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Topic ClosedNew Zealand - Queens town [:s]

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Ricardo B. View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Zealand - Queens town [:s]
    Posted: Apr/19/2010 at 5:50pm
So who's been here?

There are 5 in our family. this is our first trip to Queenstown ?

I want is to memorable for the kids, for the right reasons but don't wont to have to sell my soul to have fun.

So if you've been there tell me what made it great and what made it not so great?

What are some of the hidden costs?

how far is the shops? food stores and restaurants or where you can grab a meal on the run?

What did you like / dislike?

In the end was it worth the effort?    

what's the inside Knowledge airlines and baggage restrictions?

   
Booooooo_Ya Baby Booooo_Ya!!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/19/2010 at 6:06pm
Pros

- Awesome scenery in QT. Beautiful mountains
- QT is very small. shops/restaurants are easily accessible and reasonably priced 
- Ski fields are amazing. Good mix of beg/int/adv runs
- Everything is cheaper than Australia except maybe import beer

Cons

- Driving up to mountains can be quite scary. No rails and gravel roads, gotta take care going up mountain
- NZ Beer kind of sucks...whats the deal with 4% alcohol beer Confused
- That's about it....

Definitely worth it. Going back this year for fun times
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/21/2010 at 10:11am
i'm heading to NZ this july too...flying in from australia though and was going to fly into CC then maybe drive to QT for the remarkables and coronet peak and treble cone...worth the drive?
 
@ricardo - when are you going?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/21/2010 at 4:40pm
Well, I was planning to go around 25 July for a week.

so far I have worked out total cost of the trip will be around $5,500 AUD with airfares and accom. and all for 5 people for 7 days(just to get 5 days on the slopes).

It is a bit rich for my blood this year but who Knows it's a long season over there In NZ !!!

I might be heading to falls creek in Victoria for 5 days it's not so much and comes to about $4,500 with all meals included.


Should try to get some people to catch up for a coffee or meet on the Top of a run some where could be fun to see how many people we could meet from this sight??    
Booooooo_Ya Baby Booooo_Ya!!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/21/2010 at 4:43pm
Hey mate we did queenstown last year in the beginning of August.

We are planning on going back this year actually, the mountains are great. Well compared to Mt Hotham and Baw Baw.
You will not be disappoint! if you stay somewhere close into town your will be fine to walk everywhere, we didnt even have a hire car as you can get a bus to take you up the mountain from the information centre which i suggest. (very comfortable, quick, cheap and easy) they leave to go up and down like every half an hour i think.

In terms of luggage, we took our own gear and to save on board bags took the bindings off a couple of boards so they could go in the one bag.
Your allowed 20kg in stored luggage and i think the carry on is like 7??? could be wrong, we were all a little bit over 22kg, 24kg but they didnt even charge us any extra.

Also i thought the beer was great go the speights???

Everyone is there to have a good time and all the people we met were really nice. Not as many wankers as you get at the snow over here.

You will not regret it.   LOL


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/21/2010 at 8:05pm
speights/tue/flame imo all sucked
but i'll give em another go this year as they are pretty cheap

Another thing i'd add is the locals are really nice and go out of their way to talk/help to you
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/25/2010 at 2:34am
The best piece of advice i'd give would have to be hiring a car. It makes life so much easier/cheaper, and means the wanaka resorts are pretty easily accessible on top of CP and the Remarks

Pros:
- Good mountains in close proximity
- Compact town with an array of accomodation/food
- Beautiful scenery

Cons
- If someone (ie wife/girlfriend) doesn't want to hit the slopes everyday, there are limited choices for entertainment as the whole town is geared towards "action"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/25/2010 at 4:51pm
Awesome Ive got a hire car and heading in late august (26th) for 9 nights! We have a toyota camry. It comes with chains and stuff. Would that be good enough to get us up all the mountains. We are keen to drive to snowpark and also other mountains 90mins away. Are they less packed?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/30/2010 at 12:47pm
Air New Zealand gives you an additional 10kg for sporting goods on international flights (and domestic if its a connecting flight). So you get 30Kg each for check in (If you each have sporting goods) and 7Kg carry on. I think Qantas has a simliar setup, You will have to check with them though, took surfboards with them last year at no extra cost (If Qantas stil flies to QT maybe its Jetstar now who charge you for everything)

Fly Air NZ
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/30/2010 at 12:59pm
I'm heading over with my Wife for 10 days in early july - staying at Wanaka for 7 & north island for 3. can't what, first time traveling.
Any sugestions for 'other' activities, besides snowboarding.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/07/2010 at 3:24am
I checked out the bungy and jet boats with some travel agents, there is heaps to do from what I see.   
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2010 at 9:20am
I worked at Lake Oahu Ski Field about 2 hours north of Queenstown last season and rode all the mountains around there. The field roads are scary and steep so just drive carefully. Treble cone is loads of fun but quite steep for beginners so if the kids are experienced it's a great place. Remarkables is flatter but still fun. Cardrona has great park. You should try and head to Ohau if you get the chance as it's like a club field environment and it has some of the best back country.

