Auckland > Ohakune in the PM

Rapid_Revilo

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Hello all,

I've booked flights to Nth Island NZ for this winter, with the arrival flight landing at 3.40pm in Auckland. Is there anyway i can get to Ohakune that night without hiring a car?

The only buses i can find leave in the morning and its a similar story with the train from what i can see.

Surely there must be someway without me wasting night in Auckland and then losing a day skiing....
 

grantn

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I'm doubtful there would be. How come you don't want to hire a car? Rental cars are as cheap as Chups over there, around the $20-$25 mark will get you a 4cyl car, and that will be handy in Ohakune anyway, because if Turoa is shut (which has happened lots to me when I have stayed in Ohakune) you will still have wheels to get you to Whakapapa (if the lifts are open). Depending on the wind direction, in many cases if lifts are shut at one of the two, the other can still be open. Also, if you have wheels you can leave town early on a Sat to get up the hill before the crowds. Turoa and Whakapapa can get really busy on the weekend. If you do stay in Ohakune, I highly recommend LKNZ backpackers. Best backpackers I have ever stayed in.
 
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Rapid_Revilo

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I did search car hire but it was like $70 a day! Thats over $500 for the length of time im staying :S

I'd need to hire at the airport and and drop it off 7 days later
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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Can I ask how you were planning to get from Ohakune to Turoa each day?
I've never used a shuttle but I'd be surprised if it was free..maybe $25 a day just for the bus?
And if Turoa's closed (often) how were you planning of getting around to Whakapapa?
By the time you factor in a lost day, a return bus trip from AKL to Turoa, and daily shuttle costs, I think you should try and stretch to the car option
You might welcome the freedom once you see Ohakune ;)
 
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Rapid_Revilo

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I had planned on catching the shuttles while there - i did see they existed to both resorts but didnt realise they were $25 a day!! That's extortion. I thought the $15 or whatever for Queenstown was a bit rough....

Definitely car is looking like the better option i reckon.
 
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MisterMxyzptlk

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IThat's extortion. .

That's skiing!:D
Also be aware the local whanau runs the chains racket
It's amazing how often you "need" chains on a fully sealed road to the Wintergarden...so that's definitely another cost to factor in.
Not sure if the cheaper care rental firms provide chains if you do hire a car, If not, see if you can hire chains in Hamilton, or Taupo for the week rather than paying for the chain service on the mountain
 

grantn

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A big thumbs up for Ace car rentals, out of Auckland. $20 will get you an older 4cyl, $27 a day will get you a current Nissan Tiida. Have used them many times, have never got a dud. I also like with Ace you can pay an extra $2 a day and get window and tyres covered with no excess. I have gone with them and paid no excess waiver (because travel insurance will cover that) but paid the $2 because travel insurance won't cover windscreen. I once cracked a windscreen on the way to Whakapapa, so I value windscreen cover!
 

Angus_McCrory

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Back to OP, Un Zed is a beatutiful country, don't be a tight arse, hire a car and enjoy the driving as well as the skiing. The drive from Auckland to Ohakune is beautiful, especially if you go via Taupo. And Auckland is a great city, spend the day & night there, eat at a great restaurant. And a car is useful around Ruapehu, especially if Whakapapa and Turoa are closed and you want to head around to Tukino.
 

ScottGN

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Back to OP, Un Zed is a beatutiful country, don't be a tight arse, hire a car and enjoy the driving as well as the skiing. The drive from Auckland to Ohakune is beautiful, especially if you go via Taupo. And Auckland is a great city, spend the day & night there, eat at a great restaurant. And a car is useful around Ruapehu, especially if Whakapapa and Turoa are closed and you want to head around to Tukino.
Quicker to take the western bypass around the 'Tron and go via Te Kuiti and Taumaranui to Ohakune for the evening drive down. Maybe head back to Auckland via Taupo. I agree though that the farming country between Taupo and Cambridge is some of the loveliest countryside NZ has to offer.
 

