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November 2013 Issue 102

SLAM DUNK DA FUNK Boyband Five on their comeback tour


PLAY OF PLENTY Going crazy for the Coromandel Peninsula

Daytrippin’ around NZ’s North Island

N O I T C A D N A L AUCK the activities to n li a n re d a me most aweso ’s y it c e th t u We p




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Thanks to Graeme Wicks for his wicked photo - Lake Wanaka, South Island, NZ

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26/09/13 9:06 PM


EDITOR’S LETTER This month we thought we’d dedicate all our travel features to celebrating the biggest unsung backpacking hero in New Zealand. And by big, we mean really big, as in like the entire North Island. Everyone raves about the South Island, you see, but the North is no shrinking violet, as we discover in our stories on Coromandel (p26), Auckland (p30) and the island as a whole (p6).

























Why the North Island has plenty to keep you busy. Here’s some of the highlights



The boyband are back, only there’s just, er, four nowadays. We chat to them



The film about WikiLeaks that Mr Assange didn’t want made. Is it good?

THRILLS AND BELLY FILLS 26 It’s canyoning, biking and gourmet treats galore on the Coromandel Peninsula



It’s New Zealand’s biggest city and we’re taking on the biggest scares it can offer




NZDIARY EDITORIAL Acting editor Andrew Westbrook Deputy editor Hugh Radojev Contributors Maree MacLean | Alasdair Morton Intern Regina Neymeyer | Rory Platt | Tash Levy

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Are the All Whites Brazil-bound?

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Account manager Toby Llewelyn Sales executive Georgina Pengelly MARKETING & EVENTS Business development manager Tom Wheeler ACCOUNTS Suzanne Welsh

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




SEE for pick-up points

They were the only unbeaten team at the 2010 World Cup, but the feisty minnows are now approaching D-Day in their Brazil campaign. Having come through the Oceania qualification process, vanquishing titans such as Tahiti, the All Whites now face an incredibly stiff final challenge – World Cup regulars Mexico. Join the 35,000 at the stadium, or head to the pub, where the rest of the country will be obsessively watching. $40

November 20, kick-off 7pm 147 Waterloo Quay, Westpac Stadium, Wellington




A celebration of the Marlborough region’s stunning landscapes, this annual festival really is the leading one of its kind in New Zealand. Garden themed tours, workshops and lots of good wine make this a must attend event.

Part of the North Island’s summer series ‘Food and Wine Class’ (FAWC) will be hosting over 50 premier wine and food events across 10 days. These will include degustation dinners and tastings. A celebration of all things local cuisine.

Hate the idea of running for five kilometres? Well, Colour My Run might be the answer to your cares. With music and colour stations along the course, people will peg coloured dye at you. You’ll wind up looking like a sweaty rainbow.

6 – 11 November Marlborough, Sth Island

1 – 10 November Hawke’s Bay, Nth Island

24 November Waikara Park, Auckland


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Photos: Tourism New Zealand

Get your fix of Maori culture

When in the north Pumping cities, winterless beaches, gurgling volcanoes and actual hobbits. Yes, we’re talking about North Island New Zealand’s North Island doesn’t always get the best press among backpackers. “Head to the South,” we hear you cry. “It’s so much more beautiful there,” you gush. “Queenstown’s where the best party’s at,” you reminisce hazily. Well, we’re here to put a few things straight. Yes, the South Island is about as sexy a bit of lumpy ground as we’ve ever seen, the amount of awesome travel experiences to be found are hard to match, and of course towns like Queenstown will put your liver 6


through its paces like few other places can. But 77 per cent of Kiwis live on the North (we’re talking about the people, not the fruit), so don’t be too quick to write it off. For starters it’s home to the two biggest and coolest cities – Auckland and Wellington. They’re followed by two of the more interesting, adrenalinfuelled towns – Taupo and Rotorua. And that’s before you even start thinking about all the Maori culture, the great beaches to be found in the ‘winterless’ north, the top surfing and

diving, caving and canyoning, wine tasting and hobbit chasing. So yes, you might get lured to the South by headline-grabbing beauties like Milford Sound and Fox Glacier – and do go there as well, they’re amazing – but don’t be in too much of a rush to skip on down the highway from Auckland. There’s a whole lot to see on the way, as we explain here. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we haven’t forgotten about Auckland. We just decided to give that some extra spoecial TNT love. Turn to p30 to see.

ROTORUA Some say it smells of rotten eggs, or even the scent of the primordial ooze, but thanks to the intense sulphuric activity it definitely stinks. Grab the clothes peg and you’ll get used to it in no time. Rotorua is a great place to get clued in on Maori culture, with various performances and attractions around town. Don’t miss seeing a haka and try to chow down on a hangi while you’re there. Of course the natural geo-thermic activity is an equally exciting sight to see. Then there are geysers and bubbling mud pools to admire and a spa pool or mud bath to relax in later. If you can get past the stench barrier and make it into town you’ll come out of Rotorua with enough stories to impress your friends with for a lifetime. We can’t promise that you won’t smell a little eggy though.

Rapid thrills by Huka Falls

TAUPO Seeing red: Rotorua’s volcanic landscape

Taupo has a reputation for offering great adventure, with impressive bungy, jet boating and skydiving activities on offer. Indeed if it involves adrenalin, Taupo’s got it going on. The beautiful scenery can serve to take your mind off the scary activity you are about to partake in – but that’s not always the case. There’s even a prawn farm, which is a lot more interesting than it sounds, on the banks of the Huka River, where you can jet boat up to the imposing Huka Falls. Beyond Taupo, the central North Island is the place to go for amazing scenery and things to do. A quick drive south from Taupo and you’ll come across Tongariro National Park. From smouldering volcanoes (Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngaruahoe) to idyllic Lake Taupo, the Volcanic Plateau is one of the most scenic areas in the North Island and has action-a-plenty. If you’re looking for something a bit more serene, hang the “gone fishing” sign on your hostel room door and head for nearby Turangi, which offers some of the best fly fishing in the world.

You don’t need the South Island for views like this



COROMANDEL East of Auckland, the Coromandel boasts dense scenic bushland, superb unspoilt beaches, great surf and some pretty, placid townships. The famous Hot Water Beach gives visitors the opportunity to dig their own hole in the sand to sit in a deliciously warm, geo-thermally heated bath. After a couple of shovels with your plastic spade you might be doubtful, but journey on traveller and you shall be duly rewarded. For a beach like no other take either a walk or a kayak trip ending at Cathedral Cove. The stunning rock formation is about as cathedrallike as you’re likely to find on the sand and with the Pacific pounding the shore you’ll feel about as close to Narnia as you can get.

Beached as bro! Sand-boarding in the Northland Surfers should head straight for Raglan

WAITOMO Despite being known to the indigenous population of the area for centuries, the Waitomo Caves were not properly explored until 1887 by a local Maori chieftain, Tane Tinorau, and an English-born surveyor by the name of Fred Mace. Over 100 years later the caves are a hotspot of both local and international tourists and adventurers looking for a unique day trip. A kilometre-long cave stretch with seven entrances awaits you on the west side of Waitomo. There are activities galore to keep you occupied, from caving and abseiling, to rock climbing and boat tours. Waitomo Caves is one of the many places where you can check out the famous glowworms. Hop on a boat tour, just flick off your torch and get ready for a real light show.

BAY OF ISLANDS The Poor Knights are no poor option for divers



Nothing could sound quite as lovely as the name, Bay of Islands, and the region substantially lives up to that reputation. Tauranga is a no-brainer for a visitor to the region. With its seaside holiday town qualities, you can’t help but fall in love with the sun, surf and sea. Take a sprightly walk to the top of Mount Manganui to get a real feel for the area from above. It’s a toughie in the heat of day, but definitely worth it. Whakaari or White Island is further along the coast and likely to be the most stunning example of nature at its scariest. The island is essentially one big volcano bursting forth out of the sea like a teenager’s pimple. It’s the most active cone volcano in New Zealand and other than tourists and scientific research, nobody lives there. You can hop on a boat for an hour and a half or take a plane to check it out from above. It’s the holiday destination of choice for Aucklanders, which is a finer endorsement than we could ever bestow upon a region, so hurry up.


Even on the beautiful Kapiti Coast, Titanic poses are not acceptable Going underground in Waitomo. Where it’s purple, apparently

New Zealand’s capital city is probably the most interesting and appealing in the country – especially if you hit it on a good day when the sun dances on the harbour and the city comes alive with Wellingtonians lunching and jogging along the waterfront. Wellington’s sheer vibrancy and colourful character make it the country’s centre for culture and the arts. Te Papa, the national museum is here, as is the nation’s parliament. The city’s nightlife, food and café culture is also worldclass, young and cool. There are more cafés per head than New York and lots of small bars. The Te Papa is one of the best museums in the country, with a wonderful series of Maori exhibits in particular. From virtual reality rides to a living Marae (Maori meeting house), stories of the first Pakeha settlers, interactive natural history exhibits and art galleries. You could spend a week in here and still have things left to see. It’s a ‘must visit’ destination for culture when you’re in Wellington.

WAIMANGU VOLCANI VALLEY Wandering through a valley of hot springs and bubbling mud baths is something reminiscent of Middle Earth, and that’s what you will find at this spectacular geothermal destination. Only 20 minutes south of New Zealand’s thermal centre Rotorua, visitors can walk through one of the world’s youngest eco-systems to marvel at craters, hot lakes, unusual thermal plants and wildlife. Explore the magnificent valley with a self-guided walk or join one of the eco tours. Waimangu Volcanic Valley was created as a direct result of the Tarawera volcanic eruption in 1886, and is the only geo-thermal system in the world that can be pinpointed to an exact time and event.


Zorbing: wet or dry, it’s insanely good fun 10


You’ve probably seen this crazy pastime on TV – basically,
you hop inside a big plastic ball and go careering down a hill, rolling headover-heels until stopping safely at the bottom of the slope. If it doesn’t sound like it would make you a bit ill, you should head to Rotorua to join in the madcap fun of Zorbing. On the North Island, Rotorua is the birthplace of this roly-poly adventure and proudly brandishes its credentials as the best place in the world to take a protracted tumble. And they’re not letting the grass grow under them – already, there are a bunch of different routes you can take: you can go zig-zagging down one or end up splashing through water on another. Be warned, though – it’s pretty hard to take a photo during your ride.



