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Inexpensive travel ideas in New Zealand and Australia? | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Inexpensive travel ideas in New Zealand and Australia?

inexpensive travel
outtahere asked:

We are going to Australia and New Zealand (south island) for 10 days in each place in December. Do you have any ideas of how a family of four can get around and stay cheaply? Train? Rental car? Ideas of Must see places?
Thanks in advance for the assistance.

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3 Comments so far

  1. shirahen on January 21st, 2009

    hello there i am a kiwi. I suppose the best way for a family of 4 to travel around is by rental car (7 seater), then there is enough room for your bags. ‘Avis’ do quite reasonable rentals, with road side assistance if something should happen. But if you have a day to look around you can find better deals, just make sure what the whole package includes. Forget about trains in the North island as they dont exist but there are some running in the South Island. The best time to come is March , it is where the prices aren’t as expensive as they are in the Summer but the weather is beautiful at around 25 degees and the water has warmed up enough. You can find all kinds of camping grounds that have well equipment cabins and are soooo much cheaper than hotels. Plus the camping grounds are set in beautiful coastal locations. If you want to get away from people just keep on driving north past the bay of islands and then you will see the most beautiful beaches up at Karikari Peninsula. Then make your way down to Rotorua, waitomo caves, Taupo, Wellington, cross on the ferry then head to Nelson, and work your way anticlockwise around the South Island. Dont bother with Package tours. New Zealand is about isolation, peace and being chilled. I have a family of 5. Have Fun.

  2. johno on January 24th, 2009


    I am a New Zealander and can only address that part of your question as I do not know enough about Australia to help you. Also, I am interpreting your question to mean that you will be in New Zealand for 10 days and will only be visiting the South Island.
    Presumably you will be flying into and out of Christchurch.

    Unfortunately, December is in the peak holiday season and so very little will be cheap. In general, public transport is not an efficient way of travelling around New Zealand if you have a limited amount of time.

    You don’t say what ages the members of your family are. Your means of travelling and what types of accommodation are suitable are driven by their ages and how adventurous you want to be. Also, remember that the South Island is predominantly a scenic experience and is sparsely populated. I have no doubt that you, as adults, will be in constant awe at its beauty and inspiring landscape. However, I have young children and, in my experience, the ‘countryside’ doesn’t always cut it. However, I think you will find that the centres I have listed below will have enough mini-golf, luge, shops, etc etc facilities to keep them happy in between bouts of boring vistas!!! :-). Ideally, your children will be lovers of open spaces and if so you will all have a blast.

    As regards transport you can hire a campervan and campsites are plentiful, safe and of good quality. Alternatively, you can hire a car and stay in youth hostels or at those same campsites in low cost cabins if you are prepared to forego some of the ‘luxuries’ such as ensuite and kitchen facilities (i.e. are happy to sleep within four walls that contain just beds and use communal facilities). If hiring transport is too costly, then there are a number of private coach companies that run scheduled bus services around the South Island. You buy an all inclusive ticket and get on and get off wherenever and wherever you choose. However, the cost for four of these tickets may well be more than the cost of hiring transport.

    As regards where to go:

    Starting in Christchurch – after spending a short time taking a look around you should make your way over to the West Coast. There is an excellent train journey which goes from Christchurch to Greymouth called the ‘Tranz Alpine’. Its a great scenic journey and a restful way to see this region. However you can drive almost the same route if you choose to hire transport. Once on the West Coast, travel a little way north to see the ‘Pancake Rocks’; turn back southwards and visit the ‘Glaciers’. Continue south through the ‘Haast Pass’ to ‘Wanaka’ and ‘Queenstown’. From there go to ‘Milford Sound’. From there across to ‘Dunedin’ and back up the coast to ‘Christchurch’ and ‘Akaroa’. If you still have time to spare then you can go north from Christchurch to visit Kaikoura for a spot of whale watching before returning to leave from Christchurch. I really think that, unless you enjoy speed touring, all of that will take up your ten days. I live in Nelson and I would love to suggest you come here. It is a beautiful region and has excellent national parks, craft centres, wineries etc etc; however, if you are starting and leaving from Chrictchurch, it may just be too far north for you to include comfortably. For the same reason, I don’t see the North Island as a possibility even though the Rotorua area would normally be included in my ‘must see’ list for New Zealand.

    I haven’t described iin detail the places I have listed, but you should be able to read about them if you look at the New Zealand dot com and/or AA sites that I have included in the example sites listed below. These sites will get you started and google/yahoo searches will yield many more worthwhile information sites about New Zealand.

  3. SketchyDrafty on January 26th, 2009

    Hitch-Hiking is good, there is usually some bloke called ‘milat’ that will give you a ride ; )

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