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New Zealand travel tips?

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Since people in this group seem to travel to all the cool places, I'm hoping someone here has some travel tips for me -- in New Zealand for 3 weeks this March and no plan/itinerary yet. Must see, must do, must buy suggestions, anyone?


Never been near there myself, but I know a few people from NZ. What kind of things do you enjoy? North or South Island? You want Tiki/Maori stuff?

Be careful while there...the locals will have you jumping from an aquaduct or getting steamrollered by a huge rugby player if you play your cards even marginally wrong.

Trader Woody


Well, we're hoping to do a lot of hiking, maybe some biking and kayaking, or even sailing if the opportunity presents itself. I'm afraid it'll be too cold to swim/snorkel. And we want to check out the native history/culture. Dig those historical sites!
The trip is kind of a last-minute, once-in-a-lifetime-chance, so we haven't done much research yet -- just picked up the Lonely PLanet travel guide this weekend -- so any tips would be most appreciated.

try to get to Te Papa museum in Wellington,
extra tiki points for the terrific collection there.

Samina posted on Tue, Jan 7, 2003 6:12 PM

Yes I completely suggest Te Papa in Wellington. I was just there last week, and it is awesome. Checked out the LOTRs exhibit while there plus had a look around the Pacific Island area and it is great. I give the place a 10/10. :tiki:
I will check out for websites of interest and post them here soon.


Thanks for the tips -- we will definitely check out the museum recommended.
Any B&B recommendations? Also hoping for sailing tips.
Thanks again! Can't wait to go!


I havent been for about 20 yrs but as I remember...great money exchange rate, friendly natives, and a beautiful country. oh yeah, I forgot...sheep... lots of sheep.


Two years ago, Tina and I were fortunate to take a cruise to the South Pacific. We had 3 stops in New Zealand, all on the North Island -- Bay of Islands, Tauranga, and Auckland.

We loved the Bay of Islands. We disembarked in a small town called Paihia. There's a small Seahorse Aquarium there and the shopping is fantastic. Your dollar will go a long way. If you can, take a hydrofoil or a catamaran through "The Hole in The Rock." I strongly recommend the hydrofoil for speed and fun but if you take a catamaran you may see dolphins and sea turtles.

If you like history, you can also walk to Waiatangi treaty house, New Zealand's first government capital. I believe there are some Maori carvings there including a large canoe but double-check your guide cause my memory is fuzzy.

Can't say much for Tauranga since most everything was closed on Christmas Day. Beautiful beaches though with millions of shells.

In Auckland we went on a wine tasting tour. New Zealand has some great vinyards and wines meant to be consumed young, so feel free to drink them right away! Auckland also has their own version of the Space Needle and the Galleria in the main part of the city has some outstanding deals! Maori tikis everywhere, great prices on wools, and rugby shirts. The place is huge so give yourself some time.

Those are my humble and somewhat limited recommendations. I hope to go back someday. I envy you because you will have much more time to take it all in. The New Zealander's are very friendly and outgoing. You'll have a blast! Give us a report upon your return.

Take care and Aloha!


[ Edited by: stentiki on 2003-01-10 18:29 ]

stentiki wrote:
I hope to go back someday. I envy you because you will have much more time to take it all in. Arty

Indeed. I know someone who spent a month on the North Island and loved it so much he went back for a month on the South Island the next year. Not easy or cheap when you are visiting from the UK, which is pretty much the other side of the world from NZ.

Have fun!

Trader Woody

Tiki Emi & I cashed in our frequent flyer miles & booked a flight to New Zealand. We're going just after Christmas 2004.

We're flying into Auckland, staying for 3 weeks & then flying out of Christchurch.

Any advice on guidebooks, websites, itineraries, sights, food, accomodations, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Kia ora,
Tiki Chris

[ Edited by: Tiki Chris on 2004-03-17 10:35 ]

My niece was just in New Zealand and loved it. One of the things she mentioned was a city on the north island called Napier, known for its art deco buildings. The reason it's all art deco is because the city was leveled by an earthquake in 1931. She didn't get to see it, but it sounds interesting.

