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-   -   Another holiday in the South Island. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/another-holiday-south-island-895689/)

Buzzy--Bee Apr 20th 2017 9:39 am

Another holiday in the South Island.
 
So this time I said to Mrs Buzzy -

"I am not going to spend another 2 weeks of my hard-earned annual leave sitting in your mother's front room watching the perpetual horizontal rain with a telly in the corner playing Coronation Street and going to the toilet for a change of scene. Can we do something different?"

So we did. We had a bit of a road trip, stayed with a few rellies in Rangiora, Christchurch and Waimate, then headed to Queenstown for a couple of days of wallet-emptying and then up the West Coast via a night in Fox Glacier to spend our final few days in my mother in laws front room watching perpetual horizontal rain and Coronation Street.

Here are some observations I made which I'm sure some people are going to disagree with strongly.

1. New Zealand is seriously expensive. I would say it is now up there with Singapore in some things. Yet the odd item is phenomenally cheap. Not sure how that works.
2. April in New Zealand is winter.
3. Speight's Ale House is the worst type of sh1t "restaurant". How a place that sells deep fried frozen crap can charge almost $200 for a meal for 4 people (including 2 kids who shared a main) amazes me. I could eat at a very very nice restaurant in Melbourne for that.
4. There are no New Zealanders working in tourism in New Zealand.
5. There are 100s more tourists than there used to be. I don't remember all the Indian tourists before, for instance. This must be good for the economy.
6. The mountains and lakes are seriously beautiful still. It is frustrating not to be able to take photos that do justice to what your eyes are looking at.
7. There are more prestige cars than there used to be. However the vast majority of cars in NZ are still 15 year old silver Toyotas or Nissans.
8. Life in New Zealand seems to be a series of natural disasters of varying severity.
9. It is much easier to speed in NZ than it is in Australia. My wife spent almost all the time at 120kph and was doing the same speed as the rest of the traffic. This is refreshing.
10. The $1 and $2 coins size in NZ is correctly proportional to their value, unlike Australia. I gave some shops too much money because of this.
11. Pak and Save is a great supermarket.
12. NZ pies are better than Australian pies.
13. Queenstown is rather too popular for its infrastructure. The traffic there is worse than in Melbourne. Not since I lived in London have I watched a traffic light change 5 times before I got to it.
14. Queenstown is very beautiful and an incredible tourist hub (see 13 above), rather like Sentosa island in Singapore you do have to shell out $50 - $100 multiple times a day there. Great fun though.
15. Visit Fox Glacier now. If you leave it another year it will have disappeared completely.
16. I like the design of new NZ houses better than new Aussie ones.
17. Many new houses have 3 garages. This is excellent. I consider it the minimum needed for modern living.
18. New Zealand is very very English compared to Australia. This is both a good and bad thing.

MrsFychan Apr 20th 2017 10:05 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
.

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12233605)
Here are some observations I made which I'm sure some people are going to disagree with strongly.

1. New Zealand is seriously expensive. I would say it is now up there with Singapore in some things. Yet the odd item is phenomenally cheap. Not sure how that works.

Expensive yes, compared to Singapore, no idea. But I do find I have to count the cents even though we apparently are a high income family.

2. April in New Zealand is winter.

its been more of a summer than the summer has been so far.

3. Speight's Ale House is the worst type of sh1t "restaurant". How a place that sells deep fried frozen crap can charge almost $200 for a meal for 4 people (including 2 kids who shared a main) amazes me. I could eat at a very very nice restaurant in Melbourne for that.

Never eaten in one but agree Speights is mostly Sh1t according MrF.

4. There are no New Zealanders working in tourism in New Zealand.

If they did what would all the seasonal immigrants do?


5. There are 100s more tourists than there used to be. I don't remember all the Indian tourists before, for instance. This must be good for the economy.

Government maybe trying to get into bed with their Government?


6. The mountains and lakes are seriously beautiful still. It is frustrating not to be able to take photos that do justice to what your eyes are looking at.

This is so true, especially of the South Island.


7. There are more prestige cars than there used to be. However the vast majority of cars in NZ are still 15 year old silver Toyotas or Nissans.

Have to be either of these or you are knackered when it comes to parts.


8. Life in New Zealand seems to be a series of natural disasters of varying severity.

As a volcanic island sitting on top of two tectonic plates not really much else you can expect.


9. It is much easier to speed in NZ than it is in Australia. My wife spent almost all the time at 120kph and was doing the same speed as the rest of the traffic. This is refreshing.

She was speeding :ohmy:


10. The $1 and $2 coins size in NZ is correctly proportional to their value, unlike Australia. I gave some shops too much money because of this.

Hope they gave it back

11. Pak and Save is a great supermarket.

Tis the Lidl of NZ

12. NZ pies are better than Australian pies.

My FIL will attest to that, says their the best pies ever. Why they seem the need to put cheese into every one, or so it seems, is beyond me.

