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Dec 2013 – Feb 2014 Issue 103



ROYAL THRILLS Late nights and big jumps in Queenstown


ONCE WERE WARRIORS Joining the culture club in Rotorua

We talk to adrenalin pioneer AJ Hackett

N E D S ’ N O G DR A

Middle Ear th l a e r ’s it b b e Ho discover T h to d n la a e ew Z Explor ing N


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

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EDITOR’S LETTER Yes, the time has arrived once more. The Tolkien bandwagon will again be rolling into New Zealand as the second Hobbit movie makes it to the big screen. We help you get your own taste of Middle Earth by finding out where it was filmed, on p6. Also this issue, we go a little crazy for the thrills, scaring ourselves stupid in both Queenstown (p26) and Rotorua (p34). Happy travels!

























The second Hobbit movie is about to hit cinemas, but where was it filmed?



It’s Waitangi Day on February 6. We explore what it and where you should be



Spare undercrackers at the ready, we hit global adrenalin capital Queenstown



Going in search of more adventure thrills, plus Maori culture, in Rotorua



Discovering the awesome new floating surf shack on Fiji’s legendary Cloudbreak



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EDITORIAL Acting editor Andrew Westbrook Deputy editor Hugh Radojev Contributors Alasdair Morton | Jahn Vannisselroy | Ian Neubauer Interns Rory Platt | Regina Neumeyer DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Account manager Toby Llewellyn Marketing and events executive Georgina Pengelly MARKETING & EVENTS Business development manager Tom Wheeler ACCOUNTS Emma Overton

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 COVER IMAGE New Line Productions

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The Kiwi festival scene comes alive over the New Year’s period and one of the biggest and best is undoubtedly Rhythm and Vines. Started in 2003 by a bunch of uni mates wanting to see in the New Year in style, R&V now goes into its 11th year. Names such as Empire of the Sun, Whiz Khalifa and Stanton Warriors will hit the vineyards of Gisborne for the three-day event, along with crowds of around 30,000 people. $229

December 29-31 Waiohika Estate Vineyard, Gisborne




One of the biggest annual music events in the Southern Hemisphere, the Big Day Out (BDO) is a jam-packed day of musical mayhem spread over multiple stages. The giant lineup hitting Auckland this year includes Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Blur and Snoop.

New Zealand’s international cricketers are spending the summer hosting the West Indies and then India, with great deals on cheap tickets if you get in quick. The Boxing Day One Day International against the Windies is one to aim for.

The BDO antithesis, this annual “burning man” event similar to the one in the US only made you “pay what you can” until recently. There are installations, performers and almost anything goes. No money is exchanged for anything at the event.

January 17 Western Springs, Auckland

December 26 Eden Park, Auckland

January 22–27 Hunterville, Palmerston North


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





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WORLD BUSKERS FESTIVAL Whether you’re into burlesque dancers, magicians, acrobats or comics, the world’s top performers are heading to Christchurch for the 11-day World Buskers Festival. It’s Australasia’s biggest street festival, so expect to see around 300,000 people there. Many shows have a booking fee and ask for a donation (often around $15).

Photos: Tourism New Zealand, Paul Hoelan, Chris Sisarich, World Buskers Festival


January 16-26 Christchurch



This public holiday and national day of celebration is held to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which granted equal rights to the Maori people in 1840. The day is celebrated all over the country with music festivals, cultural events and a few BBQs thrown in for good measure. The main party is in Waitangi itself, in the Bay of Islands, but get involved wherever you are. See p14 for more.

As you might have guessed from the name, the two-day Raggamuffin Festival is an all-out celebration of everything reggae, featuring some of the best home-grown acts as well as top international talent such as Damian Marley and Shaggy, with much of the lineup still to be announced. Dedicated dub fans can get a two-day pass for $159.

February 6 Across New Zealand

January 31 – February 1 Rotorua International Stadium







For a real slice of Kiwiana, head to this more traditional NZ event, which, since 1961, has laid claim to being the world’s most prestigious sheep shearing event. Witness the making and felling of the stars of the Kiwi farming world.

New Zealand’s original wine festival is back for its 30th year, offering the chance to sample tipples from 60 wineries. There’s also local foods, celebrity chef cooking demos and live music, all in one of the top Kiwi vineyards.

Rhythm and Vine’s little sister, based just outside Wanaka, is back for another two-day camping fest to see in the New Year in style. This year’s lengthy lineup includes Zane Lowe, Rudimental, Metrik, Shapeshifter plus DJ Zinc.

With eight stages and over 60 acts, Wellington’s Homegrown is Kiwi music’s biggest day, all set on the city’s waterfront with the best of NZ’s pop, r’n’b and electronic music. Best yet, there’s even free stages for those without tickets.

December 30-31 Cardrona Valley, Wanaka

February 15 Wellington waterfront


February 27 – March 1 Masterton


February 8 Brancott Vineyard, Marlborough




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Photos: New Line Productions,Tourism New Zealand, Gareth Eyres, Simon Clark

Bilbo Baggins, in a rare moment of enthusiasm

In search of Smaug The second movie of The Hobbit trilogy hits screens this December, but where exactly did the filming take place? WORDS: ANDREW WESTBROOK

There’s a hushed excitement brewing in New Zealand. From the rolling hills to the raging rivers and from the snowcapped peaks to the plunging canyons, there’s talk of forces rising and armies preparing, the power of which have never been seen before. Well, perhaps not quite never before. It all began over a decade ago, way back in 2001, when Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy first started taking the world by storm. The fact the movies soon earned themselves legions of fans was hardly surprising in itself. After all, the JRR Tolkien classic is often described as the second-most read book in history, topped only by the Bible. However, a major part of the trilogy’s success, and indeed its biggest star, Jackson has always maintained, 6

was the Kiwi scenery. Tolkein’s Middle Earth is a mythical place matched by mythical landscapes and, apparently, only the Land of the Long White Cloud had the natural vistas to do justice to the author’s fertile imagination. When they appeared on the big screen, they delivered an invasion of tourists the likes of which New Zealand had never seen before. Ring geeks descended on the country to dress up as orcs and elves, while the new awareness of the country’s Hollywood good looks drew millions more. And now, New Zealand is awaiting the newest instalment of its most precious windfall, one hoped to surpass even the first assault. From the middle of December, part two of Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – will

sweep into cinemas across the globe, presumably unleashing another wave of fanboys desperate to visit the reallife Shire, where Bilbo Baggins lived in peace and quiet. Once again, it will be the natural beauty of New Zealand that stands in for Middle Earth, as the viewer follows Bilbo and a dozen dwarves in their quest to recover a dragon’s gold. Kiwi tour companies have now been long practised at devising ways to give travellers The Hobbit experience. However, you need not always part with cash to get your own slice of Tolkien, if you know where to go. So we’ve cut through the secrecy to come up with this list of the 10 best Hobbit locations. Hopefully you manage to steer clear of Gollum’s cave and Smaug’s fiery welcome.



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The sinister-looking volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park, just south of Taupo, clearly made quite an impact on Jackson. It was the post-apocalyptic terrain here that persuaded him to use the area for Mordor, where the baddies live, in the original films, with Mt Ngauruhoe doubling as the lava-spewing Mt Doom. He returned to the area again for The Hobbit’s climactic scenes. This time, it is Ruapehu’s turn to shine, especially the Turoa Ski Field. It is here that Bilbo and his buddies must finally face the dragon Smaug – voiced by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch – whose treasure they have travelled such a long way to pinch. One nearby hotel wasted no time in renaming itself the Hobbit Motor Lodge.

This area, notably the Denize Bluffs and Mangaotaki Valley around Piopio, not far from the blackwater rafting hub of the Waitomo Caves, is the wooded area where the adventurers experience a challenge in An Unexpected Journey. Wanting to test Bilbo’s skills as a burglar, the dwarves encourage the hobbit to steal something from a trio of trolls who have set up camp in the rugged forest-clad hills. However, the plan backfires and all 13 of the group find themselves dangerously close to the cooking pot. Fortunately, Gandalf shows up just in time and tricks the trolls into arguing among themselves until the sun comes up, which turns them into stone. An obvious ruse if you know anything about trolls.

Finding hobbit holes in Matamata

Admiring Mt Doom from the Lonely Mountain



This stretch of water winding through a Marlborough region scenic reserve, halfway between Blenheim and Nelson, was used for one of the story’s most memorable scenes, in which Bilbo and the dwarves escape from the Elvenking’s halls in the Mirkwood by bobbing downstream in a collection of empty barrels. Bilbo, of course, has the benefit of a magic ring that makes him invisible but may also turn him into a nasty little beast if he can’t stop wearing it. The crew actually managed to narrowly avoid disaster when shooting these scenes by wrapping up doubly fast, the day before massive floods swept through the area. In The Hobbit, the area is home to giant spiders, so the crew probably got off easily.

This Waikato farm, located in the lush surroundings of Hamilton, was once again transformed into the idyllic hometown of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) where Tolkien’s story began, amid lots of babbling brooks and twee fiddle music. It is here we became reacquainted with Gandolf and first introduced to the 12 dwarves. While the original LOTR sets were made from polystyrene and then removed when the filming was completed, The Hobbit crew built a permanent model village, with 44 personalised hobbit-holes, which have remained in place as a tourist attraction. Tours of the set cost from $75, including a free drink at the Green Dragon Inn.




