New Zealand - The more I look the more I need - Help!
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Sep 29, 2012 2:23 AM Last Post By: neverwinter
Sep 23, 2012 6:16 AM
New Zealand - The more I look the more I need - Help!Hi
Any help and advice would be greatly received, as don't know the best solutions!!
Already have flights booked to Auckland from UK 12th January 2013 return 31st Jan. Have family in Hamilton so need to spend some time and had planned to stay in NI with a few places of interest, BOI, Hobbitron and Rotorua to see. However having looked into more details, Milford Sounds in SI look amazing, problem being such high extra costs for flight to SI. Have a rough itinerary and ?£ below, and hints and tips would be great;
Land 14/01 hire car - Apex for 15 days approx £322 go to Hamilton stay with family
15/01 - throw away day after long haul travel
16/01 - visit Rotorua on a day trip - £240 entry to thermal region
17/01 - day trip Hobbtron - £132 entry
18/01 - travel BOI - £153 (3 nights accommodation although will see about cost for only 2 nights but with them split as plan over night cruise in between)
19/01 - over night cruise
20/01 - 90 mile beach/ forest walks
21/01 return to Hamilton
22/01 fly Queenstown (again will need to look at varying car hire as will need it in 2 separate regions) - £675 for return flights, estimated £200 2 nights accommodation
23/01 - visit Milford Sounds poss boat cruise (day) £80
24/01 - fly back to Hamilton
25/01 - 28/01 spend some time with family, visit local beaches
29/01 - go to Auckland 2 nights accommodation and visit sky tower (will pay for this out of January wages rather than holiday budget)
31/01 - fly home
Other £ considerations;
Budget for living £1080 (£60 per day for 2)
Petrol expenses with hire car £150 for whole time?
Does any of this sound reasonable, would you recommend trying to pack it and and going to SI just to see Milford Sounds?
Help/Advice please :)
Sep 23, 2012 6:35 AM
1Looks like Hobbiton is now a bit more worthwhile as they have reconstructed the sets, although all of NZ featured in LOTR so you can see a lot of film scenery for free.
Kiwi dollar is a bit under 2 to the pound. Entry to Hobbiton is NZD66 so how many are you taking? Again, Wai-o-Tapu etc are NZD32 each so again, are you taking a tour party? :-)
you've got a LOT of driving to see some nice beaches and the pretty but again not-that-exceptional Bay of Islands. Are you sure? So many more NZ-unique things to see.
day trip to milford Sound (Singular) from queenstown is 10 HOURS travelling each way. Either fly or change the itinerary so you can do it from Te Anau and avoid the crowded big boat midday cruises.
I also think you have your pounds and dollars mixed up in your other prices. Maybe another look?
Sep 23, 2012 9:16 AM
There are 2 of us travelling, and I used currency converter to calculate GBP from the NZD prices I had found. From your comment that I have got pounds and dollars mixed up, do you think that the prices are unrealistic and that we would need a higher budget?
We weren't sure where to head in Rotorua so I assume because you have suggested it that Wai-o-Tapu is best place?
Because we were initially just planning to do the NI we thought Bay of Islands, 90 mile beach etc was a must and we were planning on camping near Haruru Falls - but where would you suggest instead? Obviously we want to make the most of our visit and see the best places.
Can you fly into Te Anau? And how far is that from Milford Sound - perhaps we could switch over night cruise at BOI for one at Milford Sound? What do you think is a reasonable price for domestic flight and would you suggest we need longer for Milford Sound, or can it be done in a day and then is there anything else near by if we spend a few nights (might as well if paying expensive flights)?
Any more advice would be great - thanks :)
Sep 23, 2012 9:32 AM
3PS sorry - now I have started looking at your advice... how would I travel in SI nowhere seems to have car hire in Te Anau??
Sep 23, 2012 10:36 AM
4No car hire in Te Anau? Surprising - maybe you have to rent from Queenstown which is three hours away.
As far as I know there is no airport at Te Anau beyond sightseeing. It is 2 hours 15 minutes drive from Milford Sound. You can overnight on the sound, look up Real Journeys who also operate overnights on Doubtful Sound. Lots of walking (Kepler Track, Manapouri Tracks), lots to see on the ultra-scenic road to Milford.
