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Old 27-06-2014, 05:09 PM   #436
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Ya mainly with regards to snow chains, black ice, all that. How does the handling of the car compare to roads here, for example.

I'm heading there next week for a semester, thinking of driving around to the nearer towns and sights
As long as you don't drive early in the morning i'm sure you will not have black ice problem. Its recommended to start your drive after 10am. Handling of car? The cars there should be exactly like here, same goes for the traffic rules.. We drove a huge 6 berth camper and have no problem at all. If you're driving around town only, I believe you will not need snow chains. Normally you'll need snow chains only at some passes... It really depends on where you're travelling. any plans yet?
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Old 27-06-2014, 06:01 PM   #437
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As long as you don't drive early in the morning i'm sure you will not have black ice problem. Its recommended to start your drive after 10am. Handling of car? The cars there should be exactly like here, same goes for the traffic rules.. We drove a huge 6 berth camper and have no problem at all. If you're driving around town only, I believe you will not need snow chains. Normally you'll need snow chains only at some passes... It really depends on where you're travelling. any plans yet?
What I meant was if braking all that will be affected by the condition of the roads during winter, but I suppose if no black ice should be fine since there won't really be snow right?

Will be staying in Wellington, probably will plan a drive up to Auckland by a coastal route, haven't really made fixed plans yet because we will be there for a few months haha.

Will be visiting South Island probably in spring (nov) so road conditions shouldn't be much of a problem by then?
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Old 27-06-2014, 07:06 PM   #438
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What I meant was if braking all that will be affected by the condition of the roads during winter, but I suppose if no black ice should be fine since there won't really be snow right?

Will be staying in Wellington, probably will plan a drive up to Auckland by a coastal route, haven't really made fixed plans yet because we will be there for a few months haha.

Will be visiting South Island probably in spring (nov) so road conditions shouldn't be much of a problem by then?

there is no snow in the north island. Or at least rarely. so driving in the north is not a prob.

Driving in the south during Spring still largely depends on the route you take!
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:24 PM   #439
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Hi,

We'll be going to explore North & South Islands soon .
Below is our self-drive itineraries, kindly give your criticisms/comments/suggestions

1) 26 Jul: Reach Auckland, stays 2 nights
2) 28 Jul: pick-up car, go Rotorua (Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton), stays 2 nights
3) 29 Jul: go Thermal Valley, try to visit Lake Taupo.
4) 30 Jul: (leave at 08:00?) drive back to Auckland, take 14:40 flight to Nelson. Pick-up car @Nelson Airport & stay 1 night.
5) 31 Jul: long drive to Frans Josef, stays 2 nights (heli ride)
6) 2 Aug: FJ to Q'town, stays 2 nights (gondola, jetboat, bungy, Coronet Peak)
7) 4 Aug: Q'town to Te Anau (drive to Milford Sound ?), stay 1 night.
8) 5 Aug: Te Anau to Dunedin (Monarch Widlife Cruises, Larnach Castle), stay 1 night
9) 6 Aug: Dunedin to Mt. Cook (Lake Tekapo, salmon ?), stay 1 night
10) 7 Aug: Mt. Cook to Christchurch, stay 2 nights.
Return car on the 8th.
11) 9 Aug: 06:30 flight to Sydney then to Sgp

Wondering....
- likelihood to use snow chain at areas from no.5 to no. 9 ?
- any road closure from FJ to Q'Town ? Or other places ?

Thanks!

Last edited by zoer; 02-07-2014 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:22 AM   #440
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Hi,

We'll be going to explore North & South Islands soon .
Below is our self-drive itineraries, kindly give your criticisms/comments/suggestions

1) 26 Jul: Reach Auckland, stays 2 nights
2) 28 Jul: pick-up car, go Rotorua (Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton), stays 2 nights
3) 29 Jul: go Thermal Valley, try to visit Lake Taupo.
4) 30 Jul: (leave at 08:00?) drive back to Auckland, take 14:40 flight to Nelson. Pick-up car @Nelson Airport & stay 1 night.
5) 31 Jul: long drive to Frans Josef, stays 2 nights (heli ride)
6) 2 Aug: FJ to Q'town, stays 2 nights (gondola, jetboat, bungy, Coronet Peak)
7) 4 Aug: Q'town to Te Anau (drive to Milford Sound ?), stay 1 night.
8) 5 Aug: Te Anau to Dunedin (Monarch Widlife Cruises, Larnach Castle), stay 1 night
9) 6 Aug: Dunedin to Mt. Cook (Lake Tekapo, salmon ?), stay 1 night
10) 7 Aug: Mt. Cook to Christchurch, stay 2 nights.
Return car on the 8th.
11) 9 Aug: 06:30 flight to Sydney then to Sgp

Wondering....
- likelihood to use snow chain at areas from no.5 to no. 9 ?
- any road closure from FJ to Q'Town ? Or other places ?

