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Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Old Jan 4th 2010, 9:37 am
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Default Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Ok Peeps...

So despite all the fanfair of us leaving the UK for NZ in September, and the adventure of travelling the country in search of work and a place to settle and live etc... and despite the fact that everything does appear to now be falling in to place for us (with the exception of friendships going anything beyond a nod of acknowledgement and idle chit chat)... we've come to the conclusion (for many different reasons) that NZ just isn't for us, on a long term basis at least.

That being said, we always promised each other that we'd give it at least a year and that's what we intend to do... but the vague plan for the moment is that we'll be heading back to the UK in time for Christmas 2010 and will then not be returning to NZ for anything other than a holiday in the future.

As I've mentioned in a previous thread, I do hope that we get to December and are torn between both countries, and whilst I currently can't see that happening I'm more than prepared for our/my mind to be changed.

Now... we really want to LIVE this year to the best of our ability and enjoy every moment that NZ can provide us.

So I'd like your help in coming up with a list of "Things we MUST do before going home".

Now, there's a couple of things to consider...
  1. Money. It's really quite tight at the moment but from mid February when the wife's salary here is 'assisting' my UK salary, things will become a little easier.
  2. Family. We've got a series of relatives coming over to visit during the next 11 months and it'd be nice to involve them in some of our exploits.
  3. Kids. We've got two young kids (4yrs & 2yrs) and the fact that we know hardly anyone in NZ means the activities almost certainly have to involve either one of us (either myself or the wife) whilst the other one watches the kids, or should involve all four of us together.

We're already contemplating going Camping in March when my SIL and her partner are over here with us (but don't yet know where) then Skiing in July when my FIL is over here with us (but don't yet know where) and I'd really like to do a Bungee Jump and perhaps even take in a ride on a hot air balloon (not sure what would happen with the kids in the hot air ballon though), but again I don't know where either of these happen.

What else should we do? What would you do if you could? Where would you go? What would you see?

I'm really looking forward to your suggestions.
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Old Jan 4th 2010, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Hi

Like you, we are heading back at the latter half of this year.

But I did grow up here, and so do have some places for your list.

Some will be obvious.

For the bungy jumping etc, I would say take a trip down towards Queenstown.
I would look to stay either in Wanaka or Arrowtown (this is my fav). My kids (approx ages as yours) loved the river down there, and as the village is right on the banks it allows for one of you to wander while the kids paddle.
We took my Inlaws down there when we first arrived and we all built a dam (this was in May) and the river was a little nippy - by my son couldn't stay out. He was 3 at the time, Eldest daughter 4.5

There is some fantastic walks around there that you can do with tthe kids, there is of course all the tourist attractions in Queenstown itself.
There is also an abandoned village - can't remember its name - up in the mountains. I have never made it up there yet - you would need a four wheel drive - but my sister has and said it was fab.


Drive down the west coast of the SI and back up the east - see the glaciers; coal mining etc. Some of the stones on teh rivers are just the most amazing colours across there - looking fab in my garden and will be shipped back with us.

If you could - Fiordland. That is incredible

A black cat cruise from Banks Pennisular (last time we did it was about $45 per adult) but you see the hector dolphins and penguins and seals and things.



As for the NI - where I grew up, go and check out New Plymouth.

Great coastal walks - good for small kids.

Fantastic park.
Large rock - Paratutu (spelling?) to climb - although I wouldn't take the kdis on that one.

But the mountain itself has some great walks to do.


Problem of course is, that a lot of what there is to see and do - before you leave costs money.
Otherwise you are limited to beaches, mountain walks etc.

I am sure that many people will have more to add.



PS - Te Papa if you haven't already been.
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Old Jan 5th 2010, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Sorry to hear you're not so happy here. that things brighten up for you as the year progresses.

My suggestions would be;

North Island

Waitangi Treaty Grounds to get a sense of the history of the country.
Snow Planet just North of Auckland - Silverdale I think.
Kelly Tarltons in Auckland
Perhaps a Harbour Cruise or a ferry over to Devonport?
Sky Tower maybe Sky Jump for you or bungee off the Harbour Brdige?
Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel
Rotorua - so much to do there, Agrodome for the kids, Zorbing, up in the Gondola and luge back down, Wai-o-tapu Geothermal park, Polynesian Spa etc, etc. Then go for a Maori nite with a hangi at Tamaki Maori Village if you can get the kids to have a good nap in the day! There's also the Green & Blue Lakes and the Redwoods forest.
Lake Taupo
Wellington - Te Papa, brillaint for kids and free.

South Island

I've only been to Kaikoura whal watching which was brillaint but your little ones may not like the boat?
So these are a wish list really of mine!

