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August 2013 Issue 99



ROCK THE BOAT Cruising around the Bay of Islands


ir w it h Tigera ts h ig fl in w s a nd n B ac k pac k e ld o G e th ay in H av e y o u r s


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alex harmon EDITOR

editor’s letter Welcome to the launch of the Golden Backpack Awards! It’s basically the Oscars of the backpacking industry and it’s voted by you travellers (so expect everybody to be really nice to you). This is also my last edition as editor, I’m signing off to start a new travel writing adventure. The past year has been a blast and I thank you all for your readership, feedback and, of course, your abuse! Happy travels!

this month nz diary


list Feature






hot shots


travel news




GettinG around


Bare essentials


listinGs NORTh ISlAND


listinGs SOuTh ISlAND




trivial pursuits



Features Golden ticket



We look at the best that NZ has to offer for the Golden Backpack awards

super secret


TNT snuck into the Ecuadorian embassy for an exclusive chat with Julian Assange

settinG sail


We sail around the exquisite Bay of Islands in the North Island

Quite the hike


Get out and explore New Zealand properly, with your own two feet!

trivial pursuits


Another few fun facts about the beautiful Shaky Isles... If you know them, of course



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@tnt_downunder @tnt_downunder

EDITORIAL Editor Alex Harmon Deputy Editor Hugh Radojev Contributors Damian Hall, Marie Barbieri Intern Rory Platt

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Account manager Justin Steinlauf Marketing and events executive Georgina Pengelly MARKETING & EVENTS Business development manager Tom Wheeler ACCOUNTS Financial controller Trish Bailey

TNT MULTIMEDIA LTD CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst PUBLISHER TNT Multimedia Limited PRINTED BY Rural Press PICTURES Getty Images | Thinkstock | TNT Images | Tourism New Zealand | Tourism Fiji COVER Getty Images TNT Magazine , 126 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW, 2008, Australia General enquiries Phone +61 2 8332 7500 Fax +61 2 9690 1314 Email

the main event Bledisloe Cup

WestpaC stadium, Wellington


SEE for pick-up points

Rugby fans are in luck during August because they’ll catch one of rugby’s most infamous rivalries when the Aussies take on the Kiwis. The Aussies will be keen to redeem themselves after a series loss to the British and Irish Lions in July. The All Blacks are, as always, in top form. Might be best to keep the “Aussie Aussie Aussie” to a minimum in the stadium, that is if you’re supporting Australia. The second game of the series is in Wellington. $160

Aug 24 Wellington, New Zealand

Winter games neW zealand

auCkland food shoW 2013

Wellington on a plate festival

Love your sports cold? Then you’ll really want to be here. More than 1,000 elite athletes from around the world are expected to converge on the South Island of New Zealand for 16 days of adrenalinfilled competition. Put all your other plans on ice.

You a foodie? Make the most of this four-day celebration in Auckland – the Kiwis know their onions. There are cooking demonstrations as well as the chance to tuck into the good stuff by tasting samples or sitting down for a proper feast.

New Zealand’s largest culinary festival is back for another year this August. The centerpiece of the festival will be DINE Wellington, where the region’s finest restaurants will be on show. The ever popular ‘Battle of the Burger’ also returns.

Aug 15 – July 26 South Island, NZ

Aug 1 – 4 Auckland, New Zealand

Aug 9 – 25 Around Wellington


TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. TNT Magazine does not assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions – material is sent at the owner’s risk. TNT Magazine accepts advertising material and other contributions in good faith, and takes no responsibility for claims, errors or omissions. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers.





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Winners & grinners As of today, voting opens for TNT Magazine’s annual Golden Backpack Awards – the only independent travel awards in Australia and New Zealand which are voted for by you, the backpacker... WORDS ALEX HARMON

Word of mouth. It’s a pretty useful thing eh? After all, when you’re looking to book anything from a bed to a tour, who are you going to trust more – the travel agent who will earn a commission from your booking or your new-found buddy who’s just back from where you’re heading? It’s a no-brainer. Which is why a few years ago we set up an awards system to celebrate the best of the best when it comes to travelling Down Under. We’ve only got one rule that matters – the company that gets the most votes from you guys in each category is declared the winner. For a full list of our current reigning champs, as chosen by thousands of backpackers last year, see opposite page . 6

So, why vote? Well, for starters, it will only take a few minutes of your time. That’s because it’s all done online, with the link to the voting page found on the Plus, everybody that votes is entered into a prize draw to win a $1,000 worth of flights from Tigerair. And finally, and here comes the guilt trip, because it’s the perfect and easy way to help not only your fellow travellers, but also those companies who’ve contributed to giving the time of your lives in Oz and NZ. Whether you’ve stayed in a fantastic hostel you’ll never forget, or went on a trip with the best tour guide Down Under, or found a great way to book a tour, get a job or simply find your way around the

country, here’s your chance to give a little back. Whatever you’ve loved, it’s you guys alone that have the answers and you guys alone that can give a helping hand to awesome companies trying to make a living in a fiercely competitive market. As such, starting today, we’re doing nine weeks of special features to launch each major category, each highlighting a different part of the country, starting this week with the whole lot, as there’s also a national category. Voting will close on 29th September with the winners being announced at a swanky ceremony on November 8th. So, whatever scrapes you backpackers get into over the next nine weeks, just remember these companies are still going to love you.

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these guys picked up a Golden Backpack last year after being voted the best at what they do. But have they still got what it takes? You decide...

tHe reIGnInG cHAmPS! LASt YeAr’S wInnerS nAtIonAL (AuStrALIA)

Best tour operator: Oz Experience Best car/campervan rental: Jucy Best transport company: Greyhound Australia nAtIonAL (new ZeALAnd)

Best hostel: Nomads Queenstown Best tour/activity: AJ Hackett Bungy, Queenstown Best backpacker night: Big Night Out, Queenstown Best tour/transport operator: Kiwi Experience Best car/camerpervan rental: Jucy Rentals new SoutH wALeS

Best hostel: Wake Up! Best tour/activity: Mojosurf Best backpacker night: Scary Canary nortHern terrItorY

Best hostel: Toddy’s Backpackers Best tour/activity: The Rock Tour Best backpacker night: The Rock Bar tASmAnIA

Best hostel: The Pickled Frog, Hobart Best tour/activity: Jump Tours Best backpacker night: The Pickled Frog, Hobart VIctorIA

Best hostel: Habitat HQ, Melbourne Best tour/activity: Groovy Grape, Great Ocean Road Best backpacker night: The Official Neighbours Night QueenSLAnd

Best hostel: Bunk, Brisbane Best tour/activity: AJ Hackett Bungy, Cairns Best backpacker night: Full Moon Down Under Base SoutH AuStrALIA

Best hostel: Shakespeare Backpackers Best tour/activity: Groovy Grape, Barossa Valley Best backpacker night: Backpack Oz weStern AuStrALIA

Best hostel: Old Swan Barracks Best tour/activity: Western Xposure Best backpacker night: Mustang GenerAL

Best large travel agent: Peterpan’s Adventure Travel Best small travel agent: Cairns Tribal Travel Best recruitment service: Travellers at Work Best indigenous cultural experience: Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua NZ

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An hour from Queenstown is its younger, smaller, but equally attractive brother. It boasts: wineries, wonderful lakeside scenery, ski fields, mountain biking, skydiving, jetboating, canyoning, Lord of the Rings lark... Silly name though.

A boat trip edges you out onto the Sound’s water, home to dolphins, fairy penguins and New Zealand fur seals, all looking like ants next to the immense Mitre Peak. Onwards to the open sea, passing all sorts of waterfalls; some twist in the air, others thunder from impossible heights.

Queenstown is home of the bungy jump, but also canyon swings, jetboating, hanggliding, whitewater rafting, skydiving and more. Bring spare undercrackers.

A scenic flight around here is an unforgettable experience. And then there’s the far larger but much less touristy Doubtful Sound around the corner. You can even stay overnight on a house boat.


ASPIRATIONAL The spectacular Mount Aspiring National Park is also nearby – great for mountaineering and “tramping”.


New Zealand has gazillions of glaciers, but the colossal ice tongues of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the most accessible. It’s like stepping into a different world as your crampons crunch through an ice labyrinth of caves, frozen waves and crevasses. Make the most of it by doing the full-day hike.

SEALY GOOD Swims with the highly-sociable seals are excellent in Kaikoura. Plus, there’s dolphin swimming, where you take the plunge with literally hundreds of the friendly blighters – go on, make ‘em jealous

SPERM Kaikoura is a hot spot for all sorts of water-based creatures, especially whales, dolphins and seals. Watch whales – sperm, humpback and more – call in year round.

SOUNDS SPECTACULAR Half the visual pleasure of Milford Sound is the journey there; winding roads plunge into dense, moss-plastered woodland, snake along gaping drops and pass waterfalls crashing to the floor from way up somewhere.

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get to tHe CHoPPer

eggS-eLLeNt SMeLL

If you have the cash to splash, a helicopter trip to land near the top of the glacier is unforgettable.

Then there are geysers and bubbling mud pools to admire and a spa pool or mud bath to relax in later. After some hair-whitening adrenalin thrills, such as zorbing.

taUPo CaN YoU go Just up the road there’s Taupo, which combines more thermal fun, plenty of adrenalin thrills, water sports and some great scenery, for tramping or simply gawping at.

WeSt IS BeSt Also, many people make the glacial-sized error of speeding down the west coast and not stopping to peruse a little, in Hokitika (where you can make your own jade pendant), Greymouth and the pancake rocks of Punakaiki. Lonely Planet rate it as one of the world’s top 10 roadtrips.

HIt tHe HUt If you’re not much of a mountaineer, there are several short walks near Mt Cook, all yielding good mountain and/or glacier views. Or stay overnight in the Mueller Hut (book at DOC), with wondrous mountain views at sunrise and sunset.

gIVe It SoMe WeLLY IWith green hills reaching up behind the capital and the shimmering harbour below it, New Zealand’s most attractive city is awash with cafés and culture. The Windy City has festivals aplenty, day-stealing museums, and good nightlife.



PeaK tIMe As long as the clouds haven’t hooded its handsome head, your first full sighting of Mt Cook should stop you in your tracks. New Zealand’s highest is one dashing mountain.

HaKa tIMe It smells a bit like a rotten egg, but Rotorua is a great place to swot up on Maori culture, geothermal wonder and adrenalin thrills. Don’t miss seeing a haka and try to chow down on a hangi while you’re there.

Arguably the finest spot for some kayaking is Abel Tasman National Park, at the top of the South Island. The water can be a curious glowing green, the beaches all golden little curves and the sea full of seals. Choose the back seat to do less work.

MarLBoroUgH MaN Too crowded? Nearby Marlborough Sounds is an appealing alternative, offering similar kayaking and hiking options, plus the mandatory seals and dolphins.

get agro New Zealand is known for its adrenalin activities and most of you would say Queenstown and Auckland are king, but have you heard of Rotorua’s Agroventures? This amusement park has the world’s only human powered monorail, a bungy and an NZ icon, the Agrojet, the fastest jet sprint experience in NZ. Go wild!

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES DOWN UNDER AND YOU’LL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED INTO OUR PRIZE DRAW WITH A CHANCE TO WIN $1000 OF FREE FLIGHTS* COURTESY OF TIGER AIRWAYS The TNT Golden Backpack Awards recognise those companies who make backpacking around Australia and New Zealand that extra bit special. a trip with the best tour guide Down Under.

*Terms and conditions apply.

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Sensational caving and blackwater rafting at Waitomo’s extraordinary underground cave network.

Sneak up to the sea lions and other amazing wildlife – especially the adorable penguins – on the Otago Peninsula, before testing out Dunedin’s much vaunted nightlife.

Volcanic White Island is another unique and bizarre place. An island and smoking volcano crater in one. Like Mars.

CONQUER MORDOR Tongariro National Park has live volcanoes, bizarrelycoloured lakes and postapocalyptic landscapes – Mordor was filmed here for those films. If you do one tramp in New Zealand, make it the Tongariro Crossing.


SKYDIVE Jump out of a perfectly good plane at 14,000ft. Go on, dare you. Those of you after bragging rights should head to Franz Josef, where the friendly locals will chuck you out from 18,000ft, New Zealand’s highest dropzone. Oddly, many people find this less frightening than bungy jumping.


Cosy Coromandel caters for every hippie whim, with Hot Water Beach – where you can dig your own hot bath in the sand – arguably the pick of the bunch.

FAREWELL SPIT Rather than a gesture of disdain, it’s a unique sandbar – the world’s largest – and wildife reserve stretching out from the tip of the South Island like a claw. A fascinating 4WD experience full of raw beauty.

SLAP AND TIPPLE Get a bit of slap and tipple from the many, very tasty wine regions. Hic.

GREAT WALKS The nine official Great Walks got their name for a reason. All of them come highly recommended, especially those in spectacular Fiordland

THAT’S GOLDEN Sampling the hippie treats of Golden Bay.

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Email us at tom@ with ‘Spotted’ in the subject line, email must include a photo of yourself! Boom - You’ve won yourself a double pass to any Big Night Out! Like us on facebook/ tntdownunder for more party pics from the night!

Big night out in queenstown

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‘I just don’t like lying arseholes’ TNT heads to the Ecuadorian Embassy for an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange WORDS CAROL DRIVER Julian Assange pads out from the room in the Ecuadorian Embassy he’s called home for the past year, greeting me with a polite kiss on both cheeks. He’s dressed in an old T-shirt, worn-in jeans – and he’s wearing white towelling socks without shoes. Well, it is the hottest day of the year, and this is his home. I crack an obviously hilarious joke about dressing up for the occasion as we wander into another room for our exclusive interview about the WikiLeaks’ founder’s bid to run for a seat in the Australian Senate. The embassy is in Knightsbridge, minutes from Harrods, but once inside – past the smiling Met officer, through the security detector, surrendering my passport – it’s fairly underwhelming. I wait in the small reception area, corridors leading off to various rooms, and busy people chatting in Spanish. It’s humid, no air-con – and it’s even hotter in the room we go into to talk, with computers dotted around it, a green screen for filming, and Post-it notes on one of the walls with soundbites written on them, such as ‘Cablegate’. Assange, 42, grew up in Australia. As a teen he hacked into government computers, got raided by the Feds, and started an underground magazine. By 2010 he’d hit headlines as editor-in-chief at WikiLeaks, publishing secret information from anonymous sources. Using high-profile media, that year the organisation released hundreds of thousands of US military cables, painting a devastating picture of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – damning evidence about civilian casualties and ignored torture. The US and UK condemned the leak. Soldier Bradley Manning was arrested on suspicion of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, and is now on trial in the US. Assange has described it as a “show trial”, with WikiLeaks helping to fund his defence – as well as supporting the latest whistleblower to go public, Edward Snowden. Later in 2010, Assange was accused of sexual offences by two women in Sweden. Although he admits he had consensual sex with them, the activist denies wrongdoing, dismissing it as a ruse for the US to extradite him to possibly stand trial over the leaking of military cables. After a legal battle against extradition to Sweden, in June 2012, Assange was granted political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Assange is one of the world’s most controversial figures,

with two films being released this year – documentary We Steal Secrets (which WikiLeaks dismissed as lies) and thriller The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the WikiLeaks founder. This week, Assange will be officially announced as the WikiLeaks Party candidate for an Australian Senate seat in Victoria. The other candidates for New South Wales, Western Australia and Assange’s running mate in Victoria will be announced on Thursday. However, one of the pressing issues is that Assange isn’t in Australia – he’s sitting in a chair opposite me, his silver-blond hair long and unkempt, and even lighter than it appears on TV or in photos. He speaks in a low, gravelly tone – though the Australian accent is there. Pausing on a few occasions to find the right word, making sure he doesn’t say the wrong thing, Assange seems incredibly guarded, placing his dictaphone next to mine to record the interview, saying he’s been burnt many times by the media. Every now and then he relaxes, breaking into a laugh or a smile. He warns me of his tendency to give long answers – and more than five minutes in, I’ve only asked the first question.

Protest: outside the Ecuadorian Embassy

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Our 15-minute allotted slot soon creeps to 45. Here’s the outcome of when TNT met Assange.

Are you serious about wanting to help Australians, or is the Senate run a bid for your own freedom? For me personally, it doesn’t make any difference legally. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Australian senators have no immunity [in my situation] ... I would never run for any office to simply introduce another political party which just has platforms like any other political party ... What is the point of doing that? Already, the platform I have with WikiLeaks is significantly greater than the platform I would have being an Australian senator. The idea is to change how the Senate operates, change how the processes of government operate ... shake things up as much as possible.

How do you intend to shake things up? The Australian Senate is like the House of Lords here in the UK, except it has significantly more teeth. Its job is to scrutinise and expose the behaviour of government, hold it to account and check on its power ... it has to understand the complex mechanisms of governments and corporations – their lies, their deceits, their spin, their interconnections, their pressures – cut through all of that, through all the crap and say it like it is ... Now the question is can we take that same understanding WikiLeaks has developed about big corporations, about foreign policy about how states and big corporations really behave and apply that to the Senate in Australia ... I think that is possible.

Is there much corruption in Australia? Some of our people like to joke that we [WikiLeaks] only have one policy, and that’s ‘lights on, rats out’ – that is, to bring as much attention and exposure to what’s happening in Canberra as possible, and to drive out opportunistic or corrupt players. Canberra is a debauchery ... by taking Australia’s elected representatives who are meant to represent their electorates ... and putting them in isolation in Canberra together with the bureaucrats and the foreign embassies – that’s a toxic environment. These people will go to cocktail parties and luncheons with the same people in the city, they’ll develop social and business relationships. In that little, isolated artificial city, they’re not involved in the local community, they’re not even going to lunch with the regular middle-sized business leaders, so even the type of corruption in Canberra is not an average type of corruption because we’ve moved the politicians away from the people.

What does that mean in practical terms? Having the ability to use the Senate to break immoral gag orders on the Australian press; to deal with many cases of self-censorship, where the press is too scared to speak about the issue because the people being spoken about are very powerful; to introduce legislation which ensures there is proper, frequent communication on the internet which has become our central communications mechanism ... Also use the Senate committee process as a process to cross-examine and interrogate various complex Australian bureaucratic structures.


Thumbs up: Assange at the embassy How will your involvement with WikiLeaks help? We’ve become experts of dealing with millions of documents on foreign policy and bureaucracy, people trying to cover them up, and people trying to apply pressure to us to stop it and defeating that pressure. So I see quite a strong connection with what we do as an organisation and what we expect to do as a political party in the Senate.

Have you had support from Aussie politicians? The Australian Labor government took the most hostile reaction to WikiLeaks of any government in the world, including the US. The Australian Labor Party has been so corrupted by its connections with the US government that it fell over backwards to demonstrate publicly that it was going to go in for me even harder than the US. It pronounced a “whole of government investigation” – that’s what Julia Gillard called it – the Attorney General looked for ways to cancel my passport, the AG’s office was instructed by cabinet to find ways to see if I could be charged with treason, the Australian Federal Police came back and said he’s committed no crime under Australian law. The Australian press, fortunately, came into bat for me, and so the Australian population made its displeasure known with what was happening, so eventually there was a public fallback.

Do you really think you can win a Senate seat? Yes. We will have to struggle to not win it based on polling. That said, there’s a lot of ways to lose. But [there are] now four or five polls showing that I have between 25-28 per cent of the vote over the past year or so. It’s remarkably consistent and the level of support by the Australian community is even higher, that’s in

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Back in 2010, you were accused of sexual assault by two women. Why don’t you face the charges? When you embarrass very, very powerful groups like the US and its allies ... then you get a lot of smear coming back the other way ... There are no charges – that’s an important grounding point. If the Swedish government wants to speak to me, [they can] come here, or alternatively provide a guarantee that I will not be extradited to the US. The Ecuadorian government has asked for that, it’s not just me asking for this, it’s perfectly normal – these guarantees are given all the time. They won’t provide a guarantee, they won’t provide a reason they won’t provide a guarantee, they won’t come to the Ecuadorian Embassy. It’s simply an unreasonable way to behave. The Ecuadorian government received my application for asylum, processed it and formally found that my fears of persecution by the US ... were reasonable and as a result I was granted political asylum.

So you believe there are political motivations? I don’t want to say that there are political motivations ... But the entire situation has been politicised and is something that has been pushed by the US. When a matter reaches a certain political level, normal justice is thrown out the window, so normal due process is disregarded, and that is something that’s happened in this case, in the US case, in the case of Bradley Manning, it’s happening right now in the case of Edward Snowden with the US trying to interfere with his rights to asylum, just like the British government is trying to interfere with my right to asylum. the 60-70 per cent range.

Why do you think support is so high? I would like to believe it’s because I am an expression of Australian culture, and WikiLeaks has a disproportionate number of Australians involved not just because they’re friends of mine ... it’s something that resonates with Australians and the Australian culture. Australians don’t like wankery. Another way of saying that is Australians don’t like lies. And we’re an organisation that exists to expose the most powerful lies. But I suspect there’s also a fair degree of sympathy with my personal situation, the abandonment by the Australian government of WikiLeaks as an Australian organisation that has been successful, [and] me, as a person. And Australians don’t want to see that precedent being set.

