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2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Swan Hill, Australia
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2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Hi all,

I'm in the process of rough planning a budget trip for myself (25), my partner(30), sister (20) and her partner (21). The plan is to spend 2.5 weeks in the South Island taking in the highlights but not feeling too rushed or have a super detailed intinerary. The dates to go are the last week in September and first two weeks of October this year.

Would travelling by motorhome be a good option or by bus and staying at cheapish motels work out better? Have only travelled to Thailand and Bali staying at the one hotel the whole time so this trip is quite different to plan!

Thanks in advance

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

The south island is perfect for Motorhoming - so much to see and you can do it at your leisure with free camping or every few nights treat yourselves to a powered park. You can plan a very relaxed itenerary and move on when you feel like it.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Are you usually campers? 2 couples might find the lack of privacy in a motor home a problem.

Why does the option have to be a bus - why not a car & motels?

In 2.5 weeks you can do a really nice loop of the SI - Chch to Chch.

Do be aware that it will be school holidays so you should plan at least a basic itineray.

California
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3. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Adding to Zhuhai's suggestion of motels... many of them have 2-bedroom units. And they all will have some sort of kitchenette.

Nights are still cold in October. So if you are all 4 in a campervan, you would be confined inside once the sun went down. Wouldn't it be nicer to have the space of a motel room to lounge in? I'm thinking of the simple activity of watching TV - in a campervan, there is no way all 4 of you could be positioned to watch tv comfortably. At a motel, you could -- and you'd probably have satellite TV as well.

Swan Hill, Australia
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4. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Thanks for the replies, the couple we are with camp a bit, but my partner and I don't camp at all. That's a great point about nighttime activities. We are all from Victoria Australia where it doesn't really get too cold.

Has anyone found it tiresome checking in and out of hotels every 1-3 days?

Or would it be better to base ourselves in say 3/4 towns and travel out?

Would a hire car be more economical and easier for 4 of us than buses?

Thanks again!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

<Has anyone found it tiresome checking in and out of hotels every 1-3 days?>

Only if you are totally disorganised. How hard is it to put your clothes back in your suitcase & throw your toilet bag into your carry-on and put it in the car?? (note that I'm recommending motels with free & convenient parking rather than hotels). Remember that even if you are in a camper van you have to pack up most stuff, including the entire bed every time you move on.

If you take buses everywhere you then have to walk or get taxis to your accommodation and often to dinner as well. Besides, most scenic attractions are along the road and the bus won't stop for you to take photos or explore! Most visitors to the SI find that the classic "road trip" works really well, changing accommodation every 2 days.

You will find the weather very similar to Melbourne ;-(

Edited: 01 June 2017, 10:14
California
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6. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

>>>Remember that even if you are in a camper van you have to pack up most stuff, including the entire bed every time you move on.<<<

Eh, the bed wasn't always stowed when we campervanned. But there were only the two of us. But you do have to be sure glassware and dishes are secure!

I think campervanning would be the true test of a friendship. I'm envisioning everyone navigating around one another in the morning. Even traveling with friends in separate motel rooms is a test. There's always someone who spends a great amount of time primping before they will venture out and another who slaps on the deodorant and is ready to get out the door at 7am! I think even the most laid-back group of 4 people would meet their limits (campervanning in October) after the first week. In the Summer (January, February, March) the days are longer and nights are warmer and you can spread out into the great outdoors and give each other space. You'd have a fighting chance of making it work.

Checking in and out of motels is a breeze. But I do recommend making the most out of 2 or 3 night stays, rather than 1 night stays.

7. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

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Swan Hill, Australia
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8. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

Thanks for your input everyone, after some thought I have decided it would probably be better to get a hire car, now to find the right car! Thanks again!

9. Re: 2 Couples on travelling the South Island

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