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Will I need to hire snow chains?

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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Will I need to hire snow chains?

Hi

We are touring the southern part of the south island commencing and ending our trip in Queenstown. I have driven over the Crown Range before and I know that I need to carry snow chains if we drive this route in winter. Will I need snow chains for other major roads in early August?

As well as visiting Wanaka for two nights, we plan on driving the Southern Scenic Route and having a night or two on Sewart Island.

Regarding Bluff, where do I find these legendary oysters that you guys rave on about?

Are there oyster leases / farms selling direct to the public?

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

I would strongly recommend carrying chains at that time. If you are hiring a car your rental car provider should be able to hire you chains at a small cost.

Regarding the oysters I think you are going to be just outside the 2 seasons this year for fresh oysters. Beacause of the Rugby world cup I believe the first season runs from March to July and the second season September to October.

Enjoy your holiday.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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2. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

If you speak nicely to a Bluffite I am sure that he/she will be able to steer you in the direction a bluff oyster. It maybe frozen but thawed out with a little lemon juice you would never know.

Re Chains, I concur with quin, but before you leave the rental car depot make sure you are shown how the chains are fitted. It would not be the first time that a set of chains for a particular car has got into the wrong bag and doesnt fir the car intended. If staying in Queenstown before you head off on your travel practice fitting them yourself in the dry and warmth of your hotel. You do not want to start to learn how to fit chains in sleets, cold and ice.

If you havent made a rental car booking yet Apex have proven to provide a great service in Queenstown

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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3. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

I'll check out Apex, thanks.

Frozen oysters eeek, on second thoughts I think the ones that we get from Coffin Bay are snap frozen.

Greymouth, New...
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for South Island
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4. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Bluff oysters are natural deep sea oysters, they are not grown in an oyster farm. as you drive into Bluff, just look for the Oysters for sale signs, hard to miss.

as for chain, yes they are an essential item when touring te south island in winter.

Queenstown
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5. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

You most certainly will. If you have a rental car make sure that you get the hire person to show you how to put the chains on. All hire firms should be happy to show you. Make sure that you know how.

There is nothing worse than not being able to put them on when you really need them.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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6. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

So do the locals carry snow chains mid winter when travelling in the south island on major roads??

I have watched snow chains being fitted and to be honest it was a task, even being fitted by seasonal alpine dwellers. I'm not sure I will have the inclination to want to put them on however I guess there will be some enterprising kiwis strategically placed along the roads charging a small fee to do so?

My experience is that the rental companies don't know too much either and happily direct you to the wheel and chains on display and given a brochure. Once i was directed to a shed across from QT airport car park and the guys would demonstrate for me, unfortunately they looked at me as if to say " oh not another one", so after getting off a plane and wanting to get our holiday started we quickly departed for our accom and adventure.

The oysters sound great and we will definitely be looking out for them. Are there also any crayfish vans in the area, like the ones north of Kaikoura?.

Wellington, New...
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7. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Anyone travelling the southern roads and mountain passes in Winter is flirting with danger.

We went to Queenstown a few years ago, left Christchurch nice and early in order to get over the Linis Pass before the sun went down. Positive thinking says I. We left Fairlie around 8.00 am after breakfast only to find Burkes Pass too icy for cars without chains so we turned back and had to go to Oamaru as being the closest place we could find where we could get chains. We then headed off to Omarama arriving around 3.00pm to find the Lindis Pass closed by snow and we had to stay the night. Fortunately having bought some chains at Oamaru we were were able to cross the Lindis Pass the next day and they were also required on our return trip.

We now never head south without chains.

They are not difficult to fit once you get the knack and after a couple of attempts the knack comes quickly.

Carrying chains is like insurance. Seemingly expensive when you dont use it but worth its weight in gold when you do.

Greymouth, New...
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for South Island
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8. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Nice story Bean.

People who use alpine road regularily always carry chains. I carry two sets, so if needed can fit them to the front wheels as well or that i have a spare set if one wears out and breaks.

bring a pair of water proof garden gloves. warm clothing , but also a waterproof jacket. fitting chains is often done on a hil prior to getting into the snow or ice so can be wet and cold atthe same time.

as previously advised, practice fitting the chains when it is dry , warm and you have time to nut out the correct procedure. after driving a short distance, stop and check that they still look good. not slack, not removing paint from the mud gaurds, they sit evenly all around the rim and that you didnt leave the plastic container on the side of the road when you fitted them (the instructions can also get blown away in the wind while you are not looking)

I hope that helps

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Noosa
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9. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

Thanks all for your good advice. I'll book the chains, ensure they are the correct size and make sure they demonstrate them being fitted. Cheers

KL
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10. Re: Will I need to hire snow chains?

just came back from nz. it's now a law to carry snow chains if you are driving in queenstown area during winter. while we were there, the rental company did highlight this to us.

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