Thanks!
Hi seems like you've planned to do lots of driving. Remember that you'll have very little daylight during this time of the year... Do you really want to go Dunedin? It might be pretty tight, lots of driving, not much time for activities to do.... I went to mt cook from te anau for 1 night and stayed over at lake tekapo for another night before heading to CHC and i felt just nice..

Driving in NZ WILL take longer time than what google map says because of the winding roads and icy condition during winter.

You have a pretty good chance of using snow chains if you are driving up mt cook.. There will be some TP or sign by the road to tell you if you need snow chains or not. just follow the traffic rules and you'll be fine.

go to Latest highway conditions | NZ Transport Agency for latest update on any road closure.

NZ is the most beautiful place i've been to, it'll be really cold at this time. Enjoy!
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:27 AM   #441
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Please try not to self drive to milford... take up some day tour... just go google on how people get stuck in milford and they have to pay huge money to be transported out. nevertheless, milford is a MUST visit place in south island. i suggest 2 nights at te anau minimum.... first night is for you to drive there, another full day for milford tour. 3rd day drive out of te anau.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:47 AM   #442
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Can elaborate how do cars get trapped at Milford?

Below is my itinerary , please advice if this is feasible
1. Christchurch
2. Lake tekapo and mount cook. Stay at tekapo overnight
3. Wanaka. Stay at wanaka
4. Wanaka to te anau. stayed at te anau
5. Te anau to inverrcargill
6. Invercargill to queenstown
7. Queenstown to fox glacier via bus tour
8. Queenstown

I will be driving mostly and will return car on day 6.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:06 PM   #443
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Can elaborate how do cars get trapped at Milford?

Below is my itinerary , please advice if this is feasible
1. Christchurch
2. Lake tekapo and mount cook. Stay at tekapo overnight
3. Wanaka. Stay at wanaka
4. Wanaka to te anau. stayed at te anau
5. Te anau to inverrcargill
6. Invercargill to queenstown
7. Queenstown to fox glacier via bus tour
8. Queenstown

I will be driving mostly and will return car on day 6.
Its known that avalanche happens on milford road during winter. If you're "trapped" on the wrong side when it happens. you'll have to wait till the clear the roads which can take hours to days....
This is just one of the MANY MANY post about this. Milford Sound-Self drive vs coach tour - Milford Sound Forum - TripAdvisor

Same question, Do you really want to go inverrcargill?? It'll be a total detour from queenstown.. You won't have enough time to enjoy the activities.. If you just want to enjoy the scenery while driving then thats a different story. If not i suggest you scrap off inverrcargill and add one night to te anau and go for a full day tour with a company to milford.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:10 AM   #444
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Hi,

We'll be going to explore North & South Islands soon .
Below is our self-drive itineraries, kindly give your criticisms/comments/suggestions

1) 26 Jul: Reach Auckland, stays 2 nights
2) 28 Jul: pick-up car, go Rotorua (Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton), stays 2 nights
3) 29 Jul: go Thermal Valley, try to visit Lake Taupo.
4) 30 Jul: (leave at 08:00?) drive back to Auckland, take 14:40 flight to Nelson. Pick-up car @Nelson Airport & stay 1 night.
5) 31 Jul: long drive to Frans Josef, stays 2 nights (heli ride)
6) 2 Aug: FJ to Q'town, stays 2 nights (gondola, jetboat, bungy, Coronet Peak)
7) 4 Aug: Q'town to Te Anau (drive to Milford Sound ?), stay 1 night.
8) 5 Aug: Te Anau to Dunedin (Monarch Widlife Cruises, Larnach Castle), stay 1 night
9) 6 Aug: Dunedin to Mt. Cook (Lake Tekapo, salmon ?), stay 1 night
10) 7 Aug: Mt. Cook to Christchurch, stay 2 nights.
Return car on the 8th.
11) 9 Aug: 06:30 flight to Sydney then to Sgp

Wondering....
- likelihood to use snow chain at areas from no.5 to no. 9 ?
- any road closure from FJ to Q'Town ? Or other places ?

Thanks!
nelson to franz is a really long drive.
on google map it is about 6 hours drive, but honestly it will take way way way longer especially during winter. Also, during your drive, you would definitely want to stop to take a rest, pictures and there are several nice bush walks along the way. You might want to consider splitting the drive into 2 days, making a pit stop at hokitika.

when you drive from FJ to QT, take extreme care at hasst pass, do check for road closure every morning.

if you are driving to coronet peak, u will def need snow chains.

take a tour into milford sound, do not attempt to drive on your own, esp during winter.

i would also suggest

FJ - te anu - dunedin - QT -mt cook /tekapo - CC route
because driving on highway 8 is way more scenic than from dunedin - mt cook on highway 1.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:17 AM   #445
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Can elaborate how do cars get trapped at Milford?

