Pondering New Zealand...

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Alec Ferris
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Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:50 pm

...specifically thinking about taking a year or more out to get a job, live and paddle over there. Does anyone know the best place to base yourself for that? I did find an NZ kayakers' forum, but can't access it.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by BigPhil » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:56 pm

It probably depends on what sort of job you were thinking of getting. If you were thinking of working in the outdoors then Murchison, Taupo and Queenstown would be good and have paddling nearby. Murchison in particular has the https://www.nzkayakschool.com/ and is worth checking out. If you want to work somewhere more conventional then Wellington and Christchurch are well located for getting out to the countryside.

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by banzer » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:28 am

You should definitely do it. Be prepared for possibly not wanting to come back. Depending on what jobs you want, the North Island has the greater population and might have more options. Look around Rotorua, Taupo and Tauranga. On the south, it's gotta be Queenstown really. Where you can paddle big volume grade 5 every day of the year, if you wish to. Or Christchurch, but it's on the coastal plains so a bit further from the action. The Nelson area is nice too and not too far from Murchison.

Not sure if the Bliss Stick factory is still doing working holidays but give them a shout and see.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:13 pm

I'm more a grade 4 person.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by DaveBland » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:14 pm

Alec Ferris wrote:I'm more a grade 4 person.
Not for long...
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:51 pm

We spent 2 months in Okere Falls near Rotorua this year, Kaituna every day if you want, surfing at the Mont is only 40mins and work class trail biking in Redwoods 20mins away. For a year out I would go there. You can always go on a road trip to the south island for some west coast heli action.

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Mark Dixon » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:23 am

I went to North Island nearly 30 years ago but wasnt into WW kayaking then but I walked and climbed all the major mountains and volcanoes, I stayed around Taupo Lake. The scenery is fantastic, people very pleasant but I found it a bit expensive in comparison to Australia but that may have changed (Aus is still full of Kiwi's I believe) My only regret is not going to the South Island, some of the walks you need to book a year in advance. Definately worth considering a trip.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by steveparry » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:51 pm

Hi, I lived in the Nelson area for a year and a bit and the climate is outstanding. I would recommend the top of the South Island as a place to live if you want to go slow and have three national parks within spitting distance. Murchison is 1 hour away tops and there are some local rivers up to grade 4. I taught in a local school. I am home in Wales now but NZ is always on my mind. Things I missed most about Europe...old buildings, cultural activities and not having to wear sunscreen (the sun is seriously intense out there)...oh and they do have a tendency to think they are the only country in the world with mountains and rivers!! Otherwise, it's amazingly unique as a country, the people are genuinely ace, the attitude to work/life is excellent (and probably the thing I miss most) and the landscape is on a par with the European Alps...do it.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:58 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm looking mostly at the upper bits of South Island, just need to figure out getting work there.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by banzer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:01 am

Alec Ferris wrote:Thanks for the advice. I'm looking mostly at the upper bits of South Island, just need to figure out getting work there.
What sort of work are you after? I lived in Motueka for a couple of years. Cool little playhole just outside town on the Mot river that you can have fun on most of the year. Fantastic area.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:57 pm

banzer wrote:What sort of work are you after? I lived in Motueka for a couple of years. Cool little playhole just outside town on the Mot river that you can have fun on most of the year. Fantastic area.
Just something that'll pay for food, car, boating etc.

Is it feasible to take kit out there, or is it better to just try and buy a new boat and possibly blades when I get there? I'd rather take at least my VEs with me.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by banzer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:49 pm

If you get your baggage allowances right you should be able to take a boat and kit. The best way has always been with Air NZ via Los Angeles (higher allowance to/from the USA). Make sure you are flying from a UK terminal that can handle boats (one of the Heathrow ones can't??) Then disinfect / scrub your boat and kit before heading out, take photos on your phone to show kiwi customs. New boats out there aren't cheap and are nearly all Bliss Stick, but you should be able to pick up plenty of second hand ones around Murchison.

In the Nelson / Motueka region there is plenty of seasonal fruit picking work, but it's quite hard going. Might be easier to just fly out, get your working holiday visa and go and apply places in person.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:56 pm

banzer wrote:If you get your baggage allowances right you should be able to take a boat and kit. The best way has always been with Air NZ via Los Angeles (higher allowance to/from the USA). Make sure you are flying from a UK terminal that can handle boats (one of the Heathrow ones can't??) Then disinfect / scrub your boat and kit before heading out, take photos on your phone to show kiwi customs. New boats out there aren't cheap and are nearly all Bliss Stick, but you should be able to pick up plenty of second hand ones around Murchison.

In the Nelson / Motueka region there is plenty of seasonal fruit picking work, but it's quite hard going. Might be easier to just fly out, get your working holiday visa and go and apply places in person.
Thanks. Isn't that massively pricey, going via LA?

