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Thread: Touring

  1. #1
    river is offline Junior Member
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    Default Touring

    Hi all

    Im looking to tour a small part to get a flavour of NZ early next year with family but are planning well ahead. Hoping to start in Aukland and finish in Christchurch. I don't whether I'm being a bit too ambitious as I gather the road system is exactly 3 lane empty motorways (not that the Uk is). As I'm in research mode and can't decide on AUKLAND area (not the city) or Canterbury area. Would I be spending more time driving than seeing areas? Any tips please.

    River

  2. #2
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Default Touring

    Hi River,

    If you are certain you do not want to look at any other areas than these two then I would say stay a while in the Auckland area, then fly down to Christchurch. Internal flights can be easily booked online.

    Of course if you have time and want to see more areas, you can drive, we did and it really wasn't so bad. Apart from Auckland, the main highway north to Orewa and south to Hamilton, and a circular road in Christchurch, I don't think we came across any motorways/dual carriageways. We found driving to be pleasant and relaxed due to the roads outside the cities being not so busy.

    It is prudent to book early if you have a big family as if you are using motels you may want two or three bedroom units. (I know a nice place in Timaru that has a four bed unit. ::): ) We originally thought of a campervan but after looking at a relative's same size caravan ... we thought again.

    Let me know if you want more info.

    ::):
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  3. #3
    river is offline Junior Member
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    Default Touring

    Glenda,

    thanks once again for tips.

    I was actually thinking of a the large 6 bed campervan (the biggest you can rent) as I don't fancy packing and unpacking at every motel :icon_cry: as we want to see some of the sights. It's a bit of an adventure and something we wouldn't normally do as a family, although I think we may hitch up in a couple of motels along the way (the Timaru 4 bed unit sounds just the job). I've looked at route planners, but I'm trying to access the feasabilty and whether it would be too much of a slog for everyone to do a mini tour within 14-16 days from people who've visited/lived like yourself. Plan to start from Auckland, head down the east (not interested in Wellington) and finish in Chistchurch.

    R

  4. #4
    moggy's Avatar
    moggy is offline God like figure
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    Default Touring

    We are flying out on saturday for three weeks and hiring a campervan, though just a small one. We are touring the South Island only though, but particularly want to spend time in Christchurch as that is where we want to end up.
    When I get back, I can post our journey times and road conditions for you if you like.
    Roughly our route is
    Christchurch
    Oamaru
    Dunedin
    Queenstown
    Haast pass
    The Glaciers
    Greymouth
    Hanmer Springs
    and maybe up to kaikoura depending on time
    back to Christchurch

    with a few more stops off along the way.

  5. #5
    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Touring

    [quote:104e1ac876="river"]Glenda,

    thanks once again for tips.

    I was actually thinking of a the large 6 bed campervan (the biggest you can rent) as I don't fancy packing and unpacking at every motel :icon_cry: as we want to see some of the sights. It's a bit of an adventure and something we wouldn't normally do as a family, although I think we may hitch up in a couple of motels along the way (the Timaru 4 bed unit sounds just the job). I've looked at route planners, but I'm trying to access the feasabilty and whether it would be too much of a slog for everyone to do a mini tour within 14-16 days from people who've visited/lived like yourself. Plan to start from Auckland, head down the east (not interested in Wellington) and finish in Chistchurch.

    R[/quote:104e1ac876]

    Well, I certainly think it can be done without too much trouble. I would, though, advise spending a minimum of 4/5 days in Auckland to look around and get over the jet lag. Presume you would then go to Tauranga, over to Gisbourne or a nice touristy break in Rotorua, then to Napier. You will have to set foot in Wellington though to get across to Picton. :icon_wink:

    In the S.I., I would advise going to the Nelson area if you have time as we found it rather nice affluent area with beautiful national parks and skiing nearby. Expect Christchurch to be big - 330,000 are supposed to live there and it will take 2/3 days to get your bearings.

    Friends of ours used a campervan and stopped at motels now and again ... just for the luxury of a bath!!!

    Good luck. Oh, if you want to go as far south as Timaru that motel is http://www.holidayguide.co.nz/Timaru/Baywatch.aspx

    :icon_biggrin:
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  6. #6
    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Touring

    [quote:fca0720f79="moggy"]We are flying out on saturday for three weeks and hiring a campervan, though just a small one. We are touring the South Island only though, but particularly want to spend time in Christchurch as that is where we want to end up.
    When I get back, I can post our journey times and road conditions for you if you like.
    Roughly our route is
    Christchurch
    Oamaru
    Dunedin
    Queenstown
    Haast pass
    The Glaciers
    Greymouth
    Hanmer Springs
    and maybe up to kaikoura depending on time
    back to Christchurch

    with a few more stops off along the way.[/quote:fca0720f79]

    Looking at the above stops, I would have thought you have paced yourselves to between 2 and 4 and a half hours driving. Good luck and have fun!!! :icon_biggrin:

    P.S. Don't forget your thermal underwear - it can get chilly at night at this time of year. It was early April when we were in Christchurch last and, whilst the days were lovely, the nights required plenty of duvet cover. (Mind you, we had just spent some weeks in gorgeous hot weather in Australia.)

    :icon_biggrin:
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  7. #7
    river is offline Junior Member
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    Default Touring

    Moggy, let me know how it goes as I favour SI but my OH is keen on NI, although there's more vineyards on the SI which'll tempt her.

    Glenda , I've now been instructed we must must visit BOI so 4-5 days around AUK it has to be, at this rate we'll end up on the NI for 3 weeks. I do intend on visiting Nelson (is this a bit of an OAP area?) as it appears to be a pretty good area, I'm 38 and very active (no disrespect OAPs), so it may be a bit too quiet, there be a few more posts as I get to grips with my route plan, knowing it's feasible.

    R

  8. #8
    Glenda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Touring

    [quote:caaa9170d0="river"]
    Glenda , I've now been instructed we must must visit BOI so 4-5 days around AUK it has to be, at this rate we'll end up on the NI for 3 weeks. I do intend on visiting Nelson (is this a bit of an OAP area?) as it appears to be a pretty good area, I'm 38 and very active (no disrespect OAPs), so it may be a bit too quiet, there be a few more posts as I get to grips with my route plan, knowing it's feasible.

    R[/quote:caaa9170d0]

    The BOI is nice (if you recall we are headed there) but you are talking about small towns up there. If you want population Whangarei is the nearest small city, though it would be classed as a big town in UK standards. Nelson is not an OAP area - it is a compact and expanding city. For an active lifestyle you can go skiing in the Nelson Lake area and there is tramping, kayaking etc. in the Abel Tasman Park - both just an hour or two's drive away. It does feel a little isolated there, being 4-5 hours from Christchurch, but the S.I. is a big place with only a quarter of the N.I.'s population and in some places you can travel for an hour without seeing a petrol station. And it is so scenic.

    Could reminise all day ... :icon_rolleyes:

    :icon_lol:

    P.S. If you like looking at travel brochures to get an idea - the best I've found is from www.anzcro.co.uk - they have good driving maps (well ours did from last year).
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  9. #9
    moggy's Avatar
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    Default Touring

    On the subject of Petrol, how far apart are petrol stations, is it like touring the highlands aof Scotland where you fill up whenever you see a garage, regardless of whether you are running low.

  10. #10
    Taffy's Avatar
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    Default Touring

    Not too bad in general. Depends where you are going! All the towns and cities have plenty of them, and there are usually the odd one out and about in the sticks!

    Even so, if you're doing a major tour, fill up at every major town you encounter is the best bet.
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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