Edwin Wai's promotional write up of the Queenstown Classic for Chessbase is a timely reminder. If you've not began looking at flights or accomodation, then now's probably the best time. I don't know about you but I like to get in quick.
For instance, I just spotted a Sydney - Melbourne - Christchurch flight for $105 (fare only), then a return flight from Christchurch direct to Sydney for $75 (again, only for the fare). With taxes included, total cost is about $394.
Of course, this routing means that I would then have to haul myself from Christchurch to Queenstown and back again. No problem. I found a cheapie Christchurch - Queenstown return ticket for a grand total of $118 NZD (about $100 AUD)!
But why fly to Christchurch? Because flying direct to Queenstown is a budget killer. Nearly a thousand dollars. That's almost like flying to a foreign country! There are additional costs, of course, by routing to Christchurch, like for the overnighter, but all up I figure that I'm still saving a good couple of hundred bucks. And I'd rather spend that in the Speight's Ale House.
If budget's really tight and you just have to go to Queenstown - and let me tell you, I was there the last time, it's unmissable - then just avoid any other big event before then. Save your dough.