My husband and I are planning a trip to New Zealand in March for three or four weeks. We would like to see as much as we can of both islands. We are unsure if we should hire a car and stay in hotels-motels or hire a motor home. Any ideas for a suitable itinerary to get the most out of our trip?
- M. Brown, Nelson Bay.
Motor homes are not for everyone but I would go with that option. The weather should be mild in March and a motor home gives you the flexibility to stop for breaks and meals at beautiful places along the way.
In terms of cost, there should be little difference between hotels and a motor home. A motor home will cost you about $NZ3500 ($2842) for three weeks.
Expect to pay a further $NZ25 a night for a powered campsite. This would bring you to a total of about $NZ4000 for your vehicle and accommodation.
A hire car would cost you about $NZ1000 for three weeks which, on a budget of $NZ4000, would leave you about $NZ140 a night for accommodation — a typical motel price.
A motor home would obviously cost you more in fuel, but being able to prepare your own meals when you wish would save on costs.
Regarding an itinerary, don't be too ambitious, as the travelling can be slow and there is a lot to see.
With three weeks, I would suggest a week on the North Island (Auckland, Bay of Islands and Rotorua, plus Napier if you have time) and two weeks on the South Island (a loop taking in Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Milford Sound and Franz Josef).
- Jane E. Fraser
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