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Old 09-01-2017, 09:37 AM   #946
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I and my wife spent two weeks on our first trip in NZ, particularly part of South Island and want to share here my thoughts and observations (which obviously could be subjective) to the audience.

Note: these notes are written from the perspective of budget oriented traveler who does his/her research and due diligence before travel and prefers to deals directly with service providers. If you only travel in Business class and stay 5* properties, or if you outsource all your travel worries to an TA - skip this, this posting is not for you. I'm sure your travel agent can find something 'Experience New Zealand in 10 days for just $15000 per person' - saw something like this at one glamour travel magazine.

So, the list:

Budget. Unless you are coming from Australia, or you are taking Antarctic/RTW cruise, NZ will be probably your most expensive vacation destination. As with every vacation, expenses are coming from five major categories - airfare, local transportation/logistics, lodging/accommodation, food and entertainment/extra stuff. Let me try to go with each category one by one:
Thank you for sharing..
When you mean "Unless you are coming from Australia", are you saying that the cost of travel in NZ is roughly similar to Australia?
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:38 PM   #947
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Thank you for sharing..
When you mean "Unless you are coming from Australia", are you saying that the cost of travel in NZ is roughly similar to Australia?
I meant flying to NZ from AU.

If you decide to travel/fly to AU from SIN, AU is cheaper than NZ by any means. At least you have an option to select from in terms of flights, while SIN-CHC is operated only by SQ.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:56 PM   #948
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hello guys... i've been to both north and south island during my uni exchange and done road trips in 2012...

now going back there again in october... dun mind seeing the same things again cuz the views/hikes are still worth the repeat trip...

"ace car rental" ok or not?

i jus did a simple comparison... add full excess... add gps... additional driver... etc...

hertz, avis and budget came up to be around 1.6-1.8k for about 2 weeks...

but ace only came up to 1.2k... zhun bo
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:26 AM   #949
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Hi Guys and girls,

I be travelling to NZ , northernisland on 1st week of March. Thought of sharing my itenary and would welcome if you can share your opinion or suggestion to make our trip better.

Bought an airticket from SG to auckland at 1288 per pax. (NOW they come out with second birthday sale, which only cost 980!!).
Reach auckland airport on 3rd March at ~1140pm
-Will check in a nearby hotel and have a quick rest.
-Next day i would be renting a motorhome at nearby hotel, Wilderness is the company.
- Will travel down south, towards Waitomo for black water rafting. Will probably have brunch at Huhu Cafe
-After waitomo, will drive towards Lake taupo for a stay over.
- Skydiving the next day. follow by exploring of town at lake taupo.
- Go for the Torigario Alphine crossing, which will most probably take a day. Stay over at lake taupo again.
So its gona be 3d2n at lake taupo
-Go for the huka fall jet before driving off to Rotorua.
-Probably stay there for 3d n. Will join Te puria tour, try the Rotura night market. And go for the Wai O tapu or Hells gate tour. If time permit, will go for wine tasting at the wineary near the skyline condola.
-Drive towards Hobbiton village on the 7th day. Before proceeding back to Auckland main city.
-Explore the city for 3d2n, and back to SG

Budget would be around 2.5k per pax for 2 person.

Any suggestion?
i might be wrong, but tongariro is quite popular, and i think they allow limited number of trampers a day, so you might have to book your slots.

auckland has night markets as well. rotorua's night market might be smaller and less diverse. as for wine-tasting, you could also consider waiheke island, which is i think a 30 min ferry ride from auckland ferry terminal.

what are you planning to do for 3d2n in auckland?
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:31 AM   #950
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Hey guys! Just booked my trip to Christchurch in late april to early May. Will be there for around 15 days. Got my airtix from Emirates for $900. Only downside is that its codeshared with Qantas but still its a good deal.

Any recommendations which company for car rental? There's 3 of us so i guess a normal sedan will do right?
3 of you, plus 15 days tour, means at least 3 medium sized luggages? a normal sedan boot could probably fit 2x, plus one in the back seat, which means you wont have much space to leave things hanging around might be a squeeze, but should be fine. if its cheap and affordable, can consider upgrading to a larger car just for comfort.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:37 AM   #951
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hello guys... i've been to both north and south island during my uni exchange and done road trips in 2012...

now going back there again in october... dun mind seeing the same things again cuz the views/hikes are still worth the repeat trip...