As for Queenstown it's one big party place, lots of young people and lots of buses full of young backpackers coming through for a night or too. Any night is party night. If that's what you want you will love it. I personally prefferd Wanaka as a town, it's smaller and I think it's a more family orientated place. Wanaka still has it's fair share of crazy party but not on the same scale and the location is still great for getting to all the resorts.

I say all this but remember the South Island only has 1 million peeps living on it so it's all small and the kiwi's are so friendly, where ever you go you will have a great time I'm sure
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 6:10am
Originally posted by xcell1

Air New Zealand gives you an additional 10kg for sporting goods on international flights (and domestic if its a connecting flight). So you get 30Kg each for check in (If you each have sporting goods) and 7Kg carry on. I think Qantas has a simliar setup, You will have to check with them though, took surfboards with them last year at no extra cost (If Qantas stil flies to QT maybe its Jetstar now who charge you for everything)

Fly Air NZ

One thing that really sucks about Air NZ is that they say they won't let you combine "sporting goods" between passengers flying together. Two of us are flying with Air NZ, so I phoned to ask if it was cool to put both boards in the one bag and they said no, we'd have to go out and buy a second board bag and pack them separately! Ridiculous!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 6:14am
Originally posted by kramiih

speights/tue/flame imo all sucked
but i'll give em another go this year as they are pretty cheap

Try Monteith's next time.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 6:19am
Originally posted by Springerella

I worked at Lake Oahu Ski Field about 2 hours north of Queenstown last season and rode all the mountains around there. The field roads are scary and steep so just drive carefully. Treble cone is loads of fun but quite steep for beginners so if the kids are experienced it's a great place. Remarkables is flatter but still fun. Cardrona has great park. You should try and head to Ohau if you get the chance as it's like a club field environment and it has some of the best back country.

Ohau is AWESOME if the conditions are right. It's my favourite NZ resort. Anyone see the article on Ohau in Sydney's Sun Herald travel section last season?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2010 at 1:28pm
Ok im from queenstown so here it is

there aren't too many hidden costs if you have you're own gear and are hiring a car. obviously lift tickets are astronomical, as is the shitty food on the hill. if you wanna make lunches you can get your supplies from fresh choice on gorge rd or new world out by the airport (on the way to the remarkables).

there is plenty to do on off days, probably more than you could imagine. - Heaps of 1/2 day - 1 day walks that pretty much start from town.
- down hill/ x country mountain biking
- 3 world class golf courses (millbrook, the hills, jacks point) plus 3 other cheaper courses
- ice skating
- go up the gondola and go luging
- jet boat rides
- rafting
- white water sledging
- bungy
- canyon swing
- 4wd tours
- gold panning in the arrow river

i could go on...

The snow should be pretty good by july. i would suggest a trip to treble cone would be worth it. awesome hill with great views, nice drive too.

there are plenty of good spots to chill and have a good coffee, try joes garage, rees st deli or moto grill. and heaps of good night spots.

the range of beer is so vast that you dont even have to look at the 4% beers if that what you're worried about.

if you haven't booked accom yet i would suggest trying to get something close to town so you can just walk everywhere. there are local buses but they're quite expensive and dont really go everywhere.

if you're gonna be eating out every night, bombay palace does 2 4 1 curries before 7. winnies does pretty good pizzas, thai in oconells is really good and cheap. aggies shack down by the lake for good fush and chups, speights ale house for a good pub feed. If you wanted something a little nicer, wai or pier 19 on the wharf are good and minami jujisei is super good for japanese.

hope this helps. any specific questions, send me a msg. hope you have a good time here. chur!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2010 at 3:48pm
Hey mate, im from australia and me and the boys just booked our accommodation in queenstown (2nd time for me). We are going from the 22nd Aug to the 2nd Sep. (Aug is the peak season in NZ and most expensive).

