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 So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...

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markbarlow
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PostSubject: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:44 pm

Taking a four week road trip round both islands. Hoping to see and do a lot but anybody got any particular recommendations (maybe some of the less obvious stuff)?

I'm starting in Auckland and making my way south then flying back from Dunedin to Auckland in time for my return flight home.

Probably not gonna bother with Christchurch given its current predicament!
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The Angry Johnny Revue
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:32 pm

Now I'm from New Zealand, so this is going to be very biased but I recommend if you're driving down from Auckland (or Little China as it's now known as) spend some time on the East Coast of the North Island. Napier, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne are pretty cool cities. The East Coast also has the Te Urewera National Park which is a pretty cool place to see. Gisborne has a New Years Music festival going called Rythym & Vines which runs from the 29th-31st, usually it gets some pretty decent artists although this year it's looking a bit poppy and mainstream. The East Coast is well known for it's surfing, so if you're interested in that you should definitely hit up Wainui Beach. If you do decide to go there though I warn you the Waioeka Gorge is a challenging place to drive through, nonetheless it's filled with waterfall's, rivers and wildlife, so it's worth it. And even if you don't plan on going to the east coast it'd be a waste for you not to stop in Rotorua which is in between Auckland and the East Coast as they've got some awesome stuff such as Volcano's, Hot Springs, Sky Diving and a Luge track.

One other thing as well is that New Zealand's pretty big on rugby, but rugby season is over. I know there are some domestic soccer matches going on while you're there (although watching Auckland vs Wellington lacks the same intensity and atmosphere watching Chelsea vs Man U would have) and the national cricket team is playing a few matches against Zimbabwe and South Africa in most of the major cities next month, so if you're into sport you could check those out.

Don't know much about the South Island sorry, but if you're into extreme stuff make sure you try out bungee jumping there.

Anyhoo hope this helps, and have fun! Smile
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steph
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:27 pm

i'm so jealous! i've wanted to go to new zealand ever since i found out that's where they filmed LOTR, it looks gorgeous! post pics when you get back!
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:10 pm

The Angry Johnny Revue wrote:
Now I'm from New Zealand, so this is going to be very biased but I recommend if you're driving down from Auckland (or Little China as it's now known as) spend some time on the East Coast of the North Island. Napier, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne are pretty cool cities. The East Coast also has the Te Urewera National Park which is a pretty cool place to see. Gisborne has a New Years Music festival going called Rythym & Vines which runs from the 29th-31st, usually it gets some pretty decent artists although this year it's looking a bit poppy and mainstream. The East Coast is well known for it's surfing, so if you're interested in that you should definitely hit up Wainui Beach. If you do decide to go there though I warn you the Waioeka Gorge is a challenging place to drive through, nonetheless it's filled with waterfall's, rivers and wildlife, so it's worth it. And even if you don't plan on going to the east coast it'd be a waste for you not to stop in Rotorua which is in between Auckland and the East Coast as they've got some awesome stuff such as Volcano's, Hot Springs, Sky Diving and a Luge track.

One other thing as well is that New Zealand's pretty big on rugby, but rugby season is over. I know there are some domestic soccer matches going on while you're there (although watching Auckland vs Wellington lacks the same intensity and atmosphere watching Chelsea vs Man U would have) and the national cricket team is playing a few matches against Zimbabwe and South Africa in most of the major cities next month, so if you're into sport you could check those out.

Don't know much about the South Island sorry, but if you're into extreme stuff make sure you try out bungee jumping there.

Anyhoo hope this helps, and have fun! Smile

Some great ideas there - thanks! I wasn't planning on going down the east side of North Island but might reconsider now. Do you reckon that's more worthwhile than heading north west out of Auckland to Kerikeri/Cape Reinga area? Rotorua already on my route Cool

I'll be needing something to do at New Year - the festival's a good idea but the only acts I've heard of aren't really my kind of music.

