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2017, 09:03 PM   #1743
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
evilerniex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17,235
Just came back from 17 days in the North and South island. Started driving from Auckland, with Queenstown as the final destination.

Some thoughts:

Driving in New Zealand, to be honest, is not difficult. The areas where you can and cannot overtake are clearly marked out.

It's true that there's less traffic at night, but in my opinion, it's not different from how there's less traffic at night in the rural areas of America/Eastern Europe. Didn't stop me from driving, but I limited my night time driving as far as possible, i.e. 2 hours max. The universal safety rules apply: (i) drive to the conditions, go below the speed limit where necessary, e.g. when its raining, (ii) don't drive at night when the temperature drops below freezing, especially at altitude when there might be ice on the road. I followed the NZ South Island transport authority's facebook page religiously, and their updates on road closures and iced/snowed roads were very frequent and accurate.

Am thankful I took the advice from the guys in this forum to just book a coach day trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown instead of driving. It wouldn't have been worth driving 4 hours there and 4 hours back. Paid nzd 70 bucks per pax for the coach by booking early on bookme.co.nz, which included the cost of cruise tickets and a light fish & chips lunch. If I had driven, I think petrol alone would have costed me $80-ish?

Hiking Roy's Peak is worth the pain. Started the trail at 4am, and caught the sunrise at 7am.

I stopped by Arrowtown when driving between Wanaka and Queenstown. There are pharmacies in all 3 towns, but there were significant price markups in Queenstown and Wanaka, compared to Arrowtown. Maybe because Queenstown and Wanaka are more touristy? E.g. the same tube of Lanolin hand cream costed 8 bucks in Arrowtown, and 12 bucks in Queenstown and Wanaka. These were non-promotion prices. Manuka honey was cheaper in the Arrowtown pharmacy too. But if you aren't picky about brand, by far, the cheapest Manuka honey I found was in Queenstown airport, air-side. Cuz of gst waiver and buy 4 get 2 free promotion.
Wat is the issue with driving to milford sound? I am driving from te anau to milford sound.. Shld i take coach instead?

Anything to look out for when driving in nz?

Thanks
evilerniex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2017, 10:11 PM   #1744
Greater Supremacy Member
 
mata_hippo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 86,071
driving to milford sound from te anau is fine... the road is quite ok...

jus need to be more careful after the tunnel through the mountains, from the exit onwards downhill it can get quite wet and misty depending on the weather

if u r thinking of going to milford sound from queenstown, better to jus spend the night at te anau and continue the next morning...
mata_hippo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2017, 11:48 PM   #1745
Great Supremacy Member
 
BlackCube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 68,091
Just came back from 17 days in the North and South island. Started driving from Auckland, with Queenstown as the final destination.

Some thoughts:

Driving in New Zealand, to be honest, is not difficult. The areas where you can and cannot overtake are clearly marked out.

It's true that there's less traffic at night, but in my opinion, it's not different from how there's less traffic at night in the rural areas of America/Eastern Europe. Didn't stop me from driving, but I limited my night time driving as far as possible, i.e. 2 hours max. The universal safety rules apply: (i) drive to the conditions, go below the speed limit where necessary, e.g. when its raining, (ii) don't drive at night when the temperature drops below freezing, especially at altitude when there might be ice on the road. I followed the NZ South Island transport authority's facebook page religiously, and their updates on road closures and iced/snowed roads were very frequent and accurate.

Am thankful I took the advice from the guys in this forum to just book a coach day trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown instead of driving. It wouldn't have been worth driving 4 hours there and 4 hours back. Paid nzd 70 bucks per pax for the coach by booking early on bookme.co.nz, which included the cost of cruise tickets and a light fish & chips lunch. If I had driven, I think petrol alone would have costed me $80-ish?

Hiking Roy's Peak is worth the pain. Started the trail at 4am, and caught the sunrise at 7am.

I stopped by Arrowtown when driving between Wanaka and Queenstown. There are pharmacies in all 3 towns, but there were significant price markups in Queenstown and Wanaka, compared to Arrowtown. Maybe because Queenstown and Wanaka are more touristy? E.g. the same tube of Lanolin hand cream costed 8 bucks in Arrowtown, and 12 bucks in Queenstown and Wanaka. These were non-promotion prices. Manuka honey was cheaper in the Arrowtown pharmacy too. But if you aren't picky about brand, by far, the cheapest Manuka honey I found was in Queenstown airport, air-side. Cuz of gst waiver and buy 4 get 2 free promotion.
What car rental company did u go for? How much was it? Is the petrol cost the same as sg? Their petrol station is self help one or got counter to make payment? Use cc need to have the 4 digit PIN kind?
BlackCube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2017, 11:57 PM   #1746
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,399
Wat is the issue with driving to milford sound? I am driving from te anau to milford sound.. Shld i take coach instead?

