Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Accommodation in Queenstown 5 days stay

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    .
    Posts
    493

    Default Accommodation in Queenstown 5 days stay

    Would like to check this in Queenstown.

    Do tourists usually stay within in Queenstown's town area? or do they stay in places such as ArrowTown , Lower Shotover etc?
    Reason for asking is the cost differences..

    We are trying to book rooms for 5 days for 5 people.

    I have found a house in Cromwell.

    I am planning to do Milford Sound tour. Do you know if tour operators will usually pick passengers from Cromewell?

    Or if there is public transport to reach Queenstown by 7 AM then that would be great. Or do you know how are the car parking facilities in Queenstown? Is free parking allowed? If so we can drive to Queenstown early in the morning to catch the bus to Milford Sound.

    Regarding driving in the early morning before 6AM in August.

    Will there be snow or black ice on the road from Cromwell to Queenstown? Will it be safe to drive during this time?
    I have no experience with snow chain or driving in snow.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    S'pore-2-AKL again
    Posts
    877

    Default

    If you are planning to do most of your activities in Queenstown, you will need to be based in Queenstown or the very least as close to it as possible. Cromwell is about 1 hr away from Queenstown. Tour operators do not travel to Cromwell to pick up people (it's going in the opposite direction) , so you need to travel to Queenstown on your own to be in time for the bus and the bus journey from Queenstown to Milford is 2.5 hours either way, so you are looking at a very long day and a return journey at night on dark roads.

    In my experience, it is better to be based at least 1 night in Te Anau to take the full advantage of the Milford Road and Sound (as daylight hours in winter is very short).

    Snow may be a big deal on the Milford Road (and it may cause some chaos and cancellations) but it is unpredictable and hard to say. If you are in a rental car, you can ask and get snow chains for free or pay a small fee.

    However black ice can be a real problem and very likely before 6am. In our experience, we met with black ice on the route from Mossburn (very notorious). Our campervan spurn out of control and landed in a ditch on the other side of the road. All this happened a little after 7am. Luckily there was no vehicles around us so no major accidents. Our camper was slightly damaged at the rear and we were lucky to meet a road engineer who used his truck and pulley to pull us out of the ditch.

    I certainly have no idea if there would be black ice between the two towns in that early morning start but I would advise great caution and not drive too fast if you are still determine to stay in Cromwell. I would find the whole exercise rather taxing, if you plan many activities in Queenstown and continuously have to drive back and forth on your holiday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    .
    Posts
    493

    Default

    hi thanks a lot for sharing your experience

    We just booked an accommodation in Speargrass , some 5 km from QnsTown.

    Did you have that accident with black ice in August?

    We will be 5 of us, including my 5 year old daughter and old parents.
    I hope travelling to Milford Sound with 5 year old kid will not be of much issues. as it is only 2.5 hours travel to one side.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    S'pore-2-AKL again
    Posts
    877

    Default

    A common misconception is that black ice occurs only in high altitudes in areas of snow. But black ice is actually caused by rain falling overnight in freezing temperatures. So for NZ, it can go from autumn all the way to spring everywhere in the country. You can encounter black ice in Dunedin or Invercargill where it doesn't snow, and even in North Island like Tokoroa (our 2nd time). The only sure way not to encounter black ice is to make your road journeys after sunrise. Otherwise extra caution needs to be taken when driving.

    If you go via tour buses from Queenstown, they will leave very early and drive really fast. This is because they need to make it to the Milford Sound for the cruise. Cruises end earlier in winter. If you miss the cruise, you will miss the opportunity to see the sound. Of course in a tour bus, you need not worry about driving and the conditions, but the journey can be rather dull (not much to see in the morning as it is dark) and only a toilet break in Te Anau.

    If you self-drive, best to start off the day by spending overnight in Te Anau. You won't miss the boat. And you can control where and when to stop and take a longer time to see the area. If you start off at Queenstown, you need to reach the beginning of Milford Road before 10am. And take no more than 5 min stops along the way to the sound if you hope to catch the cruise. Depending on the conditions, it can take about 1.5 hrs or more to travel this road. If it snows, it is much slower.