I was hoping to catch a football (soccer) game - don't mind if its not up to much, I watch League 1 over here (3rd division) so not a football snob!!!
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The Angry Johnny Revue
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:13 pm

markbarlow wrote:
The Angry Johnny Revue wrote:
Now I'm from New Zealand, so this is going to be very biased but I recommend if you're driving down from Auckland (or Little China as it's now known as) spend some time on the East Coast of the North Island. Napier, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne are pretty cool cities. The East Coast also has the Te Urewera National Park which is a pretty cool place to see. Gisborne has a New Years Music festival going called Rythym & Vines which runs from the 29th-31st, usually it gets some pretty decent artists although this year it's looking a bit poppy and mainstream. The East Coast is well known for it's surfing, so if you're interested in that you should definitely hit up Wainui Beach. If you do decide to go there though I warn you the Waioeka Gorge is a challenging place to drive through, nonetheless it's filled with waterfall's, rivers and wildlife, so it's worth it. And even if you don't plan on going to the east coast it'd be a waste for you not to stop in Rotorua which is in between Auckland and the East Coast as they've got some awesome stuff such as Volcano's, Hot Springs, Sky Diving and a Luge track.

One other thing as well is that New Zealand's pretty big on rugby, but rugby season is over. I know there are some domestic soccer matches going on while you're there (although watching Auckland vs Wellington lacks the same intensity and atmosphere watching Chelsea vs Man U would have) and the national cricket team is playing a few matches against Zimbabwe and South Africa in most of the major cities next month, so if you're into sport you could check those out.

Don't know much about the South Island sorry, but if you're into extreme stuff make sure you try out bungee jumping there.

Anyhoo hope this helps, and have fun! Smile

Some great ideas there - thanks! I wasn't planning on going down the east side of North Island but might reconsider now. Do you reckon that's more worthwhile than heading north west out of Auckland to Kerikeri/Cape Reinga area? Rotorua already on my route Cool

I'll be needing something to do at New Year - the festival's a good idea but the only acts I've heard of aren't really my kind of music.

I was hoping to catch a football (soccer) game - don't mind if its not up to much, I watch League 1 over here (3rd division) so not a football snob!!!

Yeah that Bay of Islands area is decent, have only been there once though.

Warning though is that once you get out of Auckland there are pretty much no freeways/motorways so everything takes ages to get to for such a small country. You'll be driving for a long time thinking "Fuck, we've been driving for ages, where is everything?"

Oh and if you do go to a soccer match try and get tickets for Auckland City vs Waitekere United. They're the only two teams that wouldn't be relegated from the Blue Square Conference leagues if they were based in England Wink
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:56 am

The Angry Johnny Revue wrote:
Yeah that Bay of Islands area is decent, have only been there once though.

Warning though is that once you get out of Auckland there are pretty much no freeways/motorways so everything takes ages to get to for such a small country. You'll be driving for a long time thinking "Fuck, we've been driving for ages, where is everything?"

Oh and if you do go to a soccer match try and get tickets for Auckland City vs Waitekere United. They're the only two teams that wouldn't be relegated from the Blue Square Conference leagues if they were based in England Wink
Haha, good English football knowledge! Looks like I'll miss that fixture but will try and catch one of those two in action. Unfortunately I'll probably be down on the south island by the time the fixtures start again so might be limited.

Re the roads I've done a lot of driving in Scotland so hopefully have a rough idea of what to expect - i.e. single track roads, passing places and getting stuck behind RVs!
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:59 am

markbarlow wrote:
The Angry Johnny Revue wrote:
Yeah that Bay of Islands area is decent, have only been there once though.

Warning though is that once you get out of Auckland there are pretty much no freeways/motorways so everything takes ages to get to for such a small country. You'll be driving for a long time thinking "Fuck, we've been driving for ages, where is everything?"

Oh and if you do go to a soccer match try and get tickets for Auckland City vs Waitekere United. They're the only two teams that wouldn't be relegated from the Blue Square Conference leagues if they were based in England Wink
Haha, good English football knowledge! Looks like I'll miss that fixture but will try and catch one of those two in action. Unfortunately I'll probably be down on the south island by the time the fixtures start again so might be limited.

Re the roads I've done a lot of driving in Scotland so hopefully have a rough idea of what to expect - i.e. single track roads, passing places and getting stuck behind RVs!

Forget RV's mate, you'll be getting stuck behind sheep.
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:11 pm

Got back from my trip last week - thought I'd post a few pics as requested by steph! NZ is a truly stunning country, hoping to go back there sooner rather than later.

