Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Moving from Christchurch to Auckland

I found it difficult to find moving cost estimates and information about doing a DIY move via the ferry across New Zealand, so I thought I'd make a short post about the move I did at the end of 2019.

Since we were transporting our cat and didn't want to do an extensive amount of driving each day, we took three days for the trip. This enabled us to stay overnight at two places and let him out of his cage and let us rest. Except for some traffic on the North Island, the trip went smoothly and all of our stuff made it there.

Actual costs for three-day move:
$1,548 (excluding cargo equipment)
$1,918 (with cargo equipment, which hopefully can be reused in future)

Fuel: $343
  • First full tank fill-up @ $2.079/liter: $102
  • Partial fill-up in Kaikoura (no receipt): $71
  • Partial fill-up out of Wellington @ $2.389/liter: $62
  • Second full tank fill-up in Taupo @ $2.159/liter: $108 
A full tank fill-up is about 13.5 gallons (51 liters) and the car is pretty new so it gets good mileage; however, the trailer and weight definitely reduced the usual fuel efficiency. There was about 150km left to go when we arrived in Auckland according to the car's estimate after the trailer was removed, so that needs to be accounted for when looking at the total fuel cost.

Luggage Trailer: $467
  • cost is made up of 3 days at $39/day which is comparable to other companies, plus $20/day for $0 damage excess, plus one-way fee (this was supposed to be around $500 but I got them to lower it for me)  
  • $100 deposit is required at time of booking

Note that rentals book up fast - many places I called didn't have anything available - so as soon as you know your moving dates, see what's available. U Save was the only place that would let me hire a luggage trailer one-way. Otherwise, the only option was one of the bigger furniture trailers, and I knew we didn't need that much space since we weren't taking furniture or big stuff. I mistakenly thought that I would be able to have some visibility out the car's rearview mirror with the smaller trailer, so on reflection, I might have gone with the single-axle furniture trailer to save the headache of trying to cram everything in such a small space. However, the luggage trailer handled pretty well when full and didn't feel overwhelming to haul for three days, and it fit almost everything I needed it to and forced me to consolidate stuff before moving.

Ferry (Picton to Wellington): $464
  • included two adults, one car, and one trailer at a student flexi rate, which seems to be 5% off the usual rate, via Bluebridge
The ferry also books up fast, since there are a limited number of sailings each day, and we wanted one that left at a reasonable hour in the morning. This and the trailer hire are the most limiting of your options for the move.

Accommodation (2 nights): $274
  • one night in Picton at Aldan Lodge Motel (pet-friendly, good customer service, and nice roomy place to stay; it has off-street parking, but there were only a couple spots that could take trailers, and it took us a while to back up into one of them - recommend asking in advance to secure one of these)
  • one night in Turangi at Turangi Bridge Motel (pet-friendly and decent room; but the parking spots are not long enough for trailers, and one section that could have worked had a big truck and disconnected trailer already taking up the space; we ended up having to work another situation out on the lawn which you're not supposed to do but given that we had stuff roped to the top, I didn't want to leave it out in front of the motel overnight)
Cargo Equipment: $370

  • 1 set of crossbars: $120 + $30 shipping, on Amazon U.S.
  • 1 roof rack: $109 + $70 shipping, on TradeMe
  • 2 ropes: $7.50 (with buy 1 get 1 50% off deal)
  • 2 cargo nets: $18 (with buy 1 get 1 50% off deal)
  • 2 2-pack of ratchet tiedown straps: $15 (with buy 1 get 1 50% off deal)

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