First time Cardrona/Treble Cone trip in Sept

Jonkl

Hard Yards
Sep 16, 2019
176
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98
Brisbane
Hi,

Family of 4 (2A2C) will be basing ourselves at Wanaka for a week in Sept.

Looking for car rental advise and driving tips.

Which car rental company is great with a budget?
Is snow chain a requirement to have in the car? Or if you have a AWD/4WD, then carrying snow chain is not a legal requirement(Like in AUS Alps)?

What is the driving condition up to Cardrona and Treble Cone?
Parking advise?

Sightseeing things to do in Wanaka or Queenstown?

thanks
 

Dumphfish

Addicted
Oct 9, 2017
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Never had to rent a car in Wanaka so can't help you there. Best to rent a AWD/4WD for comfort, the mountain access roads can be a bit rough. Cardies is like a highway and usually pretty well maintained, TC is shorter but can be a bit more sketchy. Always advised to carry chains and know how to fit them. You can get this done on the mountain for a cost. Parking is not an issue if you get up early if you don't then that's another story. TC carpark in the spring can be a muddy bog which is not fun. If you've already got your passes and going to Cardies then park at Valley View car park much quicker however this can be snow dependent and in spring may be shut as it is low.
Heaps to do in both Wanaka and Qtown depending on what you're into. In Wanaka there's great walking and biking trails everywhere - Mt Iron, Rob Roy Glacier (currently closed), Diamond Lake, Outlet track, Sticky Forest etc. Informations centres, Department of Conservation all have all the info you'll ever need.
Good cheap pass deals on at the moment $375 for 5 days before end of March but I think that this gets offered again come September. September is either amazing or can be a bit average. I always like it with good corn skiing and slushy afternoon bumps and sometimes huge dumps but if it is low tide and icy not so good. Need to be prepared for everything and the earlier in September probably best.
 
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Sage Oya

Like the herb, cup ramen devotee
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Sep 8, 2017
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I've always used Apex rentals to hire from in Queenstown who are pretty budget. Their fleet of vehicles tends to be older than other places though we've usually been given a newish AWD toyota rav4. Last September I was over with a few more mates so we hired 2WD a Hyudai iLoad (8seater) and had to fit snow chains about half way up the dirt road to Candrona as it was snowing. They have people out to help you fit chains if you dont know how to do it.

My understanding is that you are required to have chains for 4WD and AWD and fit them is instructed to do so.

The drive up to Candrona and Treble Cone are windy dirt tracks that are fairly steep. At both you can park down the bottom and take a shuttle up if you dont want to drive. Parking at the top of Treble Cone is a bit limited so I'd advise to get up there early.
 

mr

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
Oct 24, 2003
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melbourne
Cant say for TC but coronet, remarks and cardrona all had a drop off point where you can unload everyone and everything and then get a park...it was very easy we thought. The roads werent as wild as i had expected but we are mostly hotham skiiers and so i guess are used to a but of road action. I'd always prefer gritted gravel road over bitumen with snow or ice anyday. Snow farm near cardrona is also a good thing to do for a quieter day. Not much eating out in wanaka compared to QT but we were ok with that
 
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Peanut

One of Us
Mar 3, 2018
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I second Apex car rentals. I waited a bit too long to decide to hire a car last year and ended up with a 2WD. Hubby was always very anti-driving, whereas I am very anti-missing pre-booked shuttle buses because the younger child decides to throw an autistic meltdown every morning.

Apex were great to deal with and had a practice wheel in the office that they used to demonstrate how to fit chains. They then let us practice on it as much as we wanted so we could get the hang of it. We ended up having to fit chains a few times and didn’t have any dramas doing it. One of the days we had to fit chains, they were making all vehicles fit chains, so yes, it is a good idea to have them. We’re hiring a Rav 4 (or equivalent) this year and will be getting chains with it.

I’ve not been up to Wanaka yet (although we plan to this year on one of our off-snow days). As far as Queenstown goes, the aquatic centre is great for kids. It’s all indoors and they have some awesome water slides. My boys always want to go there and it’s good entertainment if your budget is stretched. We’ve never gotten up there yet, but plan to do a gondola ride and have a go at the luge. It was closed for refurbishment in 2018 and the weather on our off days was horrible last year.
 
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mr

Part of the Furniture
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Oct 24, 2003
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Luge is stupid good fun with kids. We luged with snow on the ground / track
 
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Peanut

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Mar 3, 2018
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Luge is stupid good fun with kids. We luged with snow on the ground / track
I so badly wanted to go last year. We were over during the July school holidays and the weather was rather warm for the time of year when we arrived. The snow was horrible on our first day, then it snowed while we were on the mountain the second day. It wasn’t too bad in the morning when I was hanging around on the beginner slope near the base building with my son and his instructor in their adaptive lesson. When I went up by myself in the afternoon, it felt like I was being sandblasted by the tiny ice crystals as they were being whipped into my face by the wind. The car had a nice layer of snow when I got back to it in the afternoon. On our day off, it was really windy and wet in town but it was dumping snow higher up. As much as I wanted to luge, no one was keen to do it in the wind and rain. Our last two days on the snow were really good. We had one more day off before leaving, but we’d already pre-booked at the onsen and hubby wasn’t keen to cram in anything else and potentially be rushed.
 

Jonkl

Hard Yards
Sep 16, 2019
176
99
98
Brisbane
Thanks for everyone who replied..I had a look at various budget car rental Eg Omega Apex etc...and price wise, Apex trumps them all.
Read some reviews about Apex good few years back, and they were horrible reviews..haha... Glad people are having more positive experience with them now.

Need to do some research about the Luge, sounds very exciting, but probably too exciting for my two young daughters.
 
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Myazma

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May 10, 2009
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Jindi
Always use Anzed. Good cars, great small local company. Pick up drop off. Near airport in Chch
 

Peanut

One of Us
Mar 3, 2018
350
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163
Thanks for everyone who replied..I had a look at various budget car rental Eg Omega Apex etc...and price wise, Apex trumps them all.
Read some reviews about Apex good few years back, and they were horrible reviews..haha... Glad people are having more positive experience with them now.

Need to do some research about the Luge, sounds very exciting, but probably too exciting for my two young daughters.
I believe there is a slow and a fast track with the Luge and they have a hand brake system. You can also ride tandem on them. Then again, I have boys and even though they haven’t been on the Luge yet, I know that they would be less cautious on something like that than most girls.
 

BMWRX

One of Us
Apr 7, 2019
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Brisbane, Australia
I've used Juicy for my car rentals in QT. I've done it twice now and haven't had a single issue. And if you book early enough (i.e. now) you get some very solid discounts.
 
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