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Wanaka’s spectacular surrounds

Photos: New Line Productions, Tourism New Zealand, Todd Eyre

Martin Freeman hanging out with his hobbit feet

The dwarves went mad for Movember

QUEENSTOWN THE MISTY MOUNTAINS Given the jaw-droppingly stunning scenery that surrounds New Zealand’s adrenalin capital, it’s hardly surprising the Queenstown area is regularly used by Hollywood, and The Hobbit was no exception. This time around, it is mainly The Remarkables and Treble Cone that were used, doubling as the story’s Misty Mountains. A part of the Shotover River was also used. In the earlier trilogy, the fellowship tried to cross these Misty Mountains but were turned back by a wizard-induced avalanche, forcing them to take the darker, more dangerous route through the mines of Moria. In The Hobbit, action-packed scenes involve the adventurers coming face-to-face with goblins, wolves and giant eagles. It’s also where Gollum and a certain ring were found. You remember Gollum – the slippery little freak with the big eyes and the receding hairline. There are stacks of film location tours available, many of which cover the earlier trilogy, plus the Narnia films and X-Men: Wolverine, which were all shot nearby. Helicopter tours are particularly good fun if you’re feeling flush.



The imposing summit formations of the Rock and Pillar Range and Middlemarch, about an hour from Dunedin, were both used for the Dale Hills, while nearby Hartfield and Strath Taieri helped provide extra epic shots. In The Hobbit, Dale is a land of men in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, led by Bard (Luke Evans), which becomes one of the key fighting grounds in the story’s final Battle of the Five Armies. And, if you’re a real Tolkein nerd, you’ll know that Dale was the site of a decisive battle in the War of the Ring, eventually won by a combined army of men and dwarves. The area is easily explored – by those who are reasonably fit, but less so if you’re a hobbit – thanks to a multitude of walking tracks.

Queenstown’s smaller, but no less adventurous or beautiful, neighbour once again played a part in Peter Jackson’s plans. This time, the area, along with the nearby Speargrass Flat, filled in as the Lonelands. This is the region through which the expedition first travels after setting out eastward from The Shire. It was once part of the Kingdom of Rhudaur, but the Lonelands, in the book, are little more than a savage wilderness, described as a place, “where people spoke strangely, and sung songs Bilbo had never heard before”. So it’s exactly like New Zealand. There are plenty of Ringsthemed tours available, while one hotel, the Minaret Lodge even has a special hobbit-themed cabin and menu.




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Jackson’s crew once again got to work at Braemar Station, not far from the town of Twizel and just 8km from Mt Cook, an area previously used as the fields of Gondor in The Return Of The King. This time, the spectacular mountain backdrop and brilliant turquoise waters were used to represent the shores of Laketown, a community of men led by the crafty Master (Stephen Fry). The travellers are welcomed into Laketown to prepare for the final push to Lonely Mountain but there’s trouble brewing when Smaug gets wind of the plan and brings the smackdown. Needless to say, the men of Laketown are unimpressed by having their little houses reduced to a smouldering rubble by a very angry dragon.

Peter Jackson has also returned to include Paradise and Arcadia Station, in the Glenorchy area, about an hour’s drive from Queenstown. Paradise has been used for scenes in the outskirts of Bree, while plenty of general Wildlands footage was also shot in the region. Bree, of course, is home to the Prancing Pony, which is the most renowned tavern in all of Middle Earth and, memorably, the location of the hobbits’ first meeting with Aragorn in the original Rings film. So, even though you might not have a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a king-in-waiting, you can take horseback tours and do jetboating wilderness safaris from Queenstown to the Glenorchy area.

Horse trekking through Glenorchy’s Wildlands



Meet the Weta Cave locals

Photos: Weta, Tourism New Zealand, Miles Holden

It seems incredible that a city as remote as Wellington could be seen as one of the planet’s most important when it comes to movie special effects, but that’s indeed the reputation it enjoys. Located in the Miramar suburb (aka Wellywood) are the effects company Weta and the Stone Street Studios, both of which are part-owned by Jackson. This is where nearly all of The Hobbit studio work was done. You can visit the company’s free museum, the Weta Cave, to see all sorts of props and paraphernalia from the films, as well as other Weta productions, which include Avatar, Tintin, King Kong and District 9. There are also many firms running Tolkienthemed tours from the city.


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Maori dancers keeping the traditions alive

Photos: Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Rotorua



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Birthplace of a nation Come February 6, Kiwis will be celebrating Waitangi Day, the anniversary of when their country was born WORDS HUGH RADOJEV In the often murky and morally dubious history of Europe's colonial powers, you could say that New Zealand's Maori people came out the other side better than most. In stark contrast to the end result for the native peoples of countries such as Australia or Canada, when the musket smoke had finally cleared in New Zealand, the Maori stood as equals in the eyes of the colonial Brit, in theory at least. That is due to the Treaty of Waitangi, the document signed on February 6, 1840, which is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand as a modern nation. It established New Zealand as a country in the British Empire, with a British governor, but also recognised Maori ownership of land and property (something which Australia's Aboriginal people didn't start to get until the 1960s). It also gave Maori and British subjects the same rights. While debate still rages today about whether the promises were kept, due largely to arguments (and the Maori Wars of the 1840s) resulting from the fact there were differences between the English language document and its Maori translation, February 6 has become New Zealand's national day, and a public holiday to boot. It's a time when people across Aotearoa, to give the country its Maori name, come together to celebrate the founding of their nation, as well as their unique and shared history. Festivities go on all across New Zealand as well as around the globe. A large expat community of Kiwis living on Australia’s Gold Coast, for example, generally celebrate the ‘Waitangi Day Gold Coast’ with fireworks, live music and cultural performances. In the United Kingdom, meanwhile, Big Ben rings to mark the occasion and Maori dancers perform hakas in Westminster.

experience of all their ancestors who have gone before them. Under the philosophy of Paptuanuku – Original Mother – humans and trees share ancestors and are therefore related. As it no doubt took you not long to notice, many of the country’s place names also bear Maori titles. While they can often appear almost impossible to pronounce to the uninitiated, the Maori language actually has a very logical structure and, unlike English, has very consistent rules of pronunciation with five strict vowel sounds. The most unusal, but very common, language rule to remember is that words starting with 'wh-' are actually pronounced 'f-'. So, for example, popular North Island snow destination Whakapapa should actually be pronounced 'Fakapapa'. No joke. Today about 14 per cent of New Zealand’s total population claim to be of Maori descent and many elements of their traditional spiritual, philosophical beliefs and ceremonies are still practiced and celebrated. ››

Culture chameleon

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Inside Waitangi's elaboratelycarved runanga (meeting house), which commemorates the signing of the treaty

Photo: Destination Northland

Thanks in part to the Waitangi Treaty, Maori culture has managed to maintain a hugely important role in the way that present day New Zealand views itself. The Maori acknowledge the beauty of land and refer to themselves as ‘tangata whenua’, loosely translated as ‘the people of the land’. This interpretation is fast becoming more widely accepted as ‘the people who are the land’. The Maori are also a deeply spiritual people, who believe their existence is the result of a collective knowledge and the



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Photo: Tourism New Zealand, Paul Abbitt

Getting into the spirit: wearing a kiri tuhi, a drawn-on version of the traditional moko face tattoos What to do on the day Where better to start than the site of the treaty being signed, in the town of Waitangi in the Bay of Islands on North Island. Celebrations begin on February 5, when local dignitaries and tribal elders meet to discuss the issues facing the various communities. On the day itself, activities include Maori cultural performances, speeches and a naval salute. The military display includes a symbolic reenactment of the landing of William Hobson, the head of the British delegation who originally drafted and signed the treaty in 1840. In New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland – the national day is celebrated at the city’s birthplace, the Okahu Bay Domain. It was there, in 1841, that the area’s Maori chiefs invited Governor William Hobson to create a city. The day includes plenty of water activities – sailing tall ships and waka (war canoes), plus a flotilla of contemporary boats, which arrive to a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony. The nation’s capital Wellington holds another festival on the day celebrating New Zealand’s much vaunted cultural diversity, while in Rotorua the day is commemorated at Whakarewarewa, a living Maori village, with an event known as ‘Whakanuia’, which means to acknowledge or celebrate. Indigenous art, craft, medicine and food are all on show as are retellings of local stories, myths and legends.

Where to be The Commemorating Waitangi Day fund supports dozens of events up and down the New Zealand coast to help mark the journey William Hobson made by boat from the Bay of Islands to Mangungu, where the Hokianga signing of the treaty was held. These include community tree planting, kappa haka performances on the West Coast and traditional meals (hangi). Waitangi Day is often celebrated in a quiet fashion by New Zealanders themselves – there are no real parades or giant street parties. So, if you’re in the Land of the Long 16

White Cloud and less keen on some of the large, cultural celebrations of the day, then perhaps do as a lot of the locals do – head for the beach. It will be February after all, so it’s more than likely to be warm and beautiful. ❚

Mad for Maori If you're keen to immerse yourself in Maori culture, then here's some good places to start. VISIT A MARAE This ornately-carved meeting house is found in almost every large NZ community. Sacred to the Maori, certain etiquette must be followed when entering. Welcome speeches, songs and a paying of respects to ancestors are observed. Once protocol has been satisfied, you’ll be spoiled by Maori hospitality. WAITANGI NATIONAL RESERVE The reserve, where the 1840 treaty was signed, is beautiful, and includes a stunning marae, a 35m Maori war canoe and the treaty house where the actual deed was done. MUSEUMS Many of New Zealand's museums boast excellent Maori exhibits, ranging from wakas and carvings to weapons and traditional songs. The Museum of New Zealand in Wellington – Te Papa (‘our place’) – has Mana Whenua, a presentation on the Tangata Whenua – people of the land – and the Te Hau ki Turanga, one of the oldest meeting places in existence. The Auckland Museum has daily performances of Manaia, a look at Maori culture through narrative, song and dance. It also houses the largest and most significant collection of Maori treasures in the world.