I do suggest hiring a car because you can go to the mountain when u want and come back when you want and we hired a tarago 2009 model and it was only $85 a day where the bus was $20 per person = $100 so car is cheaper, less stops etc.
Our accommodation is 10 nights, 3 in a backpackers (wish it was all 10) and 7 in a 5 star resort called oak shores. 3 bedroom delux appartment, fireplace, heated floors etc. this cost us for accommodation $500 each.

The 7 day "super pass" cost us $79 per person which entitles you to go to 3 differenet mountains, which is great because if there is a big blizzard from one side, the other mountain will be still working fine. Flights were also $650 each not direct into queenstown as it is more expensive.
Total holiday included flights, carehire for the whole time, 10 days accommodation, and 7 days of boarding super pass = $1650 Australian. it is a steal since we paid more last season boarding in australia.

Queenstown is really beautiful, im glad im going again its an amazing place, people are all friendly and minigolf is like the best one in the world its awesome lol, the only think I thought it lacked was....Kiwis...heaps of backpackers didn't see many nz people though :p Cheers sos.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 12:17am
Originally posted by sosage

I do suggest hiring a car because you can go to the mountain when u want and come back when you want and we hired a tarago ...

Hire a 4WD. You'll really appreciate it if it's snowing - and believe me, THAT'S the time you don't want any problems getting up the hill. Be aware that unlike Australian resort roads where 4WD vehicles can often get away without chains, make sure you have them in NZ.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2010 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by turbo95sir

i'm heading to NZ this july too...flying in from australia though and was going to fly into CC then maybe drive to QT for the remarkables and coronet peak and treble cone...worth the drive?
 

It's about a 6-7 hour drive from Christchurch to QT, so if you're the impatient type, you won't like the drive. Also depends on if your drive is fully in daylight hours or not. Last year I did this drive starting at 2pm and a couple hours into the journey, it got dark. Pitch black darkness. This made the drive even more annoying because you can't see a single thing, no scenery to admire.

This year I am flying direct to QT, I just figure that I'd prefer not to waste 12+ hours of my time driving!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 2:21am
week days are the best if you dont want a super packed mountain i live in NZ but have only been to Qtown last season there was 12 of us so we had the advantage of splitting everything so it was quite cheap as for the beer drinkers buy steinlager pures
big is good
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 2:25am
also if you can fly direct to Qtown id take that option it may be a little more expensive but itl would save aot of hassle, going from ChCh is a big mish i wouldnt want to make
big is good
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 3:01am
Originally posted by inertia

also if you can fly direct to Qtown id take that option it may be a little more expensive but itl would save aot of hassle, going from ChCh is a big mish i wouldnt want to make

Huh? It's an awesome drive - especially for people new to the area, because the scenery will blow you away! Split the drive in half and do a day/night at Ohau on your way through, or overnight at Lake Tekapo and get in some outdoor iceskating and hot springs. Then hit Treble Cone and Wanaka the next day on your way to Queenstown. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 8:31pm
hwo long is the drive from christchurch to queenstown if we were just to take a few toilet / petrol breaks?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 8:48pm
Its a long drive, I haven't done in in like 3 years and can't remember excatly but I think its 6-7 hours
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2010 at 8:53pm
Around 6-8 hours for the 483km, depending on weather, vehicle, road conditions, and um... "driving style" (it's possible to do it in less). 

In winter, I'd say definitely do it in daylight - however my first drive from Christchurch to Wanaka (about 14 years ago - youch) was done overnight after arriving from Sydney at 11pm. Be warned, if the weather's nasty, they will actually close sections of the road - so if it's the middle of the night, you're up crap creek.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2010 at 4:46am
our will be done in partial daylight. were arriving at christchurch at 2. anyone know what the drive up remarkables/coronot peak/cardona/treble cone is like? its our first time in nz and we're in a people mover ( tarago) but have the option to changing it to a 4wd wagon since 1 guy pulled out and theres only 4 of us now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2010 at 5:00am
Hey dude I did it 2 years back and we took the bus up there, this time were taking a tarago since there is 6 of us, but for the extra money and 4wd I would definatly take the 4wd. The mountains are scarey, very steep, and when you are going to be hung over like us its going to be a very slow and sickening drive up the mountains. 4wd is the way to go if u got less people.

What dates you going were going the 22nd aug to the 3rd of sep
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2010 at 5:15am
My friend went last year definetly get 4wd he got stuck going up mountain he said the roads are sketch but he also said it was somne of best pow pow hed ever seen so get 4wd and your gonna shred.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2010 at 5:36am
I actually really enjoy the drives up the sketchy mountain roads. Mt Dobson's access road is a good one. My passengers usually crap their pants, but I never push my limits - or even come close for that matter (it's just not worth the risk). I was a real female genitals the first few times, but now I've got a good feel for it. 