I see what you mean about first-hand boats. Guessing Zets aren't particularly common there, either. Are paddles generally fine to take?

Work-wise I'm going to have to apply and see what the system tells me.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by banzer » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:59 pm

Going back five years, but LA flights weren't particularly different from Singapore ones.
A paddle shouldn't be a problem.
Couldn't tell you about Zets - I'd be surprised. The new Tutea should be about the same size as the Raptor and the Tuna similar to the Director, I think. Both getting good reviews.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:03 pm

Looks pricey, but doable if I go in late summer/early autumn. That'll give me time to earn some more money, after all.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by patch » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:05 am

Try to avoid Auckland, if you want easy-to-get-to whitewater. The nearest seems to be south to Taupo and Rotorua (so you may as well live there, and the scenery's nicer), or the same kind of distance north, but then there isn't much there. I'm resigning myself to doing more sea kayakking than whitewater, but then with the west coast beaches only 40 minutes drive away, I can see there will be at least one planing hull appearing in the garage at some point.

On the other hand, at some point this year there should be an artificial grade 4 course (http://wero.org.nz/) opening near Manukau, which is about a 20 minute drive south of Auckland. I hope it will, anyway. They've broken ground on the site, and it's part of one of the bigger events venues round here, but there's bound to be a delay.

In the meantime, though, once I've started work and getting paid again, I'll be spending the start and end of a few weekends driving down to the Kaituna for some paddling. It's bigger than most of my past paddles, but what the hell, it's summer and I quite fancy seeing what whitewater is like without needing a drysuit.

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:55 pm

patch wrote:Try to avoid Auckland, if you want easy-to-get-to whitewater. The nearest seems to be south to Taupo and Rotorua (so you may as well live there, and the scenery's nicer), or the same kind of distance north, but then there isn't much there. I'm resigning myself to doing more sea kayakking than whitewater, but then with the west coast beaches only 40 minutes drive away, I can see there will be at least one planing hull appearing in the garage at some point.

On the other hand, at some point this year there should be an artificial grade 4 course (http://wero.org.nz/) opening near Manukau, which is about a 20 minute drive south of Auckland. I hope it will, anyway. They've broken ground on the site, and it's part of one of the bigger events venues round here, but there's bound to be a delay.

In the meantime, though, once I've started work and getting paid again, I'll be spending the start and end of a few weekends driving down to the Kaituna for some paddling. It's bigger than most of my past paddles, but what the hell, it's summer and I quite fancy seeing what whitewater is like without needing a drysuit.
As it is, I'm looking at South Island. I'm not too fussy where I go for the first few months, though, as long as I can get a foothold of sorts out there.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:09 pm

Where on South Island offers a good balance of places to work and boat? Been wondering about going to one of the rafting companies (I'm close to Lee Valley after all, so it should be possible to work out the qualifications).
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by BigPhil » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:47 am

I would say (as I think I did at the top of the thread) Nelson and Queenstown are the main options which have jobs and availability of rivers.

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:15 pm

BigPhil wrote:I would say (as I think I did at the top of the thread) Nelson and Queenstown are the main options which have jobs and availability of rivers.
I think I saw that. Queenstown is the main place I've been looking at so far.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Jonny Kennedy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:59 am

Im in NZ now (in Auckland) but kayaked around both islands last year.
If Queenstown is where youre looking, theres a year old (still newish) world class play wave at Wanaka (the Hawea wave) which is an hour from Queenstown and adds to the already existing numerous rivers in the QT area.

Image

A working holiday visa (for 18-30 year olds) lasts a year and will allow you to outdoor instruct, fruit pick, farm, work on a vineyard, you find it you could apply for it.
Kayaking and rafting work in QT is hard to get, as its so desirable, its more who you know and how well youre known. Dont let that stop you going for something though - its the outdoor capital of the world with so much outdoor stuff available to work and play, youre spoilt for choice.
Another option is murchison which has a kayaking community (and outdoor teaching college) so more of a kayak specific hub, and great for developing your paddling, but its a small town so work is harder to come by. Its close to the west coast so when you're up for it.... the heli boating trips are not too far away.
Christchurch is the best place to fly into if you want to get straight into it. save the hassle for ferries and cars from Auckland. You can get a van too, before during or after your work, they buy and sell all the time here as everyone does this to travel.
emirates will give you 30kgs and will take a kayak but at 22kg theres not room for much more. There are good boats available here to buy but expensive if not Bliss stick. theres a good 2nd hand market and kayak regional facebook groups are the easiest for finding or buying something. Definitely bring your VEs. too good to leave behind.
Clothes are cheap and everyone lives in flip flops so that will help with your luggage!
Email me if you have more questions (jonnykennedy1 @ gmail . com) and dont rule out Nepal.

