WHERE TO START
One of the best websites to start from is www.newzealand.com
, the official website of the NZ Tourism industry. From there you can find details on accommodation, how to get around, sightseeing and activities, etc.
We may be a long away from where you live now, but rest assured, we have all levels of accommodation in New Zealand, from backpackers to those who prefer the penthouse suite of a top class hotel. If you want to get closer to country people and their lifestyle, consider a B&B ( bed and breakfast) on a farm. They are scattered all around New Zealand, and many will welcome your involvement on the farm.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:
1. Where can I get info on travelling by train?
TranzRail are the only train service in New Zealand. It is mostly a North Island passenger service, but one of the best rides you will ever take is the TranzAlpine service from Christchurch to Greymouth. Spectacular scenery - from plains, to mountains, to rainforest all in one trip!!!!
The website provides info on timetables, package deals, and prices.
2. I like staying at Bed & Breakfast establishments. Where can I see a list of those available in New Zealand?
3. You've mentioned that you live on the Tutukaka Coast, and it sounds wonderful, as we want to come and do lots of swimming and tramping. Can you tell me more about it?
I sure can! Click here
to learn all about my part of the country, the Tutukaka Coast.
4. We've heard about the great hikes one can do in New Zealand. Where would I find some information about them?
Our Department of Conservation administer the great walks of New Zealand. More details here: http://www.doc.govt.nz/great-walks
If you are after something more challenging, the Te Araroa Trail stretches from the top to the bottom of New Zealand, taking in the North Island and South Island. We have a great Te Araroa book
to help you plan your journey.
5. I'm going to be jet-lagged when I arrive in Auckland. What do you suggest for activities on the first day?
First I suggest you find accommodation in central Auckland. This will place you close to buses, trains, stores, and beaches. You may just want to sleep, and if the weather is warm, take a blanket and go lie down for a nap at Mission Bay. The sun and the fresh sea air will revitalise you, and you'll find lots of cafes where you can buy a rejuvenating juice, coffee or a bite to eat. Just make sure you "slip, slop, slap and wrap", as we say here. That means slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on the sunglasses....our sun is very strong and your skin can burn in just a few minutes!
Mission Bay can be reached on foot, by bike, car or bus. If you feel energetic, you can hire a kayak or rollerblades, or take a swim. Here's the view out to sea from Mission Bay - that's Rangitoto Island.
If you feel like exploring, there are many coach tours available around Auckland, taking you to the Museum, rainforests, wild west coast beaches, mountain biking, wine and food tasting, gardens, the zoo, and more. You can find a tour to suit your interests, and there will be brochures available at your accommodation. Also check out the information at the Auckland i-Site on Quay St, down at the Auckland waterfront.
6. Which island do you recommend - North Island or South Island?
When you come to New Zealand, plan to visit both islands. Even a week on each island will give you a good holiday. The islands are completely different to each other. Think majestic mountains and lakes and fiords in the South Island, contrasting with beautiful beaches, historical sites, Maori culture, thermal wonderlands, and their own share of beautiful mountains and lakes in the North Island.