New Zealand Jan - March 2013

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Sarah Waddington
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New Zealand Jan - March 2013

Post by Sarah Waddington »

I'm planning a trip to New Zealand from around the 17th of January to the 17th of March 2013, but i'm on my gap year and by myself, so wondering if anyone else is going to be out there, or if anyone has any contacts I could talk to. Also recommendations on places to paddle/stay would be awesome. I would love to paddle grade 3 and 4, and maybe some grade 5 if I find people I feel comfortable with to paddle with. I'm planning to buy a car out there, so if anyone knows where the best places to buy a car from, and where I could sell it again when i'm done that would be great.
Any info. on which airlines are best would also be useful as i'm currently struggling to find one that will take my kayak for less than my arm and leg, and where to fly to so that I can find somewhere to stay (cheaply) with my kayak, although i'm currently thinking Christchurch as a good starting base.
If anyone's interested in meeting up for some/any of the trip that would be amazing!

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Re: New Zealand Jan - March 2013

Post by banzer »

8 weeks in the NZ summer.... nice! A few searches on ukrgb will find several similar topics over the years, but from what I can remember.....

Air NZ are good carriers because you can fly via LA which gives you a higher baggage limit than any that go via the Far East. You can take your boat (better check this if it's the new Heathrow terminal??) plus have weight limit to spare!

NZ customs are (rightly) paranoid about invasive critters like weed, algae and Australians getting into their country, so scrub ALL your paddling gear, walking boots and boat and get photos of you doing it to show to NZ customs. This will save you time the other end.

Christchurch is a sensible place to start and there are lots of car yards. If you're not familiar with it I would suggest head to a backpackers hostel in town (they should pick you up from the airport if you book ahead... take an unlocked mobile phone with you and buy a local pay-as-you-go simcard at the airport.) There may be some ads fore backpackers vehicles which will usually include camping gear, bedding etc. However, you are going at premium time, it's hard to predict availability. (The best availability is probably Auckland in April!!) there will however be tons of 10 year old Subaru Legacy stationwagons (estates) to choose from at the car yards. Speak nicely to one of the guys at the hostel to come with you if you're not confident 'cos there are some bangers out there to avoid. Get third party insurance with windscreen cover!!

Then head to Murchison and hang around the kayak school and enjoy all the beautiful grade 2-4 around there. You will make friends and contacts for sure.

If you're keen head to the coast and do some of the easier runs, and it's worth taking in Queenstown and the new WW park in Wanaka. Then in late Feb head up to central North Island to run the Kaituna a few times and Wairoa on dam release. There's heaps of people around there too.

If you want a bit more time in N Island then boaters often hang around the Bliss Stick factory near Taihape and work there a while in exchange for a boat.

It's also pretty easy to buy a 2nd hand boat over there from though you may need to find someone to sell it on for you at the other end.

Have fun...
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Re: New Zealand Jan - March 2013

Post by snuggle_bunny »

Hi sara. with reference to buying a car in new zealand- I would reccomend trying one of the backpacking hostels near Auckland or Christchurch airport , depending on where you fly to. Many folks use these hostels as their last few nights stay and are keen to flog their vehicles at often silly prices just to get a bit of money. Central backpackers in Auckland is best bet. With regards to accomodation, the only place i know of for deffinate where you will be made more than welcome is the hamilton tomo group hostel at waitomo on the north island. This is a caving club who a few of my caving club friends know very well. should you decide to stay with them please tell them that youre friends with john allonby, bucket gob,and Neville Lucas (me) from the craven pothole club. if youre really lucky they might even take you caving. As for the south island an awesome place. Im really jealous and wish i was back there. youre in for a great experience so best of luck

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Re: New Zealand Jan - March 2013

Post by geyrfugl »

Tee hee, now you're mixing with the "In" crowd. You could tell them that your dad knows Bucket Gob, John Cordingley, Ron Bury, Graham Proudlove among others. Mind you, if they are mates with the Craven, better not mention any Northern Pennine Club connection ;-) You'll recall that Auckland Central Backpackers was where you stayed in 2005 on the way in and out of NZ....


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