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Five become four: (l-r) Scott Robinson, Sean Conlon, Abs Love and Ritchie Neville

Blast from the past: fellow stars of The Big Reunion TV show, Atomic Kitten, and (left) the denim divas B*Witched 14


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It's Five alive Once the rebels of the manufactured boyband scene, Five are now back, as four, and are touring around Oz WORDS ANDREW WESTBROOK

Once upon a time (let's call it the 90s), a new breed of being seemed to rule the world. The charts were dominated by their sudden key changes, chat shows were blinded by their white suits and gossip mags swooned over their often ambiguous sexuality. They were called boybands and there was no defeating them. Sure, the concept of manufactured music was nothing new, and still hasn't gone anywhere, but this was the time of Take That, Boyzone and Westlife – it was the era of no escape. Into that mix came the brash and outspoken, but no less manufactured, whirlwind that was the Spice Girls. Their alternative approach, you could say, was fairly successful, leading their creators to think the feat could be repeated with a male cast. And so, in 1997, following an audition of 3,000 hopefuls, including a rejected Russell Brand, Five was born. A boyband, but not as we knew it.

'We were uncontrollable' "I think they might have controlled us for about two days when we first got together," the band's youngest member, Sean Conlon, now 32, tells me. "It all went out the window straight after that. I think that was our magic really, we were kind of uncontrollable. A lot of boybands basically do what they’re told and that’s what makes them successful – after all, not all these labels are the devil, they know what they're doing – but we didn't always do what we were told. We definitely made some mistakes." Mistakes or not, the rebellious bad boy reputation of Five (or 5ive as they were then) helped them make it big, and fast. A string of hits like "Slam Dunk (Da Funk)" and "When The Lights Go Out" meant their debut album went straight in at number one in the UK. And yet it was just three years later, after a trio of hit albums and more than 10 million records sold, that the boys went their separate ways. Since then they've had one failed attempt at a comeback (in 2006) and Leeds-born Conlon (who wasn't involved in the first reunion) had an embarrassing time on reality show The Voice. But that was all before another reality show, The Big Reunion, started airing in the UK at the start of 2013. Featuring Five (without original band member Jason Brown), the programme also brought back other pop acts from the era – think Blue, 911, Liberty X, Atomic Kitten,

B*Witched and Honeyz. It was a huge success, resurrecting long-abandoned careers all over the place. So was it weird meeting those bands again after all those years? "Not really," explains Conlon. "We didn’t mix that much with all the other bands back in the day because we were so busy. It’s nostalgic in the sense that they were all familiar faces, but we didn’t really know them."So how about now? Are they all best buds? "When you first meet people in bands, they’ve always got a persona, so when we first all met [for the show] there was a lot of bullshit. But gradually you spend time together, people start hanging around in their jogging bottoms and having a drink. So yeah, we all know each other well now."

The young ones And are they calmer now they're in their 30s, I ask? As teenagers, the anti-boyband were famously wild, with the likes of Neville (now a Sydney bar owner) particularly famous for sleeping with half the female population. "It's definitely true that I was a tearaway teenager," explains Conlon. "But I got things out of my system when I ››

The boys are back in town. Living it up at the London premiere for GI Joe TNTDOWNUNDER.COM


Photos: Getty, supplied

Five, during their ill-fated first reunion, in 2006, without Conlon. That'll learn 'em was young, you know like drinking and partying. By the time I got in the band I was over a lot of it. I'm pretty glad it happened that way around as God knows what would have happened to me being in a boyband when I was 15, 16, 17 and dicovering all that stuff. I was the youngest [in the group] but also the most self-controlled and self-assured." And it's not hard to believe as, chatting on the phone, Conlon comes across as relaxed, funny and genuinely down to earth. Also honestly delighted that the band is a success once again. Does it feel good to be back in the game, I ask? Especially considering the pressures of fame are what caused the band's fifth member, Jason Brown, to walk away. "It's been a long time out of the public eye so coming back was very intense, very surreal," says Conlon. "But you start to rely on the experience and it becomes strangely normal. You just fit back in you know. Obviously I don't want to degrade from what [Jason] said about how he didn’t want to be famous, but I don’t really know. "The first time I left the band it was about having spent so many years of my teens in Five. I was the kid who never found out who he was, so at 20 I set out on my own. When they were wanting to get back together the first time [in 2006], I was still in the middle of that process. It wasn't the right time for me. But we’re all a lot older now you know. We’re all men now."

Keeping it real And now he's a man, what does he think about the current crop of boybands? Does he wish groups like One Direction could be as open as Five were? ”Ah, they're a different type 16


of band," starts Conlon. "You know, if you had a kid and they like One Direction it wouldn’t bother you too much, would it?" So, does that mean he wouldn't want kids of his to follow a band like Five? "Ha, I definitely would, because we were real life, you know? We said things, we made mistakes, we weren’t always perfect. There’s nothing wrong with One Direction, but you know I don’t think there’s anything wrong with kids looking up to [bands like Five] and seeing that that’s how life is. That’s part of who kids are."

Onwards and upwards The subject we keep returning to, however, is the resurgence of Five. And not because Conlon is a well-oiled PR machine. He's clearly still coming to terms with the fact that he's doing well enough again to even have to be doing PR. "It's incredible," he tells me. "You just said to me about how the comeback has been really successful and in that moment I just had to sort of brace myself and stop myself for a moment, because it actually has been successful. To be honest, it's amazing. We don't take it for granted at all so it really is amazing. "Being sat here, talking about how we’re going to jump on a plane [to Australia] and go to the other side of the world to sing and do some music – it's just phenomenal really. I love travelling anyway, so the fact I can do that for a living with music, well, it couldn’t be better really. "I hope we can stay together. I’d love to make new music, but we're just taking it one step at a time at the moment. It’s about getting back to where we were, putting some things right and enjoying the old songs." ❚


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THE FIFTH ESTATE FILM review STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Peter Capaldi | 124mins | Out Nov 14

FILTH Film James McAvoy, Jamie Bell | R18 | 97mins

James McAvoy stars as possibly the most disgusting copper ever in this adaptation of Irvine ‘Trainspotting’ Welsh’s novel about Bruce Robertson, a drug-addled, sex-addicted policeman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. If only he could stop the web of lies and deceipt from tearing his sanity apart, he might stand a chance. On general release Nov 21



Julian Assange has been vocal in his discrediting of this film about the birth of WikiLeaks and the global implications that its release of secret government files and information has had. But it’s a strong movie, making it hard to understand why the WikiLeaks founder has opposed it so vigorously. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Assange while Daniel Brühl takes on co-founder Daniel Berg, whose book (or at least Josh Singer’s screenplay of it) and the accounts of Guardian journalist David Leigh are what forms the basis of this story. It is with this in mind that Assange has voiced his disagreement (and personally urged Cumberbatch to turn down the role), labelling the film a character assassination amongst other things. But Bill Condon’s film, if anything, is too reluctant to take a defined point of view at all. Debates about the morals of WikiLeaks’ actions rumble on, with CGI flourishes used extensively to remind us all we are in a digital age, while the breakdown in the relationship between Assange and Berg shape the story as the stakes are raised, with Berg finally denouncing Assange as a “manipulative asshole”. But Condon and Singer hedge their bets too much and are at pains to present both sides of the story, which is perhaps indicative of journalistic integrity but less befitting a Hollywood movie. Cumberbatch is excellent as the Aussie at the heart of a series of events with truly global ramifications, nailing Assange’s mannerisms, and it unfolds with passion and pace. If only it lifted the lid on the story behind the story a little more. GOOD FOR: Seeing Cumberbatch take another leap to the top of the Hollywood pile

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Jody Kamali

The British comedian and backpacker on his new show The A-Z Of Backpacking, about his experiences travelling the world


What fuelled your desire to go backpacking round the world? I talk about this in my new show. What makes us want to drop everything and venture into the unknown. For me, life got a bit stale. Nothing was really happening with my comedy career, the day job was boring. In a poetic kind of way, I was dreaming of the world outside of the UK. What was the most dangerous moment of your backpacking experience? Without a doubt, getting lost in San Salvador, El Salvador [which is] notorious for gangs. I ended up on my own in some small run down village – people gave me the weirdest looks. I ended up asking some guy, who was wearing a vest top I later discovered was concealing two guns, directions to the bus station. “Ere mate,” I said in my Bristolian accent. “Do you know where the bus station is like?” He looked at me confused – I don’t think he had heard a Bristolian accent before – and then calmly gave me directions. What are your favourite places you have been to? Guatemala [because of the] beautiful landscapes, super friendly people, cheap accommodation and it not so commercial – yet! And India which is a truly sensory experience. It’s a magical, mind-blowing place with amazing cuisine and a fascinating culture which begs you to go back and discover more. Which places failed to live up to your expectations? Thailand. It’s gone downhill. It so expensive and you don’t get value for your money. It’s almost that the country is so popular now the Thai people don’t need to deliver on customer service and quality as much anymore as the people keep on coming. I couldn’t wait to leave. What were the most annoying types of traveller you have bumped into? Has to be the loud, bragging, know-it-all ones. The traveller who has done it all – wherever you have been to is not as good as where they have. They also talk loudly on long bus journeys boasting about their experiences

Travel tales: Jody shares his backpacking stories on the unbeaten path. Along the lines of: “I literally was taken in and treated like a fellow Mayan tribesman. I became one of them. I even learned the language but I have forgotten it now though.” Then there’s the spiritual seekers in India, the yoga fanatics, trying to be this calm, centred, god-like person, wearing brightcoloured, hippy clothing bearing the Indian gods and using words like energy, flow and universe in every other sentence. Which one moment or experience do you most fondly remember? It has to be with Keith the Chocolate Shaman. A Texan who’d moved to Guatemala. He was an amazing person dedicated to freeing people from all the crap in their lives. He does this by using raw organic chocolate. Sounds completely bonkers, but it totally works. I’m sure I have heard that chocolate in ancient Mayan times was a “food of the gods”. Well, chocolate has natural endorphins and when in its purest, organic form and drunk in high concentration, it sends you to a happy place. Do you think you might hang up your pack and settle down one day, and if so where would it be? I am not sure I would ever stop travelling. I suppose the day I have children, I will slow

down but in the spirit of the Norwegians, I will throw the baby on the backpack and hike away. I constantly dream of settling down in Lago de Atitlan in Guatemala. It’s a stunning volcanic crater lake, full of mystery and beauty. I actually was shown land by an estate agent when I revisited four years ago. I had no money to buy it but I just liked the idea of buying it. I told the agent I would plant banana and coffee trees and I am trying to convince my wife that this is a great idea. What are the pros and cons of travelling solo in your experience? [The pros are] freedom to travel where you want, when you want and meeting a ton of new people you wouldn’t normally be friends with. The cons are occasional periods of loneliness and never being able to laugh and share ‘that time when…’ stories with your friends when you are back home. What is the most important piece of advice you would give someone embarking on their own adventure? Go with the flow and see where you end up, don’t stick to an itinerary, relax and on’t worry about trying to see everything. I have had some of the best times when they were unplanned. TNTDOWNUNDER.COM



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ALEX SAYS: “I took this photo during the twilight hours in Glenorchy, New Zealand. I waited three hours for the perfect shot. The wait was an experience in itself, it was cold and windy but the breathtaking scenery more than made up for the weather.” WE SAY: “This moody shot won our hearts for its colour, framing and overall magic feel. Alex tells us it took him hours to capture the perfect second in time, but we say it’s worth it.”