13. Queenstown is rather too popular for its infrastructure. The traffic there is worse than in Melbourne. Not since I lived in London have I watched a traffic light change 5 times before I got to it.

We went 3 years ago and it was not like that, we went back in January this year and was astounded by the change. All the new building and shopping area up by the airport. Took us over 20mins to get from the airport down the hill into the town
.

14. Queenstown is very beautiful and an incredible tourist hub (see 13 above), rather like Sentosa island in Singapore you do have to shell out $50 - $100 multiple times a day there. Great fun though.

I think the overly tourist situation is going to be its down fall. It is an amazingly beautiful area but can see that being over taken, Hope not. Mind you love the luge there.

15. Visit Fox Glacier now. If you leave it another year it will have disappeared completely.

Went on our trip back 3 years ago, it was raining and very cloudy for the two days we were there.


16. I like the design of new NZ houses better than new Aussie ones.

OK. I like the fact that in previous years, before the estates started up, that no one house was the same. Now all the new estates have house and land packages most of the house packages are very similar style on the outside.


17. Many new houses have 3 garages. This is excellent. I consider it the minimum needed for modern living.

This may be a South Island thing as not something I have noticed on the new builds around Wellington, perhaps they just have bigger land packages in SI.


18. New Zealand is very very English compared to Australia. This is both a good and bad thing.

Not when it comes to policy and procedures believe me


BEVS Apr 20th 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12233605)
So this time I said to Mrs Buzzy -

"I am not going to spend another 2 weeks of my hard-earned annual leave sitting in your mother's front room watching the perpetual horizontal rain with a telly in the corner playing Coronation Street and going to the toilet for a change of scene. Can we do something different?"

lol Buzzy.
Can't argue against any of it.

I agree with No. 1 . It's become seriously expensive in the past decade.
I'd also go along with No. 8 after the past few years.

I wouldn't mind seeing Queenstown again but these days you have to queue to get in whilst paying an arm and a leg.

Fox glacier is an utter waste of time these years. It was not bad 20 odd years ago before it receded at the speed of light.

For those that don't know Buzzy. He was an NZ moderator in times past. He's married to a Kiwi and lived a highly exciting life on the West Coast of the SI. Not sure if you lived elsewhere Buzz. Perhaps Xch?
He finally bogged off to Melbourne as so many do.

... & Buzzy. I don't know how you can write that about Push and Shove. Loathe the place. :lol:

Bo-Jangles Apr 21st 2017 8:29 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
I can't argue with much either, I am always stunned by the cost of eating out here. We generally reckon on spending $100+ for a meal for two and that'll be nothing special - usually something with frozen chips and bit of side salad out of a bag, with dessert and a beer for him and a glass of wine for me.

Even just a fairly simple cafe breakfast or brunch with a coffee is going to set you back $50 or more.

SSky May 1st 2017 6:23 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
What did you think of Rangiora now though, it's such an exciting expanding town.
Nothing like the ghost town we visited in 2004. Tumbleweedy was my first impression back then but now it's vibrant and full of life.
I love that we chose to live near it although we are out in the surrounding sleepy sticks.
The earthquakes changed it and it's expanding so quickly it's amazing.
I would always recommend Rangiora as a place to come for new migrants, close to Christchurch, only 10 mins to the beach and only a few hours drive if you love to ski.
Very expensive shopping food bills but that's just NZ all over.

Woodlea May 1st 2017 9:18 pm

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles (Post 12234622)
I can't argue with much either, I am always stunned by the cost of eating out here. We generally reckon on spending $100+ for a meal for two and that'll be nothing special - usually something with frozen chips and bit of side salad out of a bag, with dessert and a beer for him and a glass of wine for me.

Even just a fairly simple cafe breakfast or brunch with a coffee is going to set you back $50 or more.

Maybe it's like that in Auckland!

We eat out every Saturday and normally spend between $55 and $85, that's for 2 adults meals and a kids meal and a beer for me and a soft drink for her. We don't have dessert. We are spoilt for choice here in Rangiora now for decent restaurants so our experience is different from yours :)

I agree with SSky - Rangiora is an awesome buzzing place now :)

Tom H May 2nd 2017 9:22 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
Did you go make the mistake and visit Pineacres for your Speights experience????
Next time visit the one at Tower Junction in Christchurch, oh the bbq ribs is something else :)

In fact I'd say the one at tower junction is the best Speights ale house in the South Island.

Buzzy--Bee May 2nd 2017 9:25 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Tom H (Post 12242670)
In fact I'd say the one at tower junction is the best Speights ale house in the South Island.

Well it couldn't be any worse than the deep fried overpriced pre-frozen sh1t served at the Timaru branch.

Bo-Jangles May 2nd 2017 11:09 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Woodlea (Post 12242305)
Maybe it's like that in Auckland!

Makes no difference where it is, they all charge the same regardless of how flash or not the place is.

Nothing for much less than $20 on the breakfast menu even down your way it's pretty much like for like.