    My daughter was 3+ when we went on a camper through Milford Road and stayed 2 nights in Te Anau. So no issues with time or being fussy. We stopped frequently along the road and took our time and still reached the cruise on time and back to Te Anau. Of course the very next day we went for an early start from Te Anau and hence had the black ice encounter. This was in mid-July during the school break.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    .
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Thank you so much for the valuable information, and sharing your experience.
    Much much helpful!

    I am booking the bus to MFSound from QnsTown for 5 of us, including my 5 year old daughter in August.

    I understand that there can be black ice in August on the road, it being formed by rain water.

    I have no experience with snow chain or driving in snow. Not sure car rental company will provide it.
    If needed I can buy from Singapore as well, as there is plenty available here at a cheaper price ( less than 7$ SGD)

    I booked the car from Hitch Car Rental-Auckland. Not sure how good their service is.

    Did you use a snow chain in NZ ever? Is prior experience required to fit a snow chain?
    Do cars run at the normal speed with chains ? or is it slower than normal speed?

    I guess buses going to MF Sound uses snow chains.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,546

    Default

    Ask your rental company if they can provide chains, otherwise AA might be able to help.
    Although I am not sure how frequently the need for chain comes up in Auckland...

    Driving with chains will slow you down considerably.

    Personally I think it is a good idea to do the tour with a tour company- you just need to take things to occupy your child during the time when there is nothing to be seen due to darkness.... If you feel uncomfortable with the driving situation, and since I seem to remember that you've got quite a packed itinerary, booking the tour from Queenstown will take some stress away for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    S'pore-2-AKL again
    Posts
    877

    Default

    It's quite easy to work out how to fit snow chains since there are so many videos on youtube to do so. Your only concern is to probably get one in which fit quite a spectrum of tyres since they come in different size range. We only ever used snow chains once and it was in 2004, going up to Coronet Peak.

    On hindsight, it is probably a good idea if you intend to do a lot of winter/snow vacation travel in NZ. We certainly could have used it last year on our trip, being caught in a blizzard in Ohakune. That was considered the storm of the century.

    Possible areas where you might need chains if it is snowy or icy in your travels, is probably around Lindis Pass. Usually there is a travel advisory or if things are really bad, the patrols will divert you which means a longer travelling time. As for the Milford Road, buses are able to handle slight snow and slippery roads better but in worst cases where there is a blizzard, mudslide etc then the tour will be postponed and possibly refunded or extended to tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    .
    Posts
    493

    Default

    thanks newarrival and batgirl1001 for the detailed replies. Definitely helps.
    I just learned how to fit chain from Youtube, and ordered it from the car rental company ( NZD 35)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Singapore --> Wellington, NZ
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farfaraway View Post
    Would like to check this in Queenstown.

    Do tourists usually stay within in Queenstown's town area? or do they stay in places such as ArrowTown , Lower Shotover etc?
    Reason for asking is the cost differences..

    We are trying to book rooms for 5 days for 5 people.

    I have found a house in Cromwell.

    I am planning to do Milford Sound tour. Do you know if tour operators will usually pick passengers from Cromewell?

    Or if there is public transport to reach Queenstown by 7 AM then that would be great. Or do you know how are the car parking facilities in Queenstown? Is free parking allowed? If so we can drive to Queenstown early in the morning to catch the bus to Milford Sound.

    Regarding driving in the early morning before 6AM in August.

    Will there be snow or black ice on the road from Cromwell to Queenstown? Will it be safe to drive during this time?
    I have no experience with snow chain or driving in snow.
    if you havent driven in snow then its advisable to start driving later than 6 am, preferably around 8 as thats when the sun comes out these days. We recently did a week long drive across South late May and there was early snow & icy roads around Lindis Pass, Wanaka & Tekapo. We did not stay in Queenstown this trip but stayed at Wanaka with a day trip to Queenstown.

    if you plan to drive to Wanaka from Queenstown then i would suggest not to take the Crown range route as its not for the faint hearted. Take the Cromwell <> Luggate route instead as its much easier if you are not comfortable driving in hills.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    .
    Posts
    493

    Default

    ok thanks.
    Do you mean the Cardrona road will be icy and dangerous?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •