I was wondering if anyone else was planning to go to New Zealand (not Oz, done that!) this year and what your plans are. Mine are still undecided.
Not sure whether I should plan for the no-holds-barred backpacker experience or just rock up in Auckland and see what happens?
I don't know anyone in NZ, but am quite excited nonetheless!
I've looked on HelpX and Wwoof etc, could be some fun options!
I leave on 6 Feb (doing SE Asia) for 2 months, then arrive in Auckland for 3 weeks on 8 April. Like you, I'm travelling solo and have no firm plans yet. All I know is I want to see a bit of both islands.
How long you travelling for?
I did the Kiwi Experience in NZ and it was fantastic, make sure you save more time for the South Island than the North. New Zealand is an amazing country.
I will also be visiting NZ this year, thinking from about mid march til mid april and have no plans yet! Any suggestions would be useful!!
Thanks for replying, it's great to hear everyone's (non) plans.
Steve79 - I have heard good things about Queenstown? And not so good things about Auckland which would you highlight as the best bits?
Gemma, I want to be in NZ for about 6 months I think. then I am going to go to Thailand and apply for jobs as a teacher (currently doing the CELTA course to teach English).
Have any of you thought about what you may do for work?
I loved Queenstown, it is my favourite town in the world, but the whole of the South Island is fantastic.
Auckland is great, I lived there for three months, but I just think it is so atypical of New Zealand, as it is a city which has over a quarter of the entire population of the country. I preferred Auckland to many Australian cities to be honest.
I probably spent about 10 weeks travelling New Zealand in total, but I wish I had given myself longer.
Lydia - sounds great, wish I had a bit longer than 3 weeks in NZ, but wanted to do SE Asia too.
Steve79 - thanks for your advice, I'll probably spend more time in the South Island. What is the best means of travelling round NZ? What is the weather typically like in April?
Well as I say I got the Kiwi experience bus, mainly as I saw a really good deal on their website. It proved to be a great way of travelling though as I met so many people and made so many friends.
Bus is just about the only way to travel New Zealand, unless you hire a car/camper. They don’t really do trains, although there is a train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch on the South Island which is pretty jaw dropping.
Kiwi Experience, Stray and Magic are the three main tourist bus companies, and there is Naked Bus too, with whom you can get very cheap deals. I got a return from Auckland to the Bay of Islands for $2!
I was in Christchurch in April and during the day it would be nice enough to walk around in shorts, maybe about 17 degrees, but once the sun went down it did get quite chilly. The further north you go the warmer it gets, in Auckland in April it was still nice and warm around 20 degrees when I flew out to go to Fiji (which is also totally amazing!)
Steve79, great tips! Glad to hear good things about Auckland.
I think the weather would suit me better in NZ. Currently in Perth at it was 38 degrees today which is waaaay to hot for me! (whinging pom, I know)
Gemma, where about in SE Asia do you plan to go?
I lived in Auckland for 5 years and think it's a great city to live in. Most people's first impressions are of Queen Street and surrounding area in the city centre which is unfortunate because it's not that great! Don't let the city centre put you off as Auckland is all about the suburbs: rarely did I eat out, drink, or even shop in the city centre! For example there is great shopping in Newmarket (and in the large suburban malls such as St Lukes and Sylvia Park) and great restaurants, cafes and bars in Ponsonby, Parnell, Kingsland and Mount Eden.
The suburbs of Auckland also offer great beaches, and on the outskirts there are more beaches and some fantastic bush walks in the Waitakere ranges.
When you arrive in Auckland I'd strongly recommend staying in one of the suburbs such as Mount Eden or Parnell, rather than the city centre. Both are pleasant with lots going on, and are only a short bus ride away from the city centre.
I used both Stray and Magic to travel extensively around NZ (on separate trips) and would recommend both.
Let me know if you need any further tips about NZ.
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Jan-2012, at 12:10 by bex76 ]