A Countdown

Apart from the never-ending – or never wanting to end – question of which brand of roaming chip you should buy for your mobile phone, the second most popular question on the various forums that I visit is, “Do I need to book in advance?” Probably the most annoying feature of this question is that a general answer seems to be required, and that is not possible without very detailed knowledge of what the petitioner expects to do.

There are some activities, places and times that require booking at the earliest possibility – Queenstown between Christmas and the New Year (but that has always been the case, even since 1974), the Milford Track (and, increasingly the Routeburn and Kepler Tracks as well) – because they will be booked out very quickly. This is not to rule out the possibility of getting a single place on the Great Walks at short notice – that has been possible in recent years. But that would require a sort of flexibility that few travellers have. Read more…