Abel Tasman National Park
Farewell Spit
Cruise in Akaroa to see any Hector's dolphins.
Hanmer Springs
Lake Tekapo
Skiing in Wanaka
Moeraki Boulders

I'd recommend you try and get hold of a copy of the AA books, "101 Must-Do's For Kiwis" and "Let's Go Camping."

Good luck and we want to see lots of pictures!
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Old Jan 5th 2010, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

You're basically becoming a tourist in NZ so I'd suggest getting hold of the Lonely Planet guide and following that
The DoC campsites are very good value and in great locations but have basic facilities
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Old Jan 5th 2010, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Just a suggestion, perhaps you should move to Auckland and stay there for a while and you might change your mind about moving. Personally, I like finding out the nitty, gritty of a place rather than going to all the tourist stops that everyone else trudges along to.

I say this because we have lived in many places in NZ (Dunedin, Whangerei, Kerikeri, Invercargil and one-horse places in between) and were about to leave. We'd never stayed in Auckland believing it too expensive. However, after seeing the North Shore and all the beaches and scenery along the coast there, we changed our mind As I said on the 'Auckland is a Dump Thread' there is a buzz there and a colour which was missing from other parts of NZ, we felt. And, NZ does grow on you and after being in Auckland for a while our perspective changed.
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Old Jan 5th 2010, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Personally I think it takes a good couple of years to get over the move, get straight money-wise, build up friendships and get used to the NZ way of life and to feel settled and comfortable. Unless you've already got friends/family here, I don't see how anyone could expect to arrive and find all that ready made for them within a couple of months It takes time and effort. And like Whitesand said, maybe somewhere else in NZ would suit better - everywhere has a different "vibe" and maybe a larger place with more happening would suit you better. Still, its all very personal.

So, South Island, activities which would involve kids - Antartic Centre - see the little blue penguins, go in the wind chill room, ride the haagland. Orana Wildlife Park - where you can feed the giraffes, go inside the caged truck when they go in to feed the lions to see them close up (one gets up on lies on top of the cage - though could be scary for littlies, I guess), there's monkeys, tigers, kiwis, kangeroos, birds, lemurs, rhino, lovely clean wide open spaces place and kids park and cafe. Also Willowbank is a good place.

Bungee jumping - if you don't want to head as far south as Queenstown, you can do this at Hanmer Springs off the bridge before you get to the village where the hot springs/thermal pools are. They also do clay pidgeon shooting, quad biking, jet boat rides.

Hot air balloon - Methven. Very early in the morning start so maybe best to camp down that way.

Christchurch Botanic gardens are beautiful so worth a walk and picnic. Also, Christchurch museum (entry by donation) has kids interactive areas, heaps of Maori history, little mocked up street with shops, Chinese room, antartic display, bird room, transport. Ferrymead Heritage Park - recreated settlers town with original houses, shops, tram etc - Maori informative tour (least there was when we went) with street actors. Christchurch gondola - lovely walks from the top over looking harbour. Akaroa - very quaint "French" town. Take a nature cruise out of the harbour to see hector dolphins, cathedral caves, seals. Kaikoura - whale/dolphin watching but we had a great time just walking along the beaches before getting in to the town itself, exploring rock pools and collecting paua shells.

If you're at all into cars there is racing at Woodford Glen and Ruapuna. Take a rug and picnic (most seem to).

Whatever you end up doing, have fun.
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Old Jan 5th 2010, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Oh, and South Island skiing - Porters Pass and Mount Hutt. I've only been to Porters Pass and it was brill. Kids have been to Mount Hutt a few times with school. Think we paid $200 for family pass, included transport up to ski fields (though you can drive up but we didn't want rubber on car eaten by keas!), ski and boot hire, ski lessons and then ski till whenever you've had enough.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Loolah's already mentioned Rotorua, which I think has to be a must visit place...but I am prejudiced I admit it .

I'd definitely suggest some of the thermal water places, I find it incredible seeing steam coming off rivers & lakes, and paddling in warm water when it's not a bath or swimming pool seems very odd. "Hot & cold" & "Butchers pool" are free, but I quite like Waikite Valley spa. Poly spa & Hells Gate are good, but more expensive. If mud pools & geysers are your thing....Rotorua's got plenty of those too . Wai-o-Tapu, Waimangu & Orakei Korako are the ones that spring to mind....you can get a trip with a jet boat ride & squeezing through cliffs in thermal river waters if you do the OK visit. But prices for those can be a bit, errrm, interesting . Free mud pools at Kirau park if you like bubbling mud....but it sure does pong.

Sulphur point is quite spooky looking, just behind goverment gardens, on the lakeside. Very scenic, sort of beautiful in an odd way. Peaceful...oh & smelly. Not worth travelling out of your way for, but if you're doing the Rotorua thing it's worth soaking up the atmosphere there for a contemplative 10mins

Loads of Maori cultural stuff too, probably worth a visit if you're interested in that, I find it all quite fascinating personally, although a lot of the shows are very tourist orientated....with matching prices .