SOUL SURFER Ben Proctor, 30, UK

BEN SAYS: “I took this photo of an early morning surfer in Byron Bay. I loved how serene and quiet the beach was.” WE SAY: “We love the solitary surfer and strolling seagulls in this early morning shot. Again, there’s a peaceful element to the photo. We appreciate the calm theme going on here. No one has hurt themselves to capture a Hot Shot this month – thanks guys!”


HOT TIPS: Mood and colour


Colour can be used to create different feelings and emotions. It can either draw the reader in or turn them off. But remember, hues don’t always have to be of the same family in order to make an appealing image. One way to create interest is to match cooler tones with warmer ones. Contrasting primary colours are a great way to convey the vibrancy of life: think of a bright blue sky above a pure yellow sandy beach. That doesn’t look out of place, does it? Your aim should be to shoot colours that look good together in a digital image.

Alex wins a Total Northland Pass for her and a friend from Magic Travellers Network (, while runnerup Ben 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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LONDON BEATS OZ London has pipped Sydney to the top spot in a survey of the best cities in the world to live. The Aussie city, however, took the title of having the most friendly people. Only London beat Sydney in the global research company’s list of 50 “best cities”, placing the harbour city above global hubs like Paris, New York and Rome, according to the Anholt-Gfk survey which ranked Melbourne 10th best. The survey, based on interviews with 5144 adults in 11 countries, measures the “power and appeal of each city’s brand image”. Kiwi cities failed to make it into the top five in any of the categories.

Photos: Thinkstock

DOWN UNDER DEMAND Bill Bryson’s Down Under is still flying off book shelves 13 years after it was first published. The American travel writer’s dry look at life in Australia is Dymocks’ highest-selling travel narrative for 2013, to date. Taking second place on Dymocks’ top 10 travel narrative list is Australian Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French, first published in 2002. In third place is Paul Theroux, with The Last Train to Zona Verde (2013), for which the American author returned to Africa. When it comes to sales across all travel books (guides and narratives), Lonely Planet publications fill all of the top 10 spots.

MI CASA ES SU CASA The Casa San Augustin in Colombia has been revealed as the most popular new hotel in the world according to TripAdvisor ratings. The hotel review website has released its inaugural list for the world and Europe’s new hotels most highly rated by guests. Kura Design Villas Uvita in Costa Rica came second on the global list, while Taj Palace Marrakech in Morocco was given bronze. The most popular new hotel in Europe is the Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, in Vilnius, Lithuania, while London’s Ampersand Hotel took second, with Das Stue, Berlin, Germany, in third.

SUDAN STOP-OFF? A guidebook has been published for adventurous travellers who want to explore the world’s newest country. South Sudan was declared as an independent country to Sudan in 2011 and Bradt Travel Guides has published the first guide book to the country. Admitting that it “is unlikely to become a tourist hotspot in the near future”, the guide warns that “violent crimes occur throughout the country”, but lists Boma National Park, whitewater rafting on the Nile and the cattle camps of the Dinka tribe as some of the must-dos for any intrepid-enough travellers.



Soaking up the stunning Coromandel views before taking the watery plunge

Coromandel Peninsula

Photos: Tourism New Zealand, Maree MacLean, CanyoNZ, Thinkstock




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Food and fear in the Coromandel Just 90 minutes from Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula has everything from adrenalin thrills to gourmet delights WORDS MAREE MACLEAN

Enjoying New Zealand’s most extreme sports doesn’t require a flight to Queenstown. At the other end of the country, a quick drive from Auckland, lies one of New Zealand’s most extreme experiences – canyoning in the dramatic Kauaeranga Valley, right at the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula. Atuatumoe, or The Sleeping God, Canyon offers not just spectacular scenery, but the sort of platform-like volcanic rock and waterfalls that are seemingly ideal for abseiling and jumping down. Ideal, at least, if you’re insane, which today apparently I am. Quick tip: if going canyoning, ready yourself for your first day of water-based thrills and spills by seriously taking the temperature into account. As I discover all too late, the warmer you are, the more you’re going to want to jump off ledges and launch yourself down nature’s little slides throughout the canyon. While Russ Hodgson and Wayne Darlington, my canyoning guides, check numerous times if I’ve got my neoprene gloves, hood, vest, helmet and over jacket on, I make my bid to stay warm and toasty with a bonus pair of thick woolen socks and thermal underwear. Suited up and ready to go, a 45-minute walk up the valley provides additional warmth and endless distractions to quell the nerves of this first time canyoner (that’s me). On the way to the summit, Russ explaines how the early pioneers in the valley tried to dam the canyon and float gigantic kauri logs out of the valley for processing into floorboards and building materials. It’s not without a trace of wistfulness in his voice that we learn almost all of the mighty kauri trees are now gone. The remainder were carted out by rail a century ago.

I frankly don’t have, and it’s not the first time I worry I’m going to hold up our nervously-enthusiastic team of five – Wayne has already relieved me of my pack after noticing me struggle up the steep ascent huffing and puffing. Panic sets in. How on Earth am I going to manage the

Who would’ve thought one of NZ’s top adventures is on Auckland’s doorstep

water slides and survive jumps as high as 14m into deep dark pools if I can’t even bear my own pack? But there’s not much time to think about it – we’ve arrived at the first waterfall. It’s crunch time. I have to abseil straight down a waterfall face. Peering apprehensively upriver I can see ››

Going down, down, down Wayne, familiar with the traditions of the Ngati Maru, the valley’s earliest Maori descendants, offers a heartfelt karakia (Maori prayer) to Atuatumoe, requesting his blessing and protection during the tour. I think I’m going to need it – the Sleeping God tour is a vertical descent of 300m down a ridiculously steep set of waterfalls. The abseils of up to 80m require a degree of fitness that



the water level is high due to lots of rain and it’s not the first time I wonder if my thrill-seeking nature needs some serious curbing. I’m immediately reassured as I watch the expert skill with which our guides start unfurling the ropes from their bags and set up the first descent. Then, it’s a tentative glance straight into Russ’s eyes, which is met with a broad smile and a reassuring nod, as I lower myself over the edge. The water splashes on my face, my feet falter on the slippery rock face and I grip the rope with my neoprene gloves for dear life. I’m not quite sure how to regain my balance and then remember the briefing just moments before: lean backwards into the harness and let the rope take your weight. Suddenly I’m grinning broadly and making my way down, courage building with every inch I cover, until suddenly I’m at the bottom. A big smile from Wayne tells me I did all right and I’m told to clip my safety lines to the rope anchored in the rock. Here we sit perched, like frogs on a log, and wait for the rest of the party to make their way down. Just as I think I’ve got the hang of the abseiling, it’s time to zipline over a chasm – not a wide one, mind, but my breath catches in my throat when I look down. I land on a small patch of earth with a thud, my whole body pitches forward and Wayne, ready and waiting, grabs me and sets me down properly on solid ground. I realise there’s quite an art to ferrying this small party of five down 300m of abseils and zip lines, safely to the bottom of the canyon.

After you?

Doorstep challenge Heading into late afternoon and after a 10m jump, body fatigue sets in and I really note the cold for the first time as my body’s defenses pack in for the day. I start shivering in earnest and the guides keep reminding us to watch our footing and go bum first if we have any doubts. I’m nearly out of the canyon and onto shallow ground and I’m tired, oh so tired, but still vigilantly watching my footing, because it’s when fatigued that we’re most likely to break an ankle. Oh God, don’t let me break an ankle and wake up the sleeping god of this canyon, I pray. It’s with relief I find myself suddenly on the banks of the river, not in it, and tentatively picking my way across the swing bridge back to the van. The day ends with an unexpected munch at the DOC information centre a short drive away –

never has a sausage tasted so god damn delicious. I grab a second and feel a warm glow of achievement start to spread through my cold belly. In just 12 hours I’ve become a converted canyon addict. Who would have thought one of New Zealand’s premiere adventure attractions would be found right here, smack bang on Auckland’s doorstep? Now, let’s face it, a taste of the Coromandel wouldn’t be complete without a heads up on where to get the best local tucker, would it? Aaron at the Pepe Café in Tairua serves up some fantastic local food. The Pepe Grill, a whopper meal only for the seriously hungry, includes two breakfast sausages made especially for Pepe by the Tairua Butchery, award-winning purveyors of some of New Zealand’s best bacon. For the health conscious, there’s The Veggie Grill and for you coffee addicts, the good old Coffee La La, roasted right here in the Coromandel, in Kuatuna, by a mad American who long ago adopted the peninsula as his home. The coffee fuels me up for the drive to Waikino and helps rally my strength to cycle a section of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

The wheel deal

Liquid refreshment at the Pepe Café 24


It turns out I needn’t have worried. The hugely popular Hauraki Rail Trail is the easiest riding trail in the country. It’s in close proximity to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and accessible from Thames, Paerora, Te Aroha and Waikino. I start the trail at the cascading and picturesque Owharoa Falls, a short drive from Waikino. Cycling the 1.1km tunnel through the rock of the

Cathedral Cove and, below, Hot Water Beach


Spend a great day canyoning in a breathtaking valley with New Zealand's best canyoning company Canyonz has been operating for more than 10 years near Thames in the Coromandel, offering North Island guided canyon trips, through some of the most beautiful landscape New Zealand has to offer. The new owners are working hard to make it the best 'true adventure' experience in the country! With their experience and enthusiasm for outdoor adventure they will ensure your experience is positively mind blowing.