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ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA FILM review by Alasdair Morton STARRING: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney | M | 90mins | Out Dec 5

ESCAPE PLAN FILM preview STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger | CTC | 115mins

It’s like the last 20 years didn’t happen as Sly and Arnie team up to bash some skulls and flex muscles in this prison escape actioner. Stallone is wrongly convicted and sent to prison, where he and his cellmate (Arnie) hatch a plan to make a bid for freedom, aided by 50 Cent’s tech expert. On general release December 5


Chat show host-turned-radio DJ Alan Partridge hits the big screen in this raucous hostage drama marrying the character’s petty charm with film’s cinematic demands. Partridge, host of Mid Morning Matters on North Norfolk Digital, becomes the inadvertent negotiator when fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), irked when he’s ousted by new station owners, brandishes a shotgun and takes everyone in the station hostage. Partridge’s popularity skyrockets as the media descend, and he’s not about to miss a trick to promote his own career. There was the worry that in the move to film the witticisms which made this bumbling Brit such a national treasure could be lost. But Steve Coogan and writers ensure Partridge’s narcissism remains untouched – his desperate lack of loyalty makes him the best kind of anti-hero as he becomes ‘Alan Partridge: Action Hero’.  The bigger, brasher tone leads to a few missteps, and the lower brow humour that creeps in – a naked window escape and faeces-filled lunch box – seem to belong in another movie. But Alpha Papa is at its best when Partridge is Partridge, singing to Roachford in the car or asking his listeners which sort of monger is the worst – fish, iron, rumour or war? It’s a deserved triumph, a comedy that is defiantly British and which makes the long wait for Partridge’s cinematic debut wholly worth it. GOOD FOR: Another eminently quotable entry in the Partridge franchise.


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AJ Hackett

The pioneer of commercial bungy jumping celebrated the 25th birthday, in November, of the world’s first ever site to open for business – Queenstown’s Kawarau Bridge INTERVIEW ANDREW WESTBROOK

Hi AJ. Happy anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since we first started jumps at the Kawarau Bridge. I’m just so proud of what we’ve both achieved in that time. You’d be hard pushed these days to find anyone in the world who hasn’t heard of bungy jumping. It’s a worldwide phenomenon.

Were you the first guinea pig? No, Chris was. We just drew straws. But the first jump was only 19m high into deep water so we figured that if it went wrong we’d just go for a swim. We weren’t nervous, it was more about hoping it would work. In 1987, you made headlines around the world by jumping off the Eiffel Tower. How did that come about? I was in France, as I was in the New Zealand speed skiing team, and I remember driving past the Eiffel Tower and just thinking, “that’s beautiful, I’ve got to jump off the thing”. So I went back to Paris a number of times, measured it up with fishing line and then started practicing off a bridge near where I was staying in the Alps. Then I had to organise how to raid the tower – we couldn’t get permission obviously because it was illegal. We managed to jump off without any problems except for the Gendarmes. How did they react? They were completely confused! All they saw was a person hanging on a rubber band underneath the tower. They couldn’t even figure out that there must be people up on the tower still. They were just lost. Why did you turn it into a business? Well, basically the more I jumped in places, 20

Photo: Nick Holmes

Did you know the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club, who were the first to try out the methods of Vanuatu’s divers? I didn’t, but a friend of mine [Chris Sigglekow] was inspired by them and he was like, “we’ve got to sort this out”. I used to do a lot of rock climbing and I was a builder so I knew about ropes and stuff. We experimented and figured out the formula.

AJ Hackett, right, with fellow Kawarau founder, Henry van Asch the more other people wanted to jump and it was costing a lot of money. Why Queenstown? Queenstown was, and still is, New Zealand’s premier tourism destination for people looking for a good charge, and we knew there were a couple of good bridges there. Plus I used to ski in Wanaka all the time so knew lots of people there. The Department of Conservation (DOC) owned the bridges – they started us off on a 30day trial period, then we got 60 days, six months, five years and so on. Was the DOC a tough sell? Yeah, it was. They’d already said, “don’t talk to us about the Kawarau Bridge, we’re not going to let you use that”. But then we stopped at the bridge and it was in a really terrible state of repair, it was going to fall into the river, so we brought that up, what if we raised a bit of money to help you fix it up. Their ears pricked up and within a few days they let us use it. Still got your eye on records? There’s a couple of things I’d like to do but I’m not ready for them yet. A couple of high jumps. How high are you talking? Ah, like 1.5 to 2km. We’ve got the technology

now. Like in our site in Macau, the 233m jump there, it’s tapered cords. The problem is you need a really, really big helicopter to do it from. Your highest so far? My highest is 280m, but that was from 500m up. What’s your most memorable jump? The one that really stands out is one that didn’t actually come off, which was the Statue of Liberty in New York. I tried to jump off that but we got caught. That would have been amazing. The idea was to climb the outside of the tower and jump from the torch, then try to get out of the country before they realised. What’s the attraction of extreme sports? I suppose I just love the environment that you do that sort of thing in. I love the land, I love the ocean and the bush, I’ve been brought up in it and I’m kind of lost without it in a way. I like to push the limits a little bit, you know. As long as you’re just having pure fun and it’s not affecting anybody else then it’s alright. I think it’s good for human beings to go beyond their comfort zone, I think that’s really what the essence of bungy is – people have to first of all trust the people operating the system, then it’s all about getting past that thing of what if it all goes wrong.


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With 45+ New Zealand hostels, you can tackle spectacular trails or pedal round town on a vintage bike and still hang up your helmet at a hostel. YHA have got your accommodation sorted. Easy as.

r your o f n o i tures modat accom aland adven e New Z o access irect t Book d r savings: e b mem 78 299 0800 2 y @ book a h y or


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Photos: AJ Hackett, Agroventure Park, Tor Johnson


ON YER BIKE! Actor Samuel Johnson (The Secret Life Of Us) unicycles off AJ Hackett’s Cairns bungy platform as part of his bid to raise $1 million for breast cancer research.




Get your spare undercrackers at the ready. Queenstown is the adrenalin capital of not just New Zealand, but the world. 22



The North Island isn’t too shy when it comes to scaring you senseless either, as we discover in Maori heartland Rotorua.

Discovering the awesome new floating surf shack that has opened by Fiji’s legendary offshore reef wave – Cloudbreak.


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Go to See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.


AJ HACKETT BUNGY PRIZE You might have noticed that here at TNT, we’re strong believers that a trip to New Zealand should feature some sort of death-defying adrenalin feat that, well, makes you feel just a little bit sick to think about if we’re honest. And when it comes to those sorts of extreme activites, there’s no denying the AJ Hackett crew are the kings. We love them we do. And so, being the good buddies that we are, we’ve joined forces to offer one of you lucky readers the chance to take on the ultimate adrenalin challenge – doing not just one of Hackett’s Kiwi experiences, but eight of them. Gulp. THE PRIZE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: KAWARAU BRIDGE BUNGY: The 43m jump that was the world’s first. NEVIS BUNGY: With a 134m drop, it’s NZ’s

highest bungy. NEVIS SWING: Starting 160m up, it’s the world’s biggest swing. LEDGE BUNGY: Take the plunge, freestyle, from 400m above Queenstown. LEDGE SWING: Take control and swing out over the lake. AUCKLAND BRIDGE BUNGY: Jump 40m off the Harbour Bridge for a dip in the ocean. AUCKLAND BRIDGE CLIMB: Clamber on top for incredible city views. KAWARAU ZIPRIDE: Ride along the river with up to five others.

worth over


Competition closes at midnight, on Friday, February 28, 2014. Log on to for further details, terms and conditions, and to enter.


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SEE YOU LATER... Chicago police have released photos of a woman believed to have dumped her pet alligator at the US city’s O’Hare International Airport. CCTV footage shows the woman carrying the hapless reptile under her arm while travelling on the train to the airport at around 3am in the morning. The sickly three-year-old alligator, wittily nicknamed “Allie” by police, was spotted under a Terminal 3 escalator by an alarmed traveller at 10am the next morning. Allie, about 2ft long, is now being nursed back to health by volunteers at the Chicago Herpetalogical Society. Suffering from poor diet and the cold, Allie just “needs time to recover,” said police.

DEATH ROW DRUGS A British woman is about to find out if she is to be given the death penalty, after admitting to the trafficking of 1.4kg of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia. Andrea Waldeck, a 43-year-old former police worker from Gloucestershire, was arrested in her Surabaya hotel room in April, and is now due back in court for her sentencing hearing. She maintains that she was forced to travel with the drugs from China. A second British woman, Lindsay Sandiford, 57, is currently fighting her death sentence for smuggling 4.8kg of cocaine.


SUPERHERO SNARED A Singaporean man who became an unlikely social media star several years ago, due to his name, Batman bin Suparman, has been jailed for 33 months on theft and drug charges. Suparman’s ID card first made it onto the internet in 2008. Since then, a Facebook fan page in his honour has attracted 11,000 fans, while there have been more than 15,000 tweets featuring his name. Suparman is believed to be from the Indonesian island of Java, where the name is relatively common. His first name is more of a mystery.

CAN YOU HACKETT? Bungy jumping pioneer AJ Hackett has returned to Queenstown, on New Zealand’s South Island, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the world’s first commercial bungy site. Since November 1988, 650,000 people have jumped off the Kawarau Bridge, while a total of around three million have taken the plunge from 15 different Hackett sites around the world. A further one to two million are estimated to have jumped with other companies. Hackett was joined by fellow founder Henry van Asch, who now runs the Kiwi arm of the company. .


