Well the weather is certainly warming up and most of you will now be looking at hanging up the ski boots and getting ready to soak up the sun, so we thought we would provide a few tips to make the most of the time you have.
As much as we enjoy being spontaneous and rocking out the door on a saturday morning for a weekend away, it does pay to plan ahead a little, particularly if your holiday time is limited. Some of the best holiday destinations are in or around smaller towns, so accommodation can be booked out months in advance, particularly around the new year and obviously, summer weekends.
If you are a visitor to New Zealand, I am sure you will most likely have a rough plan of what you want to see and during your stay. If not, don’t despair! Write down a list of everything you want to see, check it out on google maps and plan accordingly.
One thing we see so often is travellers trying to see the whole country regardless of the time they have. The problem is, obviously, you have to spend so much time in transport you miss out on so much. With New Zealands ever changing landscapes you can often see and do everything you want, by just focusing on a particular area, and spend more time enjoying it as a result. I for one love driving, but I still never plan to do more than 5 hours per day when on holiday – you just drive past too much awesomeness when you do.
For the working travellers and locals alike, don’t let the fact you have to work over summer get in the way. It is incredible how often people travel the world, let alone their own country without exploring their own backyard. I am a perfect example of this, as I am currently in San Fransisco, for work, yet everyone I meet who has visited New Zealand wonders why I would ever want to leave. Since I have been here I have been researching every corner of the interweb to find the best things to do in my limited spare time. Do I ever do it at home? Nein! I in fact live in what is known as one of the most “boring” places in New Zealand ( near Hamilton ) , yet within one hour from my home is Raglan beach, countless walking and cycling trails , Hobbiton, 4 lakes with beach areas, some amazing playgrounds for the kids, and an abundance of waterfalls and other natural attractions, just to name a few.
Check out what is in your area, there is normally more than most think.
New Years Eve
Most cities will have some activity happening to celebrate New Years Eve, in addition to the hundreds of concerts and festivals that are happening around New Zealand. Over the next few weeks we will put the spotlight on some of these to help you decide what might be best for you.
The age old question. Do I rent a car, buy a car, or book a bus.
Everybody has different situations, so there is no one size fits all. If you are in a group of 3 or more, getting a car is often the best option. similarly, public transport in New Zealand is generally limited to cities and towns and rarely leaves the beaten path, so if you plan to do a lot of hiking , surfing and so on, a bus will cause you a lot of down time. To buy or rent really depends on the time you have and if you want the hassle of having to sell a car when you leave. If you do choose to buy, there are various facebook groups to find a used car, as well as trademe and similar sites. Some car yards will have cheaper cars they have traded also. If you are not confident in checking out the car yourself, there are a number of places that will do this for you. Two of the more popular are the AA and VTNZ who can perform a number of checks for between $50 and $400 depending on what you want looked at.
If you are looking to rent, there are many options available. If starting from Auckland or Christchurch, Snap Rentals are a good option and have a price guarantee – if you find a better deal they will beat it by 10% ! Check out the full terms and conditions and check out the prices on there website HERE .
We also have a search engine on our site which scans all the leading rental car companies and shows you all the options, you can view this HERE .
If you are travelling alone, or just don’t want to drive around, there are some great bus passes available. Intercity have a number of passes which give you a number of trips at a discounted price, just pay for the pass and book your trips as you please. This is great as it gives you the flexibility to stay in one town a little longer than planned, and just book for a later date. You can view the passes HERE .
Of course there is the option of taking a guided tour, expensive you say? think again. Haka provide great tours around New Zealand at very reasonable prices. What’s more, you hardly need to do a thing, and can maximize every moment you have , a great option if you are limited with time. Haka have won so many awards over the years we have lost count, we can not recommend them highly enough.
How about a week away?
Of course some of you , as amazing as New Zealand is, will have other destinations in mind. We will go into more detail on a few popular spots around the pacific in coming articles, but we will say for now that we do have a sale on Fiji and the Gold Coast at the moment, so contact us and we will see what we can do for you.
I will leave you now to enjoy the weekend! As mentioned over the next few weeks we will be looking at off-shore destinations, where to be for New Years Eve , as well as taking a look at a few of the best places to learn to surf, so keep an eye out. If you don’t want to miss out, hit the subscribe button below and we will send our newsletters direct to you! One last thing, get outside and explore, don’t forget to send in your pics and stories of your adventures, we would love to share them. Here’s one from where I am.
note: this isn’t my image, credit: unknown.