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Moving to New Zealand

lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, next week I'll be in Auckland. Moving there for permanent, or as close to it as possible. I'll be having (hopefully) about a month to explore the city on my own, using a bus pass and my feet.

Anybody have any good sightseeing things for me to do? The museums are fairly obvious, but any other suggestions?

not even so much on just touristy things, but just advice in general.

lonelyahava on


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    Coarse LanguageCoarse Language Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you find sheep sexually attractive I hear it's the place to be, otherwise I have no idea.

    Coarse Language on
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    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Are you restricted to the city, or do you plan on exploring beyond it? I mean, Auckland is lovely and all, but as any former resident of Invercargill will tell you, the South Island is the *real* New Zealand.

    In all seriousness, though, the different regions of New Zealand have very different characters. The North Island is different from the South Island, and even within the North Island, Auckland and Wellington have about as much in common as, say, apples and cats. So, if you really want to get a feel for the country, I highly recommend seeing as much of it as possible before you settle down in one place.

    I lived in New Zealand for a year when I was young, and visited every few years afterwards until I turned 16, and my most vivid memories are of the various campervan trips I took with my family. When I was there, it was hands-down the best way to see the country, and there were rest stops everywhere, ranging from enormous camper parks with hot spring pools and waterslides to secluded parking areas with rudimentary facilities but lovely lonely views over gravel-bed streams. Renting a campervan for a couple of weeks gives you the flexibility to go anywhere, see anything, and spend as much or as little time as you want in any one place. They're quite easy to drive, especially the smaller two-person ones (which are basically just largish vans with tricked-out interiors), and they usually end up being a fair bit cheaper than renting a car and staying in hotels.

    If you go the driving tour route, there are a metric ton of things I'd recommend to see or do - mostly on the South Island, because that's the one I know. The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is the single most stunning stretch of road I've ever seen, and the Sound itself is just spectacular - it's the most popular tourist destination in New Zealand, and rightly so. Queenstown is great, if a bit touristy: the world's first commercial bungy jumping site is nearby on the Kawarau Gorge, and I highly recommend it. (Protip: tuck your shirt in *before* you jump, so you're not stuck upside-down giving an eyeful to an entire bus load of camera-happy Japanese tourists).

    Central Otago is where most of the Rohan scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, and it's every bit as majestic in person. Christchurch is a beautiful old city if you're into churches and botanical gardens, and while nobody ever really *needs* to go to Invercargill, it's a friendly little place, and Oreti Beach is fantastic.

    The best fish and chips in the world were sold at a dodgy little fry shop above an art studio in Alexandra, but that was 15 years ago, so I sadly doubt it's still there.

    One final warning, unrelated to travel: New Zealand chocolate will kick your ass. If you have any sort of weakness for that particular indulgence, beware. Cadbury sells like seventeen different kinds of chocolate bars (more like chocolate blocks, really, they come in enormous sizes), all of which are delicious. And Jaffas - spheres of dark chocolate covered in orange candy coating - are fucking crack.

    Kate of Lokys on
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    lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011

    I intend on travelling eventually, but the boyfriend lives in auckland so for the moment that's where I'll be based out of. Although we are taking a trip down to Christchurch the end of February to meet some of his friends and go to the More FM concert at one of the wineries there.

    He's been rather sweet about the chocolates. I've gotten several boxes from a local Auckland Chocolatier as well as a few blocks of Whitaker's.

    But i have not had this Jaffa. I think that I am lucky in that my tastes in chocolate are rather snobby, so we'll see just how deadly the city will be to me.

    For the moment it's bus and walking, until I can figure out the backwards driving and maybe get myself a motorbike or vespa or something manageable like that.

    What? I think Vespas are cute. I want to be cute! :P

    lonelyahava on
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    What? I think Vespas are cute. I want to be cute! :P

    Don't worry a Vespa guarantees being cute:


    Remember driving on the left is not only an issue for drivers. It's also something one must remember when crossing the street else it can get ugly!

    How are you with water? Auckland has hosted the America's Cup twice and if you're into sailing it's possible to get on the water on board a real America's Cup yacht.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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