Here is a sweet New Zealand 80′s tune by Patea Marori Club – Poi E! Love it. The dude that dances like Michael Jackson is halarious! Enjoy.
Archive for September, 2010
After doing back to back winters my prayers are being answered! Warmer than usual temperatures are being predicted across the whole of New Zealand in late spring. This is great news and hopefully (fingers-crossed) it will come true. There has been a lot of rain in my life the last couple months and I’m done with it. I had tomorrow off to head down to Rotorua to do some riding, but a big storm is moving through and luckily I’ve been able to postpone it until next Friday! I’m pretty stoked to get back to back days in riding! I was actually thinking I may do one day in Rotorua and then one day in Taupo, since I’ve never ridden there.
This good weather will hopefully arrive for my 5-day mountain bike ride down south in Dunedin. I am camping the entire time so I’m hoping that it won’t be raining! My buddy Mark is letting me camp at his place.. cheap accommodation! It should be pretty epic and I am hoping my fitness will be ok. It will be 4 days in a row of 6-8 hour rides I think. It will be a variety of tracks as well. There should be a couple day of single track with huge climbs and a couple days of downhilling.. yeeha!
After my time in Dunedin I am heading home and the next morning I am off to Wellington and Christchurch for 2 days of work. It is going to be a whirlwind! I am going to be beat to hell for those two days in Wellington and Christchurch. I rode with Mark for 2 days straight about 4months ago and my body hated me, so 5 days should really put me through the ringer! After my 2 day work trip Michelle is flying into meet in Christchurch. The next morning we are getting a car and heading down to Hanmer Springs to hike the Mt Isobel track – 6 hour track return. After the hike we will hit up the hot springs and mineral pools! That night we will be staying at a lodge where we will be getting massages and being pampered! Not bad eh! The following we will head back to Christchurch for flight home.
October is going to fly. Im pretty busy with work and a few riding trips too. Now that the nice weather is arriving ill definitely be putting some km’s on Priscilla! Im sure there will be a couple more trips to Rotorua to ride and Ive heard Napier has a sick mountain bike park.. so I have to check that out!
A 12 meter humpback whale that had been spotted entangled in ropes in Doubtless Bay, which is near Mangonui in the Far North has been cut free! Department of Conservation staff were able to cut off the debris on the tail of the 30 tonne whale today. They started the rescue attempt yesterday and completed the mission today. DOC employees had to secure a hook on the rope and wait for the whale to tire itself out before they could get into the water to cut it free. Thankfully, for this fish tale (yes I know a whale is mammal) this one got away.
Today I did my first bungy jump! I was offered an Auckland Bridge Climb and AJ Hackett Bridge Bungy at work. I know I have a tough job! It was awesome! I really couldn’t have asked for a better day as the sun was shinning and it wasn’t windy. The bridge walk was great and it was interesting to learn how the bridge was put together. It started out as a 2-lane bridge, but as the city grew so did the congestion. They added 2-sides to the bridge to make it 4 lanes…pretty cool engineering! The view from on top of the bridge was great and I would recommend hitting it up if you are spending sometime in Auckland. Even if you are not up for the bungy the bridge walk is a must do in Auckland.
Obviously the best part of my day was the bungy. To be honest I was not nervous at all… which kind of surprises me. It’s not a huge bungy (40 meters) so it didn’t seem to bother me. I was just stoked to pop my bungy virginity. I actually get more nervous hitting a big gap on my bike than I was standing on the platform looking into the water. I requested to be dunked in the ocean and they happily obliged. It is an exhilarating feeling flying towards the water, head first, superman styles and then dipping into the ocean up to my waste! All of the guys that were working were super cool and calming to those who needed the extra attention. We had 10 people do the bungy and only oneof them had done it before. It was hilarious to watch peoples faces as they were standing on the edge.. pure fear in some ahah. Loved it! I cant wait to head down to Queenstown to do the Nevis, which is more than twice the height of the Auckland Bridge Jump.. SWEET! Not a bad day at the office!
