I am planning a trip to New Zealand in early January and need to start organising things soon. I’m not sure exactly which part I’ll be staying at, but am thinking of Dunedin (or there abouts) in the South Island. I plan to stay for 1-2 weeks in a bid to hit the pavement and look through as many towns as possible (and purchase property too hopefully!).
For those of you who have been down that way:
a) Which airline did you fly with? Has anyone used NZ budget airline “Freedom Air”? Are they any good? Flights seem cheap!
b) Where did you stay for accommodation? Seeing as I won’t be staying in doors much, I figured all I really need is a bed to crash on… would anyone recommend a backpackers hostel?
c) Car hire – can anyone recommend affordable care hire? I don’t care if the car is a heap, as long as it runs [biggrin]
Any feedback welcome. Thanks in advance.
OziGreatPigMember@greatpigJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 284
My parents have flown with Freedom Air a few times, although to and from Hamilton not Dunedin. They seemed to think they were okay, although the flights they always got arrived back in Hamilton at nearly midnight. No food except for a few snacks that you can buy I believe.
I’ve only stayed in Dunedin on holiday and was then on the Otago Peninsula. Probably better in the main part of town for your purpose, although it doesn’t take long to drive anywhere.
GPgeoMember@geoJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 1,194
I flew on Freedom Air – great airline and they only fly into Dunedin. Then you catch a shuttle bus for about NZ$10 into the city. There are some good hotels there. Remind me later to give you the name of where I stay and the car rental. I have all these details at home.
I’ve found a way to help you save and earn whilst not selling or delivering any product. If interested, drop me an email or PM me to find out howrecoverymanMember@recoverymanJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 122
backpackers are the go, clean and tidy and good prices. heard good reports about freedom
“I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life” D. IgnatowMiniMogulParticipant@minimogulJoin Date: 2002Post Count: 1,414
the BBH network is ‘it’. The rating system makes it easy to pick a hostel. The info is online, but also, when you get there, pick up the hard copy booklet.
freedom air is fine. never flown it myself as I haven’t needed to get to those places from international, but know loads of people that have. Virgin also flies to Christchurch so check out virgin, Air Nz and qantas as well. sometimes there is a big difference in prices and sometimes there isn’t. Earlier in the year flights to NZ were $99 one way on Virgin Blue.
rental cars – i think any firm you haven’t heard of i.e. ‘AAAAba car rentals’ or similar could be false economy. Use Avis, hertz, budget, Maui, or thrifty, europecar etc. i.e. a reputable firm with a large fleet and many offices. We always do now, since we hired a cheap car from AAAAba rentals (or similar) in wellington, which had bad brakes – we found out doing hills in the south island with no way to swap the car for another one. it was a nightmare. we had to get it repaired ourselves on our credit card, delayed our trip, got reimbursed etc – hopeless, would never do that again.
joy to the world
Thanks MiniMogul & recoveryman!
I appreciate the comments. That backpacker website looks great too!
OziJulian2Member@julian2Join Date: 2003Post Count: 82
Many of the second tier car rental outfits have nationwide networks and are priced well below the big operators – try RentaDent. Their cars are good (about 5 years old and not dented) and you can drop off in a different location to pick-up.
You might want to try to organise something from Oz first, as this our peak time and it can be difficult getting a car.
Dunedin prices have climbed considerably, but Invercargill (Southland – bottom of the South Island) has some property showing good returns.
Enjoy your time here.
Thanks for the reply. I got a quote from Rent a Dent, it’s reasonable. I am in the process of organising everything this week. Can’t wait
OziNobleoneMember@nobleoneJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 146
I’m also planning a trip to NZ in April/May and have been doing some online costings.
Average backpaker stay = $30per night
Class one car rental approx $40 per day
2-person RV camper van with shower and toilet $70 per day.
I reckon the RV camper gives you more freedom and convenience (pun intended) than the first option.
“Making mistakes is just another another tool for learning.”
The campervan sounds ok if there is a few of you travelling. I’m travelling alone, so it would be a waste I think. Also be mindful that there are certain roads where campervans aren’t suitable (?). I can’t confirm this however on the large travel map I have, these roads are clearly listed.
OziNobleoneMember@nobleoneJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 146
I’m travelling alone too… I am just looking at the overall cost of daily transport and somewhere to sleep at night… The campervan works out to be the same cost as renting a small car and having to preplan my overnights at back packers… The campervan gives me all the conveniences and the freedom and flexability for the same cost.
As for going off road I think that even with rental cars they have restrictions about driving on unsealed road too.
I am going purely for business and don’t really plan to go off road.
Cheers, Nobleone. [biggrin]
“Making mistakes is just another another tool for learning.”doryMember@doryJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 1
You have to be a bit careful with hirecar agreements, if you intend to go anywhere which is gravel, check the agreement first before signing. If you drive a hirecar on a gravel road when your contract clearly indicates not to, you can void the insurance that you so (expensively) took out when hiring the car in the first place.
dory[blink]CastleDreamerParticipant@castledreamerJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 288
regarding hire cars – if you plan to be travelling a lot consider at least a 1.6-1.8l engine vehicle. anything smaller can be very frustrating if you yourself and luggage in it and expect it to travel comfortably and quietly at 100kph.
the rentadent recommendation here is pretty good. I use them all the time for a corolla or subaru RX impreza or similar for 45 bucks a day unlimited k’s and low insurance excess.
NZ roads are windy, uphill and down and take a lot longer to travel than many aussie roads. the extra power under the bonnet can go a long way to making the trip pleasant!!
Oh, and if you want to listen to music, get a car with a cd player or tape deck – radio station coverage is very poor between towns due to hilly nature of terrain!!!!
“+CF properties in NZ available now, email CastleDreamer or Minimogul”bootyliciousParticipant@bootyliciousJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 15
If you are hiring an RV, don’t forget the costs of a pitch for the night, unless you are going to sleep at the side of the road. Also, the fuel costs will be much higher, depends how far you are planning to travel.