Jonny

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:54 pm

I'm not too fussed about getting a paddling job out there, though that would be very nice.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:09 pm

OK, visa is in the bag :D Just got to sort out everything else, now- planning to head to Rotorua for the first half of the visa, then South Island. Are there any particular NZ sites/forums I ought to check out?
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by buck197 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:52 pm

Contact Barny Young whose a kiwi paddler that is behind the site Gradient and Water, a good guy who was over in UK a couple of winters ago. I'm sure he can offer good advice and point you in the right direction.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by banzer » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:29 pm

Everything used to be on rivers.org.nz but that doesn't get much traffic anymore. I presume there will be a 'NZ boaters' FB page somewhere.

If you can do Wanaka or Q'town you won't go far wrong.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:16 pm

banzer wrote:Everything used to be on rivers.org.nz but that doesn't get much traffic anymore. I presume there will be a 'NZ boaters' FB page somewhere.

If you can do Wanaka or Q'town you won't go far wrong.
I'm thinking Queenstown for the second chunk of the visa. I'm assuming there's got to be a decent community around Rotorua, what with Bliss-Stick being based there. I'm told they still make Tunas and Waka just have rights to export outside NZ. Is that right?
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by nick_roberts » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:21 am

The Bliss-Stick Factory is a lot further south than Rotorua, near Taihape, on the Rangitikei. Nearer to Rotorua, Okere Falls is the village based on the Kaituna which has a lot of paddlers, would probably be a good place to spend some time and there must be work in Rotorua.

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:52 pm

Parents are nudging me towards staying in a bigger city- employment being more likely there, and all that. I'm guessing there have to be clubs in Auckland which get to the Kaituna and the like fairly often. Wondering about Tauranga as a compromise.
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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Jonny Kennedy » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:56 am

Auckland uni canoe club has lots of members who aren't studying (myself being one). Every weekend they're off to the Kaituna or wairoa (on sundays for its release) if its not running their pre planned trips elsewhere.
Rotorua and Taupo are the outdoor adventure towns of the north island and best place to go for seasonal outdoor work. rotorua is 15mins from kaituna and closer to more serious committed kayakers (who hang out at okere falls).
Seek.co.nz is popular over here to find work, especially if you have the visa in place already.
One option is work hard for 3 months and dont try to paddle then use all the money you've saved to specifically paddle on a road trip. Facebook groups are more commonly used than the nz rivers website.
Bliss stick factory is in middle of nowhere but you can still get a mystic or blisstick playboat if you go at the right time (of and when they need work done). Phoning them is best way to get info. There is a good grade 4 river 10mins from the factory that runs at nearly all levels so if you're in the area its not a wasted trip away from the rest of the action.
There's definitely no tunas or tuteas being made... the making for mates stopped just before I got here (gutted!!)
Most paddle road trips are done in the Chrsitmas and new year holidays as NZ shuts down for holidays.. January and February is when most south island road trips happened from northern boaters but the west coast runs all year if you're up for the big stuff.
Ultimately the more you research and pester people actually in NZ the more you'll get answers and opportunities.
I'm in Auckland and can help you if you come here.
See you on the water

jonny

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Re: Pondering New Zealand...

Post by Alec Ferris » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:49 pm

Jonny Kennedy wrote:Auckland uni canoe club has lots of members who aren't studying (myself being one). Every weekend they're off to the Kaituna or wairoa (on sundays for its release) if its not running their pre planned trips elsewhere.
Rotorua and Taupo are the outdoor adventure towns of the north island and best place to go for seasonal outdoor work. rotorua is 15mins from kaituna and closer to more serious committed kayakers (who hang out at okere falls).
Seek.co.nz is popular over here to find work, especially if you have the visa in place already.
One option is work hard for 3 months and dont try to paddle then use all the money you've saved to specifically paddle on a road trip. Facebook groups are more commonly used than the nz rivers website.
Bliss stick factory is in middle of nowhere but you can still get a mystic or blisstick playboat if you go at the right time (of and when they need work done). Phoning them is best way to get info. There is a good grade 4 river 10mins from the factory that runs at nearly all levels so if you're in the area its not a wasted trip away from the rest of the action.
There's definitely no tunas or tuteas being made... the making for mates stopped just before I got here (gutted!!)
Most paddle road trips are done in the Chrsitmas and new year holidays as NZ shuts down for holidays.. January and February is when most south island road trips happened from northern boaters but the west coast runs all year if you're up for the big stuff.
Ultimately the more you research and pester people actually in NZ the more you'll get answers and opportunities.
I'm in Auckland and can help you if you come here.
See you on the water

jonny
Cheers man. I'll definitely be after a river runner as far as buying boats goes, certainly to start with. Still wouldn't really class myself as a serious paddler, as that tends to mean running grade 5.

Another AUCC... it's fate... (chuckles)
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