Be aware if you're driving up these mountains - it's highly likely the person behind you may be a local who's done the drive many many times, so at the first safe opportunity, put your ego aside, move your vehicle to the side, and LET THEM PASS. Any drive up or down a mountain road is NOT the place for egos or aggro. If you're being tailgated it doesn't mean the driver behind you is an arrogant asshole, it just means that they've had more experience on that particular road and they're looking to pass - so suck it up and let them. There's nothing worse that a carload of newbies who refuse to let others pass, with a long line of angry frustrated drivers behind them - it's a recipe for disaster.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2010 at 5:48am
Originally posted by dr86

our will be done in partial daylight. were arriving at christchurch at 2. anyone know what the drive up remarkables/coronot peak/cardona/treble cone is like? its our first time in nz and we're in a people mover ( tarago) but have the option to changing it to a 4wd wagon since 1 guy pulled out and theres only 4 of us now.

OK, it's your first time there, so my advice would be to spend the first night in Methven, do a morning at Mt Hutt the next day to get your legs together, then head to Wanaka or Queenstown at about 1PM. You'll be fresher and most of your driving will be in daylight. An even better option would be to drive from Christchurch to Ohau (a bit over halfway) as soon as you pick up your car, and spend the day there before heading the rest of the way. As there's only 4 of you, definitely get a 4WD.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2010 at 1:58am
SOSAGE me, 3 mates and my gf are heading to queenstown on the 26th August til the 4th! Should catch up for a ride? We're all early 20's with one 40yr old! We're from tassie (no jokes please!)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2010 at 2:48am
going NZ july for some snowboarding/skydiving/paragluiding .. should b fun..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2010 at 12:58pm
Skippers canyon is a cool road but def no insurance on your rental there.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2010 at 4:12am
wow that road is safe
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2010 at 1:07pm
Originally posted by dr86

wow that road is safe
It looks a bit better than the road up Mt Dobson.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 1:11pm
Really? I have never been up Mt Dobson but I just checked out their website and it said this "Mt Dobson has one of the easiest access roads in the country.  15 km long and maintained to a high standard it is suitable for both buses and motorhomes"
Buses! I wouldn't take a bus through skippers
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 3:42pm
Hehe, that's funny - that'd be some seriously scared bus passengers! Dobson's not exactly what you'd call a 5-star resort. Peter Foote (the former farmer who built Dobson with his sons) put in the road himself. Like the Skippers photo above, it's got sheer drops off the side and no barriers - and when you add black ice, poor visibility and an uneven surface, it made for some VERY uneasy passengers the first time I drove up there about 11 years ago. That being said, I don't have a problem with it (I actually enjoy it) and it has improved over the years (last time I drove it was 2 years ago). Kiwis are a tough lot, and I'm guessing the reason they mention buses is because at least it doesn't have a lot of tight hairpin turns like, say, Treble Cone.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 3:50pm
Originally posted by athousandmonkeys

Be aware if you're driving up these mountains - it's highly likely the person behind you may be a local who's done the drive many many times, so at the first safe opportunity, put your ego aside, move your vehicle to the side, and LET THEM PASS. Any drive up or down a mountain road is NOT the place for egos or aggro. If you're being tailgated it doesn't mean the driver behind you is an arrogant asshole, it just means that they've had more experience on that particular road and they're looking to pass - so suck it up and let them. There's nothing worse that a carload of newbies who refuse to let others pass, with a long line of angry frustrated drivers behind them - it's a recipe for disaster.


Surely anyone, with any driving experience whatsoever, knows that a mountain road is not a place for tailgating?

Just because the person knows what they're doing, it doesn't mean they're not "an arrogant asshole"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/29/2010 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by classic_ben

Originally posted by athousandmonkeys

Be aware if you're driving up these mountains - it's highly likely the person behind you may be a local who's done the drive many many times, so at the first safe opportunity, put your ego aside, move your vehicle to the side, and LET THEM PASS. Any drive up or down a mountain road is NOT the place for egos or aggro. If you're being tailgated it doesn't mean the driver behind you is an arrogant asshole, it just means that they've had more experience on that particular road and they're looking to pass - so suck it up and let them. There's nothing worse that a carload of newbies who refuse to let others pass, with a long line of angry frustrated drivers behind them - it's a recipe for disaster.