How will it work logistically if you win? If I’m elected, I’m meant to take my Senate seat in July 2014. Hopefully [my] situation will be resolved by then. It is in essence a political situation, it involves the prestige of a number of states, so it is, to a degree, fluid. If it is resolved by that time in the US, and it drops its investigation against me, and the Swedes drop their investigation, then I can return to Australia. If that doesn’t happen, if the US continues its investigation and there is no safe passage then, I won’t be able to take up my seat in Australia. If after two months I still cannot take my seat, then the Senate can elect to give me further time, or not ... Let’s assume it doesn’t, because I think I know where they’re at, then my running mate can take the seat, or any publicly recognised member of the WikiLeaks Party can take the seat until such time as I am able to return.

WikiLeaks has exposed classified information about governments, military, politicians, corporations. What motivates you to make secret information public? Some days I think it’s just that I don’t like lying arseholes [laughs]. And other days when I’m feeling less combative and more cerebral, then I just think I like educating people. And by education I don’t mean chalk in the classroom, although that’s part of it. I mean adult education: what kind of world do we live in? How does it actually work? If you do this what happens? I hate these moralising journalists – although I must confess that I probably do seem to be one – who say you should care about this. Why? Why should someone care more about themselves, their family, their business and then the community? Yes, of course, everyone should care a little bit about everyone else, but, of course, they should also care more about their children than someone else’s children ... that’s the way things should be.

By leaking classified military information, do you feel you’ve done anything wrong? We don’t need to talk about feelings, because we have facts. The facts are, despite the propaganda, no government, not the Pentagon, not the CIA, not the White House, no government department says a single person has come to physical harm from our publications. So the answer is no.

Will you ever be a free man? Well, I’m free now in the most important respect. My thoughts are free and I can speak.

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Captivating: Douglas and Damon give wonderful performances

Behind the CandelaBra FILM review by Robert Pritchard. Out July 25 STARRING: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds | MA | 119mins

the Wolf of Wall St Preview by Hugh Radojev Leonardo di Caprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey | TBA

Based on a memoir of the same name by former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, this film will see di Caprio reunite with Director Martin Scorsese. If the excellent trailer is anything to go by, this film looks to be a darkly humourous study of human greed and excess in the hedonistic 1990s stock market, where millions of dollars were made and lost by people every single day. I can’t wait!

This quirky biopic tells the story of the turbulent, dysfunctional and ultimately disastrous hidden romance between Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), and flamboyant American concert pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas). This HBO production, directed by Steven Soderberg, is a captivating combination of black humour and sensational performances from Douglas and Damon alike. The eccentric, brilliant, vain, manipulative and sexually unstable Liberace, incises the young Thornson into being his live in ‘secretary’. The relationship which subsequently develops shows Thorson slowly transforms from a innocent country boy into a overweight, alcoholic, drug addict. This transformation is literally encapsulated when Liberace pays his plastic surgeon (Rob Lowe) to turn Thorson into a bizarre toy-boy doppelgänger of Liberace himself. The sexually motivated and possessive Liberace, ultimately dumps Thorson after their relationship falls apart and the drug-fuelled lifestyle Thorson has developed deteriorates further. As this story is told through the perspective of Thorson it’s perhaps easy to sympathise with him and demonsize the Liberace we see portrayed in this film. However the devotion which Liberace shows his fans, and the fear of ostracising himself as an openly gay showmen in the 70s and 80s is perhaps the real reason for his unusual personality. An utterly sensational performance from Douglas is certainly the key to this film. The leering and catty Liberace is an unforgettable character for him, one of his best. GOOD FOR: People who like dark humour, Oscar nominee worthy acting and tasteful sex scenes



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ueenstown Q in h s u r t s e The b hem all + I’ve tried t n, UK

George Gun

' ) '  , * %  # # + # d)

(in New Zealan

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wInner Secluded beacH JAyne BrOwn, 25, UK

JAYNE SAYS: “This photo was taken in Abel Tasman National Park. I really like the way the afternoon sun brings out the green and yellows of the distant island chain in the background.”

WE SAY: “While the weather’s still a tad frosty in New Zealand at this time of year, it’s good to see that the beaches are still looking pristine and lovely. It’s getting us in the mood for a bit of warmer weather too. Thanks Jayne!”



Flower Power BenSOn STifler, 30, USA

BENSON SAYS: “This photo was taken alongside the beach footpath at Kaikoura, on the South Island’s east coast. It was one of the highlights of my New Zealand adventure.” WE SAY: “We at TNT NZ love flowers. For one thing – much like trees – they provide oxygen, which is handy. They’re also pretty, like this one. Good work Benson!”


HOT TIPS: Anything is a tripod!


If you are photographing in low light situations such as sunrises, sunsets and at night get yourself a sturdy, but lightweight tripod. This will allow you to do longer exposures and create some awesome visual effects with the camera. If travelling with a tripod is unappealing, remember that anything can be use as a tripod from a stack of books to simply putting the camera on the ground and propping it so it won’t fall over. As long as the camera is perfectly still, you can get a great result. Just make sure you don’t go bending or breaking one of the legs.

Jayne wins a Total Northland Pass for her and a friend from Magic Travellers Network (, while runnerup Benson wins a Black Labyrinth rafting voucher from the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co ( Winners are chosen by the TNT team, with the editor’s decision being final. To enter the next Hot Shots competition, send your best travel photos (300 dpi jpegs), along with your name, age, nationality and a description, to


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EE FR limited

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45+hostels, with eight in ideal ski destinations. Warm fires, drying rooms, modern facilities, perfect for group getaways. Ski, play and stay at YHA. Easy as.

your r o f n io modat adventures m o c c a ealand Z w e N ow:

Book n

9 .nz ne 0800 278 29 o free ph yh @ k boo

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star wars city buried Star Wars fans will be distraught to hear that the site of fictional city Mos Espa, featured in Episode I: The Phantom Menace of the Jedi saga, is about to be swallowed up by sand dunes. The remote site in the Tunisian desert was the set for the planet Tatooine in the movie, which was the home of the young Anakin Skywalker who later became Darth Vader. Many a devoted fan has taken the journey to visit this site (see for details). However, because of the movement of sand dunes in the desert, caused by strong winds, the film set will soon be buried. Experts say it will probably reemerge but will be badly damaged.

Photos: Getty

germans go nude


With temperatures reaching scorching heights, it’s always tempting to just rip off those swimmers altogether... isn’t it? The answer is yes if you’re German, who, according to a new survey by Expedia, are the most likely to go au naturel on the beach. Nearly a fifth confessed they’ve gone nude by the sea on at least once occasion – that’s more than twice as likely as the global average. The Danes were similarly likely to throw caution (and bikini tops) to the wind, with 40 per cent of the country’s women happy to sunbathe topless. Least likely to sunbathe topless were ladies from Japan and Malaysia.

‘Mos Espa’ soon to be buried by dunes

shark-proof suits Australian entrepreneurs have launched an ‘invisibility’ wetsuit, which they claim protects wearers from shark attacks. According to their research, in the last two seconds before an attack, sharks use eyesight over the other senses. The wetsuits have been designed with special patterns to deter sharks, including a black suit with stripes which confuses the predator and a blue-and-white design making the wearer ‘invisible’ to the shark. Entreprenuer Craig Anderson told AFP: “It’s based on new breakthrough science which is all about visionary systems for predatory sharks.”

ipad disguised iPads might well be terrifically handy gadgets to bring away on holiday, saving you from packing a suitcase full of guidebooks or laptops. The obvious flipside is that they’re so very nickable, which leads many travellers afraid of having their prized possession stolen to leave them at home. However, Paris-based ‘digital newsstand’ has come up with a solution – iPad covers that double up as a nifty disguise. The cases look like glossy magazines, hopefully realistic enough to con passing sticky-fingered thieves into ignoring them. The covers will soon be available from

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!!! re!! Sha

SEEN A TRAVEL DEAL WHILE IN NEW ZEALAND THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? Email with details of any amazing deals you’ve taken advantage of while in the Land of the Long White Cloud! The backpacking comunity is all about sharing and caring! Let us at TNT in on the secret and we will make sure we spread the love!

1 m$ Fro

DETAILS RENTAL FROM JUST $1 PER DAY! We have 2,4 and 6 berth campervans available in for just $1/day! Some of these vehicles also include a fuel allowance. is the largest relocation agent within Australia and New Zealand with approximately 300 relocation deals daily! DESTINATION Check out our website for current deals. DATES Various. HOW TO BOOK Visit or email Or call 1300 789 059 (AU) or 0800 789 059 (NZ).

F OF $20

TAUPO BUNGY & CLIFFHANGER OFFER DETAILS $20 off your Bungy Jump or Free Swing DVD DESTINATION Taupo, New Zealand DATES Valid until 31 Dec 2013. Present voucher from TNT magazine upon registration. HOW TO BOOK Bungy $149pp (retail); Swing $99pp (retail). Freephone 0800 888 408 within NZ, or email to book. WEB

Fed up of carrying around heavy guidebooks? Then TNT has the answer We’ve published our 2013 Independent Traveller’s Guide to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It’s free, it’s online and it’s full of tips on where to go, what to do and how to find work.


It’s also got listings for all the best hostels, tour companies and job agencies for all three countries, complete with links that will take you straight to their websites.


If you’re travelling on, there’s also sections on Papua New Guinea and Samoa.


To check it out, just head to and click the link on the right hand side.






25/07/13 2:45 AM

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Go to and click on the WIN page. See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.

WIN AN AMAZING MILFORD SOUND CR Simon and Garfunkel may have written an album about the Sound of Silence, but we reckon if they’d been to New Zealand they could have written a whole back catalogue about the Sounds of Milford. The South Island’s stunning Milford Sound is located in Fiordland National Park and the Te Wai Pounamu World Heritage Site. It was carved from hard granite mountains by glaciers over millions of years, and truly needs to be seen to be believed. It might not have the infamy of Queenstown or the prestige of Auckland but that doesn’t mean you should bypass it. In fact, it was recently judged the world’s top travel destination by TripAdvisor. It’s almost like New Zealand’s little secret. But not anymore, because we are here to offer two lucky readers an epic trip, thanks to Kiwi Discovery.

THE PRIZE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING FOR TWO PEOPLE: A KIWI DISCOVERY RETURN DAY TRIP TO MILFORD SOUND: Door to door journey by luxury coach through beautiful mountains where you’ll cruise the majestic Milford Sound on one of their spacious newly refurbished boats. ENJOY A SCENIC BOAT CRUISE: See Milford Sound in spacious modern boat with large indoor and outdoor viewing decks. Competition closes Saturday, 8 September 2013. Log on to for further details and to enter.

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23/07/13 7:00 PM

Bay of Islands NORTHLAND


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A rocky weekend A cruise around the maritime playground of the Bay of Islands brings on fishy moments, starry memories and salty tastes WORDS MARIE BARBIERI

We’re promised a beer if we shoot an Australian called Matilda

aim with precision, their beers forming an orderly queue. Anchoring in a secluded outer Bay of Islands cove, we throw our lines to catch snapper for dinner. And the hunger is on. Crewmember, Nathan, demonstrates how to fillet mullet; bait for our snapper. It’s a bloody mess, filled with flashing memories from high school biology classes. With surgical precision, Nathan then removes the still-living heart from a caught snapper (hunger rapidly fading). It continues to beat on his hand, hopping around like a scene from a cartoon. Only this is real! “Now this is iron-rich food guys,” he explains with utter seriousness. Captivated carnivores laugh while queasy vegetarians take a seat. “This nutritious dish is treasured by the indigenous people, so look upon it as a superfood.” Nathan then offers it around the group, calling: “Anyone?” But no sooner than I let out a Hyacinth

Catching up on dinner Photo: Tourism New Zealand, Marie Barbieri

It all seems quite sane at first, zooming away from Paihia wharf in our boat’s launch, sandwiched hip-to-hip with a bunch of shy backpacking strangers. One girl seems oblivious to the world, her eyes penetrating her Fifty Shades of Grey paperback, a guy stabs manically at his iPhone, another clearly the victim of a late night, and doesn’t seem to feel the spray hitting his still-numb face. And then Jonny, our skipper, comes right out with it: “So, who’s up for a weekend of eating raw fish?” The “Yeaahhhhh!” comes from the token tall Swede, the “Coooool!” from the young German lad, and the “You are not serious I hope?” is eloquently delivered by the older British lady, who looks positively terrified. It’s funny, I’ve never referred to myself as an ‘older British lady’ before. Helplessly gazing at the luxury cruise ship anchored near the rust-coloured vessel we are headed for, I wonder if I might have booked the wrong type of houseboat experience. I contemplate the three-course celebrity chef-inspired banquets that the gleaming white liner will serve up to its freshly showered and mani/pedi-groomed passengers. I then think of Captain Bligh and his loyal crew who were set adrift in the HMS Bounty’s launch by Fletcher Christian in 1789, and wonder if mutiny is still illegal. As we near the wild and wacky YHA-run floating hostel, I focus on the positives: I don’t have a humdinger of a hangover; I left my phone at home; and I’ve got a sexy new novel on my list. Plus, I might just survive the next 22 hours as I climb aboard The Rock. Within minutes, Jonny’s laid-back crew make us feel at home, sipping on beers and mugs of tea as we all exchange names and itineraries. I even get a biscuit! C’mon, who needs celebrity chefs?

Food for thought It’s target practice time, and we’re promised a free beer if we successfully shoot an Australian called Matilda, who is on board with us today. Matilda is the plastic duck that’s now being tied to the boat’s rear. The Europeans take this with a pinch of salt, but the Kiwis take it seriously. They

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Heading for the summit


Bucket-like nervous shriek, a teenager steps forward with an outstretched hand. In it went. But it wasn’t like the dreaded challenges in those reality TV shows, where it goes down almost without touching the sides. No, this kid munched, savouring every last capillary, like rolling a fine red wine around the tongue. In (stunned) support, we clapped and cheered. Our slowly resuscitating olfactory systems tell us that the Scotch steaks and beef sausages have hit the barbeque. At dinner, only one catch-of-the-day is shared between us (very small and large fish are returned to the water for conservation). But there is plenty for all as we feast on our meats with kumara (the local sweet potato favoured by the Maoris), fresh breads, pasta, rice and beetroot salad around the long table, in the kitchen-cum-diner-cumlounge-cum-bar-cum-pool room. As night blankets our twinkling boat, satiated stomachs prop against the bar. Others brush round the pool table, as jokes fly between opponents. “You’re shooting with two left feet man!” and “Your balls are zigzagging mate!” and “It’s the boat swaying!” seem to be on constant replay. The laughter increases and nothing matters. The music is playing, accents are singing, and the drinks are flowing. But refreshingly, nobody is drunk. Through the exchanges of foreign words and chinking glasses, we all share the common language of escapism.

Lying back, the stars hang from the sky as if on stalks. “Look down!” someone shouts. Staring into the water, an iridescent blue glitters vividly. This phenomenon erupts into an underwater firework show as our paddles splash the surface. The luminescence of this marine plankton, belonging to the dinoflagellate family, is known as

Starry, starry night With the sun now in a deep sleep, the crew prepare passengers for night-kayaking. “You are in for a real surprise guys!” promises Nathan. So against human nature, we seesaw into our kayaks, torch-less, and paddle into the depths of blackness. That’s until our eyes adjust.


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phosphorescence. To night-kayak, using this spectacular plankton as navigational tools, is absolutely magical. Back on board, Ben, another warm crewmember, summons us to the flickering log fire. We all huddle under itchy blankets, at the end of the candle-lit galley bar. Out comes the guitar, and as Hans from Norway mobilises the piano keys, Ben sings for us, taking on any Beatles or Coldplay requested. It is however unanimously agreed that Britney Spears’ Baby one more time, just doesn’t sit well! As the firelight fades, we head up to our cosy cabins. They’re basic, but appropriately decked out in maritime timber, all with water views. Jonny and his wife Sarah have been running this unique institution for the past five years. Their environmentally friendly, converted vehicle-ferry sleeps up to 36 spirited passengers. The guest book and photo albums reveal that it has heard the snores of backpackers, families with kids and grey nomads. And I too love it here, as I paint my toenails using the moonlight to line up the brushstrokes. Splashes from belly-flopping British awake me long before the breakfast bell. With the sun still dozing, I slide open my door and place my newly-decorated toes onto the damp balcony that’s coated in a sparkly veil of saltencrusted dew. “How’s the water?” I shout to a breathless swimmer. Puffing like last night’s dying snapper, he blabbers, “It… would…cut…the…balls off you!” So that answered my question then. I don’t have the balls (both metaphorically and anatomically) to join him, so instead, do yoga on the sundeck. An American couple join me. Life’s perfect. We may be in the winterless north of New Zealand, but the chilly morning wind soon ushers us towards a Kiwi breakfast of porridge, fruit and shiver-curing coffee.

Fancy a bite? Island time After sunrise, we cruise the pristine Bay of Islands. Blue penguins wade by as flocks of storm petrels shadow them. “Stingrays in the coves attract hammerheads and orca whales!” says Jonny. They remain elusive, but the Soren Larsen tallship doesn’t. All arms frantically wave as we cross, quite literally, like passing ships. Arriving at Waewaetorea Island, we kayak into Stingray Cove and step onto its toe-warming sand. Some don snorkelling gear, and Ben leads the rest of us on a human ant-trail up to an ancient Maori Pa (fortified settlement). Conquering the grassy summit, a cathartic canvas unpeels; on one side, the sheltered honey-hued beach; on the other, the churning Pacific. “Okay guys,” begins Ben, “We’re on the furthest island from the mainland, and just opposite,” he points, “is Motukiekie, a private island.” But the 144 islands in the bay have not always been as peaceful as today. “Back in 1841, on nearby Motuarohia Island (where Captain Cook dropped anchor in 1769), a scandalous event happened. The 17 year-old son of a Maori chief murdered the family he was working for, and burned their house down. He was the first to be hanged in New Zealand.” Looping back down to the beach, some play rugby, while others splay like lizards absorbing the mid-day warmth. The snorkelers return, looking pretty hyped up about seeing an octopus in the kelp fields. An ominous-looking kina, in all its sea-urchin weaponry, sits in the hand of a stupefied snorkeler. “Our lunch!” he offers. Back on The Rock, Nathan invites us to sample the kina’s raw blubbery gizzards. “Drop the grimaces guys,” he says, highly amused. “Kina are endemic to New Zealand and are traditional Maori food. You’d pay a fortune to find this delicacy on a menu.” Cutting the kina open, he points to its intestines, sex glands and mouth, and then extracts a razor-sharp tooth from it. Then he picks up a spoon! You guessed it. Just like the snapper’s heart, a brave volunteer scoops out the eggs, encased in brown slipperiness, hanging like bird excrement. The group stare, starkly silent. After he performs several involuntary shoulder spasms, not dissimilar to Peter Garrett’s classic dance moves, I dare to ask: “So what’s it like?” No response yet. “Slimy? Salty? Sour?” to which he finally replies with a gurgled: “YES!” The group catapults into laughter. Damage and details: Marie travelled with Rock the Boat who run twoday cruises of the Bay of Islands from $180NZ. Prices include meals and accommodation. See:

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The nine Great Walks NEW ZEALAND

What a tramp New Zealand might just be the best country in the world for hiking, and where else to start but with those routes known simply, and for good reason, as the nine Great Walks? WORDS DAMIAN HALL

Why would you go for a walk voluntarily? We use our feet every day, as a necessary means of transport: to the bus, to the hostel, to the pub (then, if we’re lucky, to someone else’s hostel). Walking can be boring, slow and it makes your feet smell. It’s a chore, like cleaning your teeth or wiping your bum. It’s certainly not something to be enjoyed and not something you’d ever choose to do, especially on holiday. That was my mentality before I came to New Zealand. But New Zealand changed my life. As I campervanned around the South Island I fell head over heels for the scenery. Those dashing Southern Alps, those glowing glacial lakes and mysterious fiords, ancient moss-strewn forests, moody volcanoes, rugged coastline and thundering waterfalls. You’d imagine if they ever filmed, say, The Lord Of The Rings, this would be the perfect setting for it. It’s like a fantasy land. Go on, tell me a country as beautiful. Even if you think you can name one, I bet that; A, it’s not nearly as safe, B, it’s much more crowded, and C, they talk funny there (okay, jandles is pretty funny, but funny as in you can’t understand them ‘cos they’re proper foreign). 30

I’ve never been hypnotised before. But when I saw the mountains, lakes and fiords, I found myself leaving my campervan almost involuntarily and walking towards it. And into it. For several days. Okay, I turned the engine off and acquired a map first, but otherwise my movements were almost entirely beyond my control. I had to experience the landscape up close, to touch it, admire it, clamber all over it and lick it. This is not a country to be admired solely from behind a bus window. TRACK RECORD Walking gripped me like a fever. By the time I’d left Kiwi Country, I’d walked the three-day Kepler Track, the threeday Queen Charlotte Track, the five-day Rees-Dart Track (a great one for crowd dodging), the three-day Tongariro Northern Circuit, the two-day Ball Pass Crossing (in Mt Cook National Park), part of the Routeburn (guttingly had to turn back with an abscess on my tooth which made me look like the ugly one from The Goonies), part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and numerous more day walks. It’s fair to say

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Admiring Mt Aspiring from the Routeburn Track

I’d discovered I liked walking, or hiking, or trekking, or tramping – as they call it here. There are lots of things to like about tramping: it’s very cheap, it’s very healthy, you get off the tourist trail somewhat, meet real Kiwis and lots more very likeable people (outdoor people are always good people). It’s peaceful (being away from traffic fumes and bleating communication devices, and your days are wonderfully simple – just walk from A to B), but above all it’s very, very beautiful. Yes you get wet sometimes. Yes you get blisters occasionally. Yes you can get lost from time to time too. But boy have I seen some incredibly beautiful places in New Zealand, and often had them entirely to myself. I’ve enjoyed them all the more for knowing I’ve earned the right to see them, putting in the hard yards on foot. At the same time as I was falling for my new hobbyturned-obsession, I was falling for New Zealand. Because the country the same size as Britain, that looks like an upside-down cut-in-half Italy, is an especially good place for walking. Probably the best place in the world in fact (I’ve since walked in many more countries too). HIT THE HUT As well as all the natural splendour, the country’s so safe and easy to travel in. It’s almost like NZ was built for trampers. In fact it sort of is. The Department of Conservation (DoC) has created and maintained a series of multi-day walking routes in the most spectacular parts of

the best national parks. The paths are usually clear to follow and lined with surprisingly fancy huts (with toilets, cooking facilities, drinking water etc) for trampers to rest their weary heads and smelly socks in (camping is also available), and play cards and drink wine in with like-minded souls. Not many countries have a hut system like this. Every country should do it. Nine walks in particular have been adjudged to be the best of the bunch and are called the Great Walks (see boxout), even if, um, one of them’s a kayaking trip. The nine are the most popular and include what some say is the most spectacular trail in the world, the Milford Track (which usually takes three days). The Fiordland tramp is so popular people come from the world over to walk it and it’s booked up many months in advance. On all the Great Walks, numbers are limited and a booking system is in operation (see for more). Locals will tell you the nearby Routeburn is even better, but again book well ahead, especially in peak season (December-February). My favourite memories of New Zealand are of hiking. Of climbing smoking volcanoes, of mist clearing to reveal gaping fiords, of devastating snow-covered mountains, of drying out clothes by a fire with new friends, of feeling exhausted but exhilarated and of feeling very happy. Nowadays, whenever I have free time all I want to do is go for a walk in the countryside. I used to be a football journalist, now I mostly write about the great outdoors. And I’ve got New Zealand to thank for that. What a place.

