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New Zealand - In general and for riding
#1
Yello,

Starting to consider/plan a possible trip to NZ for the whole of december or around that time for a month/4 weeks.

I know John B here has been and ridden out there so he should have something good to add to this but I was wondering if people could feed me advice about places which are a must see and do for both riding and general travelling.

There is a slight possibility that I may be going on my own so if anyone has got any experience of organised trips and stuff that could be cool.

Needs me some winter warm and fingers crossed should be a post qualification treat to myself... Smile
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#2
"BennyP" Wrote:Yello,

Starting to consider/plan a possible trip to NZ for the whole of december or around that time for a month/4 weeks.

I know John B here has been and ridden out there so he should have something good to add to this but I was wondering if people could feed me advice about places which are a must see and do for both riding and general travelling.

There is a slight possibility that I may be going on my own so if anyone has got any experience of organised trips and stuff that could be cool.

Needs me some winter warm and fingers crossed should be a post qualification treat to myself... Smile

Pittgoat and Blackers may well be able to help you here.
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#3
I knew there would be a few Wink Want to start getting the juices going to help stomach the air fare....
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#4
Theres a newish trail centre type place just north of Motueka on the south island, not sure about hire etc. Queenstown will be the main place, there are tons of DH type trails in the mountain above it which I believe you can now use the chair lift for plus nearby Coronet Peak. Big freeide park at the Queenstown one
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#5
Hire a car and drive all the way round the south island. Some of the best roads and scenery in the world, especially if you get a Comodore or Falcon V8 Wink Queenstown is a must visit, it's the adrenaline capital of the world, it's mental. You have to do a bungy off Kewaru (sp)  bridge, the new Nevis jump if you didn't shat your pants. There is some good biking from the ski resort nearby too. Climbing the Fox Glacier is good fun if the weather is good, it was chucking it down with rain and 4 degrees when we did it. We never made it down there but Milford Sound is supposed to beawesome.
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#6
"treaclesponge" Wrote:Pittgoat and Blackers may well be able to help you here.

2 years ago today we had just arrived on the South Island.
My advice would be to do a little research and decide what you want to see. It's a small country but it has so much to see and do. For weeks is not enough to see it all. We spent 6 weeks there and did all of the south island but only part of the north
We hired  car and  loved the freedom it gave us, but if you want to meet people there are organised bus tours which you can hop off and on. The bus option is definitely the cheapest as fuel costs roughly the same in NZ as it does here.
Staying in hostels is a good option as they are everywhere. We bought a tent too and did some camping in some incredible locations.
I only rode once, with Nick in Queenstown. But I know there is great riding all over both islands.
If you want chapter and verse search for our blog...Claireandmarkgotravelling
My recommendations would be...
Queenstown
Abel Tasman National Park
Wellington
Kaikora
And...FERGBURGER! :-)
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#7
I went for 3 weeks with my family when I was younger and would agree on the south island being spectacular, but equally the north was great too, we did a week in either which could of easily been a month looking back at things we missed. We saw alot in 3 weeks, but we were very busy and spent a week of the 3 skiing at the 3 big ski hills, not that you will be doing that in december.. the roads driving up the side of the mountain to base lodge are hairy as anything - we stayed in an appartment for the week in Wanaka which was an incredible place, only place ive ever seen a lake like it was near jasper canada. It was like going back in a time a little with some of the towns we drove though too, very strange. Some things were so modern and some were so old. and some were old but kitted out with brand new things, cant explain it.

highlights for me were the sulpher pools in Rotarau (spelling?),  glow worm caves where we were in an underground river on a raft , silly as it sounds we went to a Kiwi preservation centre which housed some other animals which was superb. got to go in and pet baby animals and everything. Wish I could remeber the places for you. Even historical places we visited I remeber well, saw an ancient bath house and a couple of old mines. We also went caving which was a first, would go again though, might even consider tunnelling. Everything I could ever think of doing we could of done.