Below is my itinerary , please advice if this is feasible
1. Christchurch
2. Lake tekapo and mount cook. Stay at tekapo overnight
3. Wanaka. Stay at wanaka
4. Wanaka to te anau. stayed at te anau
5. Te anau to inverrcargill
6. Invercargill to queenstown
7. Queenstown to fox glacier via bus tour
8. Queenstown

I will be driving mostly and will return car on day 6.
Which period are you going?
Have you planned out your activities?

I am not sure if you have put in the time for activities into consideration, because after deducting driving time, you don't have much to do anything.

for eg. you are going te anau to do what? You are not visiting milford sound?
-What will you be doing at invercargill? are you visiting bluff? taking a hike?
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:01 PM   #446
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,398
Anyone keen to get a used Vodafone Sim card (micro sim) for New Zealand , expiring 1st Sep?

2GB - left with 1.299GB
200 SMS - left with 191
$10 international call - Left with $10
etc....
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:45 AM   #447
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Posts: 220
Anyone keen to get a used Vodafone Sim card (micro sim) for New Zealand , expiring 1st Sep?

2GB - left with 1.299GB
200 SMS - left with 191
$10 international call - Left with $10
etc....
how much u selling it ?
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:42 PM   #448
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 57
Hi sellun,

Thanks for the valuable info.
We're now thinking of taking 1 day cruise at Doubtful Sound.
The pickup time from Te Anau is 8:45am & for the same cruise, I saw the pickup time from Q'town is 6:55am.

If I left Q'town at 6am to Te Anau, I should be in front of the pickup bus
The shorter day during winter, black-ice on road & road closures are few factors which I forgot to take note for my driving trip


Please try not to self drive to milford... take up some day tour... just go google on how people get stuck in milford and they have to pay huge money to be transported out. nevertheless, milford is a MUST visit place in south island. i suggest 2 nights at te anau minimum.... first night is for you to drive there, another full day for milford tour. 3rd day drive out of te anau.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:20 PM   #449
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nelson to franz is a really long drive.
on google map it is about 6 hours drive, but honestly it will take way way way longer especially during winter. Also, during your drive, you would definitely want to stop to take a rest, pictures and there are several nice bush walks along the way.
yeah... it IS a long drive. I allocate 8 hours here.
Upon reaching Nelson airport the day before at 4pm, I've no plan to go anywhere.
Pick the rental car up, go hotel+dinner then sleep.
Plan to leave Nelson at 6am. Drive slowly, maybe after 2-3hours can find some place to have breakfast. After breakfast, perhaps can drive slightly faster.
Won't go for bush walks, but will stop at nice sceneries & Hokitika, allocate all for 2hours.
Expected to reach FJ before 6pm.
Too optimistic ? :-)

You might want to consider splitting the drive into 2 days, making a pit stop at hokitika.
The plan is to stay 2 nights at FJ because of the long drive.
If we stayed at Hokitika, then stay 1 night at FJ ?

when you drive from FJ to QT, take extreme care at hasst pass, do check for road closure every morning.
I've subscribed to onthemove.govt.nz email alerts.
Once it's closed, I can only pray

if you are driving to coronet peak, u will def need snow chains.
Noted. Will ask car rental staff to show me how to install it.
Meanwhile, youtu.be/OeZYqwlgUUE

take a tour into milford sound, do not attempt to drive on your own, esp during winter.
May change to Doubtful Sound.

i would also suggest
FJ - te anu - dunedin - QT -mt cook /tekapo - CC route
because driving on highway 8 is way more scenic than from dunedin - mt cook on highway 1.
Update: Wahh.. just checked, FJ - TeAnau is a long drive

Last edited by zoer; 08-07-2014 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #450
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Hi sellun,

Thanks for the valuable info.
We're now thinking of taking 1 day cruise at Doubtful Sound.
The pickup time from Te Anau is 8:45am & for the same cruise, I saw the pickup time from Q'town is 6:55am.

If I left Q'town at 6am to Te Anau, I should be in front of the pickup bus
The shorter day during winter, black-ice on road & road closures are few factors which I forgot to take note for my driving trip
Hi. In your case, why don't you take up the package from QT instead of driving to Te Anau?? Why would you want to drive all the way up there for 1 night then back to dunedin??? (BTW there's no night life up @ te anau, especially during winter)

ANW I would not recommend you to leave town at 6am, the roads there DOES NOT have any lights and the sun rise is at like 7.30am?? It will be total darkness

Please don't compare youself and the bus there.. The bus drivers travel the same road several times everyday for however long they worked, they will know every single corner and rockfall area. You'll be driving in an unfamiliar place.. QT to te anau will be filled with winding roads + snow + ice? It would be very dangerous to travel if you add in the lack of light and racing against time factor.

NZ is a wonderful place to relax and take a break from our fast paced lifestyle. I would recommend you to take their coach service if possible and be the passenger to enjoy the wonderful view

Enjoy and travel safe!

P.S. I recommend milford over doubtful, you can google for alot of comparison in the net
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