So what are you waiting for?

Come abseil, zip-line and jump down waterfalls with us!

Free Phone: 0800 422 696 (0800 4CANYONZ) Outside of NZ: +6421456682 or +6421478471 Email: TNTDOWNUNDER.COM


stunning Karangahake Gorge, I’m reminded for the second time on my trip of the tenacity of the early settlers. To blast and pickaxe a 1.1km tunnel out of the gorge? Impressive. What is not so well known about the hugely popular trail is that it also offers the perfect opportunity to sample some of the Coromandel’s best food and beverages along the way. So, if you missed Pepe’s at Tairua, never mind, there’s much more depending on what stage of the trail you join. Cycling back through the tunnel and up to the bistro directly opposite the falls, I discover a hidden culinary gem, The Falls Retreat, run by part-Maori chef Brad King and his British wife, Emma Walters. The Bistro has a reputation for excellent wood-fired food. A tasting platter of the Bistro’s meats and fish arrives smoking and succulent, perfectly matched with a great Pinot Noir. Brad’s vision for a full vegetable garden from which he can supply his restaurant is already well underway. If you’re doing the trail in full, from Thames to Waikino in around three days, why not park up for your last night in the Rose Cottage? Attached to the main house at The Falls Retreat, it comfortably sleeps four. You can share a pizza if money’s tight or sing for your supper! Brad is welcoming backpackers to work at the Falls Retreat so get amongst it and learn what you can from this culinary maestro! ❚ Details: CanyoNZ’s Sleeping God Canyon Trip costs $360pp; Hire bikes on the Hauraki Rail Trail from $30 per day; Beds at Sunkist Backpackers, Thames, cost from $25pn sunkistbackpackers. com; Beds at Tairua Backpackers, Tairua, cost from $25pn; Falls Retreat’s Rose Cottage, Waihi, costs from $130pn



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Brace yourself: (clockwise) the Sky Walk; Auckland Tower; jet boating; canyoning; bungy jumping


Down time: dropping into Waitomo’s Lost World 28


Photo: Tourism New Zealand


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Auckland: all thriller, no filler The city might be sat upon a stunning, volcano-ringed harbour, but it’s also home to some scream-inducing thrills WORDS MATT RISELY & CHRIS TANNER

The easy-going hustle and bustle of Auckland has a lot in common with Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Stay with us, we’re going somewhere here. Like the District (and its workers), Auckland spreads itself far and wide and when visitors arrive in both, they tend to get stuck in one place, neglecting to explore the beauty and culture of the surrounding areas. However, Auckland’s beauty, unlike the ‘beauty’ of the District’s, is not skin deep. (For the sake of my love life, I’d like to categorically state that I don’t believe the majority of Auckland’s female workers are ladies of the night – nor are you likely to leave the city with a debilitating sexual disease.) The point is that it’s well worth exploring the surrounding areas of New Zealand’s main metropolis. Despite the seemingly obvious pitfalls of building a city within a bosom of volcanoes (surely Dante’s Peak should be on their curriculum?), Auckland is snuggled cosily within a radius of about 50 volcanic vents.

Isle like it However, what Auckland’s town planners lacked in common sense, the city makes up for in great scenery. Several of these mountainous uprisings are worth visiting. One Tree Hill and Mount Eden are two nearby mounds, both offering great views only a few minutes from the city. For a cheap way to see the natural beauty of Auckland’s sprawling suburbs, head up there before dusk and watch the sun set into the water’s edge. It’s stunning. To truly appreciate Auckland though, you have to head off the mainland and onto its islands. Rangitoto is Auckland’s most recent volcano, barely 600 years young, and its size, symmetry and dominance over the entrance to the harbour make it one of Auckland’s most iconic landmarks. A short ferry ride over and you’re faced with a land that time forgot. Upon further inspection though, the looming green mountain behind is ominously reminiscent of Lost. The strangest, yet most appealing thing, is the complete and utter lack of noise. Due to the acidity of the soil, very few birds inhabit the island. The next closest inhabitable Island is Waiheke. Locals

talk about how much the place has changed in the last 15 years, with tales of a bourgeois elite battling hippies and backpackers to stake their claim on a treasured piece of land. Yet it’s barely touched and wonderfully reminiscent of a Mediterranean getaway.

From here, a greenie would split the concrete like a stream of urine in fresh white snow

Once you’ve got your fill of scenery, however, and are feeling suitably relaxed, there’s only one thing you can do – embrace your suicidal tendencies and take on one, or a few, of the many crazy, adrenalin-pumping activities that ››

Three, two, one... TNTDOWNUNDER.COM


Some people find this fun

Terror town treats JET BOATING Jet boating in Viaduct Harbour, in the heart of downtown Auckland, is an adventure combining highspeed thrills with jet boat manoeuvres. These include 180 and 270° spins with sweeping turns, as you travel up to an exhilarating 85km per hour. If you’re quick on the eye, you’ll get amazing views of the Auckland city skyline. Tours from $85.

CANYONING It’s like an outdoor playground. Imagine sliding, jumping, abseiling and falling into rock pools in some of the most magnificent rainforests. Choose from Blue Canyon, which has 18 waterfalls, ranging in height from 2-25m. Here the water has carved perfect pools into the dark volcanic rock. You spend the day sliding down natural hydro slides, abseiling down mystical waterfalls and getting some airtime with the awesome jumps into deep crystal-clear pools. Or Sleeping God Canyon for the really adventurous, where you get a vertical descent of over 300m down a steep set of waterfalls. Tours cost $360. DIVING We reckon Goat Island is the best place to go diving when you’re staying in Auckland. Off the east coast in this massive outdoor aquarium you can snorkel or dive straight from the beach to see snapper, parore, sea urchins, crayfish and stingrays, and if you’re lucky, an orca or two. It’s an hour from the city, trips cost from $99. PARAGLIDING Using just some light nylon and string, paragliding is as close as you’ll get to flying like a bird, soaring up to 5 or 10,000 feet above the earth. Sky Wings will take you paragliding any day of the week (weather permitting) and will pick you up from the city centre. Experiences from $110. 30


Auckland so thrives on. Afterall, you’ll never appreciate a view more than those few seconds before plunging towards the ground...

Tower records A 1.2m wide metal grate is the only thing separating my body from the pavement below. Far, far down, cars glitter like coins at the bottom of a water fountain. They move slowly along the long white veins of winding roadways linking together Auckland’s towering skyscrapers. I can barely make out the shape of people standing at the traffic lights, but I doubt they can see me. This is the Auckland Sky Tower, and at 328 metres high, it is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Today, I just so happen to be standing only a couple of metres from the top. Luckily, I won’t be doing any jumping this time, just nipping out for a quick stroll along the clounds, courtesy of the Sky Walk (, from $125). But I can’t help thinking that a greenie, if launched from this peak position, would catapult to the ground at the destructive rate of 150km/hr. It would split through concrete like a stream of urine in fresh snow. Or so I imagine, anyway. The wind is puffing harder than a fat man on a stairmaster, but a harness tethering me to the side of the building provides some comfort. I will not fall. Repeat. I will not fall. Today, I can see as far north as the Leigh Peninsula, east towards Hauraki Gulf, west to Manukau Heads and south to the Bombay Hills. But the most impressive sight, if you ask me, is of the sailboats dashing over the water. It’s my second day in Auckland and I’m already feeling quite at home. It may not have the je-ne-sais-quoi of architecturally stupendous places like Paris or Prague, but its laidback atmosphere cannot be beat. Friendly people, good bars and delish’ food make this place tops.

Come here often? Elastic fantastic It just so happens to be one of the most miserable days of the year – raining, cold and extremely windy. Nevertheless, there are three of us up at 10am braving the elements. Walking along the purpose-built structure under Auckland’s harbour bridge, I think I must be insane. I’m about to do a bungy jump (, jumps from $150). If we had not been harnessed to the railing, I’m sure at least one of us would have been blown off into the water below. I selflessly let the two Irish guys jump before me. One of them said he wanted to get soaked in the harbour, but as he jumped, only his head got dunked in. Now, when I get nervous, I usually talk it up like I’m not scared at all, so I turned to the bungy instructor and said: “You only got his head wet! Come on, that’s nothing.” The guy just looked at me and grinned. I didn’t like the look of his expression at all. It was the kind of face the tough guy gives in a movie before he kicks some ass. Sure enough, I got a proper dunk – almost totally under water, literally up to my shoes. I came out of it utterly soaked, but grinning like a gold medal champion.

Nappy valley With nipples harder than a Chuck Norris/Mr T fight-off and gale force winds whipping round my face, I began to realise quite how high up 192m really is. I’m back up Auckland’s Sky Tower, which also happens to be home to New Zealand’s highest jump, a base jump by wire which offers a more gentle introduction to extreme sports. It’s known as the Sky Jump (skywalk., jumps are $290 when combined witht the Sky Walk). While you still get that “I probably should have worn huggies” feeling as you peer over the edge and the exhilarating adrenalin rush as you fall, the fact that the wire is attached to your back instead of your feet means the descent is far less jolting, but just as enjoyable. Now then, where are those Huggies? ❚ TNTDOWNUNDER.COM


In the dropzone

Best of the rest SKYDIVING Want to see Auckland from 14,000ft while plummeting to the ground? Skydiving is the best way to see the awesome rugged west coast beaches, Auckland city and the islands in the Pacific Ocean while floating to the ground strapped to an instructor. You can also learn how to skydive on your own if you really get a feel for it. Planes board at Parakai Airfield, 35mins outside Auckland. Jumps start at $275.

SURFING It may be called the city of sails but Auckland also has some epic waves. For good surf less than 50km from the city, head to Te Henga (Bethells Beach) on the west coast. The beaches of Auckland range from those with marbled white sands fringed by palm trees to the rugged black sands of the west coast with towering black cliffs and rainforests. Free unless you want a surfing lesson, which cost from $90.