Anything to look out for when driving in nz?

Thanks
The Milford Road can pose driving problems during winter months like snow and landslides when the road can be closed to cars. There is a website that updates the status and you should check that before travellling.
hawkwind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 12:12 AM   #1747
Master Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,884
evilerneix never heard of the word avalanche?

The Milford Road can pose driving problems during winter months like snow and landslides when the road can be closed to cars. There is a website that updates the status and you should check that before travellling.
__________________
[SIZE=1]As In Music, As In Life[/SIZE]
WWH123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 07:35 AM   #1748
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
evilerniex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17,235
evilerneix never heard of the word avalanche?
I am traveling in November, still got chance of avalanche?
evilerniex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 07:36 AM   #1749
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
evilerniex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17,235
The Milford Road can pose driving problems during winter months like snow and landslides when the road can be closed to cars. There is a website that updates the status and you should check that before travellling.
Thanks.. Will check out the website
evilerniex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 07:40 AM   #1750
Arch-Supremacy Member
 
evilerniex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17,235
driving to milford sound from te anau is fine... the road is quite ok...

jus need to be more careful after the tunnel through the mountains, from the exit onwards downhill it can get quite wet and misty depending on the weather

if u r thinking of going to milford sound from queenstown, better to jus spend the night at te anau and continue the next morning...
I am planning to drive to and from te anau. Catered a whole day for milford sound. Will take it easy with the driving
evilerniex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 08:14 AM   #1751
Supremacy Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8,520
I'm planning to do day trip from Queenstown to Milford South. Anyone done that before by driving?
ineser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 08:16 AM   #1752
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 67
Wat is the issue with driving to milford sound? I am driving from te anau to milford sound.. Shld i take coach instead?

Anything to look out for when driving in nz?

Thanks
I went in September which is already spring, but there was still snow and ice on the road. The road was actually closed for 3 days before my day trip as they were trying to clear the snow. November should be less risky? But it rains 3 out of 4 days in Milford sound, so you should be prepared to drive in rainy conditions anyway.

Personally, I was happy to just sit in a coach and take a break from driving. It's 8 hours of driving in total from Queenstown. I did my sums and estimated the cost of petrol and figured I save money by taking coach so that's what I did in the end.
yxerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 08:22 AM   #1753
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 67
What car rental company did u go for? How much was it? Is the petrol cost the same as sg? Their petrol station is self help one or got counter to make payment? Use cc need to have the 4 digit PIN kind?
About car rental. They seem to be a sister company of apex rental. I had no issues dropping off my car after hours at Queenstown airport as their depot is just 5 mins walk from the airport terminal. You can get a quote from their website. The free ferry crossing should show up automatically in the quote. You still have to buy passenger tickets for yourself though. But all in, should be cheaper than flying. I don't think I lost any time actually.. Driving back to Auckland and flying to Christchurch takes up time too, and you miss out on Wellington and the ferry crossing.

I paid for petrol using both cash and credit card. Didn't need pin. But I did activate my card for overseas use.

In general, petrol prices in the south are about the same as sg's? And roughly about 30 cents per litre cheaper in the North island. I regret not pumping full tank before crossing over to the south.

Last edited by yxerin; 20-09-2017 at 08:25 AM..
yxerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 08:48 AM   #1754
Great Supremacy Member
 
BlackCube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 68,091
About car rental. They seem to be a sister company of apex rental. I had no issues dropping off my car after hours at Queenstown airport as their depot is just 5 mins walk from the airport terminal. You can get a quote from their website. The free ferry crossing should show up automatically in the quote. You still have to buy passenger tickets for yourself though. But all in, should be cheaper than flying. I don't think I lost any time actually.. Driving back to Auckland and flying to Christchurch takes up time too, and you miss out on Wellington and the ferry crossing.

I paid for petrol using both cash and credit card. Didn't need pin. But I did activate my card for overseas use.

In general, petrol prices in the south are about the same as sg's? And roughly about 30 cents per litre cheaper in the North island. I regret not pumping full tank before crossing over to the south.
So check on apex website? Or what's the sister company is that?

Anyway. What's the daily expenses there ah? Exclude those activities like heli or ski dive etc.
BlackCube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2017, 08:49 AM   #1755
Great Supremacy Member
 
BlackCube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 68,091
I am traveling in November, still got chance of avalanche?
What date you travelling?
BlackCube is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Important Forum Advisory Note
This forum is moderated by volunteer moderators who will react only to members' feedback on posts. Moderators are not employees or representatives of HWZ. Forum members and moderators are responsible for their own posts.

Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On