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Old Nov 17, 12, 11:37 am   #1
 
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Queenstown stay 5 nights

I am booked for 5 nights stay in Queenstown in early Jan. Arriving from Auckland & leaving for Sydney after 5 nights stay at Queenstown. Please advise.

1) Do i need to book coach cruise coach trip to milford sound in advance. Iam getting significant discounted deal on this for advance booking on net. This particular trip does not specify any particular company.

2)Any difference in coach comforts by different companies ? because we are likely to spend around 9 hrs in travel in coach. If yes then which company offers most comfortable travel.

3) Besides milford sound, other days what options for travel. ( like Glenorchy/arrowtown/ Wanaka/ Mt. Cook. ( we are 2 adults , like relaxed sight seeing , not much interested in self drive option. )
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Old Nov 30, 12, 3:19 am   #2
 
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I just spent 4 days in Queenstown at the Hilton and had a wonderful stay. If you want to book a trip to the Milford Sound there are many places to do so when you land at the airport and in town. The cost is around $150 NZ per person. I also highly reccomend the Skyline Gondola and Luge for beautiful views right in Queenstown. I also notice that you are Hilton Gold. We used points for a stay after booking the base room and we were upgraded to a Suite with a lake view.
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Old Dec 6, 12, 11:05 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by raji View Post
I am booked for 5 nights stay in Queenstown in early Jan. Arriving from Auckland & leaving for Sydney after 5 nights stay at Queenstown. Please advise.

1) Do i need to book coach cruise coach trip to milford sound in advance. Iam getting significant discounted deal on this for advance booking on net. This particular trip does not specify any particular company.

2)Any difference in coach comforts by different companies ? because we are likely to spend around 9 hrs in travel in coach. If yes then which company offers most comfortable travel.

3) Besides milford sound, other days what options for travel. ( like Glenorchy/arrowtown/ Wanaka/ Mt. Cook. ( we are 2 adults , like relaxed sight seeing , not much interested in self drive option. )
We booked our trip to Milford Sound after arriving in Queenstown. Could not face the prospect of a full day in a coach so flew over and back with Air Milford. Bumping around in a little plane scared the bejeesus out of us, but we are so glad we did it.
Other activities: you could really do with a car there. Roads are really quiet so driving yourself around is not stressful and gives you the freedom to go to places like Wanaka etc. Plenty of nice vineyards to visit too. Also look at the TSS Earnslaw. Loved Arrowtown, was disappointed with Glenorchy. Drive over to Wanaka very scenic. Scenery is just Remarkable (couldn't resist the pun).
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Old Dec 11, 12, 7:12 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iexaltu View Post
I just spent 4 days in Queenstown at the Hilton and had a wonderful stay. If you want to book a trip to the Milford Sound there are many places to do so when you land at the airport and in town. The cost is around $150 NZ per person. I also highly reccomend the Skyline Gondola and Luge for beautiful views right in Queenstown. I also notice that you are Hilton Gold. We used points for a stay after booking the base room and we were upgraded to a Suite with a lake view.
Thanks for your suggestion & i am excited that i am also booked in Hilton Queenstown & looking forward to amazing stay. Skyline Gondala & Luge is in my list. Thanks again
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Old Dec 11, 12, 7:18 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by ardbroilach View Post
We booked our trip to Milford Sound after arriving in Queenstown. Could not face the prospect of a full day in a coach so flew over and back with Air Milford. Bumping around in a little plane scared the bejeesus out of us, but we are so glad we did it.
Other activities: you could really do with a car there. Roads are really quiet so driving yourself around is not stressful and gives you the freedom to go to places like Wanaka etc. Plenty of nice vineyards to visit too. Also look at the TSS Earnslaw. Loved Arrowtown, was disappointed with Glenorchy. Drive over to Wanaka very scenic. Scenery is just Remarkable (couldn't resist the pun).
Thanks for your suggestion . please advise whether it is worth spending full day to Mt. Cook. I plan to divide my itinerary as one day for Milford sound, two days for local Queenstown activities ( Skyline Gondola with luge, TSS earnslaw, wine yards, relaxing in hotel etc), one day trip to Wanaka via Arrowtown.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 1:44 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by ardbroilach View Post
We booked our trip to Milford Sound after arriving in Queenstown. Could not face the prospect of a full day in a coach so flew over and back with Air Milford. Bumping around in a little plane scared the bejeesus out of us, but we are so glad we did it.
We'll be in Queenstown in mid-Feb 2013. How much was your plane into Milford ? I'm a plane geek and if it's not terribly expensive (a couple hundred bucks), a bush plane into Milford sounds great!
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Old Dec 12, 12, 2:01 am   #7
 
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I have a question for those of you who've been in/out of Queenstown(or even those who might live there )
What's been your experience with the reliability/variability of getting in and out flight-wise ?
I noticed from the Wikipedia article that ZQN finally has lighted runways but is otherwise still not considered a full-service airport. What's been your experience with delays/cancellations ? Would you recommend getting first flight out or is an afternoon departure realistic ? We'd be flying one-way to AKL in prep for our trip home. I've toyed with the idea of flying out of IVC but the airport there is even smaller and seems more dodgy.

We're going to be in Queenstown for about 4-5 days, thinking of a late afternoon->evening departure to AKL on a Friday, leaving for SFO on Sunday.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 3:12 am   #8
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Occasionally ZQN is shut for a few consecutive days, but not often; you don't say when your trip is, but with 2 day buffer in AKL you should be OK. Multi-hour delays seem to be more the norm than the exception in the past, so same-day connections from ZQN have been problematic historically. As you note, there have been some minor airport improvements, but these are mainly tangential to the causes of past delays. Also big difference between airlines at ZQN (Air NZ has a capability edge over Jetstar, for example).
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Old Dec 12, 12, 3:15 am   #9
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Originally Posted by Jet'Dillo View Post
We'll be in Queenstown in mid-Feb 2013. How much was your plane into Milford ? I'm a plane geek and if it's not terribly expensive (a couple hundred bucks), a bush plane into Milford sounds great!
It is about NZD 500 per person (so about double your "couple hundred bucks" target) but well worth it. Astonishingly beautiful scenery, though fog can be a big problem some months of the year. See http://www.airmilford.co.nz/milford-sound-flights.html for sample pricing.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 6:08 am   #10
 
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Occasionally ZQN is shut for a few consecutive days, but not often; you don't say when your trip is, but with 2 day buffer in AKL you should be OK. Multi-hour delays seem to be more the norm than the exception in the past, so same-day connections from ZQN have been problematic historically. As you note, there have been some minor airport improvements, but these are mainly tangential to the causes of past delays. Also big difference between airlines at ZQN (Air NZ has a capability edge over Jetstar, for example).
Oh, we'll be in NZ from 2/3(Sun)-2/24(Sun). I was thinking of leaving ZQN on Friday, 2/22 on one of the late afternoon Air NZ flights. We're *G.
It sounds like we want one of the ZQN->AKL flights rather than trying to go through CHC or WLG.
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Old Dec 13, 12, 5:21 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Jet'Dillo View Post
We'll be in Queenstown in mid-Feb 2013. How much was your plane into Milford ? I'm a plane geek and if it's not terribly expensive (a couple hundred bucks), a bush plane into Milford sounds great!
I can't remember the exact figure but it's certainly a few hundred dollars more than the coach-cruise-coach option from Queenstown to Milford Sound. As posted elsewhere the scenery is outstanding and your almost close enough to touch the snow-capped peaks before plummeting down to the airstrip at the head of the Sound. We did our trip in April and, prior to our arrival in Queenstown, there had been no flights over for about 10 days due to cloud cover.
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