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Old 01-04-2016, 07:51 AM   #751
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Hi all,

Planning a holiday to New Zealand in coming May. We have 11 actual days and wanted to stay in caravan/motorhome all the way.

South or North? I've seen most of the post are for south, is north not as nice? (Really like Hobbiton)

Is it a must to camp at a camp site at night even if I have a self sufficient motorhome? Do I need to pre book all the site? The thing is there are so many of them and its really hard to pick a few to book for the 11 days.

What are some must go places or must do activities that you would recomend for a family of 3? (incl a 2.5 years old son)

Thanks in advance!
South because of lesser crowd, more beautiful natural scenery. North because of culture and LOTR places.
You can just alternately switch camp site (free, sleep in the wild, in beautiful places) camper van park (charge battery, fill water, pour waste, buy things). However I don't recommend doing big business in the van.. Your son don't know can tarhan anot.

I would definitely recommend doing camping, BBQ in the middle of nowhere, wake up to beautiful scenery. Just exploring the nice sceneries. Then take up adventure tours at Queenstown.

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Old 01-04-2016, 07:53 AM   #752
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No, you dont have to book in advance if you're parking in camper van parks. That's one advantage of living in camper van, lots of last minute decision. Can't drive enough to reach next destination? Change of plan and find nearest campsite to camp out.

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Old 07-04-2016, 06:02 PM   #753
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Hi all,

I have booked a campervan for my upcoming trip for 11 days this coming end April and early May.
I have worked out the skeleton of my itinerary but it looks a bit tight (to me) and this is the first time we are doing a road trip.

If there are any suggestions on what I should leave out or locations I have missed, I would be most grateful.

I'm thinking if I should skip Franz Josef / Fox Glacier altogether since its a big route and possibly due to weather we may not be able to enjoy that area to the fullest. If I do take them out, where should I go for the 3 days?

Day 1: 24 April - Touchdown at Christchurch, collect campervan. Go stock up on groceries at supermarket. Off to Arthur's pass and spend the night at Hokitika.
Day 2: 25 April - Hokitika to Franz Josef (Heli-ride) then to Fox Glacier (Walk at Lake Matheson). Spend night at Fox Glacier
Day 3: 26 April - Fox Glacier to Haast Pass to Wanaka. Spend night at Wanaka
Day 4: 27 April - Wanaka to Te Anau. Spend night at Te Anau
Day 5: 28 April - Te Anau to Milford Sound. Day trip via coach/cruise. Spend night at Te Anau.
Day 6: 29 April - Te Anau to Queenstown. Spend night at Queenstown.
Day 7: 30 April - Queenstown to Lake Pukaki. Spend night at Lake Pukaki?
Day 8: 1 May - Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. Spend night at Lake Tekapo
Day 9: 2 May - Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook (Aoraki?). Spend night at Mount Cook area?
Day 10: 3 May - Mount Cook - Christchurch. Spend night at Christchurch.
Day 11: 4 May - Return vehicle and back to SG

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:47 PM   #754
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Personally I would prefer you spend at least 2 nights at Queenstown and Tekapo each.

Depending on your flight timing, you can forgo the last night in Christchurch and spend more time in the other locations.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:58 AM   #755
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I have spent one night at tekapo and one night on mt cook at a campsite call white knight something something. The night at Mt cook was awesome. If you are sure you want to skip then you won't go wrong staying longer in Queenstown. I would suggest stopping your trip in Queenstown and fly domestic back to chc for your flight home to avoid coming back the same way.

I've did the same route as you for 10d9n and it was I little packed indeed but very enjoyable overall

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Old 08-04-2016, 08:02 AM   #756
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You may want to take note after you collected your van on the first day it might be noon already. And the sun sets like 5pm? There's a great campervan near arthurs pass. Always have a backup camp site as it's not safe to drive at night with the lack of lightings. Same for your day 4, it's a very long drive

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Old 08-04-2016, 10:13 AM   #757
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Thanks for all your replies.

Personally I would prefer you spend at least 2 nights at Queenstown and Tekapo each.

Depending on your flight timing, you can forgo the last night in Christchurch and spend more time in the other locations.
Unfortunately, my flight is at 1050am. No choice but to spend at Christchurch area.