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DAVIDE SAYS: “This is a photo I took at Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand on a recent snowboard trip. I love the colour of the water against the snow-capped mountains.”

WE SAY: “This is a really beautiful photograph of a really beautiful part of the world. Lake Tekapo might not be one of New Zealand’s deepest lakes, but it is definitely one of the prettiest.”




JAMES SAYS: “This was taken at near Waihi, just off Kauri Point Road on the North Island. The sky was a perfect blue and I saw that the similar colours contrasted against the much darker boardwalk.” WE SAY: “What an awesome photo. A lovely example of aspect and the vanishing point.”

HOT TIPS: Framing


Good framing is fundamental to great photography, and makes the difference between boredom and fascination. Bear in mind that what you leave out is as important as what you put in. When shooting, you should think about what it is that makes this scene interesting for you, the photographer. Through the use of proper framing, you are allowing the viewer to see what you saw. Your choice of lens is therefore an important framing device: a macro lens can capture minute detail, while a wide-angle can be used to capture subect matter on a vast scale.

Davide wins a Total Northland Pass for him and a friend from Magic Travellers Network (, while runnerup James 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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Fall guys: (clockwise) jumping AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge; and ledge swing; taking a speed trip on the Shotover Jet; enjoying the scenery; and the nightlife


Down time: dropping into Waitomo’s Lost World 26

Photo: Tourism New Zealand, Thinkstock, TNT Images, AJ Hackett, Canyon Swing



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Welcome to the fear factory Get your spare undercrackers at the ready: you’re in the adrenalin capital of not just New Zealand, but the world WORDS ALEX HARMON, RORY PLATT & ANDREW WESTBROOK

This is better than sex,” he says as he stands on the edge of the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown. I’m next in line to jump and I’m sitting on the wooden floor, my feet tied together, shaking as I try not to look over the edge. Instead I try to focus on the spectacular mountains and the sun piercing the river below. Something tells me his experience with sex is not unlike the bungy. A whole lot of nerves and high expectations – but over very quick. It is my first day in Queenstown, undoubtedly one of the adventure capitals of the world. Even my flight in was an adrenalin junkie’s hit. As we descended into town, the downdrafts from the Remakables mountain range caused the plane to dip up and down like a rollercoaster. Thankfully, the show of ice-capped mountains and Lord of the Rings-style scenery averted my eyes from the air hostesses, who literally bounced around the plane. Queenstown is the temptress your parents warned you about. She’s dangerous, seductive, beautiful and if you’re not careful, she’ll have you spinning out of control. Built around the deep blue Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is famous for its adventure activities: mountain biking, jetboating, whitewater rafting and, of course, bungy jumping. You’ll spot the tourists easily. Bungy protocol means you must have your weight brandished on your hand in red marker. The truly brave are marked like livestock cattle.

dotted around the cobbled lanes. After a few post-jump drinks, you could almost think you were in Europe. There are backpacker bars where you can get lost amongst a sea of twenty-somethings on an organised pub crawl. Or you can settle into one of the many wine bars where the fire is roaring and the ambience is elegant.

I wouldn’t say it’s better than sex, but it’s the best piece of action I got in Queenstown

We opt for the former, joining Big Night Out on their Saturday night pub crawl. We begin at Altitude Bar, where shots and drinking games await, then we’re whisked ››

High fliers While New Zealand may be famous for producing worldrenowned wine and food, putting it among some of the most sophisticated regions of the world, Queenstown has a youthful energy to it, almost like a college campus. It’s populated by the young and fit with their North Face jackets, tussled hair and mountain-kissed pink faces. Walking around, the average age feels about 25. It is no wonder the daredevil adventures can be found on every corner and in every shop window. As one Kiwi local tells me: “I guess we live on the edge of the world, so we treat life as if we’re on the edge!” There’s a great mix of bars in the heart of town,

Oh, how calm it looks... TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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away to Revolver where, you guessed it, shots are greeting us as we walk through the door. I’m later told there were also three other bars we dropped in at, but the memories are a little hazy. I fall out after the last one, greeted by the early morning air which brings some inkling of life back to my drained body. The next thing I know I am lured into Fergburger for my second burger of the day. This place is legendary and at any given time of day – or night – there is a massive line of people hungry for New Zealand’s best burgers. The Chief Wiggum is a cheekily-named pork belly burger which becomes my bedfellow for the night.

Jumping for joy Queenstown claims to have the highest bar-to-person ratio in New Zealand and it’s believable, given that what goes up must come down. After a day of not one, but two bungy jumps, alcohol is a necessity. You see I was coaxed into the first bungy almost through trickery. I am taken to the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the world’s first commercial bungy jump which has just celebrated its 25th birthday. We’re there, supposedly, for people watching. But after a few quick snaps of the brave and incredibly fearless people who are throwing themselves off the 45 metre bridge, our guide says, “Well, now that we’re here, you may as well jump.” Being unprepared, it turns out, is the best possible disposition. Before I know it, my legs are tied together with rope and I’m standing on the edge of the bridge. I focus on the mountains ahead and tell myself not to do the unthinkable and look down. Sensing my fear, the bungy masters are 28

kind and slowly count back from three before I stretch my arms out like Jesus on the cross and fall forward. The blood rushes to my head and I hold my breath, frozen in position, not even able so scream. Until – bounce – I reach the length of the rope’s tether and realise I have survived. It’s now time to scream. I do so for several minutes. The best feeling about bungy is knowing that it’s over and that I’ve accomplished something most people would never even attempt. I wouldn’t say it’s better than sex, but it’s the best piece of action I got in Queenstown. That’s one thing you can count on in the South Island’s adventure capital – action is found on every corner of the town – you just have to pick your vice.

Dive another day Some people would take an unlimited amount of cajoling, threatening or outright lying before being convinced to jump out of a plane at 15,000ft. However, now with a

I’d never considered myself a screamer before Queenstown. Suddenly I’m indulging big time


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1960 – 1970

1980 – 1990

2000 – 2013

Soon after Kiwi Bill Hamilton invented the ‘jet unit’, the Melhop brothers started a world first - commercial jet boating on the Shotover River raising money for Christian youth camps. Shotover Jet as we know it began operating in 1970 when Trevor Gamble bought the company - starting one of Queenstown and New Zealand’s first commercial adventure activities. With ‘Jet 53’ wooden boats carrying 5 passengers, Shotover Jet thrilled 1,480 customers in its first year.

Primarily for safety reasons, in 1987 the Shotover River Empowering Act granted Shotover Jet sole operating concession for the river’s canyon section, meaning Shotover Jet has exclusive rights and is the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.

Shotover Jet has carried over 3 million passengers and from humble beginnings has developed as a world leader in commercial jet boating with iconic status as one of New Zealand’s foremost tourism operators. If you only do one thing in Queenstown - this is it.

bungy or two under my belt, I take much less convincing. And yet, despite the initial enthusiasm (post-bungy delirium?), I still develop a severe case of the shakes on the drive to the dropzone, heading around the foot of the Remarkables, where it’s not hard to imagine how the view will look from above. Luckily, my confidence returns during my briefing, as we sit on the picnic benches in the sunshine amidst the stunning Queenstown scenery while the day’s first skydivers land on the grass. The flying photographers are the first to arrive, hurriedly touching the ground in time to capture the winning footage of their followers. And – oh man – do they arrive in style, dropping at crazy speeds they descend with spirals and loops, finishing by skimming mere inches above the grass before gracefully landing. That’s the cue for me to head to the hanger and get suited up. Back come the shakes. I’m ushered to the top of the runway to wait for the plane. As the first ones in, I know we’re going to be the last out. Is that good or bad? I can’t decide. I’m not keen on going first or last right now. The plane takes off and up we go. I see Mt Cook far off in the distance, and Queenstown much closer, now plunged into darkness. We’re to be making a sunset skydive. The thought of that excited me before, but good views don’t seem a priority right now. Finally, we reach 15,000ft. The sliding door lifts and in comes the crisp -25°C air. One by one the skydivers zip out as if by suction alone. It’s almost my turn. My skydive partner Nick and I, now very securely attached, shuffle forwards with Vasi, my cameraman, leading the way. But just before I get a glimpse at the ground below, Vasi closes

Skydiving tends to turn people into screamers TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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25/11/13 1:00 AM

Zip Trek: maybe don’t look down

A view to a thrill Is your adrenal gland still standing and crying out for more? Here’s a few more of Queenstown’s top terrors: JETBOATING A New Zealand farmer by the name of Bill Hamilton was sitting on his land one day, bemoaning the fact he couldn’t visit a lot of his property due to low water levels. He decided to do something about it, stuck a jet engine to the back of his boat – and the adrenalin activity of jetboating was born. These babies ain’t to be messed with. They get their speed by sucking up and spitting out water through a nozzle, can operate in less that 10cm of water and perform splash-inducing 360° spins at the drop of a hat. Commercial jetboating is based around scaring the bejesus out of the customers by steaming up to craggy cliffs or riverbanks, before just avoiding them with a nudge of the steering wheel. Chuck in a few twists and turns and the stomachchurning 360s and you’ve got one of the best times you can have with a life jacket on. Trips cost $129.

