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1. Posted by rupesh68 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

some tips please on self drive tour to new zealand sp.south island

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 10y

You don't give us any information about what kind of things you like to do, what you'd like to see, when you're going or how long you'll be there for, so it's really hard to give any relevant suggestions.
Instead, I think I'll just link you to a bunch of threads where I suggested various itineraries, and then you can pick whichever one is closest to your own situation - or reply here with more specifics.

~3 weeks Auckland to Christchurch in summer.
1 week South Island.
2-3 weeks in winter.
2 weeks Auckland to Christchurch in winter.
2 weeks South Island in summer.

3. Posted by marksaunt (Budding Member 18 posts) 10y

I have done driving tours on the south and north islands, solo, twice. Depending on what you're interested in, I can tell you more. Overall I can say it's very easy to drive yourself wherever you want to go, that it can take a long time because while the islands themselves are not particularly huge, the distances between places and the routing of the roads can mean full days of driving, depending on your itinerary. The trip down the west coast, from Greymouth to Queenstown, for example, is beautiful, and a two day trip if you want to enjoy the Franz Josef and/or Fox Glacier areas.

The roads are all well maintained, you need to pay attention to your gas tank as fill up opportunities may be farther away than you thought. There are excellent road atlases available in country, wait to buy them when you get there.

Anything else that would be helpful?

4. Posted by traveler11 (Budding Member 11 posts) 10y

By the time I got to New Zealand I was running very short on funds. New Zealand was just a bonus to me. The girl I was traveling with and I decided just to rent a campervan and buy a map and get to driving. We only had I think 10 or 11 days. We saw pretty much the entire island (minus milford sound which I will go see someday). Since we had very little money we spent most of our time driving just enjoying the scenary and walking around. It was winter so that limited things such as hikes. Here's what we did, and what I recommend.

First day we drove the road from Christchurch to Mt. Cook, didn't drive up to mt. cook because it was raining, but the lakes are absolutely amazing. This day was actually one of my favorites.

Went on to Dunedin. I absolutely loved this city. We drove up the hill that overlooks the city, went to the steepest street in the world, walked around and then went and watched penguins come in for the day (very highly recommended).

We drove down around the south part of the island. Most things were closed due to winter, had some fun experiences with our camper van (don't get sucked in trying to find the "niagra falls" of new zealand).

Drove on up to Queenstown. Very pretty drive on the way in. The girl I was with went bungee jumping off the original bridge, awesome area. Went to Wanika and went to the movie theatre there (Paradiso if I remember correctly) Sounds weird but probably the best part of the trip. Also went to the Maze.

Drove up the glaciers where we planned to go skydiving and take a glacier hike. However it was heavily snowing and freezing. We walked up the glacier but skipped the hike (I know, I need to go back) and coulnd't skydive so we spent a night in the tiny town but then moved on.

Drove up to Nelson because it was the only place that was currently doing skydives. Beautiful!!!! Went to Hanmer Springs, it was commercialized but after camping in freezing weather it was nice. Also spent a lot of time with Sea Lions on the coast north of christchurch.

We had a lot of experiences and stories from new zealand and it was an absolutely beautiful country. We free camped the whole time which was easy most nights, a struggle some (makes you appreciate the convenience of a shower). Nothing's better then parking somewhere late and night and then waking up to find out you're watching an amazing sunrise over an ocean with mountains in the background.

5. Posted by Rem (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

How much does it usually cost to rent campervans in NZ?

6. Posted by traveler11 (Budding Member 11 posts) 10y

I was there during the offseason, cheapest we found was $40 a day. Worked for us. During the peak season the one we had was about $70 a day

7. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

The south island of new zealand has got to be in the top 3 of the most spectacular scenery anywhere.
It's also on of the friendliest places and easy to drive round.
If you are starting in christchurch (usual starting place apart from picton)toss a coin heads go southwards (clockwise), tails go northwards (anticlockwise) as if you follow the main roads it's like a big ring road and you get to see all the great stuff on the way.
As the south island is relatively narrow this is not a problem when wanting to divert into the heartland.
best trips i've had around NZ were on the coin direction..... it's also worked in france, scotland, germany, australia (just watch that one dosen't get out of hand), ireland.
Enjoy your trip