Having a credit card while travelling is always good. You may need it for booking flights, renting vehicles or sometimes even ID. The only problem is when you have to make a payment on your card. You could leave some money in one of your bank accounts back home to pay off the credit card or maybe you will transfer money from your Kiwi bank account, which is a pain and comes at an added fee. Nothing will ever replace a credit card, but I would recommend getting a Visa Debit card once in New Zealand.
A Visa Debit card works just like an ATM/EFTPOS card, but with even more benefits. You can get cash from ATMs and use it for EFTPOS nationwide, make purchases online, overseas, over the phone, via mail order and pay bills – all using your own money.
When you’re overseas, you can get cash from more than a million ATMs in different countries, and use your card for EFTPOS purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
- Buy things online, overseas, over the phone or by mail order and pay with your own money
- Link up to two accounts to your card
- Make EFTPOS purchases and get cash at Visa ATMs worldwide
This card is super handy for buying stuff online ie plane tickets, concert tickets, accommodation bookings, trademe.co.nz purchases ect. Best thing is you are using the money you are making so no interest fees like on credit cards! Definitely a great card to have while travelling!
Ive noticed that some travellers coming to New Zealand are focused on getting career related work. That is great, but one must remember that the visa we are all on is a working holiday visa… meaning you are in New Zealand to work and travel. Don’t forget that second part – travel! Yes you can wait around for a career related job to come available, but to me that is a waste of time! Most work visas are only good for one year – use your time wisely. It really doesn’t do anyone any good to sit around day after day waiting for an employer to call you. That can be really frustrating, stressful and depressing! Use that waiting period of time to travel; get on a stray bus, woof, grab a cheap flight online or venture to the south island. When that career job does come available you will be working 9am-5pm, so use that time in between to see and enjoy New Zealand. You may want to prepare yourself to work non-career related work to cover expenses until that `right` job becomes available. Bring extra savings to cover costs as well. Remember that no matter what job you do, future employers will still be interested and impressed that you went overseas to live and work. Make the most of your time, be flexible with employment and travel as much as possible.
This is My Delirium by Ladyhawke.. new to me.. but not new to the world.. 2008. Anyways.. some more kiwi music!
My weekend was pretty busy! I had Friday off to drive down to New Plymouth for a wedding with Michelle. Originally we had planned to drive with a couple of Michelle’s friends, but they changed their plans so we ended up cruising down in our car – Priscilla – yup we named her! Cant go on a road trip without the car having a name.. just be wrong. The plan was to go Thursday, but I didn’t want to drive down that night, so we opted to leave early Friday morning. After a Thursday evening of drinking, we were up early with headaches to boot and were on the road by 8am. The first part of the drive was State Hwy 1, which is like any highway, boring! Once we got on to State Hwy 3 it got a little more interesting. We were basically winding our way through a valley. The road was so much fun to drive, it was tight hand over hand corners, switching back and forth. Michelle wasn’t enjoying the road as much as I was… the hangover wasn’t helping at all! There were a couple tunnels through the hillside – pretty cool! Native bush one side surrounded us; lush green ferns/forest with huge rock faces, steep cliffs and the waikato river was on the other. After the valley we were driving a long side the ocean for a bit – once again pretty sweet! I love that in a mater of hours you can drive through so many kinds of environments. It was a heck of a drive (5 hours) and I was beat. Once we got to New Plymouth we headed to the batch we rented. It was huge – slept 22 people. There were 8 of us there and it only cost us $35/each. Amazing deal! I had a nap and then we headed off to the wedding, which was at 4pm.
The wedding was great. It was at the oldest stone church in New Zealand. It was really nice! They requested we didn’t take photos during the wedding.. so I have none to share. After the service we went to a café where we had some drinks and food. It wasn’t your typical piss-up reception afterwards that I am used too. That didn’t bother me as I had been on the piss the night before and I had another 5-hour drive a head of me the next morning. We went back to the batch and had a couple drinks and then it was bedtime.