From the top of the pile in Auckland 's Orbit to the Railway Cafe in Rangiora. :rofl:

https://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/me...15-website.pdf

http://www.therangiorastation.co.nz/...pdf?v=24042017

At least at Orbit you get a free ride in the lift to the top if you spend $30

Stuck in Auckland Dec 26th 2017 1:43 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12242673)
Well it couldn't be any worse than the deep fried overpriced pre-frozen sh1t served at the Timaru branch.

You need the bad food to take away the ghastly Speight's taste

carcajou Dec 26th 2017 3:52 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
The first time I went to New Zealand was 14 years ago, working in Wellington. One holiday I spent two weeks doing a circuit of the South Island.

Far fewer tourists then, though locals still thought of Queenstown as expensive. My theory is that long-haul travel is a lot more accessible now than it was even just 14 years ago, when it cost me $3,800 NZD round-trip to get from the US to NZ. Today you can get a round-trip fare from the US to Australia sometimes for three-figures USD. I went round-trip from Perth to Seattle three years ago for something like $1,500 AUD, actually less if I remember but I'm not going to go look up what I paid.

So it was a lot harder for backpackers etc to descend on the country like they do now just because of the cost of getting there. Some still did it of course but a lot of them just cut out NZ due to the cost of getting there and stopped in Southeast Asia. Now someone can save up the fare waiting tables for a few months and then get a WHV and work while they are there.

The other thing is it is a lot easier to get information and plan your trip now than it was even just 15 years ago, when your only resource might have been a Lonely Planet book, a few brochures from the travel agent down the street and a few sketchy Internet sites. Now in an afternoon I can plan a month-long itinerary from my dining room table.

Of course visiting a place is much different from living there.

The South Island is beautiful. It's not Switzerland meets Hawaii like some try to pitch it as (nor is it close), but it is nice.

Justcol Dec 27th 2017 6:34 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
I live here, Its nice, if people dont like it....f**k em, dont bother coming back.

sr71 Dec 27th 2017 11:46 pm

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12233605)
So this time I said to Mrs Buzzy -

1. New Zealand is seriously expensive. I would say it is now up there with Singapore in some things. Yet the odd item is phenomenally cheap. Not sure how that works.
There are strong similarities between Singapore and NZ, which cause high prices. Neither are big enough markets to support many international companies setting up branches - so you end up with intermediary companies acting as wholesalers/distributors/importers etc. This adds to the prices. Plus the South Island is even more remote and has additional transportation costs

3. Speight's Ale House is the worst type of sh1t "restaurant". How a place that sells deep fried frozen crap can charge almost $200 for a meal for 4 people (including 2 kids who shared a main) amazes me. I could eat at a very very nice restaurant in Melbourne for that.
But in reality that's like VB or Carlton Draught setting up a restuarant - the food will be standard reheated crap cooked by the lowest paid grill chefs they can find. Plenty of good restaurants. I think quality drops off substantially outside of Auckland and Wellington - much like rural Victoria too.

4. There are no New Zealanders working in tourism in New Zealand.
I think that adds vibrancy to the place, also similar in St Kilda where most restaurant staff are British, except in NZ we seem to get more French/German/South American people.

5. There are 100s more tourists than there used to be. I don't remember all the Indian tourists before, for instance. This must be good for the economy.
Worldwide phenomenon, I was in Italy last September and it's ridiculously crowded, so much so that it's not enjoyable. Similar in Thailand and Singapore where I go frequently. Massive growth in Asian tourism, especially Chinese and Indian. Singapore at least manages it well.

7. There are more prestige cars than there used to be. However the vast majority of cars in NZ are still 15 year old silver Toyotas or Nissans.
Auckland seems a bit different, I think there are more prestige cars than Melbourne these days, maybe because of grey imports or people financing out of their mortgages.

11. Pak and Save is a great supermarket.
I think it's awful, but still better than the duopoly in Australia who have quite poor variety and seem determined to replace everything with their own brand products

14. Queenstown is very beautiful and an incredible tourist hub (see 13 above), rather like Sentosa island in Singapore you do have to shell out $50 - $100 multiple times a day there. Great fun though.
Guess it's the reason for it's existence, much like Sentosa. Some of it's affordable, but things like the helicopter rides are a bit beyond the average family.

17. Many new houses have 3 garages. This is excellent. I consider it the minimum needed for modern living.
Must be a South Island thing, Auckland is very much short on housing and there won't be many houses with 3 garages, especially when increasing density by subdividing


.

Stuck in Auckland Dec 27th 2017 11:50 pm

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 

Originally Posted by sr71 (Post 12405935)
.

Triple car garaging

2 sections for storage
1 section for the car that leaks when it rains.

Bo-Jangles Dec 28th 2017 7:15 am

Re: Another holiday in the South Island.
 
A triple garage in Auckland, crikey that would soon be fitted out with half a dozen mouldy matresses on the floor and marketed as a 'home and income' - :lol:


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