Hi Everyone, I am heading from the US to Auckland April 7th with planned departure of April 15th. I figured with the limited time and research I have done thus far, I should focus on South Island. I was wondering if you all could help me with an itinerary. It seems that there are a god few out there but sifting through everything is getting a bit confusing. I would appreciate any and all suggestions. My friends and I (resident physicians) have busy schedules and no one has taken the lead so far with time quickly approaching! In regards to getting to the South Island, I have found roundtrip tix from Auckland to Christchurch for $120 on jetstar. How reliable is this and how much time should I give myself in between flights? I realize Air New Zealand may be a more reliable route but there is a $300 price difference and we are all on a budget. I appreciate everyone's help in advance!
Have you already checked out flights on www.grabaseat.co.nz?
That's the cheap offers from Air New Zealand which, of course, has a lot more daily flights than Jetstar.
Right now there are NZ$ 59 one-way flights from AKL to Chch on grabaseat on the dates you wish.
You should allow three hours between flights, just for the case of a delay. One hour for immigration alone, getting sorted, changing terminals (20 min).
The last time I flew Chch - AKL I used Jetstar and there was no problem at all. But I general I very much prefer Air NZ.
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I just got back from a 2 week trip to NZ, covered both islands, and I am in the process of putting up my tips. In AKL there is a separate domestic terminal. You can walk but it's a good little jaunt, take the free shuttle bus. I mention this because if you don't know what to do you could lose a lot of time figuring it out. As far as what to see; you can't see it all, so you'll have to set priorities. We did Christchurch, Arthurs Pass, went down to Dunedin and the Otago penninsula and then drove all the way back to Picton for the ferry to the North Island. We didn't have time to get to Queenstown but we immensely enjoyed what we saw. Distances can be deceiving in NZ since most of the roads are only one lane each way and when you cover mountainous areas there are a lot of twists and turns. So you can't travel as far as you're used to in the States, if that's where you're from.