Wolfgang Reviews South to North NZ


Christchurch

Rendezvous Hotel

We had booked a Deluxe Room with King size bed. We arrived at 2:00 in the morning and got the key to the room. The room was so small, that there was not enough place for the wheelchair. We were so tired, that we left the wheelchair in the corridor and went to sleep. Next day we objected and got a bigger room. Why we did not get the bigger room at the arrival, we don’t know? But the view was OK. My advice would be to make sure when booking that you emphasize the room for the wheelchair.

Must see in Christchurch: The Lantern Festival has traditionally been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-221AD). Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the end of New Year festivities.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, commonly known as the Christchurch Art Gallery, is the public art gallery of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is funded by Christchurch City Council. It has its own substantial art collection and presents a programme of New Zealand and international exhibitions. The Māori elements of the name are explained as follows: Te Puna honours waipuna, the artesian spring beneath the gallery and Waiwhetu refers to one of the tributaries in the immediate vicinity, which flows into the River Avon. Waiwhetu may also be translated as ‘water in which stars are reflected’.

Bootsfahrt at The Boatshed Cafe

In the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, at the Boatshed Cafe. There are some steps to the boat so you cannot go by wheelchair into the boat. However, the crew is very helpful and they have a special seat for handicapped people. They also help you into and out of the boat.

Lake Tekapo

Peppers Bluewater Resort

Nice Hotel, very friendly staff. We had a standard room. From the parking lot to the room there were about 10 steps. No disabled parking at the parking spot at the rooms, only at the reception. Lake Tekapo is wonderful.

Oamaru

Steampunk Headquarter

Very funny, cool place, lots of exhibition pieces, they even have a time machine! The showroom is flat, there is a small stair to the outdoor use, where some bigger pieces are shown.

Moeraki

Moeraki Boulders – Koekohe Beach 

You can see them from the terrace. There is 1 disabled parking at the cafe. There is a second parking place at the beach but it is 700 meters away from the boulders and the sand is not very hard, so it is not easy to go the boulders by wheelchair.

Dunedin

Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin

We had the Junior Suite, a bedroom and a big living area with a couch and a table. There is a nice view over the city, BUT the hotel is up a hill. The street is very, and I mean very, steep, you need a car if you want to visit the city. No disabled parking and the way from the parking spot to the reception is also very steep. Dunedin is worth a visit!

A must see is the Dunedin railway station.

In its early days the station was the country’s busiest, handling up to 100 trains a day, including suburban services to Mosgiel and Port Chalmers, railcars to Palmerston and the Otago Central Railway and other trains to Christchurch and Invercargill. ‘

The city’s economic decline and the reduction in the prominence of rail transport means that only a handful of trains use the station today. The station is New Zealand’s most photographed building.

There are 3 disabled parking spaces outside the station.

Queenstown

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview /

Spacious accommodation and great views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. Parking is in the underground garage, 2 disabled parking spaces. It is a 10 minute walk to the village center, but the street is very steep, so it’s better for you take a taxi back to the hotel.

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Parking at the cable car, a VERY steep way to the entrance and very steep inside the park. The path inside the park is not made of concrete. It is impossible to get to the Kiwi house and the bird show without help.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound GrayLine Coach/Cruise/Fly

We made the tour by bus to the Sound and with the plane back to Queenstown.  The bus driver did not want to take responsibility for my wheelchair (for the return journey), so I was not allowed to take my wheelchair on the bus. It turned out that was not a problem.

The bus picked us up at the hotel and the trip took about 5 hours, with some stops to photograph.
There was a wheelchair for me at the terminal to go to the boat. The boat has a ramp and the crew was very helpful.

After the boat trip there was a shuttle bus from the boat terminal to the airport. At the airport there was a wheelchair from the bus to the plane. There are about 8 seats in the plane. The flight is about 35 minutes with spectacular views of the mountains and the lake. At the Queenstown airport there was a wheelchair again, the company organised a taxi from the airport to the hotel.

A great day!

West Coast, South Island

Pancake Rocks

Perfect to visit with a wheelchair. Paths made of concrete or wood.

