So I have my ticket purchased and I'm just about all set with other expenses. I'm landing in Auckland on July 15th and plan to spend 2 months hiking down the coast line, but stopping at certain points to hike inland and see some great scenery. I've been told that I definitely need to stop at Waiheke Beach and spend a few days there, and I have always wanted to walk through a rain forest since I was young and then I want to stop at the Waitomo caves.
I have backpacking experience with solid map and compass skills, so I want to do most of my trip by foot, train, hitch hike, maybe bike, and do a lot of camping off the path or beaches that allow it. I've been driving in California traffic with idiot California drivers long enough, that I don't want to sit in a car... And I don't mind the storms either, in fact, I look forward to some good ones. Here in San Diego, they call it a storm when it sprinkles, and a "major system" is when it half rains for more than 10 minutes, but no longer than 30. The weather people around here go nuts when that happens, and the drivers... lol don't get me started. So, needless to say, I want to hoof it most of the way.
Can I get a few recommendations on some other places to visit while I'm walking around. I plan on going down the East side of the Islands as it seems to have more stops along the way. But will take any input and advice offered. I leave from Christchurch to head to Fiji on September 20th, but from other recommendations, I for sure want to go past Christchurch and head to the Southern regions of the South Island. I'm pretty undecided and will take things as they present themselves to me.
Also, on the budget side of things, do you think $1,500 will be enough to cover my 2 month camping expedition or should I plan for more. I'm going to have about 5-6K for 3 months in New Zealand and Fiji before I start working in Oz for a year, but of course I don't want to blow it all.
I think that about does it for now. Appreciate any input and and advice offered!!
[ Edit: Edited on 15-May-2009, at 21:59 by WebGuy ]
In New Zealand you don't have right of way over private property, nor are you allowed to just camp anywhere. You'll want a bit more planning than "hiking down the coast line, but stopping at certain points to hike inland", and transport is going to be key. On the South Island, there's quite a few multi-day hikes you can string after each other to hike for two or three weeks solid (though obviously July is not the time to go and do that on the South Islands), but on the North Island this is going to be next to impossible.
Next to impossible, I say, because obviously more people have had this idea (as a matter of fact, I wanted to do this myself when I first arrived in New Zealand, bright-eyed and filled with visions of making my way through scenery from the Lord of the Rings, before I learned of how this wasn't quite feasible in reality), and kiwis do love making the gorgeous nature of their country accessible, and so during the last couple of years, there's been a lot of work happening on realizing Te Araroa - The Long Pathway - which is hoped to someday stretch the entire length of both islands. It's not nearly completely there yet, but ever so slowly pieces are coming together, and you could already hike decent parts of it now. Definitely something to look into.
I'd also research how many DOC backcountry huts are going to be on your route. It might make sense to invest in a hut pass, which'd allow you to stay at all of them for free. (In general, DOC (The Department of Conservation) is going to be an organization whose resources you'll very frequently come in contact with. They are awesome.)
If the $1500 are American dollars, this is going to be really tight but probably doable. It gives you NZD 40 per day, which should give you campground accommodation (it's going to be pretty cold at night, though! - a couple of degrees above freezing, and might drop below if you head up into the more mountainous areas), food, and a bus from place to place every so often. If it's 1500 NZD, it's totally impossible.
Excellent information, Sander. Thanks! I will most definintely need to do more planning and map out my route. I can handle the cold, did a lot of cold weather training when I was in the Military, but I don't want to put myself at risk either.
I took a look at the Te Araroa site, that looks like quite the trekking opportunity and from the sounds of your earlier expedition to NZ, I'm was pretty much filled with the same wide-eyed vision.. Thanks for the reality check. And by the looks of it, a Hut pass is definitely on my list of things to purchase when I get there. Seems pretty cheap for the amount of time it allows you to use the facilities.
So I'll up the Budget to 2K, and I was referring to American, which is about $3,400 NZD according to http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi, so I would hope that is certainly enough for 2 months of camping.
I have more to I want to talk about, but I need to call my cousin and order some more warmer gear.