"ace car rental" ok or not?

i jus did a simple comparison... add full excess... add gps... additional driver... etc...

hertz, avis and budget came up to be around 1.6-1.8k for about 2 weeks...

but ace only came up to 1.2k... zhun bo
try shopping around more? check out apex, ezi, omega. some rental places have 1x free additional driver. gps, if you want, can buy a used one at the start of your trip, then sell again at the end. otherwise, i can sell mine to you. it's a little outdated though. but aiya, you do this, probably only save about nzd50.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:40 AM   #952
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Yup! Thinking whether we should drive or join a day tour
i guess the question would be - what do you want to do at or around kaikoura? the dolphin explorer has resumed operations, but they are now using 1 boat instead of 4; the other 3 boats are undergoing repairs.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:00 PM   #953
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try shopping around more? check out apex, ezi, omega. some rental places have 1x free additional driver. gps, if you want, can buy a used one at the start of your trip, then sell again at the end. otherwise, i can sell mine to you. it's a little outdated though. but aiya, you do this, probably only save about nzd50.
i was jus doing some simple searches to estimate budget necessary...

then saw the big price different so not sure if "ace" is good or not
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:08 PM   #954
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try shopping around more? check out apex, ezi, omega. some rental places have 1x free additional driver. gps, if you want, can buy a used one at the start of your trip, then sell again at the end. otherwise, i can sell mine to you. it's a little outdated though. but aiya, you do this, probably only save about nzd50.
i was jus doing some simple searches to estimate budget necessary...

then saw the big price different so not sure if "ace" is good or not
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:37 PM   #955
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hello guys... i've been to both north and south island during my uni exchange and done road trips in 2012...

now going back there again in october... dun mind seeing the same things again cuz the views/hikes are still worth the repeat trip...

"ace car rental" ok or not?

i jus did a simple comparison... add full excess... add gps... additional driver... etc...

hertz, avis and budget came up to be around 1.6-1.8k for about 2 weeks...

but ace only came up to 1.2k... zhun bo
I would get a local tourist sim card that comes with 3GB data and use waze or google map instead of GPS. The rental for gps will be very expensive, easily cost more than the price of buying a brand new gps for 2 weeks rental.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:19 PM   #956
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hello guys... i've been to both north and south island during my uni exchange and done road trips in 2012...

now going back there again in october... dun mind seeing the same things again cuz the views/hikes are still worth the repeat trip...

"ace car rental" ok or not?

i jus did a simple comparison... add full excess... add gps... additional driver... etc...

hertz, avis and budget came up to be around 1.6-1.8k for about 2 weeks...

but ace only came up to 1.2k... zhun bo
I used Go Rentals on my last trip and booked a year old car which turned out to be in excellent condition. Generally, you pay less for older cars, so you get what you pay for.

For GPS, just download all the areas you are visiting onto your tablet or phone, its more than enough to get you around. Best to save all the places you want to stay/visit first before downloading.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:01 PM   #957
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thanks for the replies... actually the gps isn't my concern whether got or not

i was jus doing a simple comparison among the companies then wonder why ace is so much cheaper... any catch?
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:01 AM   #958
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thanks for the replies... actually the gps isn't my concern whether got or not

i was jus doing a simple comparison among the companies then wonder why ace is so much cheaper... any catch?
Would suggest you go TripAdvisor forum and search. As I've seen both good and bad reviews about them.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:53 PM   #959
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ACE Rental Cars

Let me step in here. Returned last week from South Island and rented 5 y/o economy car from ACE Rental cars for 15 days.

In short - you will be fine. You just get what you paid for. However I do not recommend to rent 10 year old car with 200k km on odometer, but getting 5 y/o car for cost savings is fine.

Our had 94000 km already on odometer and considering that it had few dents/scratches (which was all documented before we drove off), was slightly underpowered (hey, it is Economy car) and fre things were rattling inside (again, understandable because it has 94k km and 5 y/o) - I paid $540 for 15 days. Plus $390 for petrol driving about 3100 km (and got one speeding ticket). Hertz, at the same time wanted $1400 for the same type of car/days, so for me decision was no brainer.

Renting separate GPS does not make any sense. Just download offline Google maps in your phone - I covered whole South Island and it took no more than 300MB storage on the phone. Get 12V car charger which supports 2Amp, get air vent phone holder and you are fine. Google Maps continue giving voice instructions even there is no cell phone signal/offline.

Regarding mobile data. It is not cheap in NZ and I would not recommend getting Tourist SIM with 3GB of data which ripoff at $89 sticker price. Instead get Spark's SIM with 1GB of data which would cost $24. Spark is good because at most places/towns they have free wifi coverage at their phone booth which were converted to provide wifi coverage. And at most places my phone, while on roaming was picking up Spark's signal, not Vodaphone.

Last edited by invisible999; 12-01-2017 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:59 PM   #960
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3 of you, plus 15 days tour, means at least 3 medium sized luggages? a normal sedan boot could probably fit 2x, plus one in the back seat, which means you wont have much space to leave things hanging around might be a squeeze, but should be fine. if its cheap and affordable, can consider upgrading to a larger car just for comfort.
good point about the bags since all of us will be carrying our backpacks. looking at the prices. we likely going to get a corolla from apex.
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