I like Te Puia, they do a whanau price for locals...and I'm pretty certain that for locals read any NZers, just with evidence of living in NZ.

Luge & Zorb....you can't leave NZ without doing them...surely

Taupo has a bungy place. I believe it's meant to be good, but you'd not catch me doing that in a month of Sundays, so I'm willing to be corrected on just how good it is

After all the suggestions on this thread you'll have to stay in NZ for at least an extra 6 months just to fit in all the must-see places
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Originally Posted by thedtb View Post

What else should we do? What would you do if you could? Where would you go? What would you see?

.
Actually, I am quite interested to know what your own 'must see' for New Zealand is.

What is your own list ?
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

as said before, 3months is not long at all to even remotely 'settle in'. maybe if you spent time concentrating on settling in etc than plannin your leaving you may be surprised at how much easier it becomes!? Just a personal opinion! good luck with whatever you do.
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Old Jan 7th 2010, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

THanks for everybody's suggestions, both on here and by PM.

Plenty of ideas and plenty of stuff that appeals too!

Just got to sift through them all now and co-ordinate what, when and where we're going to do the things we're going to do.

Of course once we start doing so, photos will follow in due course.

Originally Posted by Tomsk View Post
After all the suggestions on this thread you'll have to stay in NZ for at least an extra 6 months just to fit in all the must-see places
Ha - that may turn out to be true!

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Actually, I am quite interested to know what your own 'must see' for New Zealand is.

What is your own list ?
Other than having discussed with the relatives who are coming to visit, what we will be doing with them when they're here (camping and skiing) we didn't get much further in creating our own list per se... we've got a number of ideas but before exploring them further I decided to tap in to you knowledgeable lot!

Originally Posted by strawbie View Post
as said before, 3months is not long at all to even remotely 'settle in'. maybe if you spent time concentrating on settling in etc than plannin your leaving you may be surprised at how much easier it becomes!? Just a personal opinion! good luck with whatever you do.
Couldn't agree more, and should perhaps clarify that we've not given up on NZ entirely. As well as wanting to explore areas and do activities in New Zealand, that wanting to really LIVE the next year comment also relates to the wife going about her job with some gusto, our eldest starting school, our eldest and I going to Playcentre and generally integrating with the community in whatever way we can.

Sure at some point we're going to have to commit to going home (if that's what we're going to do) by booking the flights etc but for the time being we're concentrating on being, enjoying and living here. I do also genuinely hope that we end up being torn between both countries but it's just that at this moment in time I really can't imagine that ever happening, but I am prepared for my mind to be changed... just don't know how we'll deal with it if it is.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

I think that at the top of your list of things to do should be - find some friends.

It should be a free pursuit, just time and effort involved, and you have a bit of that at the moment.

I think it would make all the difference to you feeling like you arent alone, isolated and the only one feeling like you do.

I read your christmas thread just before we flew over and my heart went out to you. From a selfish point of view, i do not want to be in your position in 4 months from now. But from a normal caring person point of view, i think you should find some friends and go play with them.

If there is no-one down there - move x come to Cambridge - we will play x

p.s. you could always try next door, you never know who's lurking there, eh col

Hope things work out for the best for you

Psycho x
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

OK - Peeps.... I figured it's about time that I updated this particular thread.

It's been a hard slog... one hell of a roller-coaster ride... but it appears we've now relented...

It's not without it's difficulties and frustrations and moving here is far from for the faint-hearted... but...

I find myself with absolutely no desire to return to the UK. The wife doesn't feel quite as strongly as I do - she's always had much closer family-ties than I have - but she's getting there and now feeling far more settled here.

We've (actually it's all her own work) just completed the EOI (AGAIN!) and are about to submit it (AGAIN!) with big fat 160 points...

and we have every intention of seeing this one through!!
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

Originally Posted by thedtb View Post
OK - Peeps.... I figured it's about time that I updated this particular thread.

It's been a hard slog... one hell of a roller-coaster ride... but it appears we've now relented...

It's not without it's difficulties and frustrations and moving here is far from for the faint-hearted... but...

I find myself with absolutely no desire to return to the UK. The wife doesn't feel quite as strongly as I do - she's always had much closer family-ties than I have - but she's getting there and now feeling far more settled here.

We've (actually it's all her own work) just completed the EOI (AGAIN!) and are about to submit it (AGAIN!) with big fat 160 points...

and we have every intention of seeing this one through!!
So glad to hear things have settled for you. Best of luck with the EOI.

For others reading this, what were the main things do you think, that have helped it all come togather for you?
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Suggestions for our wish-list please.

WOW....what a turnaround. Good luck to you.
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