ZIP TREKS One of the newer kids in town. Suspended high above the ancient forests and jagged mountains, you can do one of two seperate eco-tours – the four-line Moa and the six-line Kea ZipTrek – between which you’ll get a ropey experience you’re unlikely to top. The Kea Tour is a three-hour, high-velocity six-line adventure that includes a 20-minute guided trek past an ancient beech forest, along aerial tree platforms. The Moa, meanwhile, is basically a series of death-defying flying fox runs through some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Tours cost from $129. WHITEWATER RAFTING “Hey, yeah, high fives all round! Well done those at the front, great job guys. Pity about that American fella who fell out back there, but I reckon someone’ll pick him up. Oh, no, there he goes. Well, we’ll grab him further downstream, eh?” So you want to go whitewater rafting? It’s a massively popular sport in NZ, and a whole heap of riotous fun – bouncing around angry rivers. You can choose anything from half-day trips to three/four action-packed days on the water, depending on time, cost, and how much you like wearing bright yellow crash helmets. Rivers are graded from one (your nan has a tougher time than this in the bath), all the way to six (the Michelin man would find it hard to stay afloat), depending on difficulty, and gradings are open to changes depending on weather conditions and water levels. There are plenty of opportunities to try it in the Queenstown area, with the Shotover, Kawarau, and Whanganui Rivers all nearby. Then it’s just helmets on, paddles in hand, commence girly screaming in three, two, one... Trips cost from $199. 30


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the slider. We’ve gone past the dropzone and need to circle one more time. It’s just us remaining on the plane. Say hello to the longest two minutes of my life. An eternity passes. Then, the only thing worse than the wait eventually happens – the light above the door turns green. I assume this means my Zen-like rocking is about to be brought rudely to a halt. The door opens. We sit over the edge, me with my legs hooked under the step. Gripping the door, I look up at Vasi and smile for the camera. We could have stepped back inside the plane and landed – my adrenalin quota would have been filled for the day. Instead we flipped forwards and out, spiralling towards the ground below. I never considered myself a screamer before Queenstown. Nor a yahoo-er. Or any other type of excitable shriek. But skydiving? Let’s just say that dropping out of a plane is known to induce extreme euphoria. Suddenly I’m indulging big time. In fact, I’m totally out of control. After flipping wildly for a few moments we level out and continue the descent horizontally. With a 60-second freefall I have just enough time

If you’re looking to get scared totally shitless, these psychos are hard to beat

25/11/13 1:01 AM

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They call it the Bin Laden...

to comprehend the speed at which we’re travelling, experimenting with the aerodynamics, trying to spin around a few times. It’s unlike anything I could imagine. In no time at all we’ve already fallen to 5,000ft and Nick releases the main parachute. With the rush over, we now have five glorious minutes to drift idly towards the dropzone. I dabble with the controls, and remarkably they’re actually quite intuitive, as I discover when we enter a light spiral. Nick, to my relief, takes back the controls for the landing and before I know it we’re skimming back onto solid ground.

Swingers club There’s no two ways about it, some people are just plain evil. In most places they would be punished. In Queenstown, however, they get a job at Canyon Swing. Based on a ledge teetering over the Shotover River, Canyon Swing can’t boast the region’s biggest freefall – but there’s no doubt these guys are the masters of playing with your mind. If you’re looking to get scared shitless, these psychos are hard to beat. Indeed anywhere else, jumping off a 109m cliff to drop 60m would be deemed scary enough. But not for these demented bastards. Oh no. The swingers have devised a whole variety of devious ways in which you can fling yourself towards the waiting rocks below, helpfully ranked on a scale of underpants, with one being merely scary and five being “very, very, very scary”. It’s at times like these that writing for TNT rapidly transforms from a dream job into a living nightmare. Harnessed up I walk towards the two grinning sadists, supposedly 32

“jumpmasters”, waiting by the ledge. “So what style are you gonna jump then, Mr TNT?” says Sadistic Bastard Number One (SB1). Cunningly trying a bit of reverse psychology I boldly go straight for one of the five underpants options – the tantalisingly-named Gimp Boy Goes To Hollywood (best you don’t ask). “Nah, I don’t think so,” he replies, before his sidekick, SB2, helpfully adds, “let’s chuck him down backwards”. And so, there I stand, my heels over the edge. SB1 pulls me in and out over the edge, again and again, while SB2 regales me with horror stories. It feels like I’m there a lifetime. Forget bungy jumps and skydives, I don’t remember ever being this scared. My legs visibly shaking I’m then told I can go when I want. Expecting it to be the next prank, I gingerly step back. But this time there’s no joke and I’m gone, flying through the air at 150km/hr. My shockingly girly scream soon transforms into howls of delight as the swing arcs across the canyon for 200m. The mixture of relief, elation and excitement is second to none. The SBs make me do it two more times, once in gimp-mode and once again backwards, only this time with a bin on my head. Yes, a bin. Eventually, I manage to stagger away and escape, in desperate need of a new adrenal gland. Shaking I might be, but I can’t stop grinning. ❚

Details: AJ Hackett’s Kawarau bungy jump costs from $180; Big Night Out pub crawls cost from $125; Skydives from 15,000ft with Nzone cost from $439; Canyon Swing jumps cost from $215


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book online* $20 off when you +64 3 442 9792 *Terms and conditions apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer

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27/11/13 9:12 PM

Fear factor: (clockwise) New Zealand’s fastest jetboat and the skydive simulator at Agroventure; a Tamaki local; rafting the Kaituna River; ziplining


Photos: TNT Images, Agroventure Park, Tamaki Maori Village, Kaitiaki Adventures




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Scream central Rotorua is the North Island’s go-to spot for those after a dose of adrenalin sports combined with Maori culture WORDS JAHN VANNISSELROY

WHERE: Rotorua is central We can hear it before we see it. It’s the North Island, about a two-andwaterfall. There’s no second take and we monster that’s been stalking our every a-half hour drive from Auckland. plunge into the unknown with scarcely time conscious moment since we launched our STAY: Treks Backpackers for startled profanities. rafts on the waters of the Kaituna River, ( has beds from Everything goes white and wet. Extremely near Rotorua. And when I say monster, $26 a night. wet. I’m disorientated. Am I in our out of I don’t mean a taniwha (the Maori version HEADING OUT: Check out the boat? Are we upside down? What’s of the Loch Ness monster), but instead the Rotorua’s pedestrian-friendly happening? Then daylight. And I look fear of Okere Falls, a seven metre vertical ‘Eat Streat’ for a spot of alfresco around to see all my crew safe. Then it drop into a swirling, bubbling cauldron dining. Knock back a pint or hits me: option two; we’re surfing the of whitewater wildness. two at award-winning Brew whitewater. Result. Okere is the world’s highest (, which serves Village people commercially rafted waterfall, and has up a top variety of craft beer. TREAT YOURSELF: attracted international coverage through My hand shoots into the air. Well, they did Head to Hells Gate Mud Spa the likes of TV’s Amazing Race and Jack ask for a volunteer. I’m still a bit miffed I didn’t put myself forward on the bus ride Osborne: Adrenaline Junkie. Now it’s going (, the region’s most active thermal park, for a to Tamaki Maori Village when the driver to cover me and my crew of six fellow was seeking a “big, strong handsome adventurers, who are going straight over it. relaxing afternoon wallowing in geothermal mud and water. chief” to lead us into the village. But then As a result, there’ll be three outcomes: Massage and pampering nobody did – and the honour fell to Steve, we’ll either land, submerge slightly and packages are available too. a lanky Scotsman. He had to a face a warrior then exit the froth; we’ll land, submerge SEE: challenge and had the responsibility of slightly and then surf the whitewater; or leading us into war should things go wrong. we’ll land upside down, losing members of Yeah, I probably didn’t want that role anyway. our seven-strong crew and who knows what else. However, my aim in this instance is to take part in MauiOption two’s the best, our guide Raana helpfully tells us. Matau, a stick game being demonstrated under the shelter Until this point, we’ve been cruising the Kaituna, taking of Tamaki’s expansive Tawa forest. So far, as we’ve toured a few minor drops and learning to paddle as a team. But the village to take part in and learn about Maori cultural now our monster – our ball of fear, trepidation and anxiety traditions, I’ve seen other visitors perform averagely with – is ready for us. It demands we meet it. Raana pulls our their lack of skill at performing a haka, singing and poi- ›› raft to the side of the river as we each crane our neck to try and see what lies ahead. We can’t quite. Before we paddle around the corner to face our fear, Raana asks those who have gone before us for strength. He chants. After each of his three chants to ask for bravery, strength and patience we respond by yelling “Toa!” with all of our lungs. The result is akin to a gorilla beating his chest. Adrenalin pumps though my veins, fear is momentarily forgotten and I’m ready, nay excited, to meet the monster. And then Raana pushes us off. “Paddle, paddle,” he orders, and each of us dig in. There’s no turning back ›› now. “Down,” Raana commands as we reach the lip of the

Everything goes white. Am I in or out of the boat. What’s happening?!


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twirling. There’s a discernible lack of commitment – a fear of getting it wrong. So when I step up, I’m determined to win – irrespective of whether Leanne, my girlfriend, is also competing. We each hold the top of the stick and the gamesmaster, dressed only in a grass skirt and some fearsome looking tattoos, commands either Maui (left) or Matau (right), requiring us to drop our stick and move in that direction. Move in the wrong direction, hesitate or lack agility and you’re gone. A fast game is a good game and soon it’s only me and Leanne left standing. I’m ready to win. “Matau,” the gamesmaster yells and although I lunge to the right, I find I can’t quite make it to my stick. It crashes to the ground in slow motion, creating a mini-dust cloud on the forest’s dusty carpet. The crowd hollers with laughter as I turn to see the gamesmaster with my shirt in his hand. Leanne glows with pride as he whispers in my ear, “Well done Waiheke (the name of my hometown). You gave it a good shot.” And after a cultural performance in the Wharenui (big house), featuring joyful singing, expert poi twirling, rhythmic guitar playing, an impressive weapons demonstration and a talented man who can replicate bird calls, I give the hangi meal a good shot, too. Chicken, beef, lamb, fish, potato, kumara: a feast all cooked in hessian sacks in a coal pit beneath the earth. Any thoughts of losing Maui-Matau are forgotten and I think to myself that next time, I might just put my hand up to be chief.

