New Zealand winter

Discussion in 'Travel & The Great Outdoors' started by labrum, Nov 14, 2011.

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  1. I'm contemplating a first time trip to the land of the sheep for me, Mrs L plus our two primary-aged sprogs and obviously want to get the full benefit.

    So, the question is would I be seeing Team L off if we were to get amongst it during the NZ deep midwinter when our kids have 6 weeks holidays? Or, would we be better off doing 2 weeks out there over the UK Christmas break?

    Any replies sensible or otherwise gratefully received..
  2. Depends where you go and why: if you imagine uk weather in reverse you can't go far wrong. I would say though, 2 weeks is not long enough tbh. 6 weeks means you cab see everywhere, in a chilled manner. Get a big camper van and you can literally go anywhere you want. On my last trip me and mrs atg woke up facing the beach every day for 19 days....

    I'm on my iPhone, but PM me if you want to discuss further.
  3. mrs stew and i did one month on the north island, mid nov to mid dec and had a fantastic time. flew air n.z. outward via hong kong and
    returned via los angeles. that bit was the worst part.go both ways via hong kong.
    on air n.z. you can book your seats go for the back end of the 747 the rows narrow down to 2 seats. with loads of leg room.
  4. It strikes me that, if you went for a fortnight over Christmas, you would actually end up with not much active time there, as it's a long flight and your family might feel a bit jetlagged and tired on arrival and need a couple of days rest before feeling ready to explore. With 6 weeks at your disposal, that wouldn't matter. You might find that some places might not be open over the Christmas/NY break, but WetB and NZB will know more about that than I do.

    One thing which might be a factor is the cost of getting there. When I was helping my parents to plan a big trip to Australia, I spoke to various travel agents about airfares; my parents eventually travelled in early January, but I was told that airfares to Australia and New Zealand rise dramatically pre-Christmas as so many travellers want to fly then - I suppose that many pre-Christmas flyers are going to visit family out there.

    If you did choose a cheaper time of year to fly out to NZ, you could use the money saved for a special treat on the way back. I don't know whether your little ones have been to Disneyland, but they would probably like it there very much. Air New Zealand flies via Los Angeles, so you could use your stopover to visit LA and see Disneyland.
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  5. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I've done a total of five months in NZ pretty much covering both islands. It's a fantastic place. I've recently come back from the North Island. I avoided the South one due to Blobbs and NZB. In any event, you will definately need more than two weeks mate to get a feel for the place. If i had the money, i'd move there in a heartbeat.
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  6. Thanks all for the replies; plenty of food for thought!

    ATG, Mrs L and I were discussing the campervan option and you've definitely sold her the idea (I didn't need convincing..)

    Babystew, I think Sol may well have put forward a good arguement for the rtn via LA as, although Disneyland is my idea of hell, my mini ninjas would appreciate getting to grips with Mickey and the gang.

    BR, can't believe you went all the way there and avoided seeing the lads; I used to respect you.
  7. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    You are quite correct to chide. However, in my defence, i was only there for 7 days this time and didn't have time to go south due to family things. However, it gives me the excuse to go back.
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  8. lab the only reason i put down l.a is we only had 2 hours there to refuel and spent it in a chain of 300+ people. waiting for eye recognition photo's and fingerprints.
    the staff were ignorant and arrogant and didn't appreciate being told so.
    in hong kong we were fed and watered and a place to go for smokers, friendly and helpful staff.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  9. If you do go for the camper van, take/get hold of, extra blankets - they can be 'kin cold at night!
  10. Fair one Babystew, bit of a nightmare with two under 10!

    ATG, kit list is slowly coming into focus, don't think our usual hand luggage only rule will cut it on this trip...
  11. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I agree. Avoid LA like the plague. The staff there are utter twats and arrogant to boot.

    Having been to NZ off season, if you time it right, you get good weather and nothing is too crowded. It's a bigger country than you think. If you only stay in the North Island, i recommend the following places;

    Bay of Islands
    Rotorua (Smells of sulphur though)

    There are loads of other places to go and see, but i'm rather fond of these places, especially Russell (Bay of Islands) and Napier (Art Deco capital of the world).
  12. I was whelmed by Napier, however, it's still worth a visit - if only for the tours of the vineyards (the Mission Estate is now my favourite, if only because the scran was awesome!).

