Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: timaru/oamaru, new zealand
Bikes: trek 520, thorn nomad, giant yukon, avanti aggressor, bauer racing bike, couple of other projects ...
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Chris L
Preferably with a knowledge base of the South Island. I was all set to land in Christchurch for a five-week tour on November 5, but due to work commitments, I may be unable to go at that time. What I want to know is, exactly how busy does the South Island get over the Christmas/New Year period -- and which areas suffer the worst from the tourist traffic. How about early December -- exactly when does it normally pick up?
Riding in heavy traffic doesn't bother me unduly (I'm used to Gold Coast tourist seasons -- and the notable thing here is that the locals are generally even worse than the tourists!), however I do find noisy cluttered campgrounds quite annoying -- not to mention places where tent sites need to be booked in advance (I've seen those too). I did a tourist season tour in Tasmania a couple of years ago and didn't encounter any problems (largely due to knowing where all the obscure free sites on the West Coast were), but I wouldn't want to try it in some of the other places I've been.
So how much of an effect does tourist season have in that part of the world?
mate, it gets very busy over the xmas/new year period ... like your part of the world, it is school holidays and every man and his dog has some time off and heads away if they can ...
busy parts??? in no particular order ... queenstown/wanaka, nelson, anywhere else with lots of sunshine and some flat water ... some towns are more touristy than others and are busy anyway during summer months but just get busier [queenstown for instance] ...
this means that camping grounds are full to overflowing, and its worse over the new year period when teenagers tend to get pissed and wreck things, especially those things that aren't theirs [speaking from experience having camped in a busy camping ground over new years in a busy spot] ...
touring here over that time is possible but there are many more vehicles on the road and often theya re towing caravans or boats ... this also means long queues of traffic and irritable people getting stuck behind slow vehicles and they will take any opportunity or chances to get past, and if you are in the road of a passing manouvre you are more at risk ...
i don't want to put you off, it can be done but you need to be smart about it ... pick less used routes, travel early in the day, plan your days in the busy places to avoid the busy periods, be prepared to be disappointed at not getting onto some form of accomodation at times ...
early december is good ... generally it gets busy pretty close to christmas ... this year it should be 23/24 december and continue until about end second week of january and tapering off till end of third week as folks head back to work from annual holidays ...
more on my website
hope that helps ... give me a yell if i can help any further ... hoogie[at]xtra[dot]co[dot]nz
timaru/oamaru, new zealand