Omau Settlers Lodge

15 Minute drive to the Westport township.

1 step to the room. The room was very nice, a terrace in the front and the back of the room. It is situated next to the popular Star Tavern which is well known for good honest food. 1 step into the pub.

A short drive to the Auranga Bay, home to a fur seal breeding colony. The path to the platform has a hard surface, is rocky and sometimes very steep. You need assistance with a wheelchair.

Kaiteritiki

Kimi Ora Eco Resort

A wonderful resort up in the hills of Kaiteriteri. The studio has a big terracce with a beautiful look over the sea. The food is strictly vegetarian.

The streets in the resort are very steep, but you are allowed to park near the entrance for breakfast and dinner. There is a path to glowworms, but it is very steep with few steps.

Abel Tasman Kayak (Split Apple Paddle (Half Day Trip)

If you make this trip, make it in the morning.

They say, that the Split Apple Paddle “is an ideal introduction to sea kayaking and you can enjoy an easy paddle among the sheltered inlets and granite formations of the stunning Kaiteriteri coastline to the famous Split Apple.”

We made the trip in the afternoon and the water was very rough, we could not make a photo because of the high waves. The crew is helpful, they help you in and out of the kayak. A lot of parking.

Nelson

WOW Museum

Great for women and men! There are 2 disabled parkings.

Kaikoura

Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge

Nice Motel. 3 wheelchair friendly units. There is also a solar-heated swimming pool, barbecue,a playground is adjacent to the Motor Lodge.

Kaikoura Whale Watch Tour

I was sitting inside at a window in the front row. The captain controls the boat so that there was always a good view for me at the whales and the dolphins. Very mindful. We saw 4 whales and a lot of dolphins. If you do not see a whale, there is a refund of 80% of the money.

There is a bus from the terminal to the boat, the bus is only for people who are able to step inside. There are some steps from the ramp inside the boat.

Wellington

Rydges Wellington

Special rooms for people with disabilities, valet parking. You can easily visit the waterfront and the museums. Very good breakfast buffet.

Kohutapu Lodge & Tribal Tours

We had a bungalow for us alone, but we think the lodge is like a hostel, there were a lot of young people. 3 steps up to the bungalow, some steps up to the restaurant, the path has solid underground but is not concrete.

Rotorua

Best Western Braeside Rotorua & Conference Centre

Very nice and quiet motel. Please take a room with a view to the trout river, it is very romantic. There is a whirlpool on the terrace but it is hard to enter, because the edge of the pool is very high, about 90 cm. It is about a 7 minutes drive to Volcanair and 10 minutes to the center.

White Island / Mount Tarawera “Floatplane Adventure

There are 3 steps on the landing stage and it is a little bit tricky to enter the plane, but if you can manage it, make the trip. 90 minutes flight with beautiful looks on the White Island volcano and the area around Rotorua.

Wai-O-Tapu

The first part is very steep, then you can walk the Walk 1 comfortably. You can see the main attractions, for example the Champagne Pool or the Green Lake. At the end of the walk it is very steep up again, but the girl who controls the tickets helps you. Entrance for disabled is free. Parking is about 200 meters away.

Te Puia

The majority of the complex is very accessible, all roads are paved or wooden. The building for the show has an extra entrance, with the wheelchair you sit in the first row. Reduced price for people with disabilities. Large parking lot, 3 disabled parking spaces.

Napier

Shoreline Motel

Located on the promenade with a wonderful look over the sea. We had a studio at the second floor (steps, no lift) with a whirlpool in the room. But there are also rooms downstairs without steps.

Whitianga

Decades by the Sea / Booked via booking.com

Garry and Jenny are the perfect hosts. The breakfast is a sensation, you can choose what you want and it is served by Garry. The room is tastefully decorated, the beds comfortable, everything is very clean. The rooms have sea view. There is a small step (5 cm) into the room. Parking on the plot.

From Decades by the sea it’s about a 30 minute drive to Hot Water Beach. It is impossible to get to the hot water holes with a wheelchair. It is better you stay in Whitianga, take a bath in the sea and walk the promenade!