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Taking a breather on the Abel Tasman Track

Home sweet home. A hut on the Kepler Track



brings. Make sure you do your research. Talk to locals, or better still the Department of Conservation (DoC) and heed any warnings. Plus, always tell someone where you’re going – leave an itinerary with a friend (DoC have a good system in place for this). And of course, it’s hard to drink too much water or wear too much sunscreen. It may feel like you’re being molly-coddled by an especially protective Grandmother, but to experience the country’s profoundly beautiful scenery, and return safely to show off your photos, all the hassles are well worth it. For more info, try the Department of Conservation website ( You may also enjoy reading Kiwi Tracks, a book about a guy who walks all nine Great Walks while dealing with a broken heart.

Photos: Thinkstock, Tourism New Zealand/Julian Apse

Didn’t count on doing any tramping when you packed your round-the-world bag, but now you fancy a go? The most important thing is comfortable footwear, which doesn’t have to be walking boots (sometimes trainers will do), but they’re you best bet. New Zealand is well stocked with good gear and most towns have outdoor shops. You’ll also need a waterproof jacket, ideally Gore-Tex or equivalent, to allow your body to sweat. Plus, get a water bottle (plastic bottles will do), sleeping bag and mat, a map (DoC can provide these) and compass (which you should know how to use), some food, basic first aid (plasters, pain killers and antiseptic cream) and something to carry all that in (your backpack?). And you’re set. Most hostels are happy to look after any kit you don’t want to take on your hike – and the lighter your pack the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Though New Zealand has no grizzly bears, crocs or snakes to threaten the tramper, there is a serious and often underestimated outdoor adversary: the weather. Referred to as having “five seasons in one day” by locals, the climate changes faster than you can say “jandles”. Needless to say, being a weather reporter here is a thankless job. Trampers need to be properly equipped for all conditions. This often means setting off in shorts and t-shirt in the glorious morning sunshine with your back weighed down with warm and waterproof layers. It can seem over cautious, but many have lived to be thankful. The Great Walks are all well marked, with wardenmanned huts and you’re rarely far from helicopter access. But the country has many – often more dangerous – routes, some in alpine terrain and all the dangers that

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THE NINE GREAT WALKS 1. Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Where: Te Urewera National Park, North Island The details: Three to four days (46km) Tell me more: A moderate tramp, this mostly lakeside trail climbs up the Panekire Ridge before winding round parts of Lake Waikaremoana.

8. Kepler Track Where: Fiordland National Park, South Island The details: Three days (60km) Tell me more: A long ascent leads to alpine terrain then down again through ancient beach forests. Nutty Kiwis run this trail in an annual race.

2. Tongariro Northern Circuit Where: Tongariro National Park, North Island The details: Three days (50km) Tell me more: The circuit includes the Tongariro Crossing, the country’s most popular day walk (and if you’ve only got time for one, make it this). Brightly coloured rock pools, hissing sulphur, lavic rock and smoking volcanoes. It’s like Mars. Or Mordor (which was filmed here).

9. Rakiura Track Where: Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island The details: Three days (37km) Tell me more: Nice and remote. Definitely for those who don’t like sharing the trail with crowds of trampers.

3. Whanganui Journey Where: Whanganui National Park, North Island The details: Four to five days (145km) Tell me more: Although a river journey, the Whanganui is one of the Great Walks. Paddle the Whanganui from Taumarunui to Pipiriki and visit a remote Maori meeting house.

The Great Walks are the most popular, but there are lots more very good trails too. Just go into a DoC office and ask about the nearest national park. Better still, if you’ve really caught the bug and have the time, you could try Te Araroa, a new 3,000km trail that “links New Zealand’s most spiritual, historic and scenic locations,” say DoC, from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south.

4. Abel Tasman Coast Track Where: Abel Tasman National Park, South Island The details: Four days (54.4km) Tell me more: An easy, mostly flat tramp that features superb coastal views and lovely beaches. 5. Heaphy Track Where: Kahurangi National Park, South Island The details: Four to six days (78.4km) Tell me more: The longest of the Great Walks includes some spectacular coastline, lush forests and expansive tussock downs. One of the less crowded. 6. Routeburn Track Where: Mount Aspiring National Park/Fiordland National Park, South Island The details: Three days (32km) Tell me more: Possibly the best of the lot. To really make an epic of it, the stunning Routeburn Track can be walked in conjunction with the Greenstone and Caples tracks. 7. Milford Track Where: Fiordland National Park, South Island The details: Three days (53.5km) Tell me more: One of the world’s most famous walks is often booked up. It starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and ends at Milford Sound.

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gettingaround buses & tours Atomic Shuttles South Island buses. 03 349 0697, Bottom Bus Far south tours. 03 477 9083,

rental firms Ace Rental Cars 0800 502 277, Apex Car Rentals 0800 939 597 ,


Spaceships 0800 772 237,

United Campervans 09 275 9919,

Mighty Cars and Campers (Formerly Backpacker Campervan & Car Rentals) 0800 081 026

Wicked Campers 0800 246 870,

Flying Kiwi Wilderness Expeditions 0800 693 296,

Bargain Rental Cars 0800 001 122,

Air New Zealand 1800 737 000,

Darn Cheap Rentals 0800 800 327,

Air Pacific Fiji flights 0800 800 178,

Econo Campers 09 275 9919,

Emirates 050 836 4728,

Escape Rentals 0800 216 171,

Jetstar 0800 800 995,

Magic Travellers Network 09 358 5600, 0900 62533,

Jucy Rentals 0800 399 736,

NZ Travelpass 0800 339 966,

Nationwide Rental Cars 0800 803 003,

Stray 09 526 2140,

Pegasus Rental Cars 0800 803 580,

West Coast Shuttle Greymouth to Christchurch buses. 03 768 0028,

Rent-A-Dent 0800 736 823, Rental Car Village 09 376 9935,



Standby Cars 0800 789 059,

Flexi-Pass Combines InterCity and Newmans. 0800 222 146,

Kiwi Experience 09 336 4286

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Qantas 0800 808 767, Virgin Australia 0800 670 000, Webjet Flights comparison website.

ferries Interislander Linking Wellington and Picton. 0800 802 802,

surfing auckland It may be called the city of sails but Auckland also has some epic waves. Head to Te Henga (Bethells Beach) on the west coast. Auckland’s beaches range from those with white sands and palm trees to the black sands of the west coast with towering cliffs and rainforests.


get your oWn Wheels Whether it’s a campervan, car or even a bike, try to get your own transport for at least part of your Kiwi travels. There are few countries in the world that are so consistently stunning, safe and sparsely populated, so take advantage of the situation to get a bit of freedom and explore it for yourself, in your own time. You won’t regret it.


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Nationwide banks like Westpac, ANZ and Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) have the most branches and, if you are planning on spending a long period of time here, issue cards for use at ATMs (cashpoints).

Air New Zealand 0800 737 000, Soundsair Wellington 0800 505 005 03 520 3080

Changing money


You can change money at any bank. American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Thomas Cook travellers’ cheques are all widely recognised. Banks will give cash advances on Visa and Mastercard credit cards but for American Express you must go to a designated Amex office. Foreign exchange is available for all international flights at airports.

Downunder Worldwide Travel Insurance 09 376 8292,

visa blaRnEys ROck 1210 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua. Dorms from $17 Wonderfully clean, with friendly staff and fun, vibrant travellers looking for a good time, Blarney’s is (arguably) the best in Rotorua.

hEalth Auckland Metro Doctors Travelcare

For accident and medical care and all international travel vaccines. Pharmacy, X-ray and laboratory. Open six days. BNZ Tower, cnr 125 Queen & Swanson Sts, Auckland, 09 373 4621, Email: doctor@ TMVC For all your medical needs. Christchurch, 03 379 4000

pOst Post Offices are open 9am-5pm on weekdays. Mail can be sent to ‘Poste Restante, CPO’ in the relevant city. CPO stands for Chief Post Office. Mail will be held for 30 days. Delivery time is two days between major centres, a bit longer for rural areas.

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phOnEs Pay phones in NZ are usually of the card variety and phone cards are available in values of $5, $10, $20 and $50. The country dial code for New Zealand is 64. Directory assistance 018 International operator: 0170 (reversed charges) Emergency (Fire, ambulance, police): 111 Compass communications Kia Ora cards. Prepaid calling card

Country & area codes New Zealand 64; Auckland 09; Northland 09; Rotorua/Taupo 07; Wellington 04; South Island 03 Directory service International: 0172

DOm aiRlinEs Auckland Air New Zealand 0800 737 000, 09 357 3000 Great Barrier 09 275 9120

The type of visa you will need to enter NZ is determined by how long you want to stay and what you want to do while you’re there. If you are only entering New Zealand as a tourist you may need a visa depending on what country you are from. If you intend to work while you are in New Zealand you can apply for one online, once you’re here. Citizens of many countries can get a 23-month Working Holiday visa. Visitor’s Visas Citizens of a number of countries do not require visas if they are visiting NZ for three months or less. On arrival, all visitors must be in possession of a valid ticket or enough funds to purchase a ticket out of NZ to a country they have the right of entry to, ie: you must already hold a visa for that country if one is required – you cannot expect to get the visa once you are in New Zealand. Your passport must be valid for three months beyond when you expect to leave NZ, and

@tnt_downunder you must also have sufficient money (NZ$1000 for each month of your visit) to support yourself during your stay. If you wish to stay longer than three months, you should apply for a Visitor’s Visa (which will allow you to stay in NZ for up to nine months) before you arrive in New Zealand, although British passport holders on arrival in NZ may be issued a permit valid for a stay of up to six months. Extensions If you like New Zealand and decide you’d like to stay here longer you may extend your stay to a maximum of nine months in an 18 month period. To do this you need to apply for a further visitor permit. You can apply for these permits online immigration. If you do need to apply in person, New Zealand Immigration Service offices are located in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The Auckland office is very busy and you may experience long delays when applying there. When applying, you need to show your outward ticket or prove your ability to purchase such a ticket; your current passport, a recent passport-sized photo and evidence that you still have sufficient funds to support yourself. If you do not have the required funds, you will need a guarantee of accommodation and maintenance from a NZ friend or relative who is willing to be your sponsor.

Photo: Tourism New Zealand



Raglan Arguably home to the most famous surfing scene in New Zealand, Raglan’s beaches have something for everyone. Manu Bay is said to have the longest left hand break for boardriding, but if that isn’t your thing, then there are some great spots along the coast for swimming or chilling out on a hot day. Situated on the west coast of the North Island, this is one of many New Zealand beaches that have black volcanic sand, creating a unique feel to a day at the beach. Raglan has a very active population and if you’ve had enough of the beach then there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. You can try horse riding, trekking through the bush or hiking to the top of local Mount Karioi. It’s a three hour trip but well worth it for the view of the area from the top. For something less strenuous, you can take a drive to Bridal Veil falls or do some low-key mountain biking or cycling along the local trails on the weekends. The town itself is nice and compact, so visitors can enjoy a stroll through the shops and relax in one of the classy cafés full of local artwork.


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beautiful Waitemata Harbour. The two hour sails departs daily from the Auckland Viaduct. No experience necessary. 0800 397 567,

Pride of Auckland The Pride of Auckland operates an impressive fleet of large, purpose-built yachts on the sheltered waters of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and is Auckland Museum world famous for its sailing and See the world’s finest collection dining cruises. Join them for a of Maori and Pacific Island coffee, lunch, dinner, Waiheke artefacts. Explore New sailing experience cruise or a Zealand’s natural history, full-day sailing adventure and discover the largest bird that experience the “City of Sails” ever lived and experience a for what it is known for. Maori cultural show. 0800 397 567, 09 306 7067, Auckland Bridge Climb Auckland Zoo Up and over the Auckland See kiwi birds in the nocturnal Harbour Bridge. Westhaven house and over 900 animals. Reserve, Curran St, Herne Bay, 09 360 3800, 0800 286 4958,

auckland In Maori language the city’s name is Tamaki Makau Rau, which translates as “the city of 100 lovers”. Auckland is admired for its cosmopolitan flavour, its sunny harbour for the fact that it makes every other city in NZ feel like a small town. i-SITE Auckland Atrium, skycity, Cnr Federal & Victoria Sts Backpackers World Travel 16-20 Fort St, 09 379 4126, Base Travel Level 3, 229 Queen St, 09 358 4874, i-SITE Visitor Information 287 Queen St, 09 979 2333, Ferry Tickets Online (For inter-island ferry services) 39 Beach Rd, 0800 500 660, Parks Information Centre Details on tramping, camping grounds, the Gulf Islands and exploring the regional parks. 21 Pitt St, open Mon-Fri, 09 366 2000 Airport Transport The airport is 21km from the city and shuttle buses run every half an hour. Airbus Airport is every 20 mins. 0800 247 287, City buses Tickets and timetables are available from the 10 central city Star Mart stores. 09 366 6400 Auckland InterCity Travel Centre Buses around Auckland and the rest of New Zealand leave from here. Located beside the casino, Hobson St, 09 623 1503 Train Intercity trains arrive and depart from Britomart, 12 Queen St, Auckland. 09 270 5211

auckland stay

Photo: Tourism New Zealand, Arno Gasteiger

Airport Skyway Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 30 Kirkbride Road, Mangere. 09 275 4443,

CHECK IN! yHa wellington city 292 Wakefield St, Wellington. Dorms from $28 Ultra clean, modern and wonderfully provisioned the YHA Wellington is one of NZ’s most visited and recommended hostels. Te Aro, Wellington

3 Mercury Ln, Central. 09 307 0052, Central City Backpackers 26 Lorne St. 09 358 5685, City Garden Lodge 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. 09 302 0880 City Groove Backpackers (BBH) 6 Constitutional Hill, Parnell. 09 303 4768,

Uenuku Lodge (BBH) 217 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 09 378 8990 Surf ‘n’ Snow Backpackers 102 Albert St. 09 363 8889, The Brown Kiwi (BBH) 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby. 09 378 0191,

Kiwi International Queen St Hotel and Hostel 411 Queen St. 0800 100 411,

Verandahs (BBH) 6 Hopetown St. 09 360 4180

Kiwi International Airport 150 McKenzie Road, Mangere. 0800 801 919, Lantana Lodge (BBH) 60 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. 09 373 4546, The Fat Camel (Nomads) 38 Fort St. 09 307 0181, New Zealand Backpackers 8 Nixon St, Ponsonby. 09 376 3871, Nomads Auckland 16-20 Fort St. 09 300 9999,

Auckland International Backpackers (BBH) 2 Churton St, Parnell. +64358 4584,

Oaklands Lodge (BBH) 5A Oaklands Rd, Mt Eden. 09 638 6545,

Base Auckland 229 Queen St. 0800 227 369,

Pentlands (BBH) 22 Pentland Ave, Mt Eden. +64 9638 7031

BK Hostel (BBH)

Queen Street Backpackers (VIP) 4 Fort St. 09 373 3471,

Georgia Parkside Backpackers 189 Park Rd, Grafton. 09 309 8999,

Albert Park Backpackers (VIP) 27-31 Victoria St East. 09 309 0336,

Bamber House (BBH) 22 View Rd, Mt Eden. 09 623 4267,

Princeton Backpackers 30 Symonds St. 09 963 8300,

Ponsonby Backpackers (BBH) 2 Franklin Rd, Ponsonby. 09 360 1311,

Uenuku Lodge (BBH) 217 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 09 378 8990 YHA Auckland City Cnr City Rd & Liverpool St. 09 378 8990 YHA Auckland International 5 Turner St. 09 302 8200,

auckland do Explorer Bus Sightseeing around Auckland, 0800 439 756 On the Road Tours and Charters Sightseeing bus tours of Auckland and the north shore. 0800 486 877, Harbour Ferries Ferries can take you all over the harbour. Info about timetables and destinations available at the Ferry Building on Quay St. 09 424 5561 America’s Cup Sailing Experience A unique opportunity to participate as crew on an actual America’s Cup yacht. Take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as you sail the

Coast to Coast Walkway A walk between Waitemata Harbour and Manukau Harbour. It takes about four hours and takes in Albert Park, Auckland Uni, Auckland Domain, Mt Eden, and One Tree Hill. Devonport A 15-minute ferry or bus ride across the harbour on the north shore, Devonport is an idyllic setting for a picnic or a stroll along the beach. Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World A seawater aquarium with a moving walkway through a transparent underwater cavern. Antarctic Encounter is a recreation of an Antarctic environment where you jump on a snow mobile and tour a penguin colony, get attacked by an orca whale. Orakei Wharf, Tamaki Drive, 09 528 0603,

Auckland Harbour Bridge Jump NZ’s only ocean touch bungy, 40m high. Westhaven Reserve, Curran St, Herne Bay, 0800 286 4958, Canyonz Ltd Explore subtropical canyons and abseil down crashing waterfalls. 0800 422 696, New Zealand Surf Tours 09 832 9622, Sky Jump Fall from the top of the 192m Sky Tower, 0800 759 586, Sky Walk Walk around the external 1.2m wide platform, 192m up. 09 368 1835,

Fullers Bay of Islands Tours Mt Eden The highest point in the One, two and three-day tours city, 4km south of the city from Auckland. centre with spectacular views. 09 358 0259, Get there by bus. NZ National Maritime Museum The museum celebrates NZ’s maritime heritage. 09 373 0800,

Awesome Adventures Three-day Bay of Islands tours. 0800 658 058,

Ponsonby West of the city, explore Victorian architecture and narrow streets with cafés, bars, clothes shops, art galleries and some lively nightlife.

Beaches Auckland is surrounded by great beaches, including Judges Bay, Kohimarama, Okahu Bay, St Heliers Bay and popular Mission Bay.

Queen Street Auckland’s main boulevard with Aotea Square Markets shops, cafés and restaurants. Every Friday and Saturday at Aotea Square, Queen St. NZ Whale & Dolphin Safari fashion labels, retro gear, foods, See whales and dolphins from Pacific-style crafts, jewellery Auckland’s doorstep. The and furniture, Hauraki Gulf is considered one 09 309 2677, of the most biologically and geographically diverse marine parks in the world. See Victoria Park Market dolphins, whales, sea birds and/ 3km from the CBD, an outdoor or even penguins. Dolphins are market with fruit, veggies, viewed on over 90% and whales books, clothes and handicrafts. on 75% of trips. Departs daily from the Auckland Viaduct. Dolphin viewing guaranteed. great barrier 0800 397 567, The island is dominated by a native Fullers Cruises forest a network of criss-crossing Inner harbour cruises and longer tracks. cruises to Hauraki Gulf islands, with all-day passes and hop-on, Orama Resort (YHA) Karaka Bay Rd, 09 429 0063, hop-off options. 09 367 9111.

