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Questions about travel in NZ over xmas


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#1 Velvetta

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

A few miscellaneous questions: we are going for two weeks in Dec over xmas through to new year.

1. Eftpos or credit card - can we just use our regular CBA cards or should we take a bundle of cash? Is there a higher charge on card use in ATMs in NZ? either for cirrus/maestro or for the credit card?

2. Should we book day trippy things ahead, such as the Milford Sound boat trip, the glowworm caves, sea or lake kayaking etc, or would that be more expensive than just booking when we get there. We don't want to miss out but we don't want to be paying 20% higher for middlemen booking agents.

3.   Still not sure about the weather and what to take - we start in CC, stay 2 nights in Akaroa, then lake Tekapo, head south on the coast to Dunedin (xmas day), head for Te Anau to a camp site cabin,and do the Sounds, then Wanaka, Timaru, home. Some of the places we are staying in don't supply bedding - will a sleeping bag each be warm enough? What about clothing - ?  a cardie? a coast? sandals or boots and socks?

4. Best way to manage phones? Just buy a sim card there or get something before we go? (DH is taking his Galaxy iphone, that's all)

5. Is it worth taking my tablet ( a Motorola Xoom) - is there much free wifi there?

6. Any other tips?

Thanks so much.

#2 Liv_DrSperm_sh

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

OK...

YOu can just use your normal cards in NZ so don't worry about taking wads of cash!

For that time of year it's generally wise to pack for all types of weather - I went skiing in NZ on Christmas day one year! You should be OK with just a sleeping bag, but pack beach wear and jumpers - it might be scorching or freezing!

Personally I wouldn't worry about booking ahead, or using middle-men. Just rock up to the things you want to go to, there are usually a few operators, so if one is busy there will usually be another - and kiwis are generally really friendly and helpful so they will try and accomodate you as much as possible!

Not sure about phones, I hate mobiles so I never bother with taking mine!

NZ has good wifi, loads of places have free wifi so take your tablet

Other tips - watch the roads, christmas on the roads in NZ can be quite busy and dangerous and kiwi driving scares the sh*t out of me (I'm a kiwi myself and I don't mind saying that!).
I went to uni in Dunedin, it's a great place, make sure you go out to port chalmers it's great there!

#3 KrisMs

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

We found lots of free wi-fi earlier this year, especially in Dunedin.  I think I googled NZ free wifi prior to going just to check.

if you have time and inclination, can highly recommend the Nature Sail on Fox II jn Akaroa if it is operating at that time of year.  Couple of hours on a beautiful sailing ship, on a great Harbour and more sea life/ bird life than you can poke a stick at.  Loads of little dolphins, Hector's dolphins from memory, swimming with the sailing boat.  Fantastic experience and not too pricey from memory either.

#4 Velvetta

Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

Thanks, are you sure about using cards there? No extra charges for using an aussie card?

KrisMs, would a 4 year old be safe on that sailing boat?

Edited by Velvetta, 08 November 2012 - 04:01 PM.


#5 Liv_DrSperm_sh

Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

At ATMs you pay whatever your bank charges for overseas transactions - which is a total crock!

I've never experienced any extra charging and I always just carry my debit/credit card, I hate organising cash in advance!

#6 PrincessPeach

Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

Buy a sim there - we bought a 2degrees pre-paid sim & it was fantastic. We spent $20 on top-ups & that lasted us the entire 10 days we were there & we made a lot of phone calls (DH's brother was getting married - there was lots to organise).

As for what to pack - we were on the North Island in early December (wedding was the 5th of December) & we found it to be as cold, if not colder than winter here in Qld. Although the locals were all in Jeans & T-shirts, we still had jumpers on. However definatly pack stuff for warmer weather as two days after we left, Auckland had a heatwave!

Also if you get a really sunny day - you get sunburnt really fast over there. So pack some sunscreen.




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