New Zealand was one of our long awaited trips and had been dreaming about his place since childhood. Also it happened to be our first overseas trip after moving to Australia. It takes 4 hours by flight to reach Christchurch from Melbourne.
There are so many beautiful places in New Zealand, but we wanted to fuel our adventure travel a bit more. So we zeroed in Queenstown. It’s the birth place of Bungy jumping. You might have seen in Vijay’s Kushi Movie. It was a major inspiration for us too
Things to Know before you Go
Visa: Prior Visa has to be arranged for Indian passport Holders. If you are an Australian Resident like us, no Visa is required
Currency: The currency in New Zealand is called the New Zealand Dollar.
1 NZD is equivalent to about 48 Indian rupees.
Best way to travel in New Zealand: Rent a car, it is not only economical than the packaged tours. You can see things at you pace. Most of the “to do” activities are away from the city
Use AIRBNB, it’s cheaper the hotels. You also cut down cost by doing some basic cooking. You can also get frozen foods from supermarkets and get them ready instantly. New Zealand is an expensive destination
Restaurants were expensive. Still plenty of Indian restaurants, take away and café’s in the cities. Lot of vegan/vegetarian options as well
Water: Tap water is Clean & safe. Do carry reusable bottles and refill it anywhere.
Credit Cards and ATMs: Most restaurant and retailers in the big and small cities will accept credit cards as payment. If you need to draw cash, you can find ATM’s almost everywhere: bank lobbies, on the streets, shopping malls, convenience stores, and petrol stations
How we got to
We flew from Melbourne International Airport to Christchurch International Airport and it took 4 hours one way.
Since we were on a road trip, we hired a 4WD from Thrifty. We didn't have preferred rent a car provider, Thrifty was economical while making the booking. It Costed us NZD 600 for 9 days. if you are booking with your credit card whcih is offering comprehensive accident insurance, don't pay for 0 excess, it is a waste of money. Its just doubling up
We left the car in Queenstown airport, as we booked our return journey from Queenstown International airport
New Zealand was alsmot at par with the expenses in Australia, also the exchange rate was almost equal.
We flew Jetstar, budget carrier. Tickets were on sale, so we got it at a good deal NZD 300/person return journey
AIRBNB was our preferred accommodation for all 9 days. It gave us the flexibility to cook & stay together. We had our friends travelling with us
We prepared breakfast ourselves, Lunch & Dinner will cost NZD 15~20/person/meal
Our car rental was NZD 600/9 days (all inclusive)
Where to Stay
As we mentioned earlier, we stayed in Hostels, Hotels, Resorts, Airbnb’s
Here are some of my favourite places to find accommodation options around the world:
If you’re traveling solo, we recommend staying in a hostel. You will meet fellow travellers and it’s a great way to have fun. It saves you money. If you prefer privacy, you can still get a private room, but you can also get to know people.
We used AIRBNB throughout our trip
@Christchurch, we stayed closer to the airport as we landed close to midnight and didn't want to go around the city
@Twizel, Second night. It was closer to lake Pukaki, & Mount cook. So we chose Twizel.
@Lake Tekapo, We stayed closer to the lake. Also its a small town.
@Queesntown, Stayed on a lake view Apartment, facing the Remarkables & lake wakatipu
In 7 Days, we can cover a lot in South island. We Spent one full day for our shoot and we had to stay indoors for another day because of bad weather. We enjoyed the trip very much and new Zealand is the place to Holiday. Couple of misses and a few mistakes we made, which we would also take you through
We spent 4 days in Queenstown which should be more than enough to cover majority of the adventures. You can spend time Hiking, Skiing and also do a day trip to Milford's Sound
No doubts in recommending Queenstown to travelers. Best to visit during Winter where you enjoy the snowy mountains