Taken for a ride? Biking Whakarewarewa Forest, Zorbing and definitely not enjoying the Swoosh

Getting Agro I hate heights. If I was ever being tortured, I reckon I could withstand a bit of Chinese water interrogation, a good beating or two – hell, perhaps even some waterboarding. But here I am, strapped in on Agroventure’s Swoosh ride, one of five at the adventure park, waiting for someone I met half an hour ago to pull the rip cord of this superswing and send us plummeting to the ground before correcting in a huge arc to hurl us high, back and forth. I don’t care that there’s a camera on me. I’m just going to try and talk my way through this one. It’s all I’ve got. “Hurry up, pull the cord,” Leanne yells to the operators on the ground, not realising that alongside us, Ben, our guide, has it in his evil little hand. “Three, two, one,” he counts down. And then it happens. My stomach comes up to meet my heart, which seems to be racing to meet my brain. There are split seconds of blur, split seconds of clarity and a rush of adrenalin. Survival comes down to fight or flight, but there’s no fighting here – just flight. The ground rushes up to meet us. My hand grips Leanne’s arm tighter and we all yell, “ Faarrrrrrrrkkkkk!” as the rope saves us from death by helping us avoid the ground by what feels like mere precious centimetres. We shoot upwards into the sky, the feeling of weightlessness at the very top of the arc worth the price of admission alone. My whining turns to laughter, the cackling of someone who’s escaped from his torturer and lived to tell the tale. That wasn’t so bad, I tell myself. Perhaps I’ve got Stockholm Syndrome. Anyhow, it makes everything else Agroventures has to offer seem a walk in the park, although they’re all great 36


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fun – the Freefall Xtreme skydive simulator, the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere; the Shweeb, a oneof-a-kind aerodynamic racing pod; and the Agrojet, NZ’s fastest jetboat in which you reach speeds of 100km/hr.

Ball games Diving down a hill inside a giant ball filled with water seems like madness. Until I do it. And then I want more. I must have more. Luckily for me, I can. I can do it solo. I can do it with someone else. I can do it wet. I can do it dry (although wet is better). I can go higher, faster, smoother, bumpier. And so I do. Zorbing never gets boring, because each journey inside the big orb is unique. My speed changes, I hit different points on each ride, and I find another way to ride the inside of these happy, bouncy rubber orbs. It’s a wild ride, spinning in the variation known as the Zydro, in which me and Leanne are sloshing around in cold

My stomach comes up to meet my heart, which seems to be racing to see my brain

” 25/11/13 1:05 AM

water on a hot summer’s day (in winter the water’s warm). I can’t help but laugh seeing her face as she initially freak outs and then bursts into spontaneous laughter after realising she’s safe. And the tumbling continues, into a huge fence, down a tiny drop, while we remain cushioned inside, the only danger getting the stitch from laughing too much. The Zydro is similar to a waterslide, but far more fun and far less predictable. We emerge from our zorb, a couple of drenched rats, with ear-to-ear smiles and beating hearts. We take on all the rides, including the famous ‘Zig Zag’ track, although my favourite is definitely ‘The Drop’, in which I try and remain on my feet, riding the zorb down a steep decline which offers a heart-stopping fall, after which my laughter of relief is quickly overtaken by my whoops and hollers as I gather my fastest speed of the day.

Joy riders I’m flinging myself down a gravel hill on the coolest bike I’ve ever been on, a 2013 Santa Cruz Heckler. I pedal like a maniac and then jam on the brakes and slide along the gravel, leaving a trail of dust in my wake. My Multiday Adventures guide Josh looks on, impressed at my skid. It’s not good enough to beat his, but then he’s a pro and I’m a casual rider. Still, I’m getting better. One day I’ll win a skid contest. Me, Leanne and Josh are about to head off into the Whakarewarewa Forest, which features an incredible everevolving network of mountain biking tracks that stretch for over 90km. The terrain is that good that mountain

bikers from all corners of the globe descend on Rotorua to take advantage of the awesome tracks, only five minutes from the city centre. To give you an idea of how good the riding is, it’s estimated that the economic value of all the mountain bikers attracted to the area is about five times the annual timber revenue of the forest. Josh is the perfect guide, telling us of the pitfalls to watch out for, but also encouraging us to let loose and “just ride”. If we’re going to tumble, it going to happen (although it doesn’t), but we soon discover that it’s actually safer to ride faster – as well as a hell of a lot more fun. Despite being sheltered from the sun by the forest canopy, it’s hot work and Josh senses we may be flagging as we ride higher into the forest in preparation for another run. “You keen to get wet?” he asks. “Definitely,” I reply, although I’m puzzled at the lack of rivers around here. Are we gonna splash about in some septic forestry water? “Local knowledge,” he says, as he disappears down a hidden track at the side of the road. “Follow me.” We do, lugging our bikes down a bank in the bush, before stalking through branches and vines to emerge at an old water reservoir, built around a natural fresh water spring. I’m first to leap in, and although it’s a hot day the water is ice-cold, refreshing but unbearable after 30 seconds. I climb out, quickly dry off under the hot Rotorua sun and then perform a couple more bombs before we make our way out of the bush. Refreshed, we ride into yet another trail, again navigating the winding run, getting air off mini-jumps, as Whakarewarewa keeps on providing all the adventure you can pack into a day. ❚ TNTDOWNUNDER.COM

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Breaking through: kicking back at the new floating bar/surf shack by legendary reef wave Cloudbreak


Photos: Tor Johnson




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Floating on a cloud Since a 2010 law opened up Fiji’s awesome surf breaks to budget travellers, the country has gone board crazy WORDS IAN LLOYD NEUBAUER

The moment I heard about it, I knew it was going to be something worth writing home about. But how can I describe it? A floating restaurant, a day club on a houseboat, a surfing platform – Fiji’s Cloud 9 is all those things and more. And it is moored in a sparkling blue lagoon in front of Cloudbreak, an offshore reef wave 15 minutes boat ride from the main Fijian island of Viti Levu’s west coast that is the stuff surfers’ dreams are made of. “Cloudbreak is the best wave on Earth,” says former surfing world champion Kelly Slater. “It’s everything you want in a wave.” And he should know. With the exception of the owners and boatmen of Tavarua Camp and nearby Tavarua Island, Slater has surfed more waves at Cloudbreak than just about anyone on Earth. In June of this year, he out-surfed a slew of younger and ambitious pros like Australia’s Mick Fanning and defending world champion Joel Parkinson to take home the winner’s trophy at Volcom Fiji Pro, Cloudbreak’s top surfing contest watched on webcasts by millions around the globe.

Mate’s rates Before I go on, journalistic integrity requires me to disclose that Cloud 9 is co-owned by my best mate Bar’el Wachtel. Bar’el and I met at a school camp 25 years ago and have been close ever since. Until his mother passed away, his mum and my mum were also besties, so our bond is as close as that of brothers. After graduating from high school, we spent years travelling the globe together: riding camels in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, exploring the ancient temples of Cambodia on dirt bikes and partying our arses off at raves everywhere from Israel to Byron Bay. Somewhere along the line, I settled down – if you consider working as a travel journalist to pay the rent as ‘settling down’. But the free soul that is Bar’el would have none of that. For the past five years, he’s been working, if you can call it that, as an in-house DJ in some of the world’s most decadent hotels and resorts: the Six Senses Lammau in the Maldives and the Kempinski in Turkey and Thailand, to name but a few. So you can imagine my surprise when Bar’el called me last year and told me he was moving to the banana republic of

Fiji to start a new business of his own: a world-first tourism concept called Cloud 9 that would turn the surfing industry on its head. “The idea first came about when my father sailed his yacht to Fiji,” Bar’el says. “I flew from Sydney to meet him

Cloudbreak is the best wave on Earth – it’s everything you want

and spent a few days on the yacht and surfing Cloudbreak, where I met my business partner Tony Philp. Tony is a bit of a celebrity in Fiji; he’s a four-time former world windsurfing champion and has represented Fiji in the Olympics five times. “Tony and I got talking about how amazing it would ›› be to have a permanent platform at Cloudbreak and all

Admiring the view


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Down the hatch: a traditional kava ceremony the possibilities it would open up in terms of tourism. At the time it was just talk, an idea, but a few months later he rang me up and told me he’d found the hull of an old houseboat that would make the perfect building block for a surfing platform. Tony’s sister Lisa is an architect, and she came up with a modern twist on the tiki design with daybeds, beanbags, a big wooden bar that had capacity for about 100 people. So we looked around for some investors. But when that didn’t work out, we decided it was something we really wanted to do, so we put our life savings into the project and never looked back.”

surfers who couldn’t afford the levies were therefore denied access or risked getting bashed when they tried sneaking in. But the introduction of the ‘Regulations of Surfing Areas Decree’ in 2010 annulled all previous title claims on surfing areas and made it a crime to obstruct or attempt to obstruct anyone from surfing anywhere in Fiji. In other words, Cloudbreak was liberated. But old habits die hard, as the fishermen who had allegedly attempted to scuttle Cloud 9 before it even opened had proved.