Draizuh

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I managed Queenstown no problems at all without a car. I presumed the same kind of set-up might apply up north. Looks like i was mistaken :p
Haha, You might get a shock if you think ohakune is going to be like queenstown mate!

As far as chains on sealed roads, Sealed roads require chains more often than dirt roads, the grader cant get as low down. Turoa mountain road doesnt get as much sun on it and probably requires chains more often than not. bust as stated any good rental car company can provide chains for a fee.
 

Donza

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So you land at 3.40.....customs....car hire....sheeesh Auckland rush hour. ...yuck. if you get to bombay hills by 6 you'll be doing well personally I would book a night at taupo and do the remainder in morning.
 
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benchives

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slightly disappointed. Its been four minutes since donza posted and no one has made a joke about auckland rush hour.
 
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Donza

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Auckland Traffic is fucken terrible. ...gives Sydney a run. Mangere to the motorway is crap
 
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Rapid_Revilo

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Haha, You might get a shock if you think ohakune is going to be like queenstown mate!

I realise that Ohakune is a lot smaller and pokier than Queenstown, but presumed that being a serviced town to a ski area, that shuttles would be the popular method of getting up the hill.
 

Rapid_Revilo

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So you land at 3.40.....customs....car hire....sheeesh Auckland rush hour. ...yuck. if you get to bombay hills by 6 you'll be doing well personally I would book a night at taupo and do the remainder in morning.

Meh, doesnt bother me if it takes until 10pm to get there. I'm travelling to ski, so i want the day after i land to be a full ski day. I drove Adelaide to Perisher (13.5 hours) in a day, so the trip cant be that bad.
 

Donza

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Yes and no..ohakune. ..is...um cool now...and sorta organised. Its a distant third ski town nz....to be brutally honest north Island nz skiing vs south is so far detached its uncanny
 

Donza

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Bad no...black ice...off camber corners. ..snow.....but hey it might be nice weather
 

ScottGN

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Meh, doesnt bother me if it takes until 10pm to get there. I'm travelling to ski, so i want the day after i land to be a full ski day. I drove Adelaide to Perisher (13.5 hours) in a day, so the trip cant be that bad.
You'll be there by 10pm mate. I'd take the western route which is about 40 minutes quicker than going via Taupo. Avoid Hamilton - take the turn off from SH1 onto SH39 at Ngaruawahia then onto SH3 at Otorohonga, SH4 after Te Kuiti through to Taumaranui, National Park and on to Ohakune. Traffic may be heavy on the motorways in Auckland but usually thins out after Manurewa. Once you clear the Bombay Hills it will be easy all the way.
 

ScottGN

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So you land at 3.40.....customs....car hire....sheeesh Auckland rush hour. ...yuck. if you get to bombay hills by 6 you'll be doing well personally I would book a night at taupo and do the remainder in morning.
If you did go via Taupo and you did take Donza's advice and stayed the night there I guess you could get up early and have a full day's riding at Whakapapa enroute to Ohakune. That way you wouldn't lose any snow time.
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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For a first timer at night presumably without the luxury of GPS I'd be taking SH1 to Waiouru
Trying to save 40 minutes could easy turn into a 3 hr loss and a tour of Taranaki
Just sayin'
 

Donza

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Or lost in Meads country. ..that way at night. ..tis spooky. SH1 for me. As long as desert rd is open ... gets chilly up there
 
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MisterMxyzptlk

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Driving through a fog on those roads at night...not hard to imagine a horde of Maori ghost warriors coming through the windshield at you
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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Tokoroa....levin's bogan sister
Ha!Ha!
One of my best friends is a Maori princess from Tokoroa
I like telling her about the night the Maori Warden saved me in a timber town pub just outside Tokoroa
"Best you move on, man"
 

ScottGN

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Scott has good advice, i used to go that way to ohakune when i lived in dorkland! You can easily do it in a day.
It's the route anyone driving from Auckland would take. Nobody in their right mind would go via Waiouru. Ignore Donza and MrMyx Rapid_Revilo clearly the last time they drove through the King Country was on the Cobb and Co coach.
 