I have spent one night at tekapo and one night on mt cook at a campsite call white knight something something. The night at Mt cook was awesome. If you are sure you want to skip then you won't go wrong staying longer in Queenstown. I would suggest stopping your trip in Queenstown and fly domestic back to chc for your flight home to avoid coming back the same way.

I've did the same route as you for 10d9n and it was I little packed indeed but very enjoyable overall
Yah, my first day is my biggest worry. We land at 930am, conservatively after we clear customs etc. We should reach the campervan depot by 11am. 1 hr for briefing then another hr for buying stuff.

So technically by the time we set off and start serious driving should be at 1pm. By the time we reach Arthur's Pass also probably 3-330pm. Factor in say 1 hour to sightsee a while then by the time we set off to Hokitika will be 430pm.

I have checked the sunrise/sunset timing. The sun sets at 530pm throughout my trip.

Cutting a bit close I feel.

That's the reason why I was thinking to just skip the entire Hokitika/Franz Josef route.

If I camp at Arthur's pass and push back everything, am I able to do the same route? Or I would need to forgo a location?

I wish I had the hindsight to book a longer trip cause when I booked my tickets, I only did very brief research on South Islands and most itineraries online does it in 10 days.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #758
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Queenstown is for adventure sports right? We are not that into it, probably just going for bungee jump and paragliding only. Is there other things to do at Queenstown. I think I came across a Onsen Hot Pools (or something like that) in my research. Anyone went before?
Luge ride, Fergburger and Patagonia chocolate

Second jump on the same day at Kawarau bridge is discounted. Can jump twice if you like.

You can also explored the nearby Arrowtown. There's a bakery called Arrowtown Bakery that sells nice pies.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:29 PM   #759
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Hmm what do you prefer?sightseeing? Hikes?

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Old 08-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #760
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Luge ride, Fergburger and Patagonia chocolate

Second jump on the same day at Kawarau bridge is discounted. Can jump twice if you like.

You can also explored the nearby Arrowtown. There's a bakery called Arrowtown Bakery that sells nice pies.
Oh ok. Good idea. Explore the food stuff.

Hmm what do you prefer?sightseeing? Hikes?
More of sightseeing. Hikes minimal.
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Old 15-04-2016, 09:28 AM   #761
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hi all,
pls help me see if this itinerary is doable, we are traveling in a group of 9 and intend to do a campervan + some airbnb stay (maybe during Queenstown)

31 Aug (day 1) – Reach Christchurch @ 0930hrs
Collect vehicle/campervan, buy groceries, drive to Arthur’s Pass
Stay at Jackson’s camperpark

1 Sep (day 2) – Drive to Greymouth/ Hokitka
Blackwater cave tubing and Zipline Adventure

2 Sep (day 3) – Drive to Fox and Franz Glaciers
Heli ride along Franz, glacier walk at Fox

3 Sep (day 4) – Brucebay/Haast, then to Wanaka
Cardrona alpine

4 Sep (day 5) – Drive to Queenstown

5 Sep (day 6) – Queenstown

6 Sep (day 7) – Queenstown/ Te Anau

7 Sep (day 8) – Milford Sound
Take river cruise or kayaking with rosco

8 Sep (day 9) – Drive to Mt Cook
Heli skiing, heli hiking
Boat trips to Tasman (largest glacier)
hooker's valley track (3-4hrs trek)

9 Sep (day 10) – Drive to Lake Tekapo
Earth and Sky Tour

10 Sep (day 11) – Drive to Christchurch
Skiing at mt hutt/porter ski, kaikoura if possible

11 Sep (day 12) – 1050hrs Flight back SG

couple of qns to ask the experts here
1. is this anti clockwise direction of travel ok?
2. we were intending to rent a 6 berth and 4 berth campervan (any recommended rental companies?) throughout the journey, would it be convenient? like parking, driving around in town etc.
3. read this thread that it is more advisable to take a bus tour to Milford Sound instead? So i can say that driving our campervan up would be difficult?
4. how would the weather be like during that time (31aug-11sep)?
5. no one mention of visiting the Premium Outlet at Queenstown. Is it worth going?

thx in advance!