Trouble in paradise

Fast forward one year. I’m sitting poolside at Stoney Creek Resort, a small, family-run accommodation property set in the velvet-green Sabeto Valley, a short drive from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport. I discovered Stoney Creek during my first visit to Fiji while reporting for TNT Magazine in 2010 and, after falling in love with the country, have returned to Fiji – and Stoney Creek – every year since. I consider the owners, Michelle Kahn and Gary Jones, as my Fijian family and credible sources for all local news and gossip. So I was somewhat disturbed when they told me Cloud 9 had met strong opposition from locals since it opened for the Volcom Fiji Pro in June. According to my hosts, a crew of fishermen, allegedly working for or incited by residents of the mainland village of Moni, had attempted to scuttle Could 9. Since Cloudbreak was discovered in the 1980s, Moni had made a motza from indigenous fishing rights its residents had corrupted to claim exclusive surfing rights at Cloudbreak and charge operators like Tavarua Camp exorbitant access fees, which were in turn passed onto foreign surfers. Fijian 40

Getting down to business

The only thing bluer than the sky is the water breaking on the bow

The next day, I catch a taxi to Bar’el’s apartment in Nadi and ask him if what Gary and Michelle had told me was true. He nods his head. “A few days before we opened, some locals approached the platform on a boat. One of them was holding a big bush knife and threatened to cut our moorings,” Bar’el says. “What happened then?” I ask. “It was a pretty tense stand off. But eventually we talked them out of it and they left. Luckily, my partner Tony has a lot of connections in the Fijian Government. He spoke to everyone from the minister of tourism to the attorney general and the tourism police. The first two weeks during the Volcom Pro were the most stressful of my


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s d n a l s I i j i F


A fantastic range of packages, island escapes and island hopping passes in Fiji’s stunning Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands. Packages range from 5 to 12 days and include island accommodation, transfers, meals and activities. Accommodation ranges from the basic and budget to the more upmarket island resorts. Whether you want to ‘free-style’ it or package everything into one easy bundle, you’ll find it with Awesome Adventures Fiji.

• Children, schools & education • Creating sustainable communities • Marine research & conservation

Volunteering is all about giving something back and making a difference. Volunteering with us means that you’ll work alongside locals and other volunteers in specialised projects. The focus is on helping the villages achieve access to the basic needs in life including water, power, nutrition and education, and helping to build a sustainable future for these villages.


If a holiday in Fiji, combined with the opportunity to lend a helping hand to people in need sounds like you, then volunteering with Vinaka Fiji will be a highlight of your travel experience.

For info and bookings see your travel centre or contact us Phone +679 675 0500 02_NZ103 26-43 features.indd 41 AAF4614 TNT Edition 103 NZ FP.indd 1

For info and bookings see your travel centre or contact us awesomefiji Freephone 0800 293 766 25/11/13 1:15 AM 21/11/13 3:49 PM

Photos: Tor Johnson

Booked your flight yet? life. I didn’t know if or when those fishermen were going to return, or if I’d just thrown my life savings down a tube. But I guess whatever Tony did worked, because we’re still here today.” It’s a relief to hear that everything is okay and Cloud 9 was still afloat. But the stress has obviously taken it’s toll on Bar’el and I am left me doubting whether all his hard work has been for naught.

Living the dream All that doubt is assuaged the moment we motor out of Nadi’s backpacker district Smugglers Cove and into the warm waters of Nadi Bay. A few minutes later we approach the Mamanucas, a chain of 20-something sandringed islands, islets and exposed coral reefs home to some of Fiji’s most popular offshore resorts. The only thing bluer than the sky is the water breaking on the bow, a fluorescent shade of cobalt that becomes clear as glass when we glide over sandbanks. Yachts and cruise boats bob up and down on the horizon. Kite surfers and flying fish skip over waves. Jet skis rush past us, gunning it full throttle as helicopter joy flights fly overhead in what has to be one of the world’s greatest aquatic playgrounds. Forty-five minutes after take off, we skirt around Tavarua Island and I see Cloud 9. Yet I’m only able to fully appreciate the uniqueness of Bar’el and Tony’s creation when I step off the boat and onto its hull to take in the uninterrupted 360° lagoon views. Unlike a pleasure craft or boat, it feels stable and solid, barely moving despite the wind that kicks up when the tide rises later in the day. The mahogany deck surrounds a large bar managed by Yassine Ouled Dlala, a former merchant sailor from Tunisia who 42

now spends his day on Cloud 9 making margaritas, pina coladas and tropical fruit smoothies bursting with colour and flavour. Oversize day beds with roll cushions sheltered by white sun sails make Cloud 9 literally pop out of the bright blue sea, while the tempting aromas of barbecued fish, chicken and vegetable skewers waft from the teppanyaki grill set in a corner. And then there’s Bar’el, doing what he loves best, playing his signature ultra-lounge electro-fused Bossa Nova tunes on the decks on the deck behind the bar. In a world where so many tourism attractions are so often same-same, it’s refreshing to see something as unique and exciting as Cloud 9. It breaks the mold in terms of access to off-shore surf breaks hitherto monopolised by costly island properties and at-times awkward yacht-based surfing safaris. Yet what really surprised me about the place was the diverse nature of the patrons. I expected it to be full of long-haired surfers, yet the crowd were predominantly non-surfers: backpackers from as far as the UK and Canada, middle-age yachties, locals who rocked up on fishing boats, families snorkelling around the reef or mucking around on stand-up paddle boards, even a few golden oldies sitting back, sipping chilled wine and taking it all in. “I have been to this country seven or eight times now,” says Nick Pasons from New Zealand, “and this is by far the best thing I’ve ever done in Fiji.” ❚ Details: Entry is free to Cloud 9 (Ph: +679 908 8972). Beers are FJ$10, cocktails start at FJ$21 and tepanyaki BBQ meals cost from FJ$16. Transfers from Nadi take 45 minutes and cost FJ$69pp; Dorm beds at Sabeto Valley’s Stoney Creek Resort (+679 672 2206) cost FJ$45pp/pn, including breakfast


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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,

THE NAKED BUS Cheap, cheap, cheap. If you are capable of planning ahead you can get a damn good deal with the Naked Bus. This is because the first seat sold on every bus trip goes for $1. Even if you’re not quick enough to get that price, they’re pretty cheap all round. They also guarantee to beat any other company on price. Quicker than hitching and cheaper than hiring a car. Clothes optional (not really).

Photos: Tourism New Zealand



NINETY-MILE BEACH Way up on the tippity-top of the North Island, is Ninety-Mile Beach. Unlike its name suggests, it’s not really 90 miles long. It’s actually 55. Regardless, it’s considered a highway in New Zealand and has a speed limit of 100km/hr. Self-drive it if you’ve got the stones, but your insurance company definitely won’t cover you on this road. It’s also tide dependent, so take a tour if you want a worry-free trip and they’ll throw in some sandboarding for you too. There are cultural and historical sights alike in the area to be absorbed. But you could also just rock up and check out the sunset too.


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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

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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 HOGWARTZ 277 Rattray St. Dorms from $25. A former Catholic bishop’s residence in the 1870s, and now a beautiful backpackers. The five-bed dorm is the bishop’s old formal dining room.

HEALTH Auckland Metro Doctors Travelcare

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

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

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

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

DOM AIRLINES Auckland Air New Zealand 0800 737 000, 09 357 3000 Great Barrier 09 275 9120

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

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


AKAROA A cutesy little French/English-looking town, hidden to the south-east of Christchurch. There’s plenty of history to be discovered, as well as quaint cafés and art galleries. From the town you can explore the nearby bays and see the resident penguin colony, seals and birdlife. It’s also the best place to swim with the smallest dolphins in the world – Hector’s dolphins. You can also check out the friendly orcas here too.



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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,

DOWNTOWN BACKPACKERS 1 Bunny St, Wellington. Dorms from $25. Charming backpackers set in an old art-deco building. Nice and clean with plenty of sunlight and great communal areas. Wellington

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.


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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.


BROWN KIWI 7 Prosford St, Freeman’s Bay. Dorms from $27. An unassuming little hostel, known for being gay-friendly and also close to great shopping. Also boasts a neat garden courtyard.


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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Hamilton Visitor Centre 5 Garden Place, Hamilton 07 958 5960

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


DOC Office Level 5, Rostrevor St.

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

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.

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

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

CRANK BACKPACKERS 1140 Hinemoa St, Rotorua. Dorms from $22. An intriguing hostel breaking from the norm in Rotorua. Set in an old mall with co-ed bathrooms and a free gym. Wild, but wonderful. Rotorua

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.


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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




Tidewater Tourist Park (YHA) 270 Tiki Rd, 07 866 8888, Tui Lodge (BBH) 60 Whangapoua Rd, 07 866 8237,

OPOUTERE This is a good place to go to just chill out. The beach here is glorious and generally empty. Skinny dip anyone?

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.



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.

Though just across the water, the Coromandel Peninsula couldn’t be further from the urbanscape that is Auckland. A top spot for eco-tourism thanks to its beautiful rainforests and stunning beaches – you can’t pass up on a trip out here. Highlights include: Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach (pictured) and Whitianga. There’s also the elusive Hairy Moehau, rumoured to be something like a giant ape that lives on the peninsula. It’s a wonder he hasn’t been caught, as summertime can be pretty damn busy. The area is host to kayaking, snorkelling/diving and game fishing, all in crystal clear waters.

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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MAORI CULTURE As soon as you step off the plane, you will very quickly get the sense that New Zealand is undeniably bi-cultural. On the television, in newspapers and generally all over the country, Maori culture and language overlaps with New Zealand’s otherwise European heritage. There are plenty of opportunities for tourists to experience traditional practices. There’s the hangi, which is a Maori feast cooked by burying the food under a huge fire. Then there’s the very well known haka, a terrifying war dance made famous by the All Blacks. If you’re especially brave, and don’t mind a permanent souvenir, you can also get a traditional Maori tattoo, or ta moko, drawn onto your body. As a non-Maori you can only get kirituhi, skin inscriptions, inspired by traditional designs.

