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Jul. 30th, 2008


purplekat99

Tip of the Day!

most people come to NZ to get away from the earth in the form of extreme sports. i prefer to keep close. rafting is a popular thing to do and i try to do it in every town i possibly can. i am in no way an expert on it, i just really like the thrill.

one of the better tours i have been on was on the rangitata river outside of christchurch. it was an all day tour which means that the group was not rushed at all to see how many people they can churn through, as a lot of tour companies do. for an extra $10, travel to and from CHC out to the lodge and river was provided which is one of the best deals ever. saved a bundle not hiring a car on this day! pick up was early, but you can sleep for the 2 hr bus ride. you get lunch as soon as you arrive and the rafting preparations begin around 11a. explanations on everything within the raft take place once you get to the river, so you feel like you are actually doing something instead of standing on land listening to someone explain it all to you. you work up the grades on the river and the whole thing takes about 2-3 hrs. it ends with the opportunity to jump off 10-20-30 meter cliffs back into the river! after, you come back to the lodge for another feed and then bus ride back to CHC, arriving back around 6-7p. i liked this place because it was an all day trip and i didn't feel rushed at all, which is one of my pet peeves in group traveling.

extreme activies in NZ are expensive and i have to say, this is one of the few i feel like i got my moneys worth on.

http://www.rafts.co.nz/

Jul. 29th, 2008


purplekat99

Tip of the Day!

my first weekend trip from auckland was to the thermal wonderland (to quote those dang heritage hotel commercials!) of rotorua, a town about 3 hrs south. this town has it all! thermal geysers, maori culture, adrenalin and adventure activities! i did a rafting trip, saw some geysers, did some hikes and rented and drove my first car on the other side of the road! i took the bus to town originally because everyone was like, it's a big holiday weekend (i went over easter, which is a 4 day weekend in NZ!) and everyone is going to be on the roads. but when i got to town and realized that NZ'ers definition of "everyone on the road" doesn't even compare to what i was used to on a daily basis in los angeles, i sucked it up and hired a car in roto. it was a great place to learn to drive again!

anyway, where i stayed in rotorua was great, the kiwi paka YHA lodge. it was a bit out of town, but the facilities made up for it. i got a single room in the lodge and shared a bathroom which was located in the centre. it was clean, quite, the staff was super helpful and plenty of parking! i would stay here again.

http://www.kiwipaka-yha.co.nz/rotorua/rotorua.html

Jul. 28th, 2008


smokingredmoon

carless in NZ

how easy is it to get around and live in New Zealand without a car - specifically Auckland and Wellington.

What if I have a bike- would that make it much easier than walking?

purplekat99

Tip of the Day!

i know it's super touristy, but there is a reason why the Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney one of the (if not the) biggest activity for tourists.

i did it back in May and it was awesome! takes about 3-4 hours from when you put the suit on to when it comes off and it was a great way to spend most of my day. the groups are pretty small and leave about every 10-20 minutes. my guide was great!

if possible try to go during the week as it's slightly cheaper and when you buy the pictures, it comes to what a weekend climb would cost. i never buy tour pictures because i mainly travel alone, so why would i want a disc full of pictures of people i don't know? but i had to buy the pictures on this tour:-). the whole thing is slightly expensive and just a smidge not worth it, but i still had a really good time. it was one of those, i'll do once in a lifetime thing. just looking at all the celeb pictures who have gone on the climb at the visitors center at the base is pretty cool to see.

http://www.bridgeclimb.com

Jul. 26th, 2008


purplekat99

tip of the day!

i got a great job within two weeks of arriving in auckland, so that is where i stayed for most of my time in NZ.

for the first half of my time, i stayed at the Bond Street Lodge which is in the suburb of Kingsland, a great little area and a short bus ride (walking distance, if you have the time!) from the CBD. i had my own room with tv and fridge and shared a kitchen and bathroom (cleaned daily) with other people on my floor. vicky and val, who run the place, were awesome and helpful about everything and i had a real great experience there. if looking for long term accommodation in the auckland area, i fully recommend them:

http://www.bondstlodge.co.nz/

Jul. 25th, 2008


purplekat99

(no subject)

just thought i would be the first person to introduce myself (as this is my community)!

i am originally from los angeles and i went to new zealand on a WHV which unfortunatly just expired and now i am in australia on one!

any questions on NZ, feel free to ask.

anyone currently in australia, drop me a line and say hi!!!

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