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New Zealand?

Discussion in 'Special Sessions, Events, and Tour Announcements' started by skyward, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. skyward


    Apr 30, 2005
    Southport, Maine
    My wife, Suzy, and I are going to NZ for about five weeks. We will mostly use rental cars and small planes almost equally divided between the North and South Islands, as well as the hike along the Milford Track.

    We would both appreciate any comments about favorite spots, non-obvious equipment requirements, and any other thoughts or experiences you might have. And, with luck, we will respond with any keepers that we might come up with on our return.


  2. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Bring UV filters for all lenses. And good hiking boots plus fleece wear.

    Just spending 5 weeks for all of NZ is far too short time. Rent a car and avoid the tourist places. South Island is my favourite area.
  3. Haven't been to New Zealand but I've heard great reports from friends. One canceled the Australia part of their trip and spent more time in New Zealand. Another said he sat down in the airport and cried the day he had to come home. He also enjoyed renting a camper van. http://www.campertravel.com.au/ Have a great trip.
  4. Nz :) 

    5 weeks will certainly give you a good taste for NZ. Rental cars a good way to travel. When are you coming this way - over xmas/new year accomodation can be tight in some areas, so some prebooking could be a good idea. Some tourist places are great. If you want to email me your planned trip I could give you specific comments.
  5. The scenery is spectacular but remember it rains a lot:eek: 
    Also outside the cities, particularaly in South Island, the country lives in a time warp - it's just like the UK in the 1950s:Unsure:
    Personally my wife and I far prefer Australia but that's just us....
    Oh, if you hire a car budget for paying a lot for full collision damage waver - there is no compusory third party insurance in NZ so unless you have CDW you could end up paying for accident damage even if you are not to blame:mad:  (As an aside UK visitors to Texas USA should be aware that car hire does not include any third party insurance and this is a very expensive extra if you do not arrange it in advance)
  6. Dave it must have a long time ago you were here. The "market" economy was adopted in NZ about 20 years ago and I assure you we are well up to play even in the South Island. But time warp, sure we do not want nuclear power, nor atomic bombs. Our farmers kick the butts of European farmers so much our produce is not allowed in. But we do OK.

    Rain, it does but not necessarily a lot. It rains more in parts of Europe than here apart from West Coast of South Island which probably has about 2 raindays per week. re car hire - Most reputable car hire places have very comprehensive insurance although you may have to pay the first $500 - but that can be covered by your normal travel insurance.
  7. November last year actually for three weeks.
    Rain - I agree western Europe is just as wet, the west coast of South Island is just like Scotland, Wales and the Lake district here - spectacular if you get lucky with the weather but don't count on being lucky - that said Milford Sound is spectacular even in the pouring rain.
    As far as the 1950s time warp is concerned that was my wife and my impression and I'm plenty old enough to remember the UK in the 1950s. It's not a technical thing (farming technology etc.) it's a state of mind. Probably we were influenced by the number of older first generation British imigrants we met who had gone to NZ in the 50s.
    Normal travel insurance issued by UK insurers only covers you for hospital and repatriation costs if you are involved in a motor accident, it does not cover you for personal liability associated with a motor accident and so you would have to find any excess out of your own pocket.
  8. spring showers

    Actually November is probably the worst month re weather. A lot of equinoxial type weather from the Tasman brings a lot of rain to the western regions and up north. Eastern coastal areas usually nicer where the rain from the west has turned into the fohn conditions in the east. Late January, February, March are the best (imo) summer month. July/August for winter activities. I just had a look at my PAD gallery for Nov last year - lots of fine days in Wellington!

    Apart from that - hope you had a nice time
  9. Yes, we did enjoy it really though we never did see Mount Cook from either side. :mad:  We were going on the assumption that weather patterns would be a bit like UK - the best time to visit Scotland (most years) is in May (equiv Nov in NZ) when you can have weeks of settled fine weather - earlier it rains and later even if the sun shines you will be eaten alive by midges. Norway (which is even more like South Island) is also (usually) great in May. Have to investigate weather patterns more closely if we go again.
    See it is now Chistmass Day with you - hope its fine. We have a very pleasent Christmass eve here, about 8degC and partly cloudy sky.
  10. skyward


    Apr 30, 2005
    Southport, Maine
    To all respondents, thanks for the feedback and comments, and especially Phil's excellent pbase postings. If we can come back with postings like that, we will be very happy, along with what we have heard is the gracious friendliness of the New Zealand population.
    Our appetites are wetted and can't wait to be on our way for what is a very loose itinerary. Phil, I will try to get organized enough to pass on some of the spots of our interest, omitting mention of the major cities and concentrating on the sites from Bay of Islands and working South to South Island. Any comments will be gratefully appreciated.

    Skyward - aka Nick Mace
  11. Nick, we only spent time on the North Island, but 2 things really stand out. The first is going all the way up to the tip where you can see the big tide ripe where the oceans meet. Very spectacular scenery there, although the day we went was very rainy, and that was about this time of year. I didn't care, went to look and then had to empty my shoes of water.

    The second thing is to do a float plane trip off of Lake Rotorua, over the geysers and the sulfur volcano just off the coast. Not something you will see often at home.
  12. skyward


    Apr 30, 2005
    Southport, Maine
    New Zealand

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Phil and other contributors,

    Thanks so much for your helpful replies, and I am sorry to be in such haste to be off on the trip not to have responded.

    Do not go to New Zealand!

    Because, when you do, there is no easy way to return home. It is a fantastic place to visit, photograph and generally feel as though you are an honored guest with everyone you meet.

    Here is one of my early attempts at recording the fabulous sights, and I will post a link later when I can make a more complete depiction.


    Again, thanks to the Nikoncafe for making this possible.

  13. iconic pic! - well captured - will look forward to more
  14. Would any of you have walked the Routburn track?

    I plan on walking it early May, which is the start of the winter season there, and am looking for people with similar photo experiences.

    Thank you in advance,

  15. I have never walked it, but would be cautious in early winter, unless you were going with a group with an experienced guide. It is not a stroll in the park!
  16. skyward


    Apr 30, 2005
    Southport, Maine

    I can't tell you much about the Routburn, but we did the Milford a few months ago. It was spectacular1! Not a cakewalk, but certainly doable by The Old Goats we are, and the sense of reward was exceeded only by the spectacular scenes along the entire route. I took my D2X, 28-70 and 12-24 but not a telephoto - that turned out to be a good choice, and anything more would have been too taxing to carry - 5 days, 33.5miles. The pack was heavy enough without having to carry bedding, cooking and tenting materials. We were very lucky with the weather, no rain at all, but the guides complained about the waterfalls not being "filled". Still, rain is apparently the norm for some part of the track, but not too hard to prepare for it. We were on a guided trip so the lodges were a welcome sight at night, the food a very pleasant surprise, and hot showers a relief.

    I'd love to do the Routeburn, but that will have to wait - please post some photos on your return. I have posted some of my early shots on: http://www.pbase.com/redwing930/new_zealand_in_progress&page=all and hope some of them are reflective of your tramp.


    Nick Mace aka Skyward
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