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.

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

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

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.

Coyote Bar and Restaurant 107 The Strand, 07 578 8968,

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

TAURANGA DO Butlers Swim With Dolphins 0508 288 537


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

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BOOK NOW! ROTORUA STAY Base Rotorua 1286 Arawa St, 0800 227 369, Cactus Jack Backpackers (BBH) 1210 Haupapa St, 07 348 3121, Crank Backpackers 1140 Hinemoa St, 07 348 0852, Crash Palace Backpackers (BBH, VIP) 1271 Hinemaru St, 07 348 8842, 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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facebook/tntdownunder 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,

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

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.


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Wanganui Information Centre 101 Guyton St, 06 349 0508,

earthquake which meant the entire town had to be rebuilt. Visitor Info Centre 100 Marine Parade, 06 834 1911

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

Depart of Conservation Office Marine Parade, 06 834 3111



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

CHECK IN BUG BACKPACKERS 226 Vanguard St, Nelson. Dorms from $25. A great hostel with homely rooms, and more VW Beetle paraphernalia than you can shake a bug at. Free bikes and freshly baked bread.


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,


The Rotten Apple Backpackers (BBH) 114 Heretaunga St, 06 878 4363,

Eco Inn (BBH) 671 Kent Rd, between Egmont Village and New Plymouth on SH3. 06 752 2765

Travellers Lodge Hastings (BBH) 608 St Aubyn St, West Hastings, 06 878 7108,

Egmont Lodge (BBH, YHA) 12 Clawton St, 06 753 5720,

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)


06835 7039,

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


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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,

Palmerston North Visitor Centre The Square, 0800 626 292, Department of Conservation Office 717 Tremaine Ave, 06 350 9700 Grandma’s Place (BBH) 146 Grey St, 06 358 6928, Peppertree Hostel (BBH) 121 Grey St, 06 355 4054.

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.

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.


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

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



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


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 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

A sanctuary for rare native birds.


There’s a good chance of seeing

Auckland boasts just about every type of cuisine you can think of, at very affordable prices. The cheapest way to find filling food is to head for the food courts that adjoin the larger shopping malls, such as the Downtown Food Court in the Downtown Shopping Centre on QEII Square. For drinking, Queen Street and the roads running off it are the best places to start. You’ll find comedy clubs, pubs and trendy watering holes, many offering deals. The Karangahape Road – or “K Road” – is NZ’s nearest thing to Kings Cross in Sydney or Soho in London. Bars and clubs are set among the bustling red light district of Auckland. You’ll find clubs with everything from 24-hour drinking and pool to trance and hardcore hip-hop. Auckland Viaduct (pictured) is also worth checking out. It’s a beacon for beautiful people and cute yachties, and the pubs are certainly lively when the sailors are in.

elusive kiwis and blue penguins. Kapiti Island Nature Tours Tours and accommodation, 06 362 6606,


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CAMBRIDGE HOTEL 28 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro. Dorms from $21 Located in the heart of Te Aro, in a newly renovated heritage building, this hotel and backpacker hostel has just about everything you need. Wellington

Single, twin, double, triple and share-room budget accommodation and we are the only Wellington backpacker hostel with camping facilities & free off-street parking

Rowena’s Lodge is ideally located amidst the tranquil green surroundings of Mount Victoria with panoramic views yet only minutes away from Wellington city centre and the Wellington entertainment precinct of Courtenay Place

NZ freephone 0800 80 14 14 Ph/Fx +64 4 385 7872 email: www.


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

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

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

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

POINT BREAK BACKPACKERS 6 Union Street, New Brighton. Beds from $25. Cosy dorms and private rooms available in a friendly, well-equipped hostel with easy access to the city. Why would you go anywhere else?

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


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


STEWART ISLAND The jump from Invercargill to Stewart Island is one that many travellers won’t find the time to do, but if you happen to make it you will be greatly rewarded. Known as a haven for birdlife and general outdoors beauty, it’s also a fantastic place to spot the kiwi in its natural habitat. The weather is notoriously temperamental, so weatherproof yourself appropriately. Kayaking and tramping are the main activities on offer, allowing you to explore the wilder side of New Zealand. If you’re crazy/brave you could even take a dip in the chilly waters from one of the many isolated coves.


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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

SHORTBREAD COTTAGE 33 Trafalgar St, Nelson. Dorms from $26. A small but charming hostel, just a short walk from the town centre. Free internet, fresh-baked bread and shortbread on arrival.

At The Right Place 85 Bealey Street. 03 366 1633


Avon City Backpackers Worcester Street. 03 389 6876, Canterbury House (BBH) 257 Bealey Ave. 03 377 8108, Skydiving and training courses, 0800 697 593 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.


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


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SOUTHISLAND GREYMOUTH STAY The west coast’s largest town is dominated by the Duke Backpackers (BBH) 27 Guiness St. 03 768 9470 Global Village (BBH) 42-54 Cowper St, 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,



03 755 7612,

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

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

FRANZ JOSEF The glacier is about 12km long and offers a wide variety of challenging activities. To get the ultimate perspective on the magnitude of Franz Josef, head for Sentinel Rock, which gives a sweeping view over both the Waiho Valley and the mighty glacier. DOC Visitors Information Centre Westland National Park, Hwy 6, 03 752 0796

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,

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

FOX STAY Fox Glacier Inn 03 751 0088 Ivory Towers (BBH) 03 751 0838,

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


Alpine Rafts Freephone: 0800 223 456.

Alpine Adventure Centre Footage on a helimax screen, 03 752 0793

The Just Jade Experience Design and create your own treasures with NZ jade/ greenstone. Allow at least 6-10 hours. 197 Revell St,

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

the best

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wedding da y first child Fra nz Jos ef gla cie r adventu re! aLL eQUIPMeNt PROVIded heLI hIKes INCLUde hOt POOLs eNtRy

Freephone: 0800 GUIdes


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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 ADVENTURE QUEENSTOWN HOSTEL 36 Camp St, Queenstown. Dorms from $29. Spotless hostel with modern kitchens and run by experienced travellers. Free bicycles, frisbees and then some.


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,

TUATARA LODGE 30-32 Dee Street, Invercargill. Beds from $24. This is a clean, warm, smoke-free hostel with a friendly crew and excellent security.

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.

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

Dept of Conservation Office 77 Stuart St, 03 477 0677

October to May/June only).

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

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

Dunedin Visitor Centre 48 The Octagon, 03 474 3300

Seasonal (open September/

Leviathan Heritage Hotel 27 Queens Gardens, 0800 773 773,

Thomas Catlins Lodge & Holiday Park, 03 415 8333,

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.

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


YHA Oamaru, Red Kettle


MOERAKI Just 30km south of Oamaru lies a

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.

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),


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ONWARDSFIJI NADI & WEST Aquarius Pacific Hotel +679 672 6000 Beach Escape Villas +679 672 4442, beachscape@ Cathay Hotel +679 666 0566,

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

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

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,


OVALAU ISLAND Ovalau is a sexy island in the Lomaiviti Group in Fiji’s traditional heartland. Little Levuka is its biggest town and one of Fiji’s prettiest, hugging a strip of land between the sea and the slopes of Nandelaiovalau, the island’s single volcanic peak. Wander the old colonial streets and engage the locals in a chat – they’re some of the country’s friendliest. When you’ve had enough of Levuka, hike out on the dusty road towards Lovoni, an indigenous village inhabited by proud locals and snugly nestled in the island’s spectacular crater.



06_NZ103 56-66 SI.indd 64

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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,

HABITAT HQ 333 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda. Dorms from $26.50. Set in the beating heart of Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda, rooms are clean, modern and there’s a big common area for drinking.


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

BRISBANE STAY 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,

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,

Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St. 1800 068 686,

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

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

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

Elkes Backpackers 112 Mitchell St. 1800 808 365,

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 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,


06_NZ103 56-66 SI.indd 65


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ANDREW WESTBROOK [roast Fergburger]


RORY PLATT [Tamagochi]




a) Aboriginees b) Zealans c) Kiwis d) Maori




TOBY LLEWELLYN [motorbike]




Which of these New Zealand birds Q extinct? a) Kiwi b) Tui c) Huia d) Kea

b) May d) July

Q 5. Which is New Zealand’s third

Q 9. In which year did Sir Edmund

biggest island? a) Stewart Island b) North Island c) South Island d) Chatham Island

Hillary climb Mount Everest? b) 1964 a) 1929 b) 1931 d) 1953









3 3





6 1




4 8

What is the name of the sea between Q 7.Australia and New Zealand? a) Tasman b) Pacific c) Cook d) Atlantic

3. Which European supposedly ‘discovered’ New Zealand? a) Matthew Flinders b) Captain Cook c) Abel Tasman d) Sir Francis Drake

a) April c) June


Q 4. In which month is Anzac Day?



a) Tasman b) Torres c) Cook d) Bass

2. New Zealand’s indigenous people are Q known as?


is the name of the strait between Q 6.theWhat North and South Islands?

How many stars are on the New Q 1.Zealand flag?

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




5 3


An insult meaning imperfect or not quite all there. Possibly derived from the Maori word “pai” which means “good” ie half-good. “That idea is half-pie,” or, “You are a little bit half-pie bro”.


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Editi nd


275 +




This card is not




acking BackpZeala nd Way the New

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