The beginning of our travel plans

Totaranui is a 1km long beach and the site of ...

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On my bucket list is a road trip of the South Island. After all, one should see their own country before venturing further afield, right?

According to Let’s Go New Zealand (aka the budget traveller’s bible) we should budget $75 per person for a somewhat “comfortable” trip. I am not sure their numbers are right. Staying in hostels ($30), one restaurant meal ($25), going out at night ($20?) and you’re not even counting the other two meals or any activities you might want to do. Or gas. I think they just mean one meal “out” a day as opposed to a restaurant meal. Considering that a cheap meal would be at least $10 per person (burgers,  Chinese, cafe food, kebabs etc).

But holy hell, there is SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT!

Tough decisions – which season do we go in? Do we campervan or stay in hostels? (which would run at least $60 a night!!). Campervanning sounds awesome…but I’d be so paranoid about having an accident. Emptying our wastewater. We’d still need to stay at sites occasionally which would be $20-40 a pop. On the nights that we parked up at random spots, we’d have to hope nobody comes to move us along.

Also, neither of us is too keen on doing much in the North Island. Nor do we want to pay for vehicle across the Strait. So do we fly down to the South Island and rent from there?

When to book? Everyone says book early. Yet, looking around in the last month or so, there were so many deals for Sep-Nov travel 2010. Perhaps last minute deals are better?

And should we decide to go in spring to catch the last of the snow, timing makes a huge difference. Prices are so much higher in September than October.

For now, I’m going to keep an eye out for one-way hires around Christmas – it would be awesome if we could have a practice run so to speak, and get some of the sights out of the way. Serious planning can commence next year closer to the time.

5 thoughts on “The beginning of our travel plans

  • Reply Scribbles October 31, 2010 at 13:26

    When we were down south last, our average daily spend would have been around $160 (not including flights, accom and car hire which we had already paid for). It’s amazing how quickly all the little bits and pieces add up. It’s a matter of planning, deciding what you value (ChCh Antarctic Centre was expensive even with a voucher but I LOVE penguins and having the opportunity to see Little Blues in the flesh thrills me) and budgeting accordingly. If you want any tips on places to go – including a cheapish house rental in Hanmer – let me know.

  • Reply Sense October 31, 2010 at 15:44

    can you get insurance for the campavan, limiting your liability? might be worth it. I’d def. go in summer. the s. island/dunedin part IS FREEZING even in november. you can always go back to ski/whatever when you find some cheap tickets to Q-town–i’d rather have warm weather/good roads for a road trip–keep in mind some roads close in bad weather.

    free places to campavan on the S island, where you won’t get booted, see here: http://www.amazon.com/New-Zealand-South-Island-outdoors/dp/0979923263 (it’s finally out!)

    you can plan all you want but things will never work out the way you think. i understand about the overwhelmingness of it, but sometimes you gotta let things lie and book the tickets, already!

    pick one or two non-negotiable activities, and plan around those things, and make sure you plan enough time to do them, given a few rainy days. wanaka is gorgeous and such a cute town–do not miss it. milford sound is like the THING everyone talks about when they talk travel in NZ, so that’s kind of a must-do. mt cook is also beautiful, and has snow on top even in February. the glaciers are cool (haha). lake tekapo is beautiful but out of the way. invercargill is a total waste of time. people rave about the northern part of the s. island, but i wasn’t too impressed with it–i think the northern part of the north island is way more gorgeous. dunedin is cute and has free penguin sightings, esp. nov. – jan.

    good luck! hope the trip planning goes smoothly! even if it doesn’t, it just becomes part of the adventure…

  • Reply Fig November 2, 2010 at 10:55

    We want to do this and campervan it. But that’s a distant possibility.

  • Reply Adventures in car buying « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander November 29, 2010 at 14:57

    […] know what else this means (especially in a wagon)? Yay road trips! (This solves the question of whether we’ll drive or rent a campervan when we do the South Island). And I’ll be […]

  • Reply Well hello, 2011… « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander January 5, 2011 at 20:11

    […] sweet – to plentiful hot and cold, even drinkable water, to showers, to toilets. Remember my campervan idea? Nix. I’d already kind of decided that when we replaced our old car, but observing the […]

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