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northisland Stray Possum Lodge (VIP) 09 429 0109,

follow us on YHA Paihia Cnr Kings and MacMurray Rds, Paihia, 09 402 7487,


barriEr Do Fullers Cruises Depart from the Ferry Building. 09 367 9102

paihia Do Haruru Falls Picturesque falls offering swimming, camping and kayaking opportunities – and a pub!

Great Barrier Airlines Fly out of Auckland Airport or Auckland Shore Airfield. 0800 900 600, Fullers Great Barrier Explorers Cruise and tours, summer only (October-April). 09 367 9111

WaihEkE islanD A 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland. It is popular for its long sweeping beaches and craft shops. Hekerua Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 11 Hekerua Rd, Oneroa, 09 372 8990, Waiheke Island Hostel Seaview Road, Onetangi, Ph: (09) 372 8971,

northlanD The “winterless north” is Northland’s famous tag. The subtropical climate is good all year round and the area boasts some of the best beaches in NZ. Highlights include Ninety Mile Beach, Kerikeri and the beautiful Bay of Islands.

hElEnsvillE The hot springs here have indoor and outdoor thermal pools and waterslides. Malolo House (BBH) 110 Commercial Rd, 09 420 7262,

hibiscUs coast Whangaparaoa Peninsula. A popular holiday spot, the peninsula offers water sport opportunities from windsurfing to boating. Busy in summer, this whole area is popular with bushwalkers. Hisbiscus Coast Visitor Info Hibiscus Coast Hwy, 09 426 0076. Marco Polo Backpackers Inn (BBH) 2d Hammond Ave, Hatfields Beach, 09 426 8455,

pakiri bEach Famous for its white sand and isolation, there are several coastal walks here and gorgeous views.

WaipU Come to Waiku for snorkelling, fishing and exploring the caves. The Bream Bay Coast is a magnificent expanse of white sparkling sand just 30 mins drive from the city.


Opua Forest The DOC provides a leaflet of forest walks, which features a small stand of Kauri trees. Drive into the forest via Oromahoe Rd or walk from School Rd.

granDma’s placE 148 Grey St, Palmerston North. Dorms from $21. Old fashioned, comfortable and wonderfully presented Grandma’s House is extremely comfortable and a great base for seeing the region. Palmerston North

sail rock Hen & Chickens Island and Sail Rock These offshore areas offer great sailing and diving. Boat trips leave from the area daily. Waipu Wanderer (BBH) 25 St Marys Rd, 09 432 0532.

WhangarEi The waterfront has been developed in the style of the early settlers (except with cafés, restaurants and galleries) and Mount Parahaki towers 241m above the city. Stroll along enticing beaches and dive at Poor Knights Islands. one of the world’s top diving sites. Also pay a visit to petty Whangerei Falls. Whangarei I-SITE Visitor Centre 92 Otaika Rd, 09 438 1079

WhangarEi stay Bunkdown Lodge (BBH) 23 Otaika Road, 09 438 8886, Coastal Cow Backpackers (BBH) 299 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Heads, 09 431 5444, Little Earth Lodge (BBH) 85 Abbey Caves Road, 09 430 6562, Piano Hill Farm (BBH) Piano Hill, Kauri, 09 433 7090, Whangarei Falls Backpackers (BBH) Ngunguru Road, Glenbervie, 09 437 0609, YHA Whangarei, Manaakitanga 52 Punga Grove Ave, 09 438 8954,

WhangarEi Do Dive! Tutukaka Poor Knights Islands dives, plus

tours with kayaking, cave explorations, snorkelling, swimming, sea mammal-spotting.

paihia Paihia is one of the most beautiful towns on the North Island with equal parts love for adventure, nature and a raucous nightlife. AwesomeNZ Tours include Maori mythology, dolphin swimming and fast boats. Maritime Building, on the waterfront, 0800 653 339, Bay of Islands i-Site The Wharf, Marsden Rd, Freephone: 09 402 7345 Base Travel 18 Kings Rd, 09 402 7111,

paihia stay Base Pipi Patch 18 Kings Rd 09 402 7111, Captain Bob’s Beachhouse (BBH) 44 Davis Cres, 09 402 8668, Centabay Lodge (BBH) 27 Selwyn Rd, 09 402 7466, Mayfair Lodge (BBH) 7 Puketona Rd, 09 402 7471, mayfair.html Mousetrap (BBH) 11 Kings Rd, 09 402 8182, Peppertree Lodge (BBH) 15 Kings Rd, 09 402 6122, Pickled Parrot Backpackers (BBH) Grey’s Lane, 09 402 6222, Saltwater Lodge (BBH) 14 Kings Rd, 0800 002 266,

Te Rawhiti Cape Brett Walkway Guided tours include experienced local Maori guides, all meals, hut accommodation, transport by boat to hut taking in the famous Hole in the Rock, Maori culture, myths and legends and hangi, 09 403 7248 Waitangi Treaty Grounds The site where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Also see carvings that represent all Maori tribes in NZ and one of the largest ceremonial waka (canoe) in the world, launched every Waitangi Day (Feb 6). 09 402 7437, Boat cruises & dolphin watching Cape Brett “Hole in the Rock” Cruise Four-hour cruises, 09 402 7421 Dolphin Discoveries With the warmest water and friendliest dolphins (bottlenoses), this is a great place for swimming with the dolphins (conditions permitting). The high-speed luxury catamaran offers easy access to the water and hot showers. Or do a “Hole in the Rock and Dolphin Viewing Experience” and see dolphins, whales, birds and other wildlife. Visit Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island during your island stop and explore this amazing place. 0800 365 744, Dune Rider Unique Adventure Tour Make your way up to Cape Reinga while traveling to the Gumdiggers Park and drive along the famous Ninety Mile Beach. Climb huge sand dunes and boogie board back down on the way and stop at the world famous Mangonui Fish Shop for fish and chips. Departing daily from Paihia. 0800 365 744, Excitor “Hole in the Rock” Adventure One-and-a-half hours, 0800 653 339, Lion New Zealand – “The Ultimate Day Sail in the Bay” Join Lion New Zealand, NZ’s most famous maxi yacht. Enjoy a fresh BBQ lunch and activities such as kayaking, snorkelling,

@tnt_downunder natural walks at Otehei Bay or simply kick back and enjoy the island atmosphere. 0800 365 744, Overnight Cruises The Rock 24-hour cruise featuring kayaking, snorkelling with stingrays, fishing for your dinner, dolphin spotting. 0800 762 527, Awesome Cape Reinga Via Ninety Mile Beach – learn Maori myths and legends, navigate the quicksand stream, ride the dunes, visit a thousand year old forest. 0800 653 339,

rUssEll Catch a ferry to Russell, originally a sprawling fortified Maori settlement. Information Centre End of the Pier, 09 403 8020

rUssEll stay The Coast Road Farm (BBH) Coast Rd, Whangaruru, 09 433 6894, Ferry Landing (BBH) 395A Aucks Rd, Okiato Point, 09 403 7985, Wainui (BBH) 92D Te Wahapu Rd, 09 403 8278,

kErikEri A highlight of the sparsely populated town is the wonderful Maori village. There is also an historic Maori pa (fortress) and the Kerikeri Mission Station. Dept of Conservation Office 09 407 8474

kErikEri stay Kerikeri Top 10 Holiday Park & Aranga Backpackers Aranga Drive off Kerikeri Rd, 09 407 9326, Hideaway Lodge Wiroa Rd, 0800 562 746 Hone Heke Lodge (BBH) 65 Hone Heke Rd, 09 407 8170, Kerikeri Farm Hostel (BBH) Ph: (09) 407 6989,

nrth bay of isl i-Site Far North South Rd in Jaycee Park. 09 408 0879, Farm Backpackers (BBH) End of Lamb Rd, Pukenui, 09 409 7863, North Wind Lodge Backpackers

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(BBH) Otaipango Rd, Henderson Bay, 09 409 8515,


Waikato District Info Centre 160 Great South Rd, Huntly, 07 828 6406

Pukenui Lodge Hostel (BBH) Cnr SH1 & Wharf Rd, Pukenui, 09 4098837,

Shekinah (BBH) 122 Pungapunga Rd, Pukekawa, 09 233 4464,

matauri bay


A very well-kept tourist secret, Matauri Bay is Maori land, home to the Ngati Kura people, and has beautiful, quiet beaches. The Welcome Swallow Backpackers Off Matauri Bay Road, 09 4051 019, The Rainbow Warrior A monument to the noble but doomed Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, sits on the site of a Maori pa on the headland at Matauri Bay. Travellers come here to dive the ship’s wreck.

whangaroa This area was once well known for its Kauri forests, but these days it’s more about game fishing. The scenery is ruggedly spectacular and sailing cruises are popular.

Hamilton is NZ’s largest inland city and is known for its parks and gardens.

Jailhouse accommodation 338 Lincoln Rd, Christchurch. Dorms from $27 This hostel is situated in an old prison building but is certainly not spartan. In a great central location too for Christchurch.

Addington, Christchruch Waitiki Landing Far North Rd, 09 409 7508

kaitaia do

Tourist info centre Boyd Gallery, 09 405 0230.

Ancient Kauri Kingdom Giant kauri tree stumps are fashioned into furniture and other trinkets.

Sunseeker Lodge (BBH) Old Hospital Rd, 09 405 0496,

Far North Regional Museum Featuring all kinds of goodies, like the skeleton of a giant moa bird and salvages from local shipwrecks.

doubtless bay Less touristy than the Bay of Islands, the area around Doubtless is made up of tiny bays and coves, beach resorts and historical villages.

karikari penin The Rusty Anchor (BBH) 1 Tokerau Beach Rd, 09 406 7141,

taipa A tiny village with a boat-dotted harbour. You can swim with dolphins, hire boats or kayaks, and swim at the beautiful Coopers Beach. Taipa is worth visiting for its pretty beach.

kaitaia The ideal starting point for Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach. Backpackers Heaven (VIP) Wagener Holiday Park, Houhora Heads, 09 409 8564, Main Street Lodge (BBH) 235 Commerce St, 09 408 1275, Pukenui Lodge (YHA) Corner Wharf Rd & State Hwy 1, Houhora, 09 409 8837,

Waterfront Lodge (BBH) 6 Wi Neera St, 07 825 0515,


Pack or Paddle Thoms Landing, 09 4098 445,

90 mile beach The west coast of the Far North Peninsula is Ninety Mile Beach,a beautiful strip of coastline that takes you way up to Cape Reinga.

ahipara This is the best spot for sandtobogganing, located at the south end of Ninety Mile Beach. YHA Ahipara Backpackers & Motor Camp 168-170 Takehe St, 09 409 4864, Farm Backpackers (BBH) End of Lamb Rd, Pukenui, 09 409 7863 Endless Summer Lodge (BBH) 245 Foreshore Rd, 09 409 4181,

ahipara do Tuatua Tours Guided quad tours of Ninety Mile Beach sand dunes. 3 Main Road, 0800 494 288,

hokianga Heading south, you’ll hit Hokianga Harbour and the quiet twin towns of Omapere and Opononi. The Koutu Boulders are worth a look. Hokianga Information 09 405 8869,

hokianga stay Okopako Lodge (BBH) 140 Mountain Rd, South Hokianga, 09 405 8815, Globe Trekkers Lodge (BBH) SH12, Omapere, 09 405 8183. Waitawa Farm Hostel (BBH) 164 Pukemiro Rd, 09 409 5809,

dargaville On the road from Hokianga, the famous “Big Trees”, the native kauri trees of Waipoua Kauri Forest. Once in Dargaville, attractions include the masts from the ill-fated Rainbow Warrior and the fascinating bird sanctuary nearby. Dargaville Info Centre 61 Normanby St, 09 439 8360.

dargaville stay Dargaville Holiday Park (VIP) 10 Onslow St, 09 439 8296, Kaihu Farm (BBH) RD6, Kaihu, 09 439 4004, The Greenhouse Hostel (BBH) 13 Portland St, 09 439 6342,

matakohe Travellers Lodge (BBH) 64 Jellicoe Rd, Ruawai, 09 439 2283 Kauri Country Northland 3hr 4WD eco-adventures, including free ticket to Kauri Museum. Devon Grove, Matakohe, 09 431 6007

Hamilton Visitor Centre 5 Garden Place, Hamilton 07 958 5960

Karioi Backpacker Lodge (VIP, BBH) & Raglan Surfing School 5 Whaanga Rd, Whale Bay, 07 825 7873, Solcape Accommodation Centre (BBH) 611 Wainui Rd, 07 825 8268 Waikatoa Beach Lodge (BBH) 8 Centreway Rd, Sunset Beach, Port Waikato, 09 232 9961,

te awamutu

DOC Office Level 5, Rostrevor St.

hamilton stay Colts n Fillies (BBH) 37 Smith Rd, Karamu, 07 825 9809, Forty Winks (BBH) 267 River Rd, Claudelands, 07 855 2033, J’s Backpackers (BBH) 8 Grey Street, 07 856 8934,

hamilton do Waikato Museum of Art & History Cnr Victoria and Grantham Sts. More than 3,000 items, with a permanent Maori War canoe. Gold coin donations welcomed.

matamata Rural town famous for being turned into Hobbiton in those films – some of the set still stands.

Given that it calls itself the “Rose Town of New Zealand”, it’s not surprising the 2,000-strong Rose Garden is the town’s major attraction. Te Awamutu Info Centre 1 Gorst Ave, 07 871 3259. Te Awamutu District Museum 135 Roche St. 07 872 0085

kawhia The main attraction of this peaceful port town, 55km south of Raglan, is the Maketu Marae where you can experience the rich cultural tapestry of NZ’s indigenous history.

otorohanga Just 59km south of Hamilton, many travellers use this small farming community as a base for visiting the Waitomo Caves. Otorohanga Visitor Info Centre 26 Maniapoto St,


Definitely one of the best adventure Hobbiton Backpackers spots in New Zealand. There are a 81 Arawa St, 07 888 9972, range of caving adventures, from glowworm ogling, to long dramatic abseils deep towards the centre of the earth and excellent blackwater cambridge rafting (jump in an inner tube and This very Olde English town with its let the underwater current carry town square and abundance of you). trees is in the heart of Waikato. The region is famous for its horses and Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre 21 Waitomo Caves Rd, jetboating. 0800 474 839. Cambridge Tourist Info Centre Cnr Queen and Victoria Sts, 07 823 3456

waitomo stay

raglan One of New Zealand’s best-known surfing beaches, Raglan is situated 48km west of Hamilton.

Kiwipaka School Rd, 07 878 3395 Rap Raft & Rock Backpackers (BBH) 95 Waitomo Caves Rd, 07 873 9149,

Raglan Information Centre 2 Wainui Rd, 07 825 0556

raglan stay Ewe Dream’Inn (BBH) 2458 State Highway 22, Glen Murray, 09 233 3144, Raglan Backpackers &

Juno Hall (BBH) 07 878 7649

waitomo do Dundle Hill Walk A two-day walk through native bush; limestone outcrops includes overnight with spectacular views at Kays Cabin.

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nORthisland 0800 924 866 Marakopa Falls, Managapohue Natural Bridge and Piri Piri Cave, 30 minutes drive from Waitomo. Rap Raft ‘n’ Rock Blackwater adventures combining abseiling, rafting, glowworms, caving and rockclimbing all in one five-hour adventure. 0800 228 372, The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co Cave tubing in the blackness of the Ruakuri Cave river. 585 Waitomo Caves Rd, 0800 228 464, Woodlyn Park Pioneer Show, caving adventure, and quirky accommodation in a 1950s train carriage. Waitomo Valley Road, 07 878 6666.

tE kUiti Located 19km south of Otorohanga, Te Kuiti is known as “The Shearing Capital of the World”. There’s also a magnificent Maori marae (meeting house) here. Te Kuiti Information Centre Rora St, 07 878 8077. Dept of Conservation 78 Taupiri Street, 07 878 1080. Tiffany’s Tearooms,

Rora St, 07 878 7640

tE kUiti stay

BOOK NOW! thamEs stay Dickson Holiday Park Victoria St, 07 868 7308,

Casara Mesa Backpackers (BBH) Mangarino Rd, 07 878 6697,

Gateway Backpackers (BBH) 209 Mackay St, 07 868 6339,

king cOUntRy

The Sunkist International Backpackers (BBH, VIP, YHA) 506 Brown St, 07 868 8808,

The King Country is the region south of the Waikato and the Maori influence has remained strong with the opportunity to experience Maoritanga (the Maori way).

Te Aroha YHA Hostel Miro Street, Te Aroha (south of Thames), 07 884 8739,

cOROmanDEl pEn

fOREst paRk

A series of towns loop around the peninsula, broken by rolling green hills. Highlights include Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and the cosy little Coromandel township.

There are heaps of walks to choose from. The Colville Range is the most popular but the Department of Conservation in the Kauaeranga Valley is the place to begin.



A great canyoning spot, with loads of natural pools and waterslides.

Some 55km north of Thames is the town of Coromandel, home to the popular Driving Creek Railway.

Information Thames 206 Poland St, 07 868 7284

Coromandel Information Centre Kapanga Rd, 07 866 8598.

DOC Office 07 868 6381 Canyonz Ltd 0800 422 696,

cORO stay Anchor Lodge Backpackers (BBH)


follow us on 448 Wharf Rd, 07 866 7992,

On the Beach Backpackers Lodge (BBH, YHA) 46 Buffalo Beach Rd, 07 866 5380,

Colville Farm (BBH) 2140 Colville Road, Colville, 07 866 6820

Seabreeze Tourist Park (BBH) 1043 SH25 Tairua-Whitianga Rd, 07 866 3050

Coromandel Town Backpackers (BBH) 732 Rings Road, 07 866 8830

Tatahi Lodge (BBH) Grange Rd, Hahei, 07 866 3992,

Lions Den (BBH) 126 Te Tiki St, 07 866 8157 Tidewater Tourist Park (YHA) 270 Tiki Rd, 07 866 8888,


This is a good place to go to just chill out. The beach here is glorious and generally empty. Skinny dip anyone? YHA Opoutere 389 Opoutere Rd, 07 865 9072,

Whangamata A real surfie town, Whangamata has one of the best surf beaches in New Zealand and a laidback atmosphere to match. Whangamata Info Centre 616 Port Rd, 07 865 8340

Whitianga Whitianga, perched on pretty Mercury Bay, is the most popular stop-off point for travellers on the Coromandel. You can learn to make your very own bone carving, dive and surf to your heart’s content. Whitianga Information Centre 66 Albert St, 07 866 5555 Baywatch Backpackers (VIP) 22 The Esplanade, 07 866 5481, Cathedral Cove Lodge Villas (VIP) 41 Harsant Ave, Hahei Beach, 07 866 3889. Photo: TNT Images


Whitianga DO

Hot Water Beach & Cathedral Cove Rated as one of the world’s 10 best beaches, Hot Tui Lodge (BBH) Water Beach is an unusual 60 Whangapoua Rd, 07 866 8237, phenomenon. For two hours either side of low tide you can dig a hole in the sand and sit in your very own thermal spa pool.

Whangamata Backpackers Hostel (BBH) 227 Beverley Tce, 07 865 8323

Just west of Downtown Auckland. Adult tickets are $22. Boasting New Zealand’s largest collection of animals, this zoo has also been called one of the most progressive in the world. It is home to 138 different species and over 860 animals and has its very own native New Zealand section with unique, regional plants and animals. The rainforest section is very popular as you can get up close and personal with the primates.