Storm the bridge

BRIDGE CLIMB Make like Spider-Man and climb Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. Taking 90 minutes, you’ll go up, through and over the bridge, reaching heights of 67 metres above the water. Meanwhile you’ll learn the history of the bridge while looking over the glorious Auckland harbour. Prices start at $120. SAILING With numerous islands and sheltered anchorages, the Hauraki Gulf is the perfect spot for getting some wind through your hair. And as the former home of the Americas Cup, it attracts the world’s best sailors and most amazing super yachts from all over the world. If you don’t have the time or cash to charter a yacht, join one of the many sailing tours. You can even take the helm of an actual Americas Cup boat. Two-hour trips cost $160. 32


Hit the high seas

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With 45+ New Zealand hostels, you can walk the wild places or stroll into the bush for a picnic and still get a great night’s sleep. YHA have got your accommodation sorted. Easy as.

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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, Standby Cars 0800 789 059,

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,



United Campervans 09 275 9919,

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,

JAMES BLUNT Auckland. Wed, 28 May. Yes, love him or loathe him, the “Beautiful” singer is back with new album Moon Landing. He’s just announced his Down Under tour. Civic Theatre, Auckland

Photos: Tourism New Zealand, Chris McLennan, Getty



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.


Far and away NZ’s favourite bus network

Experience New Zealand like a local. With daily services to more than 600 towns, cities and communities nationwide, InterCity® is the way kiwi’s love to explore New Zealand. Our great value New Zealand bus passes give you unbeatable hop-on/hop-off options including the Interislander ferry, sightseeing day trips to top destinations and even a dolphin watching cruise in the Bay of Islands! Book your seat today at and start travelling like a local. *

fares from $1* nationwide * + booking fee




Air New Zealand 0800 737 000,


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).

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 ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL Auckland. Mon, 27 Jan. Tickets from $139.50+bf. It’s the hipsters’ choice of festival, albeit with a slightly less impressive lineup than its Aussie brothers. See the likes of Churches (pictured).

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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Silo Park, Auckland

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: TNT Images



TONGARIRO CROSSING Made world famous ever since Peter Jackson decided to transform the Tongariro’s Mt Ngauruhoe into Mt Doom in those films, the Crossing is widely touted as being New Zealand’s best day walk. After a steep (and early) start up the aptly-named Devil’s Staircase, you find youself emerging over a peak to see the simply breathtaking Emerald Lakes. It’s a long day, allow 6-8 hours for the walk, meaning it’s well worth staying in nearby village National Park, rather than doing a daytrip from Taupo. Beware that if you’re hoping to also tackle the Mt Doom peak along the way, you’ll want to be picking up the pace from the word go.


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

NEW ZEALAND OPEN Queenstown. Thur, 27 Feb – Sun, 2 March. Tickets from $20. Golf fans, start planning ahead. You’ll want to be in Queenstown when the country’s biggest golfing event rocks into town. The Hills Golf Course, Otago

BK Hostel (BBH) 3 Mercury Ln, Central. 09 307 0052,

Princeton Backpackers 30 Symonds St. 09 963 8300,

Central City Backpackers 26 Lorne St. 09 358 5685,

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

City Garden Lodge 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. 09 302 0880

Uenuku Lodge (BBH) 217 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 09 378 8990

City Groove Backpackers (BBH) 6 Constitutional Hill, Parnell. 09 303 4768,

Surf ‘n’ Snow Backpackers 102 Albert St. 09 363 8889,

Georgia Parkside Backpackers 189 Park Rd, Grafton. 09 309 8999, Kiwi International Queen St Hotel and Hostel 411 Queen St. 0800 100 411, 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,

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

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

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

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

The Brown Kiwi (BBH) 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby. 09 378 0191, Verandahs (BBH) 6 Hopetown St. 09 360 4180 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

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, 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.



NORTHISLAND Stray Possum Lodge (VIP) 09 429 0109,

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

BARRIER DO Fullers Cruises Depart from the Ferry Building. 09 367 9102

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.

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.


NINE INCH NAILS Christchurch. Sat, 22 March. Price TBC. Yep, the Nails are heading to NZ. Not enough? Well, Queens of the Stone Age are joining them. Better join the queue now...

CBS Canterbury Arena

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,



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.

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, YHA Paihia Cnr Kings and MacMurray Rds, Paihia, 09 402 7487,

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, natural walks at Otehei Bay or simply kick back and enjoy the island atmosphere. 0800 365 744,

@tnt_downunder 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 (BBH) Otaipango Rd, Henderson Bay, 09 409 8515, Pukenui Lodge Hostel (BBH) Cnr SH1 & Wharf Rd, Pukenui, 09 4098837,

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A very well-kept tourist secret, Matauri Bay is Maori land, home to the Ngati Kura people, and has beautiful, quiet beaches.

HAMILTON STAY Colts n Fillies (BBH) 37 Smith Rd, Karamu, 07 825 9809,

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.

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. Tourist info centre Boyd Gallery, 09 405 0230. Sunseeker Lodge (BBH) Old Hospital Rd, 09 405 0496,

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, Waitiki Landing Far North Rd, 09 409 7508

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

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

DOC Office Level 5, Rostrevor St.

The Welcome Swallow Backpackers Off Matauri Bay Road, 09 4051 019,


Hamilton Visitor Centre 5 Garden Place, Hamilton 07 958 5960

Forty Winks (BBH) 267 River Rd, Claudelands, 07 855 2033, J’s Backpackers (BBH) 8 Grey Street, 07 856 8934,

BELINDA CARLISLE Wellington. Sat, 14 Dec. Tickets from $86. Is heaven a place on Earth? Wellington will be for fans of 80s power ballads on this night. Get in quick if you want a seat. The Opera House

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

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


YHA Ahipara Backpackers & Motor Camp 168-170 Takehe St, 09 409 4864,

Dargaville Holiday Park (VIP) 10 Onslow St, 09 439 8296,

Farm Backpackers (BBH) End of Lamb Rd, Pukenui, 09 409 7863

Kaihu Farm (BBH) RD6, Kaihu, 09 439 4004,

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,

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

WAIKATO Waikato District Info Centre 160 Great South Rd, Huntly, 07 828 6406 Shekinah (BBH) 122 Pungapunga Rd, Pukekawa, 09 233 4464,

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

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,


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.


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


Rural town famous for being turned into Hobbiton in those films – some The main attraction of this peaceful port town, 55km south of Raglan, is of the set still stands. the Maketu Marae where you can Hobbiton Backpackers experience the rich cultural tapestry 81 Arawa St, 07 888 9972, of NZ’s indigenous history.



Just 59km south of Hamilton, many This very Olde English town with its travellers use this small farming town square and abundance of community as a base for visiting the trees is in the heart of Waikato. The Waitomo Caves. region is famous for its horses and Otorohanga Visitor Info Centre jetboating. 26 Maniapoto St, Cambridge Tourist Info Centre Cnr Queen and Victoria Sts, 07 823 3456


RAGLAN One of New Zealand’s best-known surfing beaches, Raglan is situated 48km west of Hamilton. 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 & Waterfront Lodge (BBH) 6 Wi Neera St, 07 825 0515,

Definitely one of the best adventure spots in New Zealand. There are a range of caving adventures, from glowworm ogling, to long dramatic abseils deep towards the centre of the earth and excellent blackwater rafting (jump in an inner tube and let the underwater current carry you). Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre 21 Waitomo Caves Rd, 0800 474 839.

WAITOMO STAY Juno Hall (BBH) 07 878 7649

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,

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

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



NORTHISLAND TE AWAMUTU 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,

WAITOMO Definitely one of the best adventure spots in New Zealand. There are a range of caving adventures, from glowworm ogling, to long dramatic

abseils deep towards the centre of the earth and excellent blackwater rafting (jump in an inner tube and let the underwater current carry you). Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre 21 Waitomo Caves Rd, 0800 474 839.

WAITOMO STAY Juno Hall (BBH) 07 878 7649 Kiwipaka School Rd, 07 878 3395 Rap Raft & Rock Backpackers (BBH) 95 Waitomo Caves Rd, 07 873 9149,

WAITOMO DO Dundle Hill Walk A two-day walk through native bush; limestone outcrops includes overnight with spectacular views at Kays Cabin. 0800 924 866 Marakopa Falls, Managapohue Natural Bridge and Piri Piri Cave, 30 minutes drive from Waitomo.

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BOOK NOW! Rap Raft ‘n’ Rock Blackwater adventures combining abseiling, rafting, glowworms, caving and rockclimbing all in one five-hour adventure. 0800 228 372,

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

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co Cave tubing in the blackness of the Ruakuri Cave river. 585 Waitomo Caves Rd, 0800 228 464,

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).

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




Tui Lodge (BBH) 60 Whangapoua Rd, 07 866 8237,


THAMES A great canyoning spot, with loads of natural pools and waterslides. Information Thames 206 Poland St, 07 868 7284 DOC Office 07 868 6381 Canyonz Ltd 0800 422 696,

THAMES STAY Dickson Holiday Park Victoria St, 07 868 7308, Gateway Backpackers (BBH) 209 Mackay St, 07 868 6339, The Sunkist International Backpackers (BBH, VIP, YHA) 506 Brown St, 07 868 8808,

COROMANDEL Some 55km north of Thames is the town of Coromandel, home to the popular Driving Creek Railway. Coromandel Information Centre Kapanga Rd, 07 866 8598.



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?



Lions Den (BBH) 126 Te Tiki St, 07 866 8157


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.

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.

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

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.

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



Anchor Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 448 Wharf Rd, 07 866 7992,

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 Southpacific Accommodation (BBH) Cnr Port Rd and Mayfair Avenue, 07 865 9580, Whangamata Backpackers Hostel (BBH) 227 Beverley Tce, 07 865 8323

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

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

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

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WAITANGI Often referred to as the nation’s birthplace, Waitangi is steeped in history. It is where the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand was signed, in 1835, and then, five years later, the Waitangi Treaty, which was signed by representatives of the British crown and Maori chiefs, giving the Maori ownership of their land and the rights of British subjects... well, that’s the official description anyway. Not everybody agrees that it was quite so progressive! It’s a great place to be on either New Year’s Eve or Waitangi Day, on February 6. Nearby Paihia and Russell also boast some of New Zealand’s oldest drinking establishments.