On 2004-03-17 11:02, Sweet Daddy Tiki wrote:
a city on the north island called Napier, known for its art deco buildings. The reason it's all art deco is because the city was leveled by an earthquake in 1931.

[ Edited by: filslash 2008-09-12 12:30 ]


Perfect timing this post is.......

I'm going over in late April for a week, mainly for a hot rod show but plan to do ONLY the North Island for the rest of the trip concentrating on the good stuff rather than trying to do too much.

Will be going to Napier for sure! And hope to pick up some carvings and visit a few knick-knack stores about the place.

On 2004-03-17 21:09, PEDDRO wrote:
Will be going to Napier for sure! And hope to pick up some carvings and visit a few knick-knack stores about the place.

[ Edited by: filslash 2008-09-12 12:30 ]

Kia ora!

Tiki Emi & I are heading to NZ at the end of the month. Just wondering if anybody's got any more suggestions? Our itinerary's just about filled up, but I'm always open to more ideas!

Can't Frickin' Wait,
Tiki Chris

Oh, & I'll definitely come back w/ pics & suggestions to share.

My co-worker is going there in March 2005 and I've convinced her to pick me up a Maori carving. Does anyone have any idea of a good place to get one in NZ? She'll be there for a month and on the north and south islands.

Are the Moari carvings in NZ like the totem poles up here in Western Canada?(Available in every souvenier shop...yet not authentic)? 'Cause if it is...I'm okay with that. My experience with tiki need not be authentic...I just want a large(ish) flat (ish) relief-like Maori full body or mask tiki carving that could fit in a large suit case. Oh yeah...I'm only looking to spend between $50-$100.

So any suggestions folks?

I liked the South Island much more. Mt Cook is the Mutt's nuts...stunning spot. Dunedin is so much like Bonny old Scocia, you will think you are there.

Queenstown is kinda the touritsy "Advencha" spot...lots of Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Jet Boats etc.
There's even (or was) a Mexican Restaurant there which claims to be the furthest south one in the world.

Whitebait is the Kiwi food that everyone sez you gotta try. It's a small fish netted, and cooked in eggs. It's not bad.

The Wine Sceen there is booming, as was the Micro Brewery industry.

I quite liked riding the train there, some old slow curvy tracks where you can see the front part of the train turining sharply as it bends from middle and back part (that's sharp for a train)

There is a cartoon called "Footrot Flats" drawn by a guy named Murray Ball that sort of encapulastes the average Kiwi. It's about a Border Collie, and sort of about his owner. If you get a chance to read it, you will "get" many of the jokes and referances of locals.

I only know of one person who didn't like it there, but it was me.

I was only there a few weeks, but mostly hated it.

I would much rather go to Tasmania.

Kia ora Tiki Central! Emi & I are just back from three fantastic weeks in NZ! And as far as tips go ...

I'm going out on a limb to say that I wish we'd had more time on the North Island - if only to see & experience a bit more Maori & Polynesian culture. Auckland's got the highest Polynesian population in the world (Maori's yes, but also Samoans, Tokilauans, Fijians & more). The Auckland Museum & Te Papa in Wellington were so loaded w/ Polynesian art & artifacts that I thought my head was going to explode! Rotorua (especially the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute w/ its access to Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley) is an incredible place that was hard to leave!

That said, we happily spent most of our time bopping around the South Island in our rented campervan. Fiordland National Park & the Milford Sound are gorgeous & were well worth the trek!

The only real bummer was the price of souvenirs. Maori carvings are ubiquitous but pricey (along w/ other ubiquitous items such as wool sweaters). Some of this might have a little to do w/ the weak dollar, but still NZ$40 for a T-shirt seems a bit steep.

NZ wines are wonderful & a good bargain. We tried a bunch of inexpensive whites while there. There were a few that I really liked. The Matua Valley Late Harvest Muscat & the Saints Gisborne Noble Semillon were two of my faves.

We could have easily stayed longer & there are tons of places we didn't get to explore but really wanted to. I hope to get back there some day to see them!

I'll post some pics as soon as they're developed.

Tiki Chris

[ Edited by: tiki chris on 2005-01-20 06:35 ]

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