"North & South Islands." New Zealand by K.Knight
New Zealand Travel Guide: 14,447 reviews and 36,446 photos
My wife & I travelled both islands during October 2003 and we decided to hire a camper van (motorhome) for 4 weeks. For extra space we hired a 6 berth van from Pacific Horizon because they were the cheapest, were the only company to pay for all the LPG gas you used and they allow you to take the van on the inter island ferry. They also allow one way rentals free of charges.
We decided to fly into Christchurch and out of Auckland because the air fare was the same, we only had to pay for one crossing on the ferry and it can be cheaper to hire the van because you are taking it back to Auckland for them! (Most rentals are one way from Auckland to Christchurch.)
I could recommend this as a cheap & easy way to see NZ for a group of 6 because....Your accomodation and transport are approx AUS$96.00 per day (AUS$32.00 per couple), You can buy all your own groceries and cook all your own meals, make a tea/coffee or cold drink any time, you can free camp anywhere you like at no cost, diesel fuel is only NZ59cents per litre and at the end of the day, after a big day of sightseeing, you do not have to drive back to your accomodation because you have it with you!
The van was very comfortable, had a shower and a toilet, stove, cooktop, microwave, refrigerator and a heater. Everything in the van ran on 12 volt, gas or electricity.
THE BIG BONUS... you only have to unpack once!!!!
Wildlife abounds in this "neck of the woods".
Approx. 45 minutes drive from Dunedin is a "must see" wildlife experience for all travellers. The Otago Peninsula is loaded with all creatures great and small.
From the rarest penguin on the planet to fur seals, albatros and nesting cormorants to name a few.
The yellow eyed penguin is the rarest in the world and a local farmer has donated a section of his land to help these penguins survive and be protected. A maze of covered trenches and viewing points helps you get "up close and personal" without disturbing these guys. We were astounded as they waddled out of the surf, over the sand and onto the grass paddocks before waddling past our position and into their homes for the evening!!!!
Franz Joseph Glacier is located on the western side of the South Island and is a most impressive leisurely drive, that you should plan to take a day to drive, from Wanaka. The drive is spectacular and is one to be enjoyed.
The town of Franz Joseph is a magnet for tourists who wish to enjoy day walks to the famed Franz Joseph Glacier. It is a small but interesting town that offers a well stocked store, restaurants, souvenier shops and tour operators specialising in heli-hikes to the glacier.
These hikes are for a half day of approx 4.5 hours, include the helicopter ride to and from the glacier, ice walking boots, backpack, walking stocks and guides. The cost was NZ$260.00 per person.
- Pros:Great people, safe to travel & excellent exchange rate.
- Cons:After 3 weeks the steep & winding road gets to you
- In a nutshell:The South Island is a truely beautiful part of the world
After attacking the slopes and enjoying the thrill of adventure it was time to take a break. I love to ski with a back... more travel advice
Ice Caving is a fantastic way to see the ever changing ice flow and the natural beauty of the west coast of the south... more travel advice
- See All Hiking, bush walking, Tramping..it's all...
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- See All The best way to see New Zealand!
- Take it easy and enjoy yourself
- Take your home with you!
K.Knight's Related Pages
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- "God's Country!"
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