Surely anyone, with any driving experience whatsoever, knows that a mountain road is not a place for tailgating?

Just because the person knows what they're doing, it doesn't mean they're not "an arrogant asshole"

If someone's driving up the arse of the person in front of them on a mountain road, it's probably because the person in front is driving sooooooo slow that there's still plenty of opportunity to stop suddenly if needed.

The only "arrogant asshole" is the person in front who rudely and selfishly refuses to let more competent drivers pass.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2010 at 8:26pm
driving isnt a huge issue - for those saying you definately need a 4wd, well you dont....you just need to make sure you have snowchains. I saw daihatsu sirion's up at Cardrona last year and it was puking!

I did however see 4WD's with highway tyres on (no chains or snow tyres) who ended up sliding into ditches and held us all up on the mountain for 45 minutes

Everything is close by in QT, so you wont have trouble getting around. If you have beginners in your group Cardrona is the best resort as the other resorts dont have a lot of green runs. Wanaka is only 30 minutes drive from Cardies, so that may be a good base if you have beginners or those doing ski school.

Personally I liked Remarkables a lot as there is a lot of terrain that can only be accessed by hiking and htis leaves a lot of untracked pow....homeward runs are awesome and a huge black run area that also doesnt get chewed up too quickly.

Cardies was awesome, the chutes are the place to be, but the rest of the resort gets tracked out real quickly.

Whoever said the beer is crap, based purely on the fact the alcohol content in a lot of the stuff is 4%, doesnt know much about beer. They have beautiful Beer (i bre beer so like to think I know a bit) Speights is great stuff. Monteiths is the pick of the bunch though
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/30/2010 at 8:30pm
my sister is traveling here this summer. All she has talked about is trying that veggiemite thing or whatever. I don't even know if she is right?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2010 at 8:47pm
vegemite is awesome. people either hate it or love it though. its actually and australian spread, not nz
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2010 at 9:04pm
i always wanted to go to new zealand i heard its great and awesome there.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2010 at 9:34pm
Originally posted by gravey

driving isnt a huge issue - for those saying you definately need a 4wd, well you dont...
True - however I'd still advise first timers to get a 4WD. Better safe than sorry. 

And for anybody inexperienced in descending snowy/icy/muddy/dodgy NZ resort roads - try to use your gears, and not your brakes, as much as possible.

Originally posted by gravey

Monteiths is the pick of the bunch though
Trooooooooo dat!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/01/2010 at 8:52pm
good advice athousandmonkeys - the amount of times you see someone riding their brakes all the way down the hill.....I cringe and hope they have brakes left by the end of it.

I actually always try to get a Subaru Legacy AWD Stationwagon.....4WD's can be expensive, but you can pick up older Subaru's for really cheap. Gives you plenty of room for your gear and the comfort of some extra grip
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/01/2010 at 9:57pm
plenty of activities to be done at Queenstown

1. Shotover Jet
2. White Water Rafting
3. Bungy jumping from a bridge or from the gondola
4. Queenstown Gondola, awesome views from up top of mountain ( will require to take a cabin lift to the top)
5. Milford sound around a 5 to 6 hour Bus ride from queenstown
6.Glenorchy for a Dart River Safari ( which consist of Canoeing/Bush walk/ Jet boat ride)... also where they filmed part of Lord Of The Ring.

7. Fergburger an awesome burger place at queenstown.

and last of all hitting the mountains!!

prob out of all the mountains in the area Coronet is the easiest one to drive up on, as the roads are actually paved and not just gravel!!

that was pretty much what i done when i was there!


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/02/2010 at 4:42am
Originally posted by athousandmonkeys

True - however I'd still advise first timers to get a 4WD. Better safe than sorry.

And for anybody inexperienced in descending snowy/icy/muddy/dodgy NZ resort roads - try to use your gears, and not your brakes, as much as possible.




what do you mean by using our gears? as in for an auto car, we should put it on 2 or 3 ?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/02/2010 at 4:53am
going uphill, anything.

downhill = Low gear.

sometimes 2nd.

and i second the 4wd recommendation.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/02/2010 at 4:56am
ah ok. we initially hired a people mover but we managed to change that to an awd since one guy pulled out and we only 4 people going now. thanks for the tips guys.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/02/2010 at 1:51pm
Im guessing you do use the gears in the auto (1, 2 & 3) I don't really think you can possibly go any quicker unless your falling down the mountain. We also have an auto tarago we are using and I guess thats what we are going to have to do...haha scarey
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