Black Jack Backpackers (BBH) Kuaotunu, 07 866 2988,

Southpacific Accommodation (BBH) Cnr Port Rd and Mayfair Avenue, 07 865 9580,

aUcklanD zOO


Cat’s Pyjamas Backpackers (BBH) 12 Albert St, 07 866 4663. Fernbird (BBH) 24 Harsant Ave, Hahei, 07 866 3080,

bay Of plEnty The Bay of Plenty, extending from the Coromandel Peninsula to the East Cape, was named by Captain Cook in honour of both the fertile nature of the region and the friendly local Maoris he encountered. Activities include paragliding, sky diving, white water rafting, 4WD safaris, gliding, jet boating and swimming with dolphins.

taURanga One of the fastest growing places in NZ, Tauranga combines a young population with a harbourside atmosphere. Enjoy diving, sailing, fishing and surfing. Tauranga i-site 95 Willow St, 07 578 8103 Department of Conservation 253 Chadwick Rd West, 07 578 7677

taURanga stay Appletree Cottage 47 Maxwell Rd, 07 5767404, appletreebackpackers Bell Lodge (BBH) 39 Bell St, 07 578 6344, Harbourside City Backpackers (BBH) 105 The Strand, 07 579 4066, Just The Ducks Nuts Backpackers (BBH) 6 Vale St, 07 576 1366, Loft 109 (BBH) 8/109 Devonport Rd, 07 579 5638,

Tuaranga Central Backpackers 64 Willow St, 07 571 6222, YHA Tauranga 171 Elizabeth St, 07 578 5064,


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rotorua This central North Island town is famous for its geothermal activity and hot spring mud pools, thanks to a number of regularly spouting geysers. It is nature at its most exciting, but also most pungent, with all the volcanic goings on being to blame for the town’s infamous sulphur scent. The most renowned geyser in the region, the Pohutu Geyser, which means ‘big splash or explosion’, usually erupts up to 30 metres high every hour. Just over a third of Rotorua’s population is Maori and the locals take full advantage of all the geothermal activity for their cooking and heating. It is also a great place to indulge in a spa treatment or two, with the bubbling mud pools being full of natural ingredients that are wonderful for the skin. No trip to Rotorua is complete without visiting the living thermal village, Whakarewarewa, to experience real Maori culture. The people of this village will welcome visitors and demonstrate how they utilise the geothermal activity for everyday living, as well as cooking a Hangi – which is the traditional method of using heated stones to cook food in a pit oven covered by earth. You can enjoy cultural performances and guided tours of the area and learn all there is to know about the shifting tectonic plates that New Zealand straddles at the earth and science facility.

Become part of the legend with New Zealand’s original Black Water Rafting company. Experience the exhilarating world of ancient caves, rivers, waterfalls and breath taking glowworms. Climb, leap and float with the Black Labyrinth or descend into the black, bottomless depths with the ultimate caving tour, the Black Abyss. Or try our newest adventure, the Black Odyssey, a caving and high wire ropes tour, that will push you to the limit.


BOOK NOW! 0800 228 464 +64 7 878 6219

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northisland tauranga do Butlers Swim With Dolphins 0508 288 537 Waimarino Adventure Park 07 576 4233 Coyote Bar and Restaurant 107 The Strand, 07 578 8968,

mt maunganui Home to Ocean Beach which, at 15km long, is considered by locals to be among the finest surfing in the country. The town stands at the foot of Mt Maunganui, a slab of rock 232m high, around which you can appreciate stunning views. Mt Maunganui Visitor Centre Salisbury Ave, 07 575 5099 Te Puke Information Centre 130 Jellicoe St, 07 573 9172

maunga stay

Tourism Rotorua & Visitor Info Centre 1167 Fenton St, 07 348 5179

rotorua stay Base Rotorua 1286 Arawa St, 0800 227 369, Cactus Jack Backpackers (BBH) 1210 Haupapa St, 07 348 3121, Crank Backpackers 1140 Hinemoa St, 07 348 0852, Crash Palace Backpackers (BBH, VIP) 1271 Hinemaru St, 07 348 8842,

Hairy Berry Backpackers (BBH) 2 No One Rd, Te Puke, 07 573 8015,

Planet Nomad Backpackers (VIP) 1193 Fenton St, 07 346 2831,

Mount Backpackers (BBH) 87 Maunganui Rd, 07 575 0860,

Rotorua Central Backpackers (BBH) 1076 Pukuatua St, 07 349 3285,

Pacific Coast Backpackers (BBH) 432 Maunganui Rd, 0800 666 622,

Spa Lodge (BBH) 1221 Amohau St, 07 348 3486,

maunga do Kiwifruit Country Young Rd, Te Puke, 07 573 6340, Te Puke Vintage Auto Barn, 26 Young Rd, 07 573 6547

whakatane For a very different adventure, visit White Island, an active volcano where sulphur-lipped fumeroles and roaring steam vents create a stark wonderland. Karibu Backpackers (BBH) 13 Landing Rd, 07 307 8276 Lloyds Lodge (BBH) 10 Domain Rd, 07 307 8005 The Windsor (BBH) 10 Merritt St, Whakatane, 07 308 8040,

whakatane do Dive White 168 The Strand, 0800 348 394, White Island Tours Departs Whakatane daily. 0800 733 529

rotorua Rotorua is a must for three reasons: the abundance of accessible Maori


culture, the steaming volcanic scenery and adrenalin thrills. Visit the bubbling mud at Whaka, take a dip in a thermal bath and pig out on a hangi at a Maori concert. Even the air here is special – it’s heavy with sulphur. You’ll smell it the moment you arrive.

rotorua do Agroventures Five adrenalin activities in one adventure park, including bungy jumping, sprint boats and a wind tunnel. 1335 Paradise Valley Rd. 07 357 4747, Hell’s Gate Mud baths to heal and stimulate your body 07 345 3151 Kaitiaki Adventures Extreme whitewater activities. Sledging and rafting trips on the Kaituna and Rangitaiki Rivers, 0800 338 736, Off Road NZ Sprint car racing, Monster 4X4, 4WD Bush Safari and more. 07 332 5748, Polynesian Spa Historical hot mineral water bathing spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua. 07 348 1328, Raftabout Whitewater rafting and sledging. 0800 723 822, Skyline Skyrides Spectacular Get the best views and luge down 5km of tracks, or take the 150ft skyswing. 07 347 0027,

BOOK NOW! Waikite Hot Pools Natural hot spring water bathing. Provides private spas, BBQ area and campground facilities, 20 minutes south of Rotorua. 07 333 1861 Waimangu Volcanic Valley The location of the Pink and White Terraces which were destroyed in the 1886 volcanic eruption. Wet ‘n’ Wild Rafting Guided rafting options on five different rivers – the Wairoa, Rangitaiki, Kaituna, Motu and Mohaka. 0800 462 7238, Zorbing Get harnessed inside the perspex Zorb before rolling head-over-heels downhill. 07 357 5100,

maori culture While you’re here, take the opportunity to see how the Maori lived before European settlment. The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Whakarewarewa is a good place to begin . NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute 07 348 9047 Rotoiti Tours 0800 476 864 Tamaki Maori Village New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Experience! Experience an evening of ceremonial ritual, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Hinemaru St, 07 349 2099 Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Maori village set amidst a landscape of geothermal wonders. Take a guided tour, see a cultural performance, check out Maori art. 07 349 3463,

lake taupo Lake Taupo used to be a hidden gem, but nowadays it’s the place to visit in the North Island, thanks to its wicked mix of adrenalin adventures, sedate lake life and after-dark partying. Taupo Visitor Centre 30 Tongariro St, 07 376 0027

taupo stay Berkenhoff Lodge (BBH) 75 Scannell St, 07 378 4909, Blackcurrant Backpackers (BBH) 20 Taniwha St, Ph: (07) 378 9292, blackcurrantbackpackers@xtra. Rainbow Lodge (BBH) 133 Summers St, Ph: (08) 9227-1818,

follow us on Finns Global Backpackers (VIP) Cnr Tongariro & Tuwharetoa Sts, 07 377 0044,

@tnt_downunder Turangi Visitor Centre Ngawaka Place, 07 386 8999

turangi stay

Silver Fern Lodge Flash-Packers (VIP) Cnr Tamamutu & Kaimanawa Sts, 07 377 4929,

A Plus Backpackers (BBH) 41 Iwiheke Pl, Turangi, 07 386 89 79,

Sunset Lodge (BBH) 27 Tremain Ave, 07 378 5962,

Club Habitat Backpackers Assoc YHA 25 Ohuanga Rd, 07 386 7492,

Base Taupo 7 Tuwharetoa St, 07 377 4464, Taupo Urban Retreat 65 Heu Heu St, 0800 872 261, Tiki Lodge 104 Tuwharetoa St, 0800 845 456, YHA Taupo 56 Kaimanawa St, 07 378 3311,

taupo do Craters of the Moon One of the most geothermally active areas in the region, full of boiling mud and steaming craters. Wairakei Park.

Extreme Backpackers (BBH) 26 Ngawaka Place, 07 386 8949, Riverstone Backpackers (BBH) 222 Tautahanga Rd, 07 386 7004,

tongariro The World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park, an extraordinary volcanic landscape which became Mordor in those films. Pop into the national park headquarters in Whakapapa. Adventure Lodge & Motel (VIP) Carroll Street, National Park, 07 892 2991,

Huka Falls Take a relaxing walk up to Huka Falls where the water pours over the 35ft drop at up to 62,000 gallons per second. The more energetic will enjoy the trek up Mt Tauhara where you will be rewarded with sweeping views.

Forest Lodge (BBH) Cnr Omaki and Ohorere Rds, Owhango, 07 895 4773,

Hukafalls Jet Jetboating by the falls. 0800 485 2538,

YHA Matai Lodge (BBH) 1 Rata St, Ohakune, 06 385 9169,

Howards Lodge (BBH) Carroll St, National Park, 07 892 2827,

Rock ‘n’ Ropes Ropes Courses including the trapeze and Giant Swing. At Crazy Catz on Highway 5. 0800 244 508,

National Park Backpackers YHA (BBH) Finlay St. The hostel runs transport to the Tongariro Crossing, 07 892 2870,

Taupo Bungy Bungy from a platform 47m above the Waikato River. 202 Spa Rd. 0800 888 408,

Plateau Lodge & Motel (BBH) Carroll St, National Park, 07 892 2993,

Tongariro Crossing Transport and National Park Links From Taupo and Turangi during summer months (NovMay). 07 377 0435, Taupo Tandem Skydiving Skydive from up to 15,000 feet (over one minute freefall). Free shuttle, DVD and digital photos. Yellow Hangar, Taupo Airport. 0800 275 934,

turangi On the southern shores of Lake Taupo, Turangi is known as the trout fishing capital of the world. It offers heaps of outdoor adventure activities and is a good base for venturing into the Tongariro National Park.

Ski Haus (BBH) Carroll St, McKenzie St, 07 892 2854,

mt ruapehu The park’s showcase is Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano towering at 2,796m. Ruapehu Visitors’ Centre 54 Clyde St, 06 385 8427 Whakapapa Visitor Centre SH 48, Whakapapa Village, 07 892 3729

rangitikei The Rangitikei District is a top destination for adventure sports. Amongst stunning scenery, you can navigate grade five whitewater and

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take the leap of elasticated faith from an 80m bungy. The Stockmans Lodge (BBH) 9 Dixon Way, 06 388 1584, River Valley Dorms 06 388 1444,

rangitikei do Mokai Gravity Canyon Extreme flying fox, bridge swing and bungy jump. 0800 802 864 River Valley Rafting and horse trekking. 06 388 1444,

east coast The East Coast is among the first places in the world to see the sun rise each morning. This is a relatively tourist-free area of New Zealand that has so much to offer that it can only be a matter of time before visitors begin to flock here.

opotiki A summer holiday town which was once a large Maori settlement and the indigenous people maintain a strong presence here.

Opotiki Information Centre Cnr St John and Elliot Sts, 07 315 3031 Central Oasis Backpackers (BBH) 30 King St, 07 315 5165,

Gisborne is a peaceful surfie town that boasts diving, windsurfing, kayaking and whitewater rafting; try Wainui, Midway and Makarori beaches. You can also soak up the Maori heritage at one of the largest carved maraes in NZ.

Opotiki Backpackers Beach House (BBH) 7 Appleton Rd, Waiotahi Beach, 07 315 5117,

Flying Nun Backpackers (BBH) 147 Roebuck Rd, 06 868 0461,

east cape As you head around the Cape the towns get tinier and the scenery more dramatic. At Te Araroa, you can thead around to the East Cape Lighthouse. Brians Place (BBH) Potae St, Tokomaru Bay, 06 864 5870, Eastender Backpacker & Horse Treks (BBH) 836 Rangitukia Rd, Tikitiki, 06 864 3820, Maraehako Bay Retreat (BBH) SH35, Whanarua Bay, 07 325 2648. Mel’s Place (BBH) Onepoto Beach Rd, Hicks Bay, 06 864 4694,


YHA Gisborne 32 Harris St, 06 867 3269,

wairoa Wairoa is a large town, great as a stop-over before heading into the area’s main attraction: the gorgeous Te Urewera National Park.

Visitor Info Centre 100 Marine Parade, 06 834 1911

Glenross Lodge (BBH) Route 52, Rakaunui, 06 376 7288,

Depart of Conservation Office Marine Parade, 06 834 3111

Lochlea Farmstay (BBH) 344 Lake Rd, Wanstead, 06 8554 816

napier stay Aqua Lodge (BBH) 53 Nelson Cres, 06 835 4523, Criterion Art Deco Backpackers (VIP, Roamfree) 48 Emerson St, 06 835 2059, Napier Prison Backpackers (BBH) 55 Coote Rd, 06 835 9933,

Wairoa Visitor Information Centre Queen St, 06 838 7440

Waterfront Lodge & Backpackers (BBH) 217 Marine Pd, 06 835 3429,

Haere Mai Cottage (BBH) 49 Mitchell Rd, 06 838 6817

YHA Napier 277 Marine Parade, 06 835 7039,

DOC office for hut bookings Lake Waikaremoana, 06 837 3900

napier Napier is a beautiful, surprising city. Its “pleasing to the eye” status is actually the result of an enormous earthquake which meant the entire town had to be rebuilt.

hastings Hastings is 20km south of Napier and most notable for its fertile plains, which have given birth to a multitude of beautiful parks, gardens and farms. A1 Backpackers (BBH) 122 Stortford St, 06 873 4285,

word from the street

The Rotten Apple Backpackers (BBH) 114 Heretaunga St, 06 878 4363, Travellers Lodge Hastings (BBH) 608 St Aubyn St, West Hastings, 06 878 7108,

wairarapa The Wairarapa is a green, tree-lined region north-east of Wellington, famous for its wine and its many sheep – quintessential NZ.

masterton Home to the impressive Queen Elizabeth Park, the Wairarapa Arts Centre, and the best-tasting icecream in New Zealand. Chanel Backpackers 14-18 Herbert St, 06 378 2877

taranaki Best known for its snow-capped mountain, Mt Taranaki. Peaceful


Min-Fang Hsieh, Taiwan WHERE IN NZ HAVE YOU BEEN? I’ve spent two-and-a-half months on each island. YOUR FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? At sunrise wherever I am because New Zealand is surrounded by the sea. FAVOURITE NIGHT SPOT? Queenstown. Everywhere is a rave party. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK? Mount Cook and lake tekapo for the hiking trails and to look at the stars.

matamata This rural town, two hours south of Auckland, got an injection of tourism after those three little Lord of the Rings films were made. Matamata suddenly became ‘Hobbiton’, and Peter Jackson was kind enough to leave most of the set for people to explore. A tour of the location will let you visit some of the leftover hobbit holes which were fully recreated for The Hobbit film instalments last year. The set is on a private farm, which also offers sheep shearing demonstrations and scenic views of the picturesque Kaimai ranges. The town of Matamata itself is famous for local dairy farming, skydiving over the ranges and the Firth Tower, which was constructed in the 1880s to provide a lookout over the beautiful countryside.

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nORthisland and impressive, Taranaki has skifields, excellent surf beaches, great walking and climbing.


Nomads Capital 118 Wakefield St. 0508 666 237,



Rosemere Backpackers (BBH) 6 McDonald Cres. 04 384 3041,

Palm House Backpackers (BBH) 06 278 6523,

Rowena’s Backpackers (VIP) 115 Brougham St. 0800 80 1414

nEW plymOUth

Wellywood Backpackers 58 Tory St. 0508 00 58 58

Taranaki’s major town is New Plymouth. One of NZ’s finest art galleries is here (the GovettBrewster Art Gallery). It hosts a great café. Department of Conservation 220 Devon St West, 06 758 0433 New Plymouth Info Centre Puke Ariki Complex, St Aubyn Street, 06 759 6080,

plymOUth stay Eco Inn (BBH) 671 Kent Rd, between Egmont Village and New Plymouth on SH3. 06 752 2765 Egmont Lodge (BBH, YHA) 12 Clawton St, 06 753 5720, Seaspray House (BBH) 13 Weymouth St, 06 759 8934, Shoestring Backpackers (BBH) 48 Lemon St, 06 758 0404 Sunflower Lodge (BBH) 33 Timandra St, 06 758, 2842 The Missing Leg (BBH) 1082 Junction Rd, Egmont Village, 06 752 2570,

plymOUth DO Taranaki Surf Charters 20 Beach Road, 025 592 306,

Mt Eden, Auckland

Department of Conservation Pembroke Rd, 06 765 5144

sOUth taRanaki Information South Taranaki 55 High St, Hawera, 0800 111 323, Wheatly Downs Farmstay Backpackers (BBH) 484 Ararata Rd, Hawera, 06 278 6523,

WhanganUi Braemar House (YHA) 2 Plymouth St, 06 348 2301, Tamara Backpackers Lodge (BBH) 24 Somme Pde, 06 347 6300,

Wanganui Information Centre 101 Guyton St, 06 349 0508,

taRanaki DO

Department of Conservation Office Cnr Ingestre and St Hill Sts, 06 345 2402


Stratford Information Centre Broadway Stratford (State Hwy 3), 06 765 6708,

Taranaki Accommodation Lodge (BBH) 7 Romeo St, Stratford, 06 765 5444,

North Egmont Visitors Centre, 06 758 3222.


5a Oaklands Rd, Auckland. Dorms from $23 A bright, leafy hostel right in the heart of Mt. Eden village. Great kitchen, laundry and wifi throughout the house.

The Camphouse (BBH) 6 Egmont Rd, 02 74 538 975,

Climbing Mount Taranaki It is possible to climb it and return to civilisation in one day, however the weather is notoriously volatile and you must always notify the DOC.

Worldwide Backpackers (BBH) 291 The Terrace. 04 802 5590,

OaklanDs lODgE

Whanganui National Park The major attraction is the Whanganui River, snaking through picturesque scenery. Explore with a kayak or riverboat tour.

mt taRanaki

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Grandma’s Place (BBH) 146 Grey St, 06 358 6928, Peppertree Hostel (BBH) 121 Grey St, 06 355 4054.

WEllingtOn The nation’s capital is to many people, New Zealand’s most interesting city. Te Papa, the multimillion dollar museum, has sealed its position as cultural capital too. Wellington has a small centre, is easily navigated on foot and as any Wellingtonian will tell you, it has more cafés per head than New York. The nightlife in “Welly” is pretty special too. Wellington Visitor Info Centre Corner of Victoria & Wakefield Sts, 04 802 4860, DOC Information Centre Lambton Quay, 04 472 7356 Ferry to the South Island Boats to Picton on the South Island. Ferries can be booked up well in advance in holiday periods. 0800 802 802, Ferry Tickets Online 186 Victoria St, 0800 500 660,

WElly stay Base Wellington 21-23 Cambridge Tce. 04 801 5666 Cambridge Hotel (BBH) 28 Cambridge Tce. 04 385 8829

palmERstOn nth

Downtown Wellington Backpackers (BBH) 1 Bunny St. 04 473 8482

Palmerston North Visitor Centre The Square, 0800 626 292,

Lodge in the City (VIP) 152 Taranaki St. 04 385 8560

Department of Conservation Office 717 Tremaine Ave, 06 350 9700

Maple Lodge (BBH) 52 Ellice St. 04 385 3771

YHA Wellington City 292 Wakefield St. 04 801 7280

WElly DO Cable car Walk down Lambton Quay and you will see a sign for the cable car which departs every 10 minutes past Kelburn Park to the Botanic Gardens, 04 472 2199 Cosmic Corner Funk Store The funkiest store in the universe. Check out the legal highs and chat to the staff, who will happily point you in the right direction for parties, events and scenic spots. 215 Cuba St, 04 801 6970, Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Many of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and insects are living freely in this awardwinning conservation safe haven. Look for kiwis on a guided tour by torchlight. Times vary and bookings are essential. Waiapu Rd, Karori. 04 920 9213, Mount Victoria The views are breathtaking. It’s damn windy so make sure you’re wearing heavy shoes. Walk, drive or bus it. Museum of Wellington City & Sea Queens Wharf, 04 472 8904 Parliament House Free tours. Visit the Beehive, a uniquely designed centre of government with a distinct style of architecture, 04 471 9503 Te Papa – The National Museum Experience the earthquake simulation room, find out what the early settlers went through and visit Te Marae, Te Papa’s living modern marae. Free entry, Cable St, 04 381 7000, Wellington Zoo Located in Newtown and home to a wide variety of weird and wonderful animal and bird life, 04 381 6750


Harbour cruises The harbour is a handsome thing and the best way to fully appreciate its beauty is by boat. Wellington Rover Tours Small group day tours exploring Wellington, its stunning rugged coastline and the Lord of the Rings locations. 0800 426 211, Beaches Wellington’s waterfront has cafés, restaurants and parks. Oriental Bay is good for a dip, but the water is cold and not always clean. It’s also good for a walk along the foreshore. If you are desperate for a swim, Scorching Bay is good or head up the coast towards Otaki where the best beaches in the region are found.

plimmERtOn Moana Lodge (BBH) 49 Moana Rd, 04 233 2010,

kapiti cOast Tranz Rail The best way to explore the Kapiti Coast is by train and most places along the way can be reached within an hour or so, 04 498 3000 Stillwater Lodge (BBH) 34 Mana Esplanade, Mana, 04 233 6628

paEkakaRiki Paekakariki Backpackers (BBH) 11 Wellington Rd, 04 902 5967, wellingtonbeachbackpackers.

paRapaRaUmU The beach here is glorious and the scene of most of the action in town. Barnacles Seaside Inn (BBH, YHA) 3 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu, 0800 555 856,

kapiti is A sanctuary for rare native birds. There’s a good chance of seeing elusive kiwis and blue penguins. Kapiti Island Nature Tours Tours and accommodation, 06 362 6606,


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word from the street


Elisabeth Seppen, Netherlands WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I’ve been travelling for eight months and have been pretty much everywhere in New Zealand, across the South Island and all around the North Island. ANY RUN-INS WITH WILDLIFE? I saw some seals in Abel Tasman and walked into some sea lions on the Otago Peninsula. The best part was when we had dolphins following the sailboat I was on in Akaroa Harbour on the South Island.