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

WHITIANGA DO Hot Water Beach & Cathedral Cove Rated as one of the world’s 10 best beaches, Hot Water Beach is an unusual 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.


Base Rotorua 1286 Arawa St, 0800 227 369,

Mt Maunganui Visitor Centre Salisbury Ave, 07 575 5099

Crank Backpackers 1140 Hinemoa St, 07 348 0852,

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,

Mount Backpackers (BBH) 87 Maunganui Rd, 07 575 0860, Pacific Coast Backpackers (BBH) 432 Maunganui Rd, 0800 666 622,

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


Waimarino Adventure Park 07 576 4233 Coyote Bar and Restaurant 107 The Strand, 07 578 8968,

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

Butlers Swim With Dolphins 0508 288 537


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

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.



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.

Te Puke Information Centre 130 Jellicoe St, 07 573 9172


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Cactus Jack Backpackers (BBH) 1210 Haupapa St, 07 348 3121,

Crash Palace Backpackers (BBH, VIP) 1271 Hinemaru St, 07 348 8842, Planet Nomad Backpackers (VIP) 1193 Fenton St, 07 346 2831, Rotorua Central Backpackers (BBH) 1076 Pukuatua St, 07 349 3285, Spa Lodge (BBH) 1221 Amohau St, 07 348 3486,

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, 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,


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

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 .

YHA Taupo 56 Kaimanawa St, 07 378 3311,

NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute 07 348 9047

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

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, 07 378 9292, blackcurrantbackpackers@xtra. Rainbow Lodge (BBH) 133 Summers St, 08 9227-1818, Finns Global Backpackers (VIP) Cnr Tongariro & Tuwharetoa Sts, 07 377 0044, Silver Fern Lodge Flash-Packers (VIP) Cnr Tamamutu & Kaimanawa Sts, 07 377 4929,


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. Hukafalls Jet Jetboating by the falls. 0800 485 2538, Rock ‘n’ Ropes Ropes Courses including the trapeze and Giant Swing. At Crazy Catz on Highway 5. 0800 244 508, Taupo Bungy Bungy from a platform 47m above the Waikato River. 202 Spa Rd. 0800 888 408, 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. Turangi Visitor Centre Ngawaka Place, 07 386 8999

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

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

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

navigate grade five whitewater and take the leap of elasticated faith from an 80m bungy.

Extreme Backpackers (BBH) 26 Ngawaka Place, 07 386 8949,

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

The Stockmans Lodge (BBH) 9 Dixon Way, 06 388 1584,

Riverstone Backpackers (BBH) 222 Tautahanga Rd, 07 386 7004,

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

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, Forest Lodge (BBH) Cnr Omaki and Ohorere Rds, Owhango, 07 895 4773, Howards Lodge (BBH) Carroll St, National Park, 07 892 2827,

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

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.



The Rangitikei District is a top destination for adventure sports. Amongst stunning scenery, you can

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

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,

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. Flying Nun Backpackers (BBH) 147 Roebuck Rd, 06 868 0461, 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. Wairoa Visitor Information Centre Queen St, 06 838 7440 Haere Mai Cottage (BBH) 49 Mitchell Rd, 06 838 6817 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


AUCKLAND ZOO 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, including its 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.



NORTHISLAND earthquake which meant the entire town had to be rebuilt.



Visitor Info Centre 100 Marine Parade, 06 834 1911



Aqua Lodge (BBH) 53 Nelson Cres, 06 835 4523,

Palmerston North Visitor Centre The Square, 0800 626 292,

Criterion Art Deco Backpackers (VIP, Roamfree) 48 Emerson St, 06 835 2059,

Waterfront Lodge & Backpackers (BBH) 217 Marine Pd, 06 835 3429, YHA Napier 277 Marine Parade, 06 835 7039,

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

Department of Conservation Office 717 Tremaine Ave, 06 350 9700

ROSIE O’DONNELL Wellington. Fri, 31 Jan. Tickets from $90. The brash American comic, film star, chatshow host and Broadway actress might not be to everyone’s taste, but this is bound to sell out. Michael Fowler Centre 06835 7039,

NEW PLYMOUTH 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,

Lochlea Farmstay (BBH) 344 Lake Rd, Wanstead, 06 8554 816 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 and impressive, Taranaki has skifields, excellent surf beaches, great walking and climbing.

MOKAU Palm House Backpackers (BBH)


Wanganui Information Centre 101 Guyton St, 06 349 0508, Department of Conservation Office Cnr Ingestre and St Hill Sts, 06 345 2402

Depart of Conservation Office Marine Parade, 06 834 3111

Napier Prison Backpackers (BBH) 55 Coote Rd, 06 835 9933,

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

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

TARANAKI DO 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. North Egmont Visitors Centre, 06 758 3222.

STRATFORD Stratford Information Centre Broadway Stratford (State Hwy 3), 06 765 6708, 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, Whanganui National Park The major attraction is the Whanganui River, snaking through picturesque scenery. Explore with a kayak or riverboat tour.

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 Downtown Wellington Backpackers (BBH) 1 Bunny St. 04 473 8482 Lodge in the City (VIP) 152 Taranaki St. 04 385 8560 Maple Lodge (BBH) 52 Ellice St. 04 385 3771 Nomads Capital 118 Wakefield St. 0508 666 237, Rosemere Backpackers (BBH) 6 McDonald Cres. 04 384 3041,


Rowena’s Backpackers (VIP) 115 Brougham St. 0800 80 1414 Wellywood Backpackers 58 Tory St. 0508 00 58 58 Worldwide Backpackers (BBH) 291 The Terrace. 04 802 5590, 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,

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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,

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.



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, Footprints by the Sea (BBH) 31 Beach Rd, Tahuna Beach. 03 546 5441, The Green Monkey (BBH) 129 Milton St. 03 545 7421, Honey Suckle House (BBH) 125 Tasman St. 03 548 7576


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,

BOOK NOW! 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,

Shortbread Cottage (BBH) 33 Trafalgar St. 03 546 6681

Hat Trick Lodge (BBH) 25 Wallace St. 03 528 5353,

Tasman Bay Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 10 Weka St. 03 548 7950,

The Laughing Kiwi (BBH) 310 High St. 03 528 9229,

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.

MOTUEKA 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. Motueka i-SITE Visitors Centre 20 Wallace St, 03 528 6543,


Old Macdonald’s Farm Holiday Park 03 527 8288, The White Elephant (BBH) 55 Whakarewa St. 03 528 6208, Vineyard Tourist Units & Cabins 28 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 The Nook (BBH) Abel Tasman Dr. 03 525 8501,

The Jugglers Rest (BBH) 8 Canterbury St. 03 573 5570,

River Inn (BBH) Golden Bay. 03 525 9425

Picton Lodge (VIP) 9 Auckland St. 03 573 7788,

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, 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


Kiwiana (BBH) 73 Motuipipi St. 03 525 7676

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

Kanuka Ridge (BBH) 21 Moss Rd, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park. 03 527 8435,

Bayview Backpackers (BBH) 318 Waikawa Rd. 03 573 7668,

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

HAVELOCK STAY Bluemoon Lodge (BBH) 48 Main Rd. 03 574 2212,

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Nikau Cottages 48 Main Rd. 03 443 9010

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


Rutherford YHA Hostel 46 Main Road. 03 574 2104,

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


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

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

Dusky Lodge (BBH) 67 Beach Rd. 03 319 5959 The Lazy Shag (BBH) 37 Beach St. 03 319 6662

BLENHEIM 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.

WELLINGTON PHOENIX VS PERTH GLORY Christchurch. Sat, 9 Nov. Tickets from $10. Sure, it’s Wellington’s team, and these two are this year’s A-League strugglers, but it’s the biggest distance for a domestic game in football.

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

AMI Stadium, Christchurch

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

Peacehaven Backpackers (BBH) 29 Budge St. 03 577 9750,

mountain range. You can also snorkel with dolphins or swim with the inquisitive NZ fur seals (Sept-May).

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

Stoney Acre 9 Marldene Avenue, Seddon. 03 578 6303,

Kaikoura Visitor Info Centre, West End, 03 319 5641

Leeways Backpackers (BBH) 33 Lansdowne St. 03 579 2213,

Enjoy the sight of the magnificent albatross so close to the boat you can almost touch them. 96 Esplanade, 0800 733 365

KAIKOURA Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque

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

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,

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, Fyffe House 62 Avoca St, Kaikoura’s oldest building, 03 319 5835. 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, Seal Swim Kaikoura Swim with wild NZ Fur Seals. 58 West End, 0800 732 579,



Kaikoura is famous for its large sperm whale population and picturesque mountain r

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

Albatross Encounter


MILFORD SOUND One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand (and there’s some serious competition!), Milford Sound is definitely worth the mission to the country’s south-west. Indeed the drive there is as spectacular as the destination – all winding roads, gaping drops, dense woodland and crashing waterfalls. Once there, head out onto the water and keep your eyes peeled for seals and penguins.



SOUTHISLAND to late October) and the Canterbury area is well worth spending some time discovering.

The Hanmer Connection Christchurch to Hanmer Springs buses. 0800 242 663


Christchurch & Canterbury i-Site Visitor Centre Rolleston Avenue (Next to the Canterbury Museum) Christchurch 8011 03 379 9629

HANMER STAY Hanmer Backpackers (BBH) 41 Conical Hill Rd. 03 315 7196,

Department of Conservation 4/195 Hereford Street (03) 371 3700

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

C’CHURCH STAY Around the World Backpackers 314 Barbadoes Street. 03 365 4363

PARAMORE Christchurch. Tues, 21 Jan. Tickets from $79. Get ready for a riot. The American emo rockers are heading down to New Zealand and their many fans are bound to be out in force.