    As a rough guide, I would suggest that you land in Auckland, head North for a bit (to enjoy the beaches and get over your jet lag), then head over to the Coromandal, and then cut off the NE corner (miles and miles of bush and f*ck all else) and head down into the Napier/Hawkes Bay via Gisborne. Then head into Taupo, and back to the SE corner of N Is, before going to Wellington (i.e. avoid Highway 1). Hop on the ferry after a day or two in Welly (avoid Lower Hutt, it's odd), and then the choice is yours. I did the West Coast, which is v v quiet, but stunning, before crossing the Southern Alps to Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin (Invercargill if you've got enough warm clothes) and then Christchurch. I have to say the earthquake there brought a tear to my (pommy) eye, as it was possibly the most beautiful city I've ever been in. If you can go and spend some money to help the locals get back on their feet then you'll be doing us all a favour. Then up the east coast, back to Welly, and the 12 hour drive back up Highway 1 to Auckland.

    If you can, stay in a place in Auckland called the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park - it's far enough out of the city (but in a nice suburb) you can relax, it's on the beach, but you can catch a bus down to Devonport and then a ferry to the CBD within 30 mins. Just makes life for the last few days much easier, as it's then a 30 - 45 min drive to the airport, in a chilled manner, rather than arriving straight from somewhere and trying to pack in the carpark.

    Don't try to drive more than 4 hours at once, the roads are terrible, and don't expect to average more than 45 - 50 mph. We tended to do a big push, get somewhere new and then spend a couple of days in each place before moving on again. Otherwise you just spend your holiday getting wound up in a enclosed place and end up wanting to kill one another!

    I loved NZ, it's a bit quiet and slow, and I'm not sure I could cope living there, but to visit, it's absolutely awesome.
  13. Gents, please understand that you will not bore or patronise me with such posts, I am now slightly firm.

    While I am more than capable of a little research I love to hear / read about the experiences of others - far better int than any commercial guide!
  14. I think that it would be a good idea to make a point of doing things which are unique to New Zealand, as that will make the most of the effort/expense involved in your trip. By this I mean majoring on say, wildlife, geographical features, maybe something to do with Maori culture too (eg the haka). Having said that, I think that you should consider the ages of your little ones and look for things which will make this a memorable holiday for them. What would they really love? When you were their ages, what would you have most liked to see/do if you had had the opportunity to go to New Zealand?

    Most children love wildlife. I gather that you can see whales in New Zealand - that would make a big impression on older kids. Seeing little penguins would please them, I imagine - this looks nice:

    Christchurch Attractions International Antarctic Centre Christchurch New Zealand Attractions
  15. Fortunately Sol the kids love all things outdoors and actually enjoy travelling, long road trips etc

    Checking out the wildlife is definitely on the list for all of us.

    May sound daft but has anybody skied down there? Now that's something we all love doing.
  16. You've summed it up pretty good there ATG, the main problem with winter is the days will be short and weather can be damp, cold and miserable but if you want to ski there should be snow on the mountains.
    Christchurch is our english city - what school you went to is very important there
    Dunedin is the Scottish city - they don't go shopping they do the messages.
    Wellington the capital is politics central - who you know is very important.
    Auckland is the biggest with over 25% of the population - what you drive and where you live is very important
    Keep your wits about you, not every one wants to be your friend - there has been lots of thuggery, buggery, rape and murder directed at tourists. Don't leave important documents and money in your car at tourist spots, scumbags stake these areas out - smash a window, steal your stuff = holiday ruined.
  17. skied at Cardrona, near Wanaka. Was ggod fun, but millions of Japanese tourists - no more or less annoying than the (european) Alps. I suspect if you went to some of the other snow fields you might get slightly quieter slopes.
  18. Kiaora from Aotearoa bro!
    Sorry for late reply but I've been visiting family and away from a 'puter.
    Now we're World Champs at something other then sheep shearing/shagging we've imposed a beer tax on all incomers. That being said you could buy a pub down here for the cost of a pint in London so it's not too bad.:-D
    You should be able to pack all the nescessaries for your trip in a Pussers holdall at this time of year. T-shirts, shorts, swimmers, factor 1,000 sun cream and a toothbrush should do.
    Oh and a raincoat for Auckland.:laughing2:
    If you do intend to come down to the civilised South let me know your plans and I'll get in touch via PM.
  19. Cheers NZB, not sure that your suggested kitlist will do the trick as we are likely to be down there during your winter to allow us more time to explore (our Summer school holidays).

    What would be you're top 5 'don't miss' for a family down there?
  20. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Shit, just seen this thread bro. Disregard all info already given to you just come and get drunk with me and NZB and we'll make a plan when you get here. It'll be fine.
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