Photo: TNT Images

waitomo caves One of the real treasures of the North Island, don’t skip past this tiny town without first exploring the cavernous wonders that lie beneath it. Ten minutes north of Otorohanga, the caverns are one of NZ’s natural marvels. Waitomo caters for just about everyone. You can either keep it on the tranquil side by simply taking a guided tour to gawp in awe at the millions of glowworms that call the area home, or you can test your adventurous spirit (and your ability to cope with claustrophobia), by getting roped up and instead trying abseiling and blackwater rafting, which is basically cruising through the underground rivers in an inflatable ring. Word of advice: try not to watch The Descent just before going.

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southisland abEl tasman The Abel Tasman National Park has great tramping with 56,000 acres to explore. The Coastal Track is one of the most popular walks in New Zealand, especially in summer when you can cool down at the stunning beaches. Nelson, Motueka and Marahau are all good bases for visiting the park. Sea kayaking is excellent here too.

abEl DO Wilsons Abel Tasman Sea kayaking, water taxis and lodge accommodation. 0800 223 582, Abel Tasman Kayaks Ltd 0800 732 529

nElsOn Nelson is seen as the “sunshine capital” of NZ. Home to a string of attractive beaches, Nelson is only a short drive away from the famous Abel Tasman National Park. The town boasts great cafés and a strong artistic subculture. Nelson’s great climate is conducive to fruit growing and travellers can find plenty of work in the area. Nelson Visitor Centre Cnr Trafalgar & Halifax St, 03 548 2304, Airport Shuttle 03 547 5782 Nelson City Taxis 03 548 8225

nElsOn stay Abode of the Buddha 181 Nile St East. 03 546 6890, Accents on the Park (BBH/VIP) 335 Trafalgar Square. 03 548 4335, Almond House (BBH) 63 Grove St. 03 545 6455, Alpine Lodge St Arnaud. 03 521 1869, Beach Hostel (BBH) 25 Muritai St. 03 548 6817, The Bug (BBH) 226 Vanguard St. 03 539 4227, The Customhouse (BBH) 252 Haven Rd. 03 545 8365,

Hu Ha Bikerpackers (BBH) State Highway 6, Glenhope. 03 548 2707, The Palace Backpackers (BBH) 114 Rutherford St. 03 548 4691, Paradiso (BBH) 42 Weka St. 0800 269 667, Rylands’ Retreat 163 Trafalgar St. 03 548 4691, The Palace Backpackers (BBH) 114 Rutherford St. 03 548 9001, Shortbread Cottage (BBH) 33 Trafalgar St. 03 546 6681 Tasman Bay Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 10 Weka St. 03 548 7950, Trampers Rest (BBH) 31 Alton St. 03 545 7477 Welcome House (BBH) 108 Parkers Road, Tahunahui. 03 548 5462 YHA Nelson Central 59 Rutherford St. 03 545 9988,

nElsOn DO Abel Tasman Kayaks 0800 527 8022, Happy Valley 4x4 Motorbike Adventures Tours around spectacular private farm on chunky fourwheel motorbikes. 03 545 0304, Kaiteriteri kayaks Free transport from Nelson. 03 527 8383, Skydive Abel Tasman Tandem jumps from 13,000ft over Abel Tasman. 0800 422 899,

nElsOn lakEs Located 118km south-west of Nelson, the park comprises Lake Rotoroa and Lake Rotoiti, and is surrounded by forests and mountains. Apart from tramping and skiing at Rainbow Valley and Mt Robert in winter, the lakes offer fishing and other water activities.


03 528 6543,

mOtUEka stay Bakers Lodge (YHA) 4 Poole St. 03 528 0102, The Barn (BBH) Harvey Road, Marahau. 03 527 8043 Eden’s Edge Backpackers (BBH) 137 Lodder Lane, Riwaka. 03 528 4242, Lagoon Lodge (BBH) 500 High St. 03 528 8652, Hat Trick Lodge (BBH) 25 Wallace St. 03 528 5353, The Laughing Kiwi (BBH) 310 High St. 03 528 9229, Old Macdonald’s Farm Holiday Park 03 527 8288, The White Elephant (BBH) 55 Whakarewa St. 03 528 6208, Vineyard Tourist Units & Cabins 328 High St. 03 528 8550

mOtUEka DO Wilsons Abel Tasman 265 High St, 0800 223 582, Southern Exposure Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking & Water Taxis 0800 695 292,

follow us on Kanuka Ridge (BBH) 21 Moss Rd, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park. 03 527 8435, The Nook (BBH) Abel Tasman Dr. 03 525 8501, River Inn (BBH) Golden Bay. 03 525 9425 Shambhala (BBH) Hwy 60, Onekaka. 03 525 8463,

kahURangi np The second-largest national park in NZ, Kahurangi includes the Heaphy Track. There are more than 100 bird species and an impressive cave system to be seen here. For info see the Nelson DOC office.

cOllingWOOD North-west of Takaka is the tiny community of Collingwood (the people aren’t particularly small, their numbers are), a good base for expeditions to Farewell Spit. The Innlet (BBH) Main Rd, Pakawau. 03 524 8040, Somerset House (BBH) Gibbs Rd. 03 524 8624,

faREWEll spit Arching east from the top of Golden Bay, this is a sand bar of epic proportions, home to some of the largest sanddunes in the world and some amazing birdlife. Golden Bay Visitor Centre 03 525 9136



Known as the “Heart of the Parks”, the much underrated Golden Bay region is a place of considerable natural beauty. If you venture slightly out of Takaka you will see the Te Waikoropupu (Pupu Springs), one of the largest freshwater springs in the world.

The Marlborough Sounds are a beautiful labyrinth of islands and bays, serving as an impressive gateway to the South Island. Hire a kayak to paddle the coves in style, or go swimming with the dolphins.

Information Centre Willow St, 03 525 9136 Dept of Conservation Office 62 Commercial St, 03 525 8026

takaka stay Annie’s Nirvana Lodge (BBH, YHA) 25 Motupipi St. 03 525 8766, Aquapackers (BBH) Anchorage Bay, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park. 0800 430 744,

The Green Monkey (BBH) 129 Milton St. 03 545 7421,

This is an alternative hang-out for creative types and those seeking to veer off life’s fast lane. Most people use Motueka as a base to launch an assault on Abel Tasman National Park, but if you take the time to look around your efforts will be well rewarded. Try Marahau Beach and Cobb Valley.

Honey Suckle House (BBH) 125 Tasman St.

Motueka i-SITE Visitors Centre 20 Wallace St,

Kiwiana (BBH) 73 Motuipipi St. 03 525 7676

Footprints by the Sea (BBH) 31 Beach Rd, Tahuna Beach. 03 546 5441,


03 548 7576


Golden Bay Barefoot Backpackers (BBH) 114 Commercial St. 03 525 7005,

Anakiwa Backpackers (BBH) 410 Anakiwa Rd. 03 574 1388, Hopewell (BBH) Kenepuru Rd. 03 573 4341, The Partage Resort Hotel Kenepuru Sound. 03 573 4309,

pictOn This pretty town is the opening to the South Island, where the North Island ferry comes in, a centre for the many activities in Queen Charlotte Sound. Airport shuttle bus 03 573 7125

pictOn stay Atlantis Backpackers (BBH) London Quay. 03 573 7390,

@tnt_downunder Bayview Backpackers (BBH) 318 Waikawa Rd. 03 573 7668, The Jugglers Rest (BBH) 8 Canterbury St. 03 573 5570, Picton Lodge (VIP) 9 Auckland St. 03 573 7788, Sequoia Lodge (BBH, VIP) 3 Nelson Sq. 03 573 8399, Picton Lodge (VIP) 9 Auckland St. 03 573 7788, The Villa (BBH) 34 Auckland St. 03 573 6598, Tombstone Backpackers (BBH) 16 Gravesend Place. 03 573 7116, Wedgwood House (YHA) 10 Dublin St. 03 573 7797,

pictOn DO Dolphin Watch Encounters Picton Foreshore, 03 573 8040, Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company 03 573 6078 Southern Wilderness NZ Guided walk, wine trek and sea kayaking specialists. 0800 666 044, Waka Whenua Tours Wine tours. Sightseeing/ historical/ cultural tours also available. 03 573 7877

qUEEn chaRlOttE On the road-free outer Queen Charlotte Sound, everyone and everything travels by boat. The Queen Charlotte Track covers 71km and passes through magnificent forest, at times allowing spectacular views over the Marlborough Sounds. The whole track can be walked in four days, though you can also ride it by mountain bike. Endeavour Express Water Taxi Day-trips, round-trips and luggage transfers. 03 573 5456

havElOck Nestled at the head of Pelorus Sound, Havelock is the best place from which to explore the Marlborough Sounds. For trampers and mountain bikers there’s the beautiful Nydia Track. DOC Office Mahakipawa Rd, 03 574 2019 Explore Pelorus Sea Kayaks 03 576 5251


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havelock stay Bluemoon Lodge (BBH) 48 Main Rd. 03 574 2212, Nikau Cottages 48 Main Rd. 03 443 9010 Rutherford YHA Hostel 46 Main Road. 03 574 2104,

pelorus sound

Leeways Backpackers (BBH) 33 Lansdowne St. 03 579 2213, Peacehaven Backpackers (BBH) 29 Budge St. 03 577 9750, Stoney Acre 9 Marldene Avenue, Seddon. 03 578 6303,


The largest waterway within the Marlborough Sounds, it can be accessed from Havelock, Linkwater or Rai Valley.

Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque mountain range. You can also snorkel with dolphins or swim with the inquisitive NZ fur seals (Sept-May).


Kaikoura Visitor Info Centre, West End, 03 319 5641

The largest town in Marlborough, and considered (ahem, also) the“sunshine capital of New Zealand”. Whitewater rafting on the Buller and Gowan Rivers is great fun.

Adelphi Lodge (BBH, VIP) 26 West End. 0800 423 574,

Blenheim I-Site 8 Sinclair Street Railway Station 03 577 8080

Albatross Backpacker Inn (BBH) 1 Torquay St. 03 319 6090,

Honi-B-Backpackers (BBH) 18 Parker St. 03 577 8441,

Bad Jelly Backpackers (BBH) 11 Churchill St. 03 319 5538,

Koanui Backpackers (BBH) 33 Main St. 03 578 7487,

Dolphin Lodge (BBH) 15 Deal St. 03 319 5842,

kaikoura stay

Dusky Lodge (BBH) 67 Beach Rd. 03 319 5959 The Lazy Shag (BBH) 37 Beach St. 03 319 6662 Lyell Creek Lodge (BBH) 193 Beach Rd. 03 319 6277, Sunrise Lodge (BBH) 74 Beach Rd. 03 319 7444 Top Spot Backpackers (BBH) 22 Deal St. 03 319 5540 YHA Kaikoura, Maui 270 Esplanade. 03 319 5931,

kaikoura do Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque mountain r Albatross Encounter Enjoy the sight of the magnificent albatross so close to the boat you can almost touch them. 96 Esplanade, 0800 733 365 Dolphin Encounter Swim with the acrobatic dusky dolphins or if you prefer, join the tour to view them from the

boat. 96 Esplanade, 0800 733 365, Department of Conservation 4/195 Hereford Street (03) 371 3700

Fyffe House 62 Avoca St, Kaikoura’s oldest building, 03 319 5835.

c’church stay

Kaikoura Kayaks Paddle with the playful fur seals, dusky dolphins and marine life of Kaikoura. Seal kayaking, kayak school, hire, retail and kayak fishing. 19 Killarney St, 0800 452 456,

Around the World Backpackers 314 Barbadoes Street. 03 365 4363

Seal Swim Kaikoura Swim with wild NZ Fur Seals. 58 West End, 0800 732 579,

Canterbury House (BBH) 257 Bealey Ave. 03 377 8108,

At The Right Place 85 Bealey Street. 03 366 1633 Avon City Backpackers Worcester Street. 03 389 6876,

christchurch Christchurch is the South Island’s major city and a lively, pretty base with a distinctly English feel to it. Throw in Mount Cook and Mount Hutt with their skifields (early June to late October) and the Canterbury area is well worth spending some time discovering. Christchurch & Canterbury i-Site Visitor Centre Rolleston Avenue (Next to the Canterbury Museum) Christchurch 8011 03 379 9629

Chester Street Backpackers (BBH) 148 Chester St East. 03 377 1897, Foley Towers (BBH) 208 Kilmore St. 03 366 9720, Haka Lodge 518 Linwood Ave. 03 980 4252 Jailhouse Accommodation (BBH) 338 Lincoln Rd. 0800 524 546 Kiwi Basecamp (BBH) 69 Bealey Ave. 03 366 6770


mt cook It’s the tallest mountain in Australasia, at 3,754m, and the drive there, past the stunning blue Lake Pukaki is almost as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as the destination itself.

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sOUthisland Kiwi House 373 Gloucester St. 03 381 6645

Akaroa Information Centre 80 Rue Lavaud, 03 304 8600

Marine Backpackers 26 Nayland St. 03 326 6609

Akaroa Shuttle Christchurch to Akaroa buses. 0800 500 929

Point Break Backpackers (BBH) 99 Seaview Road. 03 388 2050

Akaroa French Connection Tours and shuttle bus, 0800 800 575

The Old Countryhouse (BBH) 437 Gloucester St. 03 381 5504 Tranquil Lodge (BBH) 440 Manchester St. 03 366 6500 Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 70 Bealey Ave. 03 377 7931 Vagabond Backpackers (BBH) 232 Worcester St. 03 379 9677 vagabondbackpackers

c’chURch DO Black Cat Cruises Wildlife Cruises on Lyttelton Harbour. Free shuttle bus from Christchurch, 03 328 9078. Skydiving and training courses, 0800 697 593 Up Up and Away Hot air ballooning, 03 381 4600,

sUmnER This surf beach is also a great place to chill for a while. If you’re feeling adventurous, mountain biking, paragliding and surfing are just some of the activities you can try. The Marine Backpackers (BBH) 26 Nayland St. 03 326 6609,

banks pEninsUla Banks Peninsula is a beautiful region with a stunning coastline chock full of mountains and wildlife. The two harbours of Akaroa and Lyttelton are craters of a once majestic volcano.

lyttEltOn Lyttelton is a quaint township with a beautiful scenic harbour and historic buildings. The harbour is a great place for boating, while the surrounding hills are good for mountain biking and walking. Lyttelton Information Centre 20 Oxford St, 03 328 9093

akaROa Swim with dolphins, horse-ride and paraglide. If your tastes are a little more sedate, the foreshore is lined with cafes, galleries and boutiques.


akaROa stay Bon Accord Backpackers (BBH) 57 Rue Lavaud. 03 304 7782, Chez La Mer (BBH) 50 Rue Lavaud. 03 304 7024, Double Dutch (BBH) 32 Chorlton Road, Okains Bay. 03 304 7229, Halfmoon Cottage (BBH) SH25 Barrys Bay. 03 304 5050,

BOOK NOW! Waipara Sleepers (BBH) 12 Glenmark Dr, Waipara. 03 314 6003,

castlE hill Gateway to the Craigieburn Range. Chill Adventures Multi-mountain snow passes. Springfield Hotel State Highway 73, Springfield. 03 318 4812,

aRthUR’s pass This township is the HQ for the magnificent national park which offers tramping expeditions to skiing. National Park Visitor Centre 03 318 9211

Onuku Farm Hostel (BBH) 03 304 7066,

Rata Lodge Backpackers (BBH) State Highway 73, Otira Arthur’s Pass National Park. 03 738 2822

akaROa DO

Smylies Accommodation (YHA) 03 318 9258,

Akaroa Museum 71 Rue Lavard, 03 304 1013 Black Cat Cruises Offer a number of cruises in Akaroa. See Akaroa Harbour or swim with dolphins. 03 328 9078. Dolphin Experience Swim with dolphins in Akaroa Harbour. 61 Beach Rd, 0508 365 744,

lEWis pass About 200km north of Christchurch, the Lewis Pass connects the west and east coasts on the SH7, with stunning surrounding scenery.

hanmER spRings Hanmer Springs boasts the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve, where the water can reach 40°C (03 315 7511, Mt Lyford offers good winter skiing and is a cheaper option to the South Island resorts. Department of Conservation Cnr Amuri Rd & Jacks Pass Rd, 03 315 7128 The Hanmer Connection Christchurch to Hanmer Springs buses. 0800 242 663

hanmER stay Hanmer Backpackers (BBH) 41 Conical Hill Rd. 03 315 7196,

mEthvEn Methven is a small, friendly town popular with fishermen, hunters and backpackers. The area provides a variety of adrenalin thrills, including hot air ballooning, bungy jumping and skydiving. Mt Hutt also has the longest ski run in Australasia. Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre 121 Main St, Methven, 03 302 8955, NZ Info on Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt.

mEthvEn stay Big Tree Lodge (BBH) 25 South Belt. 03 302 9575, Backpacker Heaven (YHA) Cnr Bank & McMillan Sts. 03 302 8999, Kowhai House (BBH) 17 McMillan St. 03 302 8887, Mt Hutt Bunkhouse (BBH) 8 Lampard St. 03 302 8894, Pinedale Backpacker Lodge (BBH) 11 Alford St. 0800 638 483, Redwood Lodge (BBH) 3 Wayne Place. 03 302 8964,

Kakapo Lodge (YHA) 14 Amuri Avenue. 03 315 7472,

Skiwi House (BBH) 30 Chapman St. 03 302 8772,

Le Gite Backpackers (BBH) 3 Devon St. 03 315 5111,

Snow Denn Lodge (YHA, VIP) Cnr Bank & McMillan Sts. 03 302 8999,

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timaRU Despite being industrial, it’s picturesque with views of the Southern Alps, plains and sea. 1873 Wanderer Backpackers (BBH) 24 Evans St. 03 688 8795 Old Bank Backpackers 232 Stafford St. 03 684 4392 Timaru Backpackers 44 Evans St. 03 684 5067 Toru Toru Wha Backpackers 334 Stafford St. 03 684 4729

gERalDinE As well as a wonderful old movie theatre and whitewater rafting on the Rangitata River, visiting the mighty Emily Falls is recommended. Geraldine Information Centre Talbot Street, 03 693 1006 4x4 New Zealand Wilderness adventures and The Lord of the Rings tours, 03 693 7254, Rangitata Rafts Peel Forest, 0800 251 251 Rawhiti Backpackers (BBH) 27 Hewlings St. 03 693 8252

faiRliE Mt Dobson Ski Area, 03 685 8039, Tallyho Lodge & Backpackers 7 School Rd. 03 685 8723

lakE tEkapO A stunning turquoise-coloured lake, 100km west of Timaru. The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935, frames the view beautifully. Activities include walking, watersports, fishing and skiing. Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers (BBH) 9-11 Aorangi Cres. 03 680 6700, rtailor-made-backpackers@ Lake Tekapo Backpackers (VIP) SH8. 03 680 6808, stay@laketekapo.bix YHA Lake Tekapo 3 Simpson Lane. 03 680 6857,

mt cOOk Mount Cook National Park is part of a World Heritage area that forms one of the most amazing sights anywhere in New Zealand. The showcase is the majestic Mt Cook (Aoraki). NZ’s greatest climber Sir Edmund Hillary used it as a practice ground before conquering Mt Everest, but Mt Cook has claimed the lives of more than 160 people. Discuss climbing plans with park rangers before you go. Department of Conservation Visitor Information Centre Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Village, 03 435 1819

@tnt_downunder The Cook Connection Day trips to Mt Cook from Tekapo. Ph: 021 583 211,

mt cOOk stay Mountain Chalets (VIP) Wairepo Rd, Twizel. 03 435 0785, YHA Mt Cook Cnr Bowen and Kitchener Drives. 03 435 1820,

WEst cOast Rugged is the word often used when it comes to the South Island’s west coast. It’s quite an amazing place, sparsely inhabited, untouched in many areas and studded with geographical wonders. Don’t miss the two mighty glaciers, Fox and Franz Josef, or the Pancake Rocks.

kaRamEa Karamea contains pleasant walks, interesting caves and the Oparara River, a great trout fishing spot. Walk along the wonderful Fernian Track or, try the more challenging hike up Mt Stormy. Karamea Information Centre Bridge St, 03 782 6652 Rongo (BBH) 03 782 6667,

mURchisOn With crazy terrain skewed by mining and earthquakes, one of the major attractions of Murchison is its proximity to Buller Gorge, a wonderfully scenic cluster of cliffs and trees. Activities include rafting on the Gowan River and mountain biking on the Matakitaki. Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park 03 523 9809, The Lazy Cow Accommodation (BBH) 37 Waller St. 03 523 9451,

REEftOn The centrepiece of the town is Victoria Forest Park, the largest forest park in New Zealand. Reefton Visitor Centre 67 Broadway, 03 732 8391 Reefton Backpackers 64 Shiel St. 03 732 8133, The Old Nurses Home (BBH) 204 Shiel St. 03 789 8881

WEstpORt Visitor Information Westport 1 Brougham St, 03 789 6658


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Basils Hostel (VIP) 54 Russell St. 03 789 6410,

be a giant stack of pancakes.

