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First time backpacking - One Month alone in NZ+AUS

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific First time backpacking - One Month alone in NZ+AUS

1. Posted by binnyc (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 1 Jan '07 21:28

binnyc has indicated that this thread is about New Zealand

Dear Reader (hehe... it's long)

Thanks for taking the time to check my thread and since it's still Jan 1 here in New York I take the opportunity to wish to all a fantastic and fulfuilling 2007

I'll be 15 days in New Zeleand and then 13 days in Australia from Feb 13.

I take one month off to free my mind, see gorgeous secnic places and meet new people.

It is my first trip in New Zealand and Australia (though it's been a very long time I was thinking about it).
It is also my first back packing trip. And I dunno if I am crazy or not but I am doing it alone !!! (I am a 28 yo French, living in New York since almost 3 years, and if I'm saying that it's because I guess I think it is slightly less common in the french culture to backpack alone than it is in the algo saxon or nothern europe culture) ....

So I am full of hope it is doing to work well ... but I have to admit I'm a bit scared I embarked in a not so easy jorney. I know it's not going to fly well if I am not ready for the experience (though I'll have very limited time to prepared anything ... :( )

So here is the questions/ask. I've read online about people experiences, if check travel web site and so one, but I'd be very interested to get people input on:

- what to put on a backpack (LOL)
- how to enjoy best a backpacking experience? I think I'd like to do a bit a big city tour but mostly a lot of kind a trek/hike/bike thing Any good plans in Northen New Zealand / South New Zealnad. What to do in 15 days or so in NZ being alone?
For Australia it's a bit different as I'll be staying at a Friend place in Sydney for 5 days and then I would have just 7 days to see a tiny portion of Australia, which one shall I put on top of my agenda
- plus any tips that will ease the connection in hostels etc are welcomed... I'm a bit shy at first hehehe

Ok thanks for reading through all that.
Looking forawrd to getting you comments

Bertrand

2. Posted by dannyboy7 (Full Member, 167 posts) 2 Jan '07 10:25

Hey binny,
I've just got back from 3 months on my own in oz and its cool so don't worry..... as for places to see in you short time span,i'd get the greyhound night bus from sydney up to byron bay (13 hours)and stay at the arts factory in a teepee for a few days,the place is cool,really layed back and the beaches and surfing are excellent.
have fun
danny

3. Posted by nzbluebird (Budding Member, 2 posts) 3 Jan '07 00:57

Hi Binnyc,

Travelling around NZ by yourself will be fine and in my experience of travelling around its pretty easy to connect with other like minded tourists if needed. When back-backing around NZ it is a great idea to make sure you back a cheap sleeping bag (although you can buy some cheap ones over here for US$20 or so), it will be worth it when staying in back packers. The weather in NZ can be very unpredictable and this summer the weather is crazy! I had ice on my tent over New Years (in the middle of summer!). Keeping this in mind, having a good rain jacket would also be a good idea - if you visit the South Island's west coast it can rain for days on end. If you're interested in travelling around the bottom of the South Island, I'd recommend something like Bottom Bus which would be a great way to meet other hiking-biking types and see the country (check out their web site http://www.bottombus.co.nz). Depending on your budget you may want to consider a rental car as a means of getting around, which will give you lots of independence, however there are several bus companies that run along the main tourist routes (e.g. InterCity is one of the main ones http://www.intercitycoach.co.nz/). As for things to see and do in the South Island, most tourist activites are run through Real Journeys (formerly Fiordland Travel). They offer several different boat cruises in Fiordland that are super - ranging from US$30 for a 2-3 hour cruise up to US$200 for overnight cruises. Check out their web site (http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/).

Hope that helps!

4. Posted by Emily_Oz (Budding Member, 39 posts) 4 Jan '07 15:26

Sydney in 7 days without moving on you can still do heaps of things and feel you have had a great time. You can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, espensive ish but worth it. Get the ferry over to Taronga Zoo, thats a must it's great there. Darling Harbour is a beautiful place (I am sure your friend will tell you all of this anyway), A blue mountainsn day trip is also really good and you get a chance to meet some different people on that too as you are with your bus the whole day. I recommend Oz experience for that, it doesnt just have 18 year olds as it's a day trip, so there will be a real stretch of ages and people. Try a surfing lesson at Bondi Beach. See a show at the Opera House. Loads more... visit Palm Beach where Home and Away is filmed (if you've seen it). I travelled both islands in New Zealand, if you are limited with time I would say the south Island is prettier. I went with kiwi experience which was great but not cheap. Have an amazing time!!
xx