The (rough) route I took (link to google maps):
North Island
South Island

Mount "Doom" Ngauruhoe/Tongariro Alpine Crossing:





West coast of South island:



Milford Sound and the drive there/back (best road I've ever driven on):











Doubtful Sound via Lake Manapouri:









Crazy north facing trees on the south coast of the south island:



Moeraki Boulders:



Sunset behind Auckland from Waiheke Island:



Last edited by markbarlow on Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Camus
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:14 pm

These pictures are really awesome.
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plugga
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:15 pm

woah these places are stunning
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IrishNameAndAnInjury
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:23 pm

Those pictures are amazing! New Zealand looks like such a gorgeous country. Thanks for sharing these with us! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:34 pm

IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Those pictures are amazing! New Zealand looks like such a gorgeous country. Thanks for sharing these with us! Very Happy
You're welcome! It is such a great country - well worth a visit if you can cope with the long flights (from Europe at least - not too bad from the West Coast).

The pictures don't really do it justice to be honest. I guess you can see huge mountains, beautiful lakes and great beaches all over the world but to get incredible examples of them all so close together in a relatively small country is pretty unique.

I'm saving up to go back asap!

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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:59 pm

Pleased you liked it. I trust the sheep didn't give you any trouble?
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:15 pm

Wow, beautiful pictures.

You simply walked into Mordor.
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:03 pm

The Angry Johnny Revue wrote:
Pleased you liked it. I trust the sheep didn't give you any trouble?
Not at all - surprisingly didn't see THAT many of them (no more than driving around Wales for example).

loazis wrote:
Wow, beautiful pictures.

You simply walked into Mordor.
And ironically you can't drink the water in Tongariro National Park either! Something to do with the excess of minerals from all the volcanic activity.
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:35 pm


Wow, it's nothing less than I would expect! Thank you so much for posting! I don't even know what to say, I'm just taking in all the photos. That is possibly the most beautiful place I've ever seen!
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:28 pm

steph wrote:

Wow, it's nothing less than I would expect! Thank you so much for posting! I don't even know what to say, I'm just taking in all the photos. That is possibly the most beautiful place I've ever seen!
You're welcome! Its certainly the most beautiful place I've visited.

Thought I'd post a few more, nowhere near as epic as the previous ones but a bit more variety.

"Craters of the Moon" (volcanic bubbling mud pools):


Aratiatia Rapids:


Kaikoura:


Near Hanmer Springs:


Buller Gorge:


Franz Josef Glacier:




Queenstown area:






Lake Te Anau:
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Too pretty for words!
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:34 pm

IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:35 pm

markbarlow wrote:
IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink

Haha, I walked right into that one, didn't I? Razz Good one, Mark! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:06 am

markbarlow wrote:
IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink


AHHH... you are my kind of person. Razz Wink that photo of franz josef glacier is so gorgeous ugghhh...travel porn!

...there's probably a better name for that. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:30 pm

steph wrote:
markbarlow wrote:
IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink


AHHH... you are my kind of person. Razz Wink that photo of franz josef glacier is so gorgeous ugghhh...travel porn!

...there's probably a better name for that. Embarassed
Nope, travel porn is a good description! You mentioned Lord of the Rings earlier - I didn't do much LoTR stuff but here's one last one for you:

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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:37 pm

markbarlow wrote:
steph wrote:
markbarlow wrote:
IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink


AHHH... you are my kind of person. Razz Wink that photo of franz josef glacier is so gorgeous ugghhh...travel porn!

...there's probably a better name for that. Embarassed
Nope, travel porn is a good description! You mentioned Lord of the Rings earlier - I didn't do much LoTR stuff but here's one last one for you:


Hahaha, amazing. Was it literally just a door on the face of the hill?
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:26 pm

markbarlow wrote:
steph wrote:
markbarlow wrote:
IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Too pretty for words!
You should probably wait until you've seen me before making statements like that.
Wink


AHHH... you are my kind of person. Razz Wink that photo of franz josef glacier is so gorgeous ugghhh...travel porn!

...there's probably a better name for that. Embarassed
Nope, travel porn is a good description! You mentioned Lord of the Rings earlier - I didn't do much LoTR stuff but here's one last one for you:


THE SHIRE! I WANT TO GO TO THERE. I WANT TO LIVE THERE.
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PostSubject: Re: So I'm flying out to New Zealand tomorrow...   Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:09 pm

Camus wrote:
Hahaha, amazing. Was it literally just a door on the face of the hill?

Pretty much - they'd built supports maybe 6 feet into the hill. All the interior stuff was shot in a studio.



It was a bit more impressive than that though - think there are 42 "hobbit holes" there and the actual village area was pretty big.







It was cool to wander round there and its made me want to watch the movies again (though not sure when I'll get a spare 10 hours!).
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