Beaconstone (BBH) Birds Ferry Road, Charleston. 03 715 5760

Barrytown Knife Making 2662 Coast Road, Barrytown, 03 731 1053,

Visitor Information Punakaiki 03 731 1895

Berlins Café & Lodgings (BBH) 1205 Lower Buller Gorge, Inangahua Junction. 03 789 0295,

paparoa stay Punakaiki Beach Hostel (BBH) 4 Webb St. 03 731 1852,

Pounamu Backpackers (BBH) Section 406, S H’way 6m Charleston. 03 789 8011,

Te Nikau Retreat (BBH, YHA) 03 731 1111,

Robyn’s Nest Hostel 42 Romilly St. 03 789 6565,

All Nations Hotel & Backpackers (VIP) SH6, Barrytown. 03 731 1812,

Swaines (BBH) Inangahua Landing Bridge, Highway 69, Inangahua Jnctn. 03 789 0226,

greymouth The west coast’s largest town is dominated by the Grey River. Highlights include the Monteith’s brewery tour, as well as aquatic activities like rafting and canyoning.

TripInn (BBH) 72 Queen St. 03 789 7367 The Old Slaughterhouse (BBH) Highway 67, Hector. 03 782 8333

Visitor Information Herbert and Mackay Sts, 03 768 5101

paparoa np This park is home to the amazing Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. These are a series of eroded limestone rocks moulded into what appears to

TranzAlpine Scenic railway from Christchurch to Greymouth, travelling through Canterbury Plains and the Alps. Departs 9am every

morning. 0800 872 467

greymouth stay The west coast’s largest town is dominated by the Duke Backpackers (BBH) 27 Guiness St. 03 768 9470 Global Village (BBH) 42-54 Cowper St, Ph: (03) 768 7272,

Hokitika Visitor Info Centre Carnegie Building, corner of Hamilton & Tancred Street, 03 755 6166

hokitika stay

The Hairy Lemon 128-130 Mawhera Quay, 03 768 4022,

Beach House BPs 137 Revell St, 03 755 6859

Neptunes International Backpackers (BBH) 43 Gresson St, 0800 003 768,

Birdsong (BBH) 124 SH6, 03 755 7179

Noahs Ark Backpackers (BBH) 16 Chapel St, 03 768 4868, The Ranch 37 MacDougall Ave, 03 762 7801, YHA Greymouth Kainga-ra 15 Alexander St, Ph: (03) 768 4951,




hokitika do

Greenstone, a form of practically indestructible rock that was used by the Maori to make weapons and ornaments, is the main attraction here. There’s also the Westland Water World for all things wet, the Glowworm Dell and some excellent whitewater rafting.

Drifting Sands Backpackers (BBH) 197 Revell St, 03 755 7612, Mountain Jade Backpackers (BBH) 41 Weld St, 03 755 8007, Riverview Cabins (BBH) 154 Kaniere Rd, 03 755 7440 Stumpers Accommodation 2 Weld St, 03 755 6154,

Alpine Rafts Freephone: 0800 223 456. The Just Jade Experience Design and create your own treasures with NZ jade/ greenstone. Allow at least 6-10 hours. 197 Revell St, 03 755 7612,

whataroa About 35km south of Harihari and one of the South Island’s prime fishing spots. Also the magnificent white heron (Kotuku) colony which thrillseekers can reach by jet boat.

okarito The tiny beach settlement of Okarito, near Franz Josef Glacier, sits at the mouth of New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland – the Okarito Lagoon. Hike up to the Okarito Trig for excellent views. Okarito Nature Tours 03 753 4014, Royal Hostel (BBH) The Strand, 03 753 4080, YHA Okarito Palmerston St, Whataroa, 03 753 4347,




wedding da y first child Fra nz Jos ef gla cie r adventu re! ALL EQUIPMENT PROVIDED

TRAVELLERS’ PARADISE just a short walk form the city but behind the garden gates you will feel a million miles away. Rest, relax and enjoy our hostel or indulge in a little luxury at our recently added Spa Pool and Sauna area while experiencing the excitement of the South Island’s largest city. Tranquil gardens, lovingly restored villas, custom hand-made furniture, warm cozy central heating plus the company of Max, the hostel puppy.


FREE WiFi vouchers worth $5 per night FREE Sauna & Spa Pool FREE Tour, Activity & Bus Pass Booking Service



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BOOK NOW! fRanz jOsEf


The glacier is about 12km long and offers a wide variety of challenging activities. To get the ultimate perspective on the magnitude of Franz Josef, head for Sentinel Rock, which gives a sweeping view over both the Waiho Valley and the mighty glacier.

Glacier Country Kayaks 20 Cron St, 0800 423 262,

fRanz stay

Skydive NZ: Fox Glacier 0800 751 0080,

Chateau Franz (VIP, BBH) 8-10 Cron St, 0800 728 372, Glow Worm Cottages (BBH) 27 Cron St, 0800 151 027, Montrose (BBH) 9 Cron St, 03 752 0188, Rainforest Retreat (VIP) Cron St, 0800 873 346 YHA Franz Josef 2-4 Cron St, 03 752 0754,

fRanz DO Alpine Adventure Centre Footage on a helimax screen, 03 752 0793 Franz Josef Glacier Guides Guided walks and heli-hikes on the Franz Josef Glacier 0800 484 337, Glacier Country Kayaks Explore the glaciers from the water 03 752 0230, Skydive Franz At 18,000ft, they currently offer NZ’s highest skydive. 0800 458 677, The Guiding Company 0800 800 102,

fOx glaciER

Wonderful Wanaka is the first big town you come to if you’re driving north, towards Haast Pass, from the South Island adrenalin capital Queenstown. And just like its bigger neighbour, Wanaka can also boast a disturbing array of adrenalin activities as well as a truly stunning Southern Alps backdrop. Lake Wanaka and nearby Mt Aspiring National Park provide an outdoor adventure playground par excellence. You can fish, waterski, windsurf, go canyoning, jet boating, rock climb, enjoy long hikes, climb mountains, tandem skydive, kayaking, rafting, horse trekking etc. In winter, Wanaka becomes a ski town, serving Treble Cone and Cardrona fields. Indeed, National Geographic has just named Wanaka one of the top 25 snow towns in the world, the only Southern Hemisphere inclusion on the list. As you enter town you can’t miss the eccentric buildings of the unique attraction Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, while another site worth checking out is the Paradiso, one of the more unusual cinemas you’re ever likely to experience.


fOx DO Fox Glacier Guiding Guided walks and heli-hikes on the FoxGlacier. 0800 111 600,

DOC Visitors Information Centre Westland National Park, Hwy 6, 03 752 0796

Black Sheep (VIP) SH 6, 03 752 0007


Ivory Towers (BBH) 03 751 0838,

Similiar activities to Franz Josef only with fewer crowds. The best walk is up to the Welcome Flat Hot Springs. For stunning views, head up the wonderfully scenic Chalet Lookout Walk. Look out for the beautiful kea (grey-green mountain parrot). Nearby is Lake Matheson, with its stunning twin mountain reflection. DOC Visitor Centre State Hwy 6, 03 751 0807

fOx stay Fox Glacier Inn 03 751 0088

haast pass Running through Mt Aspiring National Park, this stretch of road is among the most scenic that you’ll come across in New Zealand, showing off pristine lakes, magnificent forests and waterfalls. DOC Centre Cnr SH 6 and Jackson Bay Rd, 03 750 0809 Haast Highway Accommodation Marks Rd, 03 750 0703 Wilderness Backpackers (BBH) Marks Rd, 03 750 029,

sOUthlanD The top of your chest will quickly get sore as the South Island’s jawdropping scenery becomes more prevalent. From the adrenalin thrills of Queenstown to the achingly beautiful Milford Sound, there’s never a dull moment down south. Stop frequently, take deep breaths and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Info Centre Cnr Ballantyne Rd & Ardmore St, 03 443 8372

lakE Wanaka The cosy town and its crystal-clear waters which reflect the dramatic landscape is the gateway to Mount Aspiring Park. The World Heritage area has magnificent tramping and mountaineering. Lake Wanaka boasts almost as many adrenalintastic activities as neighbouring Queenstown, such as mountain biking, jet-boating, canyoning, and whitewater sledging. It’s a favourite with snowboarders in winter, and has lively nightlife year-round. Boasting the most sceneray from those films with wizards and hairyfooted hobbits, there are great Lord of the Rings tours, too. Lake Wanaka Visitors Centre The Log Cabin, Lakefront, 100 Ardmore Street. 03 4431 1233

Wanaka stay Albert Town Lodge (BBH) Cnr SH6 and Kingston St, Albert


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Town, 03 443 9487, Holly’s Backpackers (BBH) 71 Upton St, 03 443 8187, Mountain View Backpackers (BBH) 7 Russell St, 0800 112 201, The Purple Cow (BBH) 94 Brownston St, 03 443 1880, Wanaka Bakpaka (BBH) 117 Lakeside Rd, 03 443 7837, YHA Wanaka 181 Upton St, 03 443 7405,

wanaka do Adventure Consultants Mountaineering instruction courses and guided ascents, 03 443 8711, Aspiring Guides Guided mountain climbing and ice climbing instruction courses, 03 443 9422, Classic Flights Vintage Tiger Moth flights over Lake Wanaka. 03 443 4043, Deep Canyon Canyoning in the Matukituki Valley. Adventure Wanaka, 23 Dunmore St, Wanaka. 03 443 7922, Frogz Have More Fun Sledge down either the Clutha, Hawea or Kawarau Rivers. 0800 437 649, The Silver Demon Aerobatic flights. 03 443 4043, Skydive Lake Wanaka Freefall from 12,000 or 15,000ft with views of NZ’s highest mountains. 0800 786 877,


Info & Track Walking Centre 37 Shotover St, 03 442 9708 Peterpans Adventure Travel 27 Shotover St Queenstown. Queenstown Travel & Visitor Centre Corner of Shotover & Camp Sts, 03 442 4100

q’town stay Alpine Lodge (BBH) 13 Gorge Rd. 03 442 7220, Aspen Lodge (BBH) 11 Gorge Rd. 03 442 9671, Base Discovery Lodge Queenstown 49 Shotover St. 03 441 1185, Black Sheep Lodge (BBH/VIP) 13 Frankton Rd. 03 442 7289, Bungi Backpackers (VIP, BBH) 15 Sydney St. 0800 728 286, Butterfli Lodge (BBH) 62 Thompson St. 03 442 6367, Cardrona Alpine Resort Between Queenstown and Wanaka. 03 443 7341, Deco Backpackers (VIP, BBH) 52 Man St. 03 442 7384, Flaming Kiwi Backpackers (BBH) 39 Robins Rd. 03 442 5494, Hippo Lodge (BBH) 4 Anderson Hts. 03 442 5785,

Wanaka Rock Climbing One, three and five-day rock climbing courses for everyone. 03 443 6411,

Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church St. 03 441 3922,

Wanaka Sightseeing Includes Lord of the Rings tours, 2 Anderson Rd, 03 338 0982,

lake hawea Thirty-five kilometres long and more than 400m deep, Lake Hawea is a great source of salmon and rainbow trout.


Paradise for the energetic traveller, Queenstown is one of the world’s most action-packed towns. The town, which is surprisingly small compared to its big reputation, is located on Lake Wakatipu and rises up to the peaks of the aptly-named Remarkables (which you can ski in winter). In winter, the town is a centre for nearby skifields and in summer adventure activities and tramping take over. There’s also a hectic social scene which extends well into the wee small hours.

Treble Cone Ski Field 03 443 7443,

Wanaka Flightseeing Milford Sound flight and cruise from Wanaka, 03 443-8787, f


Pinewood Lodge (VIP) Queenstown’s best value accommodation. We offer an excellent variety of accommodation, everything from deluxe en-suite rooms with private bathroom amenities, inexpensive double and twin rooms, dorm beds and selfcontained family cabins. 48 Hamilton Rd. 0800 746 396, 03 442 8273, Resort Lodge (BBH) 6 Henry St. 03 442 4970, Scallywags Traveller’s Guesthouse (BBH) 27 Lomond Crescent. 03 442 7083

shotover canyon swing Nestled in the bush just out of Queenstown, is the world’s highest cliff jump. At 109m high with 60m of that being freefall, it proves to be the adventurous travellers ‘Must do’. There are 70+ different jump styles to choose from, including sliding into the canyon from a mini slippery dip, or being pushed backwards over the edge on a plastic chair! After you’ve fallen, take in the breathtaking Shotover River and await the return to reality. As soon as you’ve done it once you have an option to do it again at half price, so there is always the chance to get the thrill of a lifetime once more before you leave. If that adrenaline is not enough, check out the packages available to do the swing, plus jet boat/ skydiving or rafting.

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Sky Trek Hang Gliding 03 442 9551, Vertigo Mountain Biking Heli-bike and gondola downhill. 0800 837 8446,

glEnORchy Just out of Queenstown is Glenorchy (or “Isengard”) which has some of the best walks in the area, including the Greenstone and Caples tracks.

CHECK IN! thE flaming KiWi 39 Robins Road Queenstown. Beds from $25 Friendly and centrally located, the Flaming Kiwi also offers loads of frees stuff for it’s guests to enjoy.


Southern Laughter (BBH, VIP) 4 Isle St. 0800 728 448, The Last Resort (BBH) 6 Memorial St. 03 442 4320, Thomas’s Hotel & BPs (VIP) 50 Beach St. 03 442 7180 YHA Queenstown Central 48A Shotover Street. 03 442 7400, YHA Queenstown Lakefront 88-90 Lake Esplanade. 03 442 8413,

q’tOWn DO There are hundreds of activities to keep you occupied in Queenstown. Bungy, jetboating and rafting are all experiences not to be missed, and in winter, skiing the Remarkables is a must. To really appreciate the beauty of the region, take a scenic flight, or even jump out the plane. AJ Hackett Bungy Queenstown Jump off one or all of New Zealand’s most well-known sites. Nevis Highwire Bungy, the highest in New Zealand – 134m above the Nevis River. The Kawarau Bridge, the world’s first bungy – 43m above the Kawarau River. The 47m Ledge, 400m above the town which you can jump day or night. Access is by Skyline Gondola. 0800 286 4958 Awesome Foursome Bungy (Nevis – 134m), jetboat, helicopter, whitewater rafting, 03 442 7318 Dart River Safaris Jetboating wilderness tours, 0800 327 8538, Fat Tyre Adventure Mountain biking/heli biking, 0800 328 897, Fergburger Best burgers in NZ. Shotover St, 03 441 1232


Flight Park Tandem Paragliding Operates from Coronet Peak 0800 467 325, Haka Adventure Snow Tours 03 980 4250, Mad Dog River Boarding River sledging & other actionpacked water activities, 03 442 7797, Milford Sound Flightseeing Scenic flights to Milford Sound, 0800 65 65 01, Nevis Snowmobile Safaris Helicopter ride & snowmobile adventure, 03 442 4250, NZONE Skydive Skydive from 15,000ft. 35 Shotover St, 03 442 5867, NZ Info on Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt, Queenstown Rafting Raft the Shotiver, Kawarau and Landsborough rivers. 35 Shotover St. 03 442 9792 Real Journeys Visitor Centre Doubtful Sound & Milford Sound daytime and overnight cruises. Te Anau glow-worm cave excursions. TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship cruises and Walter Peak High Country Farm. 0800 65 65 01, Shotover Canyon Swing Jump or be released 109m off the world’s highest cliff jump. 0800 279 464, Shotover Jet Jetboat ride. 0800 746 868

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Department of Conservation Beech St, 03 442 7933 Glenorchy Backpackers Retreat (VIP) Cnr Mull and Argyle Streets, Glenorchy, Ph: (03) 442 9902 Kinloch Lodge (BBH) 862 Kinloch Rd, 03 442 4900,

aRROWtOWn Poplar Lodge (BBH) 4 Merioneth St, 03 442 1466, Riverdown Guesthouse (BBH) 7 Bedford St, 03 409 8499

tE anaU Home to the second largest lake in NZ, Te Anau is a beautiful little town, a good jumping off point for the World Heritage Fiordland National Park. The park is the largest in New Zealand and offers some spectacular sightseeing. The Milford Track is one of the most famous in the world, but often booked out. The Routeburn, ReesDart and Kepler are ace alternatives.

Bob & Maxines (BBH) 20 Paton Place, 03 931 3161,

Milford Sound takes place on the water and the best way to appreciate the beauty on show is on a cruise or kayak. Bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and Grumpy’s Backpackers Fiordland crested penguins all hang Te Anau-Milford Sound Highway, out there. 03 249 8133, Milford Sound Lodge (BBH) Rosies Backpacker Homestay 03 249 8071, (BBH) 23 Tom Plato Drive, 03 249 8431, Steamers Beach Backpackers (BBH) 77 Manapouri Rd, 03 249 7457, Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers (BBH) 48 Lakefront Dr, 03 249 7713, YHA Te Anau 29 Mokonui St, 03 249 7847,

tE anaU DO Adventure Fiordland 72 Town Centre, 03 249 8500 Fiordland Ecology Holidays 3-10 day cruises, all Southern Fiords. Mammal watching permit, 0800 249 660, High Ride Adventures Quad riding and scenic horse trekking. 03 249 8591, Luxmore Jet Jetboating on the Waiau River, 0800 253 826, Real Journeys Doubtful Sound daytime wilderness, small boat and overnight cruises. Milford Sound daytime, overnight scenic, nature and small boat cruises. 0800 656 501,

Fiordland I-site Visitor Centre Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, 03 249 8900

Milford Track Day Walk Lake cruise and guided walk, 0800 656 501

Department of Conservation 03 249 8514

Rosco’s Milford Sound Sea Kayaks 0800 476 726, roscosmilfordkayaks

Te Anau Glowworm Caves Air Fiordland Flights to Queenstown, Milford and Mt Cook, 03 249 7505 Real Journeys Coaches to Milford Sound, 0800 656 503 Scenic Shuttle Daily between Te Anau and Invercargill in summer months, twice weekly in winter. Connects with the Catlins Coaster from Invercargill to Dunedin 0800 277 483 Top Line Tours Coach to and from Te Anau and Queenstown, 03 249 8059

tE anaU stay Barnyard Backpackers (BBH) 80 Mt York Rd, Rainbow Downs, 03 249 8006,


Skydive Fiordland Dive 44 Caswell Rd, Te Anau, 0800 829254, Tracknet 03 249 7737,

anaU tO milfORD The distance between Te Anau and Milford Sound may be 119km but the breathtaking scenery along the way makes the journey extremely enjoyable. Along the road watch out for the Mirror Lakes and the disappearing mountain. Another highlight is the 1.2km rough-hewn Homer Tunnel. It’s pitch black, having no lighting plus it’s pretty darn steep – a thrilling experience for those afraid of the dark.

milfORD sOUnD Green, wet and breathtakingly beautiful, Milford Sound is one of the most picturesque sights in the world. Much of the action in the

milfORD DO

Real Journeys 0800 656 501, Great Sights On and under the water, 03 442 9445 Kiwi Reel Rifle Guided fishing & hunting. Kayaking on Lakes Te Anau, Manapouri and Milford Sound. Rental kayaks and mountain bikes, 03 249 9071 Milford Sound Underwater Observatory Discover a coral reef beneath Milford Sound, 03 249 9442 Milford Sound Cruise & Observatory Visit 0800 656 501 Milford Wanderer Cruises Day and overnight options with kayaking, etc. Coach connections, 0800 656 501, Tawaki Dive See Fiordland’s unique marine life on a day-trip with two guided dives in Milford Sound. Rental gear available, max four divers. 0800 829254, TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak Farm tours, barbecue lunches, horse treks and cycling. Wanaka Flightseeing Milford Sound flight and cruise, 0800 105 105,

manapOURi Manapouri is the proud owner of arguably New Zealand’s most beautiful stretch of water. This is where the boat trip on Doubtful Sound leaves from – most start the trip in Queenstown or Te Anau. From the boat you may see seals and possibly dolphins and penguins. Adventure Charters and Hires 03 249 6626 Real Journeys 0800 656 502

manapOURi stay Freestone Backpackers (BBH) 270 Hillside Rd, 0 3 249 6893, Manapouri Lakeview Backpackers (VIP) 68 Cathedral Drive, 03 249 6652,


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Possum Lodge (BBH) 13 Murrel Ave, 03 249 6623.