I did a bit of XC/trial centre style riding in Whakawhera (spelling again) forest - held some form of world cup/champs race a few years ago..maybe 2002 which if i appreciated biking as much as I did now could easily of spent 5 days there. We also went quad biking up one of the moutains near queenstown which was insane, health and safety doesnt exist there. No driver license going up goat paths with sheer drops, at 16 was one of the best things I remeber.

We didnt have a single day sitting arround, and missed a ton of things because of the short time we were there. didnt even visit the coast which sounded even better than some of the things we saw.

My sister did a few months there and mentioned you dont need car insurance and can usually buy a car, drive it round and then sell it for the same price you brought it if you were thinking of hiring and could be bothered with the hassle of that. She was saying that depending on the time of year you go, there is a ton of people selling off camper vans which you could pootle arround in.

If anything that doesnt help you at all, but it doesnt half bring back some memories for me.
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#8
Went to NZ for 3/4 weeks a few years back, one of my favourite places ever.  So much to see and such a variety of different landscapes for a small island.  Definitely have a rough plan of where you want to go and and your route, but have some flexiliblity as you will no doubt meet up with other people and change your plans as you go.

Highlights were pretty much what others have said above. I would also add the the glaciers on the south island are amazing and well worth a hike around, or you can cheat and get a helicopter half way up like we did  Smile
Another one I just thought of was swimming with Dolphins and whale watching.  There were 100's of dolphins all around us, amazing really.  Also then getting to see a pack of Killer Whales which had come to hunt the dolphins (had to get out the sea at this point  Undecided)

We used Magic Bus to get around the island (<!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.magicbus.co.nz/">www.magicbus.co.nz/</a><!-- w -->), would recommend them as they help with advice and sorting accommodation if you want them too and a great way of meeting people. You can just hop and off the coaches and stay in places for as long as you want.  They had a good mix of people and ages, whereas some of the other companies cater for the 18-30 crowd (although you might be ok with that!).

Would love to go back and do more on the bike there, jealous!
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#9
&quot;Blackers&quot; Wrote:2 years ago today we had just arrived on the South Island.
My advice would be to do a little research and decide what you want to see. It's a small country but it has so much to see and do. For weeks is not enough to see it all. We spent 6 weeks there and did all of the south island but only part of the north
We hired  car and  loved the freedom it gave us, but if you want to meet people there are organised bus tours which you can hop off and on. The bus option is definitely the cheapest as fuel costs roughly the same in NZ as it does here.
Staying in hostels is a good option as they are everywhere. We bought a tent too and did some camping in some incredible locations.
I only rode once, with Nick in Queenstown. But I know there is great riding all over both islands.
If you want chapter and verse search for our blog...Claireandmarkgotravelling
My recommendations would be...
Queenstown
Abel Tasman National Park
Wellington
Kaikora
And...FERGBURGER! :-)

My wife and I are still waiting for FergBurger to open in the uk !!
Milford Sound is also amazing!
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#10
&quot;Ad_Fav&quot; Wrote:My wife and I are still waiting for FergBurger to open in the uk !!
Milford Sound is also amazing!

Between Nick, my missus and me I think we must have done the  menu in under 3 days!
Milford Sound was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was raining, so we got the full on waterfall thing but having driven the length of both islands previously we had already been in absolute genuine awe for 4 weeks.
And the first big scenery of our trip was Ha Long Bay in Vietnam which is an awesome site.
I wish we had done Doubtful Sound instead in fact.
We weren't adventurous enough in NZ really. we made up for that in South America, but I desperately want to go back to NZ and do some full on tramping and to see the North Island properly.

Ben - for transport I would highly suggest you hire  a car for  at least some of your time there. Having the freedom to just explore is the perfect way to see the best of NZ. Some of our favourite moments were spontaneous and shared with no other tourists. Which sounds pervy, but you get the point.
I wouldn't bother buying  car there for only 4 weeks either. We spent 4 days  at  hostel in Auckland when we first got there and a few people were having a stressful time buying and selling cars. We just walked between 3 hire car places and then bought a satnav and set off. when  broke down we just swapped for a new car.
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