Last edited by vtecXx; 15-04-2016 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 16-04-2016, 09:45 PM   #762
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pls help me take a look as it is my 1st trip to South island!
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Old 16-04-2016, 11:13 PM   #763
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hi all,
pls help me see if this itinerary is doable, we are traveling in a group of 9 and intend to do a campervan + some airbnb stay (maybe during Queenstown)

31 Aug (day 1) – Reach Christchurch @ 0930hrs
Collect vehicle/campervan, buy groceries, drive to Arthur’s Pass
Stay at Jackson’s camperpark

1 Sep (day 2) – Drive to Greymouth/ Hokitka
Blackwater cave tubing and Zipline Adventure

2 Sep (day 3) – Drive to Fox and Franz Glaciers
Heli ride along Franz, glacier walk at Fox

3 Sep (day 4) – Brucebay/Haast, then to Wanaka
Cardrona alpine

4 Sep (day 5) – Drive to Queenstown

5 Sep (day 6) – Queenstown

6 Sep (day 7) – Queenstown/ Te Anau

7 Sep (day 8) – Milford Sound
Take river cruise or kayaking with rosco

8 Sep (day 9) – Drive to Mt Cook
Heli skiing, heli hiking
Boat trips to Tasman (largest glacier)
hooker's valley track (3-4hrs trek)

9 Sep (day 10) – Drive to Lake Tekapo
Earth and Sky Tour

10 Sep (day 11) – Drive to Christchurch
Skiing at mt hutt/porter ski, kaikoura if possible

11 Sep (day 12) – 1050hrs Flight back SG

couple of qns to ask the experts here
1. is this anti clockwise direction of travel ok?
2. we were intending to rent a 6 berth and 4 berth campervan (any recommended rental companies?) throughout the journey, would it be convenient? like parking, driving around in town etc.
3. read this thread that it is more advisable to take a bus tour to Milford Sound instead? So i can say that driving our campervan up would be difficult?
4. how would the weather be like during that time (31aug-11sep)?
5. no one mention of visiting the Premium Outlet at Queenstown. Is it worth going?

thx in advance!
Your day 2 is too tight, won't have time for two activities, day 9 is a crazy long distance drive I don't know how you still have time to do anything.
1) direction is fine, normal.
2) recommend KEA, driving and parking very convenient
3) yes, just take up a tour. You can google and lots of people giving reason why.
Suggest you not to pack long drive + activity on the same day. If you want to do activity, stay for a night. You're traveling in a group of 9, 2 vans. You won't be travelling fast

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Old 17-04-2016, 10:38 PM   #764
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Your day 2 is too tight, won't have time for two activities, day 9 is a crazy long distance drive I don't know how you still have time to do anything.
1) direction is fine, normal.
2) recommend KEA, driving and parking very convenient
3) yes, just take up a tour. You can google and lots of people giving reason why.
Suggest you not to pack long drive + activity on the same day. If you want to do activity, stay for a night. You're traveling in a group of 9, 2 vans. You won't be travelling fast
Second KEA! They really were all-inclusive, no gimmicks: we scratched the side of the van onto a wooden panel. It was quite bad, and we had to use duct tape to hold it together temporarily. During return, just had to give details and a report on the incident, with no other payment or delays required. Very friendly people there and the restrooms at the office had very clean shower rooms with good water pressure and hot water.

KEA is a premium company compared to other rental coys who provide cheaper rates, but totally no regrets paying a bit more to get peace of mind.
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Old 17-04-2016, 10:41 PM   #765
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Second KEA! They really were all-inclusive, no gimmicks: we scratched the side of the van onto a wooden panel. It was quite bad, and we had to use duct tape to hold it together temporarily. During return, just had to give details and a report on the incident, with no other payment or delays required. Very friendly people there and the restrooms at the office had very clean shower rooms with good water pressure and hot water.

KEA is a premium company compared to other rental coys who provide cheaper rates, but totally no regrets paying a bit more to get peace of mind.
Hi, just to check with you, kea has already merged with maui? I did a search on kea campervan, and it redirect to this site: http://www.maui.co.nz/

And did u purchase the insurance coverage?
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