New Zealand to Fiji - April 24
to May 21, 2004
Zealand is a destination that deserves more time than I have given it with my
first trip there in April and May of 2004. I spent a grand total of about
two weeks in New Zealand, and I didn't have time to even explore the whole of
the North Island. In fact, all I saw was a bit of Auckland, the Warkworth
area, the Bay of Islands area, and the east coast between Auckland and Opua.
Refer to the map below.
If you are interested in how I got involved in a four week
trip to New Zealand and Fiji with only three weeks notice, and which involved
crewing on an offshore sailboat (despite me not having any sailing experience), then
read New Zealand - the preliminaries & trip down
If you just want to jump right in to viewing photos and
reading my narratives covering New Zealand (and my subsequent trip to Fiji), then join me in
Auckland after my arrival.
Here is my whole trip (including Fiji) in chronological
North Island, New Zealand - 16 days - Oct 22 - Nov 6, 2010
My friends and I arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ms
Volendam on the morning of October 22, 2010, after spending the
previous 30 days cruising from Vancouver, Canada -
Volendam 2010 Cruise.
The ship stopped in Bay of Islands and Tauranga before our
disembarkation in Auckland. We took day tours in both places, so
please read New Caledonia to NZ
if you are interested in those experiences.
Once we disembarked in Auckland on October 22, 2010, we spent the
next 16 days touring through the North Island in a rental car, staying
in B&Bs. We left New Zealand aboard a Qantas flight on November 6, 2010.
Here is the whole trip in chronological order, travelogue style:
Just photos of the North Island:
Zealand on Zenfolio
Just videos of the North Island:
New Zealand on
You can click on the "Next" links at the bottom of each
page and find your way through either trip from beginning to end. Of course,
the text link navigation to be found at the top of each page is always an excellent way to
explore the JoeTourist website, especially if you want to jump around.
This map of New Zealand is included to illustrate just how
little of New Zealand I managed to cover in these two trips. The section of the
North Island between Hamilton and the northern tip of the North Island (north of
Opua) is the only area of New Zealand I
have visited. As I always say, leave some destinations for a future trip.
Thoughts on New Zealand
First off, what I saw of New Zealand and its people I
liked very much. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more culture shock
after travelling so far, but it is obvious that New Zealand is very similar to
Canada in many ways. We share our mutual compulsiveness for automobiles,
cellphones, good coffee, the Internet, and eating in restaurants. New Zealanders tend to
not greet each other on the street quite as often as Canadians do, but
that's not to say they are unfriendly - they are just a bit more reserved.
Perhaps that is their stronger ties to England showing through. We are
both Commonwealth countries, so we share our British Monarchy roots in our
governments, laws, and values. Unfortunately, we also share our problems
with land claims and poor treatment of our native populations, due no doubt to
our shared British colonization heritage.
New Zealanders drink good quality beer - on par with our Canadian
cottage brewery and local pub beers we have grown to appreciate. New Zealand
produces a great deal of wine, however I found much of it did not appeal
to my palette. I'm not a wine connoisseur, so perhaps my opinion doesn't
count for much, but I prefer our
VQA Okanagan wines from my home province of British
Columbia to the (admittedly limited number of) wines I sampled in New Zealand.
New Zealanders have noticeably higher quality fresh food
than North Americans are used to seeing in our food stores. Our fresh
meats and vegetables tend to come from high volume food factories, so we
are used to mediocre quality food at low prices. Our organic foods might
be on par with New Zealand's food.
New Zealand Links
Information Network 'all things New Zealand' (New Zealand Immigration Service)|
Lonely Planet NZ - can't go wrong with Lonely Planet|
- superb photos and a travelogue from an American|
Zealand - good maps, touring info, whether
you're a backpacker or not|
|Wise's maps - online
NZ Travel Planner|
Zealand - features tools to help you find accommodation, travel
packages, tourist attractions and New Zealand travel information.
Easy-to-use search and select tools make finding the
options that fit with your plans a breeze.|
WorldAtlas.com - maps of NZ|
Vacations Travel to New Zealand Holidays New Zealand Travel Packages|
Travel, Accommodation, Tours, Vacation, Rental Car Information - Experience
New Zealand Travel Agent|
Discover New Zealand Discover the World - this is a British site, but it
is very useful!|
Campervans (all less than 3 years old, luxury), and
(3-6 years old, budget)|
i-SITE West Coast Travel Centre New Zealand - The official Greymouth
visitor information centre offering expert advice and free bookings for
accommodation, transport, TranzAlpine train, tours & activities throughout
the South Island's West Coast.||