The Globe Backpackers (VIP) 144 Palmerston St, Riverton, 03 234 8527,

doubtful sound

Harbison Backpackers (BBH) 5 Harbison St, Otautau, 03 225 8715,

If you’re not one for crowds, an alternative Fiordland option is Doubtful Sound – the deepest of the fiords, made up of 100km of waterways. Where Milford is all pointy peaks and endless cascading falls, Doubtful is rounded mountains – a serene sanctuary, inhabited by loads of interesting critters.

Shooters Backpackers 73 Main St, Tuatapere, 03 226 6250


Real Journeys Daytime wilderness, small boat and overnight cruises. 0800 656 502

Gore spans the Mataura river and boasts some lovely scenery in the Hokonui Hills and the Country and Western festival each June.

Fiordland Navigator Pearl Harbour, Manapouri 03 249 6602,

Old Fire Station Backpackers (BBH) 19 Hokonui Dr, 03 208 1925,

Deep Cove Hostel Doubtful Sound, 03 249 7713,

Anglem House 20 Miro Crescent, 03 219 1552,

invercargill The southernmost city in New Zealand, Invercargill is a farmingorientated community with a pleasant collection of parks and museums to keep you busy. Invercargill I-site Visitors Centre 108 Gala St, 03 214 6243 Dept of Conservation Office Don St, 03 214 4589 Catlins Coaster Invercargill to Dunedin via the Catlins with many stops to the main natural attractions and wildlife encounters. Farmstay options are available, 0800 304333, Stewart Island Flights Flights to Stewart Island, 03 218 9129,

invercarg stay Kackling Kea Backpackers (BBH) 225 Tweed St, 03 214 7950 Southern Comfort (BBH) 30 Thompson St, 03 218 3838 Tuatara Lodge (VIP) 30 Dee St, 03 214 0956,

southern scenic The beautiful road west of Invercargill towards Fiordland is known as the Southern Scenic Route. The Dubliner (BBH) 105 Tiverton St, Palmerston, 03 465 1896, Dustez Bak Paka’s (BBH) 15 Colac Bay Rd, Riverton, 03 234-8399

the catlins The beautiful Catlins is a sprawling mass of bush, forest and rivers, stretching all the way from Waipapa Point in Southland to Nugget Point in Otago. The best bit about the Catlins is the abundance of wildlife. Catlins Community Info Centre 3 Main Rd, Owaka, South Otago, 03 415 8371, Elm Lodge Wildlife Tours Two-day camping trips, 0800 356 563,

catlins stay Blowhole Backpackers (BBH) 24 Main Rd, Owaka, 03 415 5635, Curio Bay Backpacker Accommodation (BBH) 501 Curio Bay Rd, 03 246 8797.

southisland Wright’s Mill Lodge (BBH) 865 Tahakopa Valley Rd, 03 204 8424

dunedin Dunedin is Celtic for “Edinburgh” and many Scottish principles endure here. One thing the locals do much better than their Scots ancestors is play rugby, so if there’s a game on at Carisbrook (the “House of Pain”) while you’re in town, beg, borrow or steal to get yourself there. Dunedin Visitor Centre 48 The Octagon, 03 474 3300 Dept of Conservation Office 77 Stuart St, 03 477 0677 Penguin Patch 9 the Octagon, 03 471 8571, Email:

dunedin stay The Asylum Lodge (BBH) 36 Russell Rd, Seacliff, 03 465 8123 Bus Stop backpackers (BBH) 252 Harrington Point Rd, Portobello, 03 478 0330, Chalet Backpackers (BBH) 296 High St, 03 479 2075 Dunedin Central Backpackers (BBH) 243 Moray Pl, 03 477 9985, The Jolly Poacher (BBH) 74 Elm Row, 03 477 3384 Hogwartz (BBH) 277 Rattray St, 03 474 1487, The Jolly Poacher (BBH) 54 Arthur St, 03 477 3384, Kiwis Nest (BBH) 597 George St, 03 471 9540.

The Falls Backpackers (BBH) Purakaunui Falls Rd, Owaka, 03 415 8724,

Leviathan Heritage Hotel 27 Queens Gardens, 0800 773 773,

Fernlea Backpackers (VIP) Moana St, Kaka Point, 03 412 8834

Manor House (BBH) 28 Manor Place, 03 477 0484,

The Split Level (BBH) 9 Waikawa Rd, Owaka, 03 415 8304,

On Top Backpackers (BBH) 12 Filleul St, cnr Moray Pl, 03 477 6121.

Surat Bay Lodge (BBH) Surat Bay Rd, New Haven, 03 415 8099, Penguin Paradise Holiday Lodge (BBH) 612 Waikawa-Niagara Rd, Waikawa Village South Catlins, 03 2468 552, Thomas Catlins Lodge & Holiday Park, 03 415 8333,

Pennys Backpackers (BBH) 6 Stafford St, 03 477 6027, Queens Garden Backpackers (VIP) 42 Queens Garden, 03 479 2175, Ramsay Lodge (BBH) 60 Stafford St, 03 477 6313, YHA Dunedin, Stafford Gables 71 Stafford St, 03 474 1919,

dunedin do Baldwin Street In the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world. Cadbury World 280 Cumberland St, 0800 223 2879, Cosmic Corner Funk Store Check out the legal highs and chat to the staff about where to go for parties, events and the beautiful parts of New Zealand. 355 George St, 03 479 2949 Dunedin Public Art Gallery 30 The Octagon, 03 474 3240, Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony View blue penguins just metres away every evening at dusk. Waterfront Rd, 1-1/2 hrs north of Dunedin, 03 433 1195, Parachute Experience Skydiving from a great height 03 489 4113, Sinclair Wetlands and Educational Centre Freedom or conducted walks over 5km of walkways. Backpacker and camping facilities. Rapid no 854 Clarendon/Berwick Rd (signposted on SH1 30km south of Dunedin), 03 486 2654 Speights Brewery Heritage Tours 03 477 7697, Royal Albatross Centre 03 478 0499,

otago peninsula The Otago Peninsula is a beautiful stretch of rugged coast, home to a fascinating collection of rare and native birds such as the albatross and yellow-eyed penguin.

NZ Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium Run by the University of Otago, the Portobello Aquarium and Marine Biology Centre (near Quarantine Point) is a refuge for a diverse collection of fish and reptile life. 03 479 5826 Elm Wildlife Tours 0800 356 563,

taiaroa head Taiaroa Head is the place to see the albatross colony, the only mainland colony in the world inside the bounds of a city.

alexandria Alexandra and Roxburgh are the two main towns for fruit-picking work in the Central Otago region. Two Bob Flashpackers (BBH) Marshalll Rd, 03 449 3188,

roxburgh Villa Rose Backpackers (BBH) 79 Scotland St, 03 446 8761,

oamaru A charming little place noted for both its interesting collection of white granular limestone buildings and its large penguin population. Visitor Information Centre Thames St, 03 434 1656 Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony View blue penguins at dusk. Waterfront Rd, 03 433 1195, Chillawhile Backpackers (BBH) & Art Gallery 1 Frome St, Roberts Park, 03 437 0168, Coastal Backpackers (BBH) The Hall, Waianakarua Rd, All Day Bay, 03 439 5411,

Billy Browns (BBH) 423 Aramoana Rd, Port Chalmers, 03 472 8323,

Buscot Station (BBH) 732 Omarama, 03 438 9646,

McFarmers Backpackers (BBH) 774 Portobello Rd, Portobello, 02 5206 0640, mcfarmersbackpackers

Empire Hotel (BBH) 13 Thames St, 03 434 3446,

otago do

Old Bones Backpackers (BBH) Rapid Number 468 Beach Rd, Kakanui, 03 434 8115,

Historic Fort Taiaroa An underground complex built in the 1880s, this fortified stronghold has been inhabited since earliest Maori settlement of the area. Tours available at the Visitor Centre. Fletcher House, Broad Bay, 03 478 0180 Larnach Castle Australasia’s only castle. The architecture is amazing and the intricate details (including a foyer ceiling that took nearly seven years to build) are breathtaking.

YHA Oamaru, Red Kettle Seasonal (open September/ October to May/June only). Corner of Reed and Cross Sts, 03 434 5008, Swaggers Backpackers (BBH) 25 Wansbeck St, 03 434 9999,

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OnWaRDsfiji naDi & WEst Aquarius Pacific Hotel +679 672 6000 Beach Escape Villas +679 672 4442, beachscape@ Cathay Hotel +679 666 0566,

Horizon Beach Resort +679 672 2832, Nadi Bay Resort Hotel +679 672 3599, Nadi Down Town Backpackers Inn +679 670 0600, Nadi Hotel +679 670 0000,

Coconut Bay Resort +679 666 6644 Korovou Eco Tour Resort +679 666 6644 Kuata Resort +679 666 6644 Long Beach Backpackers Resort +679 666 6644 Manta Ray Island +679 672 6351 Nabua Lodge +679 666 9173 Oarsmans Bay Lodge +679 672 2921

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Wayalailai Island Resort +679 672 1377

Travellers Beach Resort +679 672 3322,

White Sandy Beach Dive Resort +679 666 4066

yasaWa islanDs Awesome Adventures Fiji +679 675 0499,

mamanUca isl Beachcomber Island Resort +679 666 1500,

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BOOK NOW! Bounty Island Resort +679 666 6999, Rau Kini’s Hostel +679 672 1959, The Funky Fish Beach Resort +679 628 2333, The Resort Walu Beach +679 665 1777,

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Tsulu Luxury Backpackers & Apartments +679 345 0065, Vakaviti Motel & Dorm +679 650 0526, Vilisite Place +679 650 1030

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Lami Lodge Backpackers +679 336 2240,

Mango Bay Resort +679 653 00690,

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Pacific Safaris Club +679 345 0498, Rendezvous Dive Resort +679 628 4427, Robinson Crusoe +679 629 1999, Seashell Cove Resort +679 670 6100, Tabukula Beach Bungalows +679 650 0097, The Uprising Beach Resort +679 345 2200,

Raintree Lodge +679 332 0562, Royal Hotel +679 344 0024 South Seas Private Hotel +679 331 2296, Tailevu Hotel +679 343 0028

nORth viti lEvU Bethams Cottage +679 669 4132, Macdonalds Beach Cottages +679 669 4633


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tavEUni Albert’s Sunrise +679 333 7555 Matava Resort +679 330 5222, Reece’s Place +679 362 6319 Waisalima Beach Resort +679 738 9236,


is thought to be amongst the best destinations in the world for diving. With over 400 species of corals, as well as plenty of sea walls, drops and caves, there’s something for the advanced diver, as well as perfect conditions for the beginner. There’s an abundance of tropical fish, as well as reef sharks, dolphins, manta rays and turtles while visibility is excellent too, often stretching to 50 metres. Plus, to top it off, sea temperatures average about 26°C all year around. Head to Beq Lagoon for the legendary shark dives, where it’s not unknown for a tiger shark to turn up. Nothing’s gone wrong, to date.


Photo: Tourism Fiji

Diving in fiji


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sydney stay Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD. 02 9267 7718,

The Witch’s Hat 148 Palmerston St. 08 9228 4228,

03 9427 9826,


Exford Hotel 199 Russell St. 03 9663 2697,

Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 02 9267 7718,

darwin stay Banyan View Lodge Darwin 119 Mitchell St. 08 8981 8644,

Flinders Station Hotel 35 Elizabeth St. 03 9620 5100, f

Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD. 02 9281 2222,

Darwin YHA 97 Mitchell St. 08 8981 5385,

Easy Go Backpackers 752 George St. CBD. 02 9211 0505,

The Greenhouse Backpacker Level 6, 228 Flinders Lane. 1800 249 207,

Elkes Backpackers 112 Mitchell St. 1800 808 365,

City Resort Hostel 103-105 Palmer St. Woolloomooloo 02 9357 3333,

Habitat HQ 333 St Kilda Road, St Kilda. 1800 202 500,

Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St. 1800 068 686,

Home at the Mansion 66 Victoria Parade. 03 9663 4212,

Gecko Lodge 146 Mitchell St. 1800 811 250,

Home Travellers Motel 32 Carlisle St, St Kilda. 1800 008 718,

Melaleuca on Mitchell 52 Mitchell St. 1300 723 437,

The Furnished Property Group 02 8669 3678,

Jackaroo kings cross

Sydney Central YHA 11 Rawson Place. CBD. 02 9218 9000

Located right in the bustling, night-time hotspot of Kings Cross, minutes away from some of the best clubs in Sydney.

Sydney Harbour YHA 110 Cumberland Street. The Rocks. 02 9261 1111, Westend Backpackers 412 Pitt St. CBD. 1800 013 186 Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Kings Cross. 02 8354 0488, Dlux Hostel 30 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. 1800 236 213 Kangaroo Bak Pak 665 South Dowling St. Surry Hills. 02 9261 1111 Avalon Beach Hostel 59 Avalon Pde, Avalon Beach. 02 9918 9709, Bondi YHA 63 Fletcher Street. Tamarama. 02 9365 2088, Lamrock Lodge 19 Lamrock Ave. Bondi. 02 9130 5063,

107-109 Darlinghurst Rd, Sydney. Dorms from $33

Sydney Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan St. Manly. 02 9977 3411

1800 446 646,

cairns stay

Bohemia Resort Cairns 231 McLeod St. 1800 155 353,

Nomads Melbourne 198 A’beckett St. 1800 447 762,

Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St. 1800 815 628,

Space Hotel 380 Russell St. 1800 670 611,

Montgomery’s YHA 9 Argyle St. 03 6231 2660,

Dreamtime Travellers Rest 189 Bunda St. 1800 058 440,

The Spencer 475 Spencer St. 1800 638 108,

Base Brisbane Embassy 214 Elizabeth St. 07 3166 8000,

Gilligans Backpackers and Hotel Resort 57-89 Grafton St. 1800 556 995,

Urban Central 334 City Rd, Southbank. 1800 631 288,

Narrara Backpackers 88 Goulburn St. 03 6234 8801,

Base Brisbane Central 308 Edward St. 07 3211 2433,

JJ’s Backpackers Hostel 11 Charles St. 07 4051 7642,

Brisbane Backpackers Resort 110 Vulture St, West End. 1800 626 452,

NJOY Travellers Resort 141 Sheridan St. 1800 807 055,

Cammeray Gardens 66 Palmer St, North Sydney. 02 9954 9371

brisbane stay Aussie Way Backpackers 34 Cricket St. 07 3369 0711, Banana Bender Backpackers 118 Petrie Terrace. 07 3367 1157,

Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St 1800 062 572,

Nomads Cairns 341 Lake St. 1800 737 736,

Coogee Beachside 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. 02 9315 8511,

Brisbane City YHA 392 Upper Roma St 07 3236 1947,

Nomads Esplanade 93 The Esplanade. 1800 175 716,

Surfside Backpackers 186 Arden Street. Coogee. 02 9315 7888,

Chill Backpackers 328 Upper Roma St. 1800 851 875,

Northern Greenhouse 117 Grafton St. 1800 000 541,

Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road. Glebe. 02 9692 8418,

Bunk Backpackers Cnr Ann & Gipps Sts, Fortitude Valley. 1800 682 865,

melbourne stay

Boardrider Backpacker Rear 63, The Corso, Manly. 02 9977 3411 The Bunkhouse 35 Pine St, Manly. 1800 657 122,

hobart stay

Melbourne Central YHA 562 Flinders St. 03 9621 2523,

Nomads Beach House 2 39 Sheridan St. 1800 229 228,

Aegean Coogee Lodge 40 Coogee Bay Rd. Coogee. 04 0817 6634,

Youth Shack 69 Mitchell St. 1300 793 302,

Bohemia Central Cairns 100 Sheridan St. 1800 558 589,

Brisbane City Apartments 1800 110 443,

Lochner’s Guesthouse 8 Gowrae Ave. Bondi. 02 9387 2162,

Hotel Bakpak Melbourne 167 Franklin St. 1800 645 200,

The Deck Budget Accommodation 117 Harcourt Street, New Farm. 04 3377 7061 Tinbilly Travellers Cnr George and Herschel Sts.

All Nations Backpackers Hotel & Bar 2 Spencer St. 1800 222 238, Base Melbourne 17 Carlisle St, St. Kilda. 1800 242 273, Central Melbourne Accommodation 21 Bromham Place, Richmond.

Central City Backpackers 138 Collins St. 1800 811 507, Hobart Hostel 41 Barrack St. 1300 252 192,

Pickled Frog 281 Liverpool St. 03 6234 7977, Transit Backpackers 251 Liverpool St. 03 6231 2400,

perth stay Billabong Backpackers Resort 381 Beaufort St. 08 9328 7720,

adelaide stay

Britannia on William 253 William St, Northbridge. 08 9227 6000, Emperor’s Crown 85 Stirling St, Northbridge. 1800 991 553,

Adelaide Central YHA 135 Waymouth St. 08 8414 3010,

Globe Backpackers & City Oasis Resort 561 Wellington St. 08 9321 4080,

Adelaide Travellers Inn 220 Hutt St. 08 8224 0753,

Ocean Beach Backpackers 1 Eric St, Cottlesloe. 08 9384 5111, One World Backpackers 162 Aberdeen St, Northbridge. 1800 188 100,

Annie’s Place 239 Franklin St. 1800 818 011, Backpack Oz 144 Wakefield St. 1800 633 307, Blue Galah Backpackers Lvl 1, 52-62, King William St. 08) 8231 9295,

Perth City YHA 300 Wellington St. 08 9287 3333, The Old Swan Barracks 6 Francis St. 08 9428 0000, Underground Backpackers 268 Newcastle St, Northbridge. 08 9228 3755,

Adelaide Oval Home to the Adelaide Backpackers Inn 112 Carrington St. 1800 24 77 25,

Glenelg Beach Hostel 5-7 Moseley St. Glenelg. 1800 359 181, Hostel 109 109 Carrington St. 1800 099 318, My Place 257 Waymouth St. 1800 221 529,

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wHo to BlAme

And tHeir fAvourite plAce in new zeAlAnd editor

Alex HArmon [Queenstown]

stAff writer HugH rAdojev [Auckland Airport]

rory plAtt [mt. cook village]

AUSSIE NEW ZEALAND RULES FOOTBALL QUIZ is the highest bungy that you Q 1.canWhat do in New Zealand? a) Rotorua Bungy b) Taupo Bungy c) Nevis Bungy d) Kawarau Bridge Bungy

design & production lisA ferron [the cardboard cathedral]

2. What is the longest hiking trail in New Q Zealand? a) Queen Charlotte Track b) Te Araroa c) Milford Track d) Tongariro Crossing

Business development tom wHeeler [fergburger]


Account mAnAger

justin steinlAuf [kaikoura]

mArketing + events executive

georginA pengelly [whales... oh, wait]

Q 4. How tall is Aoraki/Mount Cook? a) 3,754m c) 10,861m

sudoku puzzle

Hit tHe slopes for tHe lAst time in tHe seAson. it’s Been AmAzing! Bid A teArful goodBye to tHe Big ed. so long And tHAnks for All tHe fisH, Al!









9 2


8 4 5 4



a) Pams c) Tip Top

b) AJ Hackett d) Cookie Time

What is the name of the largest Q 8.species of Kiwi bird? a) Okarito Kiwi b) Southern Brown Kiwi c) Great Spotted Kiwi d) Little Spotted Kiwi

in which forest? a) Whirinaki b) Tokoroa c) Waipoua d) Kahurangi





world record for biggest cookie Q 7.wasTheonce held by which NZ company?



2 5

6. What is New Zealand’s steepest ski area called? a) Craigieburn Valley b) Coronet c) Snow Planet d) Treble Cone

Q 9. The largest kauri tree in NZ is found

most active volcano? a) Ruapehu b) Egmont c) Maroa d) Whakaari

wHAt we’re doing in Aug cHeering on tHe All BlAcks As tHey tAke on tHe AustrAliAn wAllABies in tHe 2013 Bledisloe cup

b) 3,574m d) 200m

Q 5. What is the name of New Zealand’s

finAnciAl controller trisH BAiley [milford sound]

3. What is the name of New Zealand’s largest glacier? a) Mueller Glacier b) Tasman Glacier c) Franz Josef Glacier d) Hooker Glacier


ANSWERS: 1. c 2 . b 3. b 4. a 5. d 6. a 7.d 8. c 9. c



4 5

A useful slang pertaining to the amount of effort, power or speed put into an action. Often relating to vehicles. “I gave it full tit, but the skyline couldn’t push past eighty k’s.”

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