At The Right Place 85 Bealey Street. 03 366 1633

CBS Canterbury Arena

Avon City Backpackers Worcester Street. 03 389 6876, Canterbury House (BBH) 257 Bealey Ave. 03 377 8108,

Up Up and Away Hot air ballooning, 03 381 4600,

Foley Towers (BBH) 208 Kilmore St. 03 366 9720,


Jailhouse Accommodation (BBH) 338 Lincoln Rd. 0800 524 546 Kiwi Basecamp (BBH) 69 Bealey Ave. 03 366 6770 Kiwi House 373 Gloucester St. 03 381 6645 Marine Backpackers 26 Nayland St. 03 326 6609 Point Break Backpackers (BBH) 99 Seaview Road. 03 388 2050

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.


The Old Countryhouse (BBH) 437 Gloucester St. 03 381 5504

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.

Tranquil Lodge (BBH) 440 Manchester St. 03 366 6500

Lyttelton Information Centre 20 Oxford St, 03 328 9093

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.

48 Skydiving and training courses, 0800 697 593

Chester Street Backpackers (BBH) 148 Chester St East. 03 377 1897,

Haka Lodge 518 Linwood Ave. 03 980 4252

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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 Information Centre 80 Rue Lavaud, 03 304 8600

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, Onuku Farm Hostel (BBH) 03 304 7066,

AKAROA DO 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.


Akaroa Shuttle Christchurch to Akaroa buses. 0800 500 929

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.

Akaroa French Connection Tours and shuttle bus, 0800 800 575

Department of Conservation Cnr Amuri Rd & Jacks Pass Rd, 03 315 7128


Le Gite Backpackers (BBH) 3 Devon St. 03 315 5111, 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 Rata Lodge Backpackers (BBH) State Highway 73, Otira Arthur’s Pass National Park. 03 738 2822 Smylies Accommodation (YHA) 03 318 9258,

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.


@tnt_downunder 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, Skiwi House (BBH) 30 Chapman St. 03 302 8772, Snow Denn Lodge (YHA, VIP) Cnr Bank & McMillan Sts. 03 302 8999,

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


Big Tree Lodge (BBH) 25 South Belt. 03 302 9575,

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.

Backpacker Heaven (YHA) Cnr Bank & McMillan Sts. 03 302 8999,

Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers (BBH) 9-11 Aorangi Cres. 03 680 6700, rtailor-made-backpackers

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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 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.

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

Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park 03 523 9809,

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

The Lazy Cow Accommodation (BBH) 37 Waller St. 03 523 9451,

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

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

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

PAPAROA STAY Punakaiki Beach Hostel (BBH) 4 Webb St. 03 731 1852, 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,


TripInn (BBH) 72 Queen St. 03 789 7367

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.

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 be a giant stack of pancakes. Visitor Information Punakaiki 03 731 1895

TranzAlpine Scenic railway from Christchurch to Greymouth, travelling through Canterbury Plains and the Alps. Departs 9am every morning. 0800 872 467


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.



SOUTHISLAND GREYMOUTH STAY The west coast’s largest town is dominated by the Duke Backpackers (BBH) 27 Guiness St. 03 768 9470

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.

Global Village (BBH) 42-54 Cowper St, 03 768 7272, The Hairy Lemon 128-130 Mawhera Quay, 03 768 4022, Neptunes International Backpackers (BBH) 43 Gresson St, 0800 003 768, 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 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. Hokitika Visitor Info Centre Carnegie Building, corner of Hamilton & Tancred Street, 03 755 6166

HOKITIKA STAY Beach House BPs 137 Revell St, 03 755 6859 Birdsong (BBH) 124 SH6, 03 755 7179 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,

HOKITIKA DO 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


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,


BOOK NOW! 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 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


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.

Fox Glacier Inn 03 751 0088

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

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

FRANZ STAY Black Sheep (VIP) SH 6, 03 752 0007 Chateau Franz (VIP, BBH) 8-10 Cron St, 0800 728 372, Glow Worm Cottages (BBH) 27 Cron St, 0800 151 027,

Ivory Towers (BBH) 03 751 0838,


Glacier Country Kayaks 20 Cron St, 0800 423 262, Skydive NZ: Fox Glacier 0800 751 0080,


Montrose (BBH) 9 Cron St, 03 752 0188, montrosebackpackers@xtra.

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.

Rainforest Retreat (VIP) Cron St, 0800 873 346

DOC Centre Cnr SH 6 and Jackson Bay Rd, 03 750 0809

YHA Franz Josef 2-4 Cron St, 03 752 0754,

Haast Highway Accommodation Marks Rd, 03 750 0703

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,


Wilderness Backpackers (BBH) Marks Rd, 03 750 029,

SOUTHLAND The top of your chest will quickly get sore as the South Island’s jaw-dropping scenery becomes more prevalent. From the adrenalin thrills of Queenstown

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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 adrenalin-tastic 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 hairy-footed 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 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, Treble Cone Ski Field 03 443 7443, Wanaka Rock Climbing One, three and five-day rock climbing courses for everyone. 03 443 6411, Wanaka Flightseeing Milford Sound flight and cruise from Wanaka, 03 443-8787, f 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.

QUEENSTOWN 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. 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,

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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, Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church St. 03 441 3922, 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 self-contained 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 Southern Laughter (BBH, VIP) 4 Isle St. 0800 728 448, The Last Resort (BBH) 6 Memorial St. 03 442 4320,

appreciate the beauty of the region, take a scenic flight, or even jump out the plane.

Haka Adventure Snow Tours 03 980 4250,

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

Mad Dog River Boarding River sledging & other actionpacked water activities, 03 442 7797,

Thomas’s Hotel & BPs (VIP) 50 Beach St. 03 442 7180

Awesome Foursome Bungy (Nevis – 134m), jetboat, helicopter, whitewater rafting, 03 442 7318

YHA Queenstown Central 48A Shotover Street. 03 442 7400,

Dart River Safaris Jetboating wilderness tours, 0800 327 8538,

YHA Queenstown Lakefront 88-90 Lake Esplanade. 03 442 8413,

Fat Tyre Adventure Mountain biking/heli biking, 0800 328 897,

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

Fergburger Best burgers in NZ. Shotover St, 03 441 1232 Flight Park Tandem Paragliding Operates from Coronet Peak 0800 467 325,

cruises. Te Anau glow-worm cave excursions. TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship cruises and Walter Peak High Country Farm. 0800 65 65 01,

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

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 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. Department of Conservation Beech St, 03 442 7933 Glenorchy Backpackers Retreat (VIP) Cnr Mull and Argyle Streets, Glenorchy, Ph: (03) 442 9902


DUNEDIN New Zealand’s oldest city Dunedin, located in the South Island’s south-east, has strong connections to Scotland, thanks to early settlers turning up in the area after finding the Australian climate too humid for their liking. The cooler coastal weather reminded them of home and even today this town is full of shops and reminders of the Scots culture. Even the name ‘Dunedin’ comes from the Gaelic word for Edinburgh. A gold rush in the 1850s provided a jump in population and Dunedin has been thriving ever since. These days the city is a big student town and has an abundance of fresh seafood and local wildlife, with sea lions, fur seals and penguins all being easily spotted along the Otago coastline.




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


Rosco’s Milford Sound Sea Kayaks 0800 476 726, roscosmilfordkayaks Skydive Fiordland Dive 44 Caswell Rd, Te Anau, 0800 829254, Tracknet 03 249 7737,

ANAU TO MILFORD RHYTHM AND ALPS Wanaka. Mon, 30 Dec – Tues, 31 Dec. Tickets from $159. See in the New Year surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery imaginable at NZ’s biggest little music festival. Acts include Metrik.

Cardrona Valley

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

Barnyard Backpackers (BBH) 80 Mt York Rd, Rainbow Downs, 03 249 8006, Bob & Maxines (BBH) 20 Paton Place, 03 931 3161, Grumpy’s Backpackers Te Anau-Milford Sound Highway, 03 249 8133, Rosies Backpacker Homestay (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,


Department of Conservation 03 249 8514

Adventure Fiordland 72 Town Centre, 03 249 8500

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Fiordland Ecology Holidays 3-10 day cruises, all Southern Fiords. Mammal watching permit, 0800 249 660,

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



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,


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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 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 Fiordland crested penguins all hang out there. Milford Sound Lodge (BBH) 03 249 8071,

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.


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

Adventure Charters and Hires 03 249 6626

Tuatara Lodge (VIP) 30 Dee St, 03 214 0956,

Real Journeys 0800 656 502


MANAPOURI STAY Freestone Backpackers (BBH) 270 Hillside Rd, 03 249 6893, Manapouri Lakeview Backpackers (VIP) 68 Cathedral Drive, 03 249 6652, Possum Lodge (BBH) 13 Murrel Ave, 03 249 6623.

DOUBTFUL SOUND 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. Real Journeys Daytime wilderness, small boat and overnight cruises. 0800 656 502 Fiordland Navigator Pearl Harbour, Manapouri 03 249 6602, Deep Cove Hostel Doubtful Sound, 03 249 7713,

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,

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 Globe Backpackers (VIP) 144 Palmerston St, Riverton, 03 234 8527, Harbison Backpackers (BBH) 5 Harbison St, Otautau, 03 225 8715, Shooters Backpackers 73 Main St, Tuatapere, 03 226 6250

GORE Gore spans the Mataura river and boasts some lovely scenery in the Hokonui Hills and the Country and Western festival each June. Old Fire Station Backpackers (BBH) 19 Hokonui Dr, 03 208 1925, Anglem House 20 Miro Crescent, 03 219 1552,

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,


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Blowhole Backpackers (BBH) 24 Main Rd, Owaka, 03 415 5635,

Hogwartz (BBH) 277 Rattray St, 03 474 1487,

Curio Bay Backpacker Accommodation (BBH) 501 Curio Bay Rd, 03 246 8797.

The Jolly Poacher (BBH) 54 Arthur St, 03 477 3384,

The Falls Backpackers (BBH) Purakaunui Falls Rd, Owaka, 03 415 8724, Fernlea Backpackers (VIP) Moana St, Kaka Point, 03 412 8834 The Split Level (BBH) 9 Waikawa Rd, Owaka, 03 415 8304, 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,

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,

03 434 5008, Swaggers Backpackers (BBH) 25 Wansbeck St, 03 434 9999,

NEW ZEALAND VS WEST INDIES Dunedin. Tues, 3 Dec – Sat, 7 Dec. Catch the first of three Test matches featuring the Black Caps and touring side the West Indies. Wellington and Hamilton get the others.

