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> New Zealand
post Nov 26 2004, 11:33 PM
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New Zealand

I wish to start my journey in February and somewhere in (err... ON) the South Island… tips, tricks and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated, as this will be a solo venture…


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post Nov 27 2004, 06:23 PM
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I don't know how long you plan to stay or what your interests are, so it is hard to say. If you are staying for at least a month or two, I highly recommend buying a car while you are there! It gives you so much independence. You can buy one pretty cheap. The best place to buy is in Christchurch. The best place to sell is Auckland. (Most people come to NZ in Auckland, buy a car, then sell the car in Christchurch. So if you do the opposite, you can get a better deal.) Just look for signs for cars for sale in youth hostels.

Since you will be starting late in the summer or early fall, I guess I would recommend starting in the south of the island first, then working your way north (to the warmer part). Maybe also do any mountain areas early in your trip, while it is still warmer.

Have a great time. I LOVE NZ!

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post Jul 30 2005, 07:39 PM
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I agree with Kimberish....you should really think about getting a car or teaming up with other travellers with one. There are just so many places off the beaten track that must not be missed.

I loved NZ as well. It's really hard not to...you'll see.

They have this hostel affiliation program there called BBH and I would highly recommend it. I found the ratings accurate and it was so useful all the way around both islands. You can check out my pod (whereshegoes) for some of the things I did in certain places. No matter what tho, you will find something, if not many things, that you want to do here. There is just so much.

Enjoy and say hi to the hobbits for me wink.gif


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post Aug 4 2005, 05:05 PM
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Hi Tim,

Think you should definitely check out Alex Elder's "Straying from the Flock: Travels in New Zealand." It's part memoir and part travel guide, really goes into detail on unmiss-able destinations in NZ-- Elder drove from the southern tip of the South Island to the northern coast of the North during his two month trip so much of the country is covered. There's also a great section in the back which lists contact information for the best B&Bs, homestays, restaurants, vineyards, tour guides, etc. Really helpful and informative, you should check it out!

Have fun!
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post Sep 15 2005, 10:54 AM
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A couple of spots that generally get overlooked:

Wellington: Most people just spend one night there before or after getting the ferry to/from Picton (South Island). Wellington has come on leaps and bounds in the last 10-15 years and is now a great place to spend a few days. The cafe/pub culture is huge, it is the home of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the National Museum ("Te Papa") is there - much more fun than it sounds - and the waterfront is beautiful.

Wairarapa region: An hour or two's drive north of Wellington, this region is well known for it's wines and picturesque countryside. If you are looking for a peaceful and scenic slice of Kiwi life, this is the area for you.

Nelson/Takaka: This area gets the most sunshine hours per year of the whole country. It is a popular hangout for hippies and has some stunning beaches. Not too many tourists come through this way.

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post Jan 9 2006, 05:56 AM
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Adding to the 'little gems, often overlooked' list, visiting The Giant Jersey in Geraldine is an experience in itself - read it on the blog below where you can further find our own experiences and route taken around NZ.

I love the place!

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post Jan 10 2006, 10:24 PM
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Sounds like there is a wealth of info out there about NZ and I would be happy to add to it, having lived there a year and travelled the whole country twice. It would be great if people could be more specific about their interests, budget, time, etc when asking for tips. Would make the quality of advice and its usefulness much better I think.

BTW Don't miss the Caitlins and Nugget Point!

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post Feb 19 2006, 05:01 AM
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How about getting around without a car? I dont have a drivers license yet so I am reliant on public transport. Is it feasible to do in NZ?


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post Feb 19 2006, 09:05 PM
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Hi Jen,

It's very feasible. Depending on your timescales, a car is definitely the best option as it gives you the best flexibility. I don't think you'll have any problems 'petrol sharing' with those who can drive and who can't afford not to share the travel costs! You'll meet these likeminds in the hostels no problem, something will surely come up.

If it doesn't you could try the next best thing: backpacker buses. At present, as far as I'm aware, there are still three main operators fighting for your dollar and all offer slightly different packages to suit your needs:

Stray travel
Kiwi Experience
Magic Bus

Have a look, they're all similar, though having heard many stories from many backpackers about each of them, you have to bear in mind that these are often tailored to whizz people around both islands in as little as 21 days or so (though you can hop on and off to suit you). They're also (particluarly the Kiwi Experience) often filled with young out-of-schoolers who have come over to party hard and do little else. Depending on what you want out of your trip, this may not be for you. Or it may be!

I spent the last few months of 2004 using the Stray bus and it was a great way to get around and learn about NZ as it was all so new. After that, I bought a campervan and have since gone around in much more detail. The flexibility is a blessing!

There is also a regular bus service that will get you around without the young traveller mayhem and as far as I know is just as good. Check out Intercity, in particular their Flexipass.

Whatever you do, don't worry about it, something will work out.

Most of all, enjoy NZ. It's one hell of an experience! cool.gif


Living on a string of one-way tickets - currently kicking about in: southern Cambodia
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