Written on Monday, 25 January 2010
Read about how much my flights cost and what the current travel booking conditions are if you too are planning a trip to Queenstown New Zealand in June or July 2010.
The travel bug bit me again; this time itching to spend a few days in either autumn or winter (or both) on the South Island.
I decided to plan the latter first, because I really want to see snow on the mountains and time was running out to get good deals on flights to the South Island of New Zealand in June 2010 or July 2010.
Last year I skipped my winter trip and only did an autumn one, and can honestly say that I missed the cold and snow.
So this year I was eager to start planning a winter 2010 trip to the South Island. And where else do you go to see snow on the South Island? No, not Queenstown.
The South Island of New Zealand has many mountains and mountain ranges, but my favourite ones are really in Mackenzie Country (where Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo are located – if you’re unfamiliar with the locations in New Zealand) and the Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka).
While I wanted to do two trips in one – yes, I know that was a bit over the top but remember that I’m currently “hungry” to spend winter down South – I was not able to find good deals.
My initial plan was to fly to Queenstown and spend half of my winter holiday in the Southern Lakes area, then fly to Christchurch and drive to Twizel and spend the other half of my winter vacation in Mackenzie Country.
By the way, I wanted to fly and then drive to avoid long drives and/or having to drive through Lindis Pass in winter. In addition, it is much easier to find a flight from Christchurch back to Wellington than it is to find a direct flight from Queenstown back to Wellington. Unfortunately, Air New Zealand does not offer many of these direct flights.
But because I could not find any good flights in July (July is a busy period because of the winter school holidays in New Zealand), June was also looking grim to realise this plan, and car rental prices were insanely high, I decided to make the trip a bit shorter and spend all of my time in Queenstown. Maybe next year I’ll do the double whammy.
And here’s an important bit of news for you: If you want to visit Queenstown or the South Island of New Zealand in July 2010, you’d better hurry, because flights are filling up fast and car rental prices are going up quickly.
Some car rental companies in Queenstown are already fully booked for many dates in July 2010, which is why I decided to head down to Queenstown in June 2010 instead. I guess I was too late with booking my winter trip this year.
While I was not able to find a good deal with Budget or Avis (the two car rental companies I often use), I did get a good deal on my flights with Air New Zealand.
A round-trip from Wellington to Queenstown cost me $228 (New Zealand dollars, including all taxes), and considering that I was expecting to pay around $300 or more, this was a bargain! I got the seats I wanted, I got 2 direct flights (no stopping in Christchurch), and I got the times I wanted.
As I mentioned at the beginning, autumn was – and still is – on my mind. Perhaps I might throw in a few days… Will be considering that a bit more the coming week. But one thing is certain: I’m super excited about my trip to Queenstown in June 2010.
Update February 7, 2010:
I’m happy to report that I also booked a flight with Air New Zealand for autumn and will rent a car in Christchurch from Budget Car Rental. Just have to arrange accommodation now.
For the June 2010 winter trip to Queenstown, I researched the room rates of several hotels in Queenstown, but finally decided to stay at a motel I’ll be trying out for the first time. I’ll tell you where I’ve stayed when I get back.Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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