Pennys Backpackers (BBH) 6 Stafford St, 03 477 6027, Queens Garden Backpackers (VIP) 42 Queens Garden, 03 479 2175,

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,

Dunedin Central Backpackers (BBH) 243 Moray Pl, 03 477 9985,

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

The Jolly Poacher (BBH) 74 Elm Row, 03 477 3384

Speights Brewery Heritage Tours 03 477 7697,

Chalet Backpackers (BBH) 296 High St, 03 479 2075

Corner of Reed and Cross Sts,

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

YHA Dunedin, Stafford Gables 71 Stafford St, 03 474 1919,

Dept of Conservation Office 77 Stuart St, 03 477 0677

October to May/June only).

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

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

Dunedin Visitor Centre 48 The Octagon, 03 474 3300

Seasonal (open September/

Leviathan Heritage Hotel 27 Queens Gardens, 0800 773 773,

Ramsay Lodge (BBH) 60 Stafford St, 03 477 6313,

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.


Kiwis Nest (BBH) 597 George St, 03 471 9540.

Thomas Catlins Lodge & Holiday Park, 03 415 8333,


YHA Oamaru, Red Kettle

University Oval, Dunedin 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. Billy Browns (BBH) 423 Aramoana Rd, Port Chalmers, 03 472 8323, McFarmers Backpackers (BBH) 774 Portobello Rd, Portobello, 02 5206 0640, mcfarmersbackpackers

OTAGO DO 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. 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.

MOERAKI Just 30km south of Oamaru lies a

remarkable collection of eerie giant boulders. Olive Grove Lodge (BBH)


2328 SH1, Waianakarua,

Alexandra and Roxburgh are the two main towns for fruit-picking work in the Central Otago region.

03 439 5830,

Two Bob Flashpackers (BBH) Marshalll Rd, | 03 449 3188,

The Dubliner

105 Tiverton St, Palmerston,


03 465 8123

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

KUROW Glenmac Farm Hostel (BBH)

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

Empire Hotel (BBH) 13 Thames St, 03 434 3446, Old Bones Backpackers (BBH) Rapid Number 468 Beach Rd, Kakanui, 03 434 8115,

The third major island of New Zealand, Stewart is home to wide array of wildlife and some good

Chillawhile Backpackers (BBH) & Art Gallery 1 Frome St, Roberts Park, 03 437 0168,

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

03 436 0200,


Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony View blue penguins at dusk. Waterfront Rd, 03 433 1195,

Coastal Backpackers (BBH) The Hall, Waianakarua Rd, All Day Bay, 03 439 5411,

Gards Rd,

tramping. Much of Stewart Island is uninhabitable, not surprising given that the island contains 1,680km2 of thick, unrelenting bush. DOC Stewart Island Visitor Centre Main Rd, Half Moon Bay, 03 219 0002 Real Journeys Stewart Island Ferry Services, Paterson Inlet cruises (including Ulva Island), village and bays tours, guided walks and rental services (motor scooters, mountain bikes and cars),



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

Nomads Skylodge Hotel +679 672 2200

Octopus Resort +679 666 6337

Saweni Beach Apartment Hotel +679 666 1777,

Sunrise Lagoon Resort +679 666 6644

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort +679 672 6578, smugglers

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,


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

SUVA Colonial Lodge +679 92 75248,

Beachouse +679 653 0500,

Lami Lodge Backpackers +679 336 2240,

Mango Bay Resort +679 653 00690,

Leleuvia Island Resort +679 331 9567, eleen@leleuvia. com

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


Morrison’s Beach Cottagess +679 669 4516, Safari Lodge Fijis +679 669 3333 Volivoli Beach Resort +679 669 4511,

VANUA LEVU Bayside Backpacker Cottage +679 885 3154, Hidden Paradise Guest House +678 885 0106 Naveria Heights Lodge +679 851 0157, Savusavu Hot Springs +679 885 0195,

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


THE YASAWAS Fiji’s main budget backpacker properties are situated in the Yasawa Islands, north-west of Nadi. Some 24 properties operate over 20 rugged islands, with crystal blue lagoons and great beaches. The islands are serviced daily by the Yasawa Flyer, a large and fast catamaran. See



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Exford Hotel 199 Russell St. 03 9663 2697,

SYDNEY STAY Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD. 02 9267 7718,


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

Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 02 9267 7718, Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD. 02 9281 2222,

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,

MELBOURNE NIGHT MARKETS Melbourne. Every Weds, from 6 Nov. Free. Join the 30,000 other punters who turn up to mingle at this Melbourne institution each week through the summer. Food, music, shops. Nice.

Queen Vic Market

Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan St. Manly. 02 9977 3411 Cammeray Gardens 66 Palmer St, North Sydney. 02 9954 9371


Dlux Hostel 30 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. 1800 236 213

Aussie Way Backpackers 34 Cricket St. 07 3369 0711,

Kangaroo Bak Pak 665 South Dowling St. Surry Hills. 02 9261 1111

Banana Bender Backpackers 118 Petrie Terrace. 07 3367 1157,

Avalon Beach Hostel 59 Avalon Pde, Avalon Beach. 02 9918 9709,

Base Brisbane Embassy 214 Elizabeth St. 07 3166 8000,

Bondi YHA 63 Fletcher Street. Tamarama. 02 9365 2088,

Base Brisbane Central 308 Edward St. 07 3211 2433,

Lamrock Lodge 19 Lamrock Ave. Bondi. 02 9130 5063,

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

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

Brisbane City Apartments 1800 110 443,

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

Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St 1800 062 572,

Coogee Beachside 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. 02 9315 8511, Surfside Backpackers 186 Arden Street. Coogee. 02 9315 7888, Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road. Glebe. 02 9692 8418, Boardrider Backpacker Rear 63, The Corso, Manly. 02 9977 3411 The Bunkhouse 35 Pine St, Manly. 1800 657 122,

Elkes Backpackers 112 Mitchell St. 1800 808 365, Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St. 1800 068 686,

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

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

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

Darwin YHA 97 Mitchell St. 08 8981 5385,

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

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

The Furnished Property Group 02 8669 3678,

DARWIN STAY Banyan View Lodge Darwin 119 Mitchell St. 08 8981 8644,

Brisbane City YHA 392 Upper Roma St 07 3236 1947, Chill Backpackers 328 Upper Roma St. 1800 851 875, Bunk Backpackers Cnr Ann & Gipps Sts, Fortitude Valley. 1800 682 865, The Deck Budget Accommodation 117 Harcourt Street, New Farm. 04 3377 7061 Tinbilly Travellers Cnr George and Herschel Sts. 1800 446 646,

CAIRNS STAY Bohemia Central Cairns 100 Sheridan St. 1800 558 589, Bohemia Resort Cairns 231 McLeod St. 1800 155 353, Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St. 1800 815 628, Dreamtime Travellers Rest 189 Bunda St. 1800 058 440, Gilligans Backpackers and Hotel Resort 57-89 Grafton St. 1800 556 995, JJ’s Backpackers Hostel 11 Charles St. 07 4051 7642, NJOY Travellers Resort 141 Sheridan St. 1800 807 055, Nomads Beach House 2 39 Sheridan St. 1800 229 228, Nomads Cairns 341 Lake St. 1800 737 736, Nomads Esplanade 93 The Esplanade. 1800 175 716, Northern Greenhouse 117 Grafton St. 1800 000 541,

MELBOURNE STAY 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. 03 9427 9826,

Home at the Mansion 66 Victoria Parade. 03 9663 4212, Home Travellers Motel 32 Carlisle St, St Kilda. 1800 008 718, Hotel Bakpak Melbourne 167 Franklin St. 1800 645 200, Melbourne Central YHA 562 Flinders St. 03 9621 2523,

Gecko Lodge 146 Mitchell St. 1800 811 250, Melaleuca on Mitchell 52 Mitchell St. 1300 723 437, Youth Shack 69 Mitchell St. 1300 793 302,

HOBART STAY Central City Backpackers 138 Collins St. 1800 811 507,

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

Hobart Hostel 41 Barrack St. 1300 252 192, Montgomery’s YHA 9 Argyle St. 03 6231 2660,

Space Hotel 380 Russell St. 1800 670 611, The Spencer 475 Spencer St. 1800 638 108,

Narrara Backpackers 88 Goulburn St. 03 6234 8801,

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

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,


Britannia on William 253 William St, Northbridge. 08 9227 6000,

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

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,

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,

Underground Backpackers 268 Newcastle St, Northbridge. 08 9228 3755, The Witch’s Hat 148 Palmerston St. 08 9228 4228,

Shakespeare Hostel 123 Waymouth St. 1800 556 889,




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ANDREW WESTBROOK [Scare myself stupid]


RORY PLATT [Walking in the Abel Tasman NP]

AUSSIE JRR TOLKIEN RULES QUIZ FOOTBALL What race does Gollum technically Q 1.belong to on Middle Earth? a) Orcs c) Dwarves


REGINA NEUMEYER [Night out in Auckland]

What colour does Gandalf’s cloak Q 2.become in the Two Towers?

TOM WHEELER [Relax at Hamner Springs]


GEORGINA PENGELLY [Eat Tip Top Icecream]




many movies are scheduled for Q 8.TheHow Hobbit franchise?

a) George RR Martin b) JK Rowling c) CS Lewis d) James Barry

Q 4. In which country were the LOTR films predominantly shot? a) USA b) New Zealand c) Australia d) Chile

TOBY LLEWELLYN [Smash a Fergburger]


b) Brad Pitt c) Viggo Mortensen d) James Nesbitt

Which famous author did Tolkien Q 3.share his ideas with?


Hobbit book? a) Ereborn b) Albie c) Noer d) Smaug

b) Sauron d) Treebear




















3 8



a) One b) Three c) Five d) 10

Q 9. What is the dragon’s name in The

Q 5. Who created the One ring? a) Gandalf c) Saruman

6. Who is the protagonist in The Hobbit? a) Frodo b) Gilbo c) Samwyn d) Bilbo

actor played Aragorn? Q 7.a)Which Tom Cruise

a) White b) Green c) Blue d) Vermillion


b) Elves d) Hobbits


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





This is a very intimate form of traditional Maori greeting. One person presses their nose to another’s. However, it’s probably a good idea to know the person before you get in their face.



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