yes, the South Island has great Facilities and the Weather to boot for Skiing, as well as some pretty 'nasty' Road conditions in Winter.
Unique Suggestions: yes and that can happen from one min. to the other. Wintertime starts around July, but there is no fist rule..be prepared and watch the weather forecast!
Fun Alternatives: there is no alternative to the weather. wrap up warm..but there is always a good Museum, Theater, Movie or just meet the locals at their fav place..the Pub
be careful when going into the Mountains, wear the right weather gear, no Sandals, the stones and chips are a painful expirience on your feet.
every year NZ has its Mountain victims, people are not careful enough or plain inexpirienced with our weather patterns
and there is so much information to be had, tourist centers in many Towns or just call the Automobil Club = AA
Unique Suggestions: at least tell the hostel or hotel staff where you going, when app.back
Fun Alternatives: go in pairs or a group, one can get help when in trouble!
every now and then we have quite some problems with bad weaher in NZ and of course in the South Island. this year 2004, Febr. the North Island had to take the brunt.
quiet streams become ragging rivers, tearing everything apart, this year Wellington was cut of for a couple of days, the floods came down the Rimutaka Hills, the Manawatu and Wairarapa Region flooded
Unique Suggestions: if you are suspicious of anything 'fishy' just make sure to inform yourself. teletext, weather news on the radio, Tourist office.
don't take any risks.
Fun Alternatives: stay away, and if you are trapped, do as the Locals do...
Emergency Calls dial: 111
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