Draizuh

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Even without going the way that scott has suggested you can turn off Tokoroa on to 32 and its quicker than going to taupo. and i would never go to waiouru to get to the kune, national park turn off just outside of turangi!
 

Donza

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Yeah tbh I wouldn't either. ..we used to go turangi n.p...

Ive just had some moments late at night through meads n finn country. ..
 

ScottGN

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Even without going the way that scott has suggested you can turn off Tokoroa on to 32 and its quicker than going to taupo. and i would never go to waiouru to get to the kune, national park turn off just outside of turangi!
Do you reckon 32 saves that much time Draizuh? I've only driven that western route around Lake Taupo a couple of times and I'd worry a bit that going via SH 32 and 41 might be asking a bit much of our 1st-time-driving-in-NZ Aussie? That's seriously heading into the wop-wops.
 

ScottGN

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Lol...hes driven from Adelaide to perisher
32's a pretty dark and lonely drive though Donza, just miles of inky blackness and I bet the phone coverage won't be that flash either. Better to stay on the bigger roads, that way if something goes wrong you're likely to get help. On 32 you'd probably have to sit in your car all night.
 
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classic_harris

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Meh, doesnt bother me if it takes until 10pm to get there. I'm travelling to ski, so i want the day after i land to be a full ski day. I drove Adelaide to Perisher (13.5 hours) in a day, so the trip cant be that bad.


I think you should take the advice and stay in Taupo or Turangi, You'll be tired from flying and driving in NZ is not like driving in Auz, One miss judgement of a corner and thats the end of your ski holiday if not your life,
sounds a little grim but i know a fair few mates that have died along those roads...



I was there in Aug last year, we found a great place for $400 for the week in Turangi, it gave us the option if it was going to be a poor day of traveling to Taupo of further afield to have a look around,
 

Draizuh

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Its all a bit confusing around taupo with the bypass these days but yeah it is pretty remote but a lot of the king country is too. I remember cycling it as a kid doing the cycle challenge and its pretty up and down!
 

GlenH

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We've visited Ohakune 3 times from Oz. You can read our three previous reports on the forum or PM me if you cannot find them.

Twice we've driven Auckand to Ohakune off the flight you mention. Naturally half the drive is in the dark and a GPS is extremely useful as it is not a plain or obvious drive.

We took the route recommended by the lodge which happens to match what Google maps recommends if you look that up.

The drive back in daylight is nice if you are booked on the afternoon flight home although you don't have time to mess around.

I've heard that the Ohakune shuttles run to Whakapapa when Turoa is closed but you would need to check that to be sure.

By the way, Powderhorn is the place to stay in our view :) (although with good dining and a few restaurants around, it is a very long walk to the main part of town - Ohakune has two halves).
 

Rapid_Revilo

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Thanks Glen, good advice.

Just a random thought - If i drive, is it worth staying in National Park village? I'm not a nightlife person, and it would cut 30 mins off the drive there and back and position me closer to Whakapapa. I could always drive to Ohakune to pick up supplies if required, right?
 

MisterMxyzptlk

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Thanks Glen, good advice.

Just a random thought - If i drive, is it worth staying in National Park village? I'm not a nightlife person, and it would cut 30 mins off the drive there and back and position me closer to Whakapapa. I could always drive to Ohakune to pick up supplies if required, right?

It's certainly worth considering
Can usually pick up some much cheaper accom there ...and a short drive to Turangi for supplies at the swoopermarche
 

Toto Warmlet

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Dude, chill out you can lose a day skiing here anytime. Most mornings this side of October will be boiler plate.
W'apa and Turoa shut you can always go to Tukino? I don't think so, but if you don't have a 4WD bro, they do have a shuttle there. No, it's not free.
Hey we drive on the same side of the road here and the signs are in English, just hire a car and endure the tailgaters.
Pity about te $A.
 
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