Several thermal parks round Rotorua, I liked Wai O Tapu but the Buried village was also good, and there are others. As the entry fee of NZD32 is 16 pounds, my point is that for your budgeted £240 you can take rather a lot of people!!
no idea on flight prices, costs what it costs.
can I politely suggest getting one of the two-inch thick NZ guidebooks and seeing what appeals. The Rough Guide has about 10 pages of the 'best of' and also the New Zealand AA has a top '101 sights for Kiwis' (and everyone else!) for instance, I went to bay of islands once, liked the historical stuff but that was it, and never bothered with the long drive to the north. However I found the Tongariro Crossing unmissable, as was Taranaki (despite the rain), plus lots of stuff round Rotorua and Taupo. Hokianga was also lovely.
loads of choice!
Sep 23, 2012 4:13 PM
5I think Bay of Islands well worth the trip so dont let one person put you off. There are some great places up there for camping for a few days.
Sep 23, 2012 8:33 PM
6I just went back from Hobbiton and I can tell you that it is amazing especially with the new set done. I wonder where do you get the 132 Pounds from though, because it is only $66 NZD per person when I got there yesterday. You really have to go there, the scenery is breathtaking.
Check the pricing again. I think you are messing it up between pounds and NZD.
And for petrol, it depends on what car are you using. I went to Rotorua with a family van, and for 2 days of traveling it cost us $125 NZD for petrol. So check again about that and the price of renting the car.
Sep 23, 2012 9:30 PM
7I am not sure about a lot of your prices too. Most of them seem to high to me. And $60 per person per day for general living while you're staying with family seems very very generous. Unless you and your family have expensive taste in wine!
Personally, given that your main base is Hamilton, I'd look at going to the Coromandel peninsula instead of BoI. And this is coming from someone who grew up in northland. The scenery is fairly similar to the BoI; it's a hang of a lot of closer to Hamilton, and you could combine it with your trip to Matamata to see Hobbiton.
I'd check flight prices from Auckland to Queenstown. It's not much of a drive from Hamilton to Auckland airport (it's right in the south, and motorway all the way) and I think you'll find it's much cheaper. worth the drive up and parking. houseoftravel.co.nz is a useful site for finding and comparing NZ flights. You'd be best to hire a car from Queenstown airport.
I really really do NOT rate the skytower restaurant. Go up the tower, by all means, but eat somewhere else better and cheaper. Have a drink maybe.
Sep 24, 2012 10:08 AM
8Thank you all for your help! The prices I have got were from websites where I have been looking into the details of specific places to visit, I have then converted these from NZD to GBP but perhaps this has calculated wrong... very glad to hear things are actually cheaper. Would you suggest booking in advance for these (i.e. Rotorua and Hobbitron) or just arrive and pay (remembering we will be there peak season!
Am planning to get LP guide at end of this month as want the maps etc also.
#4 - I couldn't find any car hire when searching on google for the Te Anau area and Apex (which was company I was looking at for NI) didn't have it as an option for pick up. I was thinking of flying to QT and then picking up transport but you indicated it was 10 hours each way to MS... Maybe this would be the better option for flight prices and car rental though and if spending 3 nights break up the journey by staying somewhere on the route on way and on return. Although I did find options on some sites to fly into Te Anau?
#5 - I had very much liked the sound of BOI and the reviews are still good, I think I would only be considering skipping it because of price and time now trying to include SI, from looking at images it does look as the MS would be more spectacular sight seeing. May still try to do BOI too but just not include the over night cruise. All depends really as know it is approx 6hour drive each way from Hamilton.
#6 - Thank you for indication on petrol prices, how many miles did you travel for the value though, or where from to Rotoura so that I can get an idea of distance for cost?
Once again thanks for all help! Much appreciated as never really planned own holiday like this before :)
Sep 28, 2012 6:08 PM
9You could do Coromandal instead of BOI.
I'd also suggest one extra day in Queenstown because of the tiring long day-trip to Milford Sound - get a bus tour for that one. They drive, you snooze.
Sep 29, 2012 2:23 AM
10miles for cost is quite a personal thing, as well as depending on what you are driving. If you regard speed limits as a target, speed up and slow down all the time and don't anticipate, like most drivers in the UK and NZ it seems :-( then you will use a lot more. Especially on NZ's hilly twisty roads.
I used to get just under 10km/litre out of my old 1.8 litre or so backpacker cars, a newer rental should do a lot better IF driven properly.
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