We were up bright and early the next morning. We wanted to check out New Plymouth but the weather was awful. It was raining and raining hard, so we opted for a breakfast, a cruise through the town and then back on the road to Auckland. New Plymouth is a place I would come back to in the summer. They have some really nice beaches and the surf is supposed to be great. I think Michelle and I will come back .. maybe do that hike at Mount Taranaki and of course ill bring my bike to hit some local tracks.
It was a fun drive home through the winding roads; the rain made it intense in some spots but it was all-good. Priscilla drove real nice and I am pretty happy with her! Having the car is great - I am so happy we got it. It just allows us so much freedom. I am really looking forward to our Christmas holidays where I think we may just hit the open road and see where we end up!
Sunday I headed out too woodhill to ride. It was actually sunny! The trails were awesome.. probably the best ive seen out there. Had a blast and rode for 4 hours! Next weekend Im off to ride up in Rotorua again.. STOKED!
The clocks went an hour ahead today.. both Michelle and I didn’t remember so she was a little late for work. Im loving that it will be light longer during the day – hopefully I will be able to get out to woodhill through the evenings or head to the beach with Michelle!! Ive just done back to back winters and I am really excited for some sunny weather!
Tonight we have a dinner for a friend who is returning home after a year in NZ. You can tell he doesn’t want to leave, but who would, this place is paradise. Monday morning will be here too soon. Where does the weekend go?
This weekend I am off to New Plymouth with Michelle for a friends wedding. We are driving down on Friday morning and it will be the first road trip in the car! It is about a 5hour jaunt so it should be a good test. I’ve never been down to New Plymouth (which is on the west coast), so I really do not know what to expect. I doubt we will have much time to explore. I figure we will get down by noon and then hit up our accommodation. We’ve rented a house with some of Michelle;s friends for the night, so it should be a good party! The wedding is at 4pm and the reception follows.
New Plymouth is a known for Botanical gardens, fun parks, beaches, historical sites and coastal walkways. So im sure we could hit up the beach and have our usual fish and chips before we head home on Saturday! You can’t visit any beach with out having a good feed of fish and chips. The main attraction and many would say a trip to New Plymouth isn’t complete without a visit too Mount Taranaki, the most climbed mountain of New Zealand. Surrounded by lush green forests Mount Taranaki is a scenic destination, a heaven for photographers. FYI: Mount Taranaki receives maximum rainfall of 7000mm annually, which is highest in New Zealand. The unique environment of the mountain supports unusual vegetation that includes sub tropical forests, sub alpine herbs and some rare variety of local vegetation.
There is a hike I would love to attempt – Mount Taranki Summit – rising above the clouds, the 2518m summit of this dormant volcano would offer spectacular views for those who can manage to drag their ass up it! It takes about 5-6 hours one way or 10-12 hours return. That is a hell of a hike! It is best to attempt this in the summer and if you want to try your luck in the winter you best be an experienced mountaineer and have the proper gear ie ice picks, cramp-ons, snow coats/pants. I may drive out to look and do a short hike, but that is weather dependant.
Some interesting facts about the mountain: Mt Taranaki has great spiritual significance to local Maori: the crater and summit is the sacred head of Taranaki, the rocks and ridge are his bones, rivers his blood and plants and trees are his cloak and offer protection from the weather. You are asked to respect the mountain and not stand directly on the summit stone, and do not litter or camp on the summit.
Pretty stoked to be getting out of Auckland for a couple days. It has been a while since I’ve been on the road, so it should be good!
So Ive been thinking that I better get my Christmas shopping done soon…why? Because Canada Post and the New Zealand Post are slow as! A post card will arrive in Canada in about 2-3 weeks.. not too bad being that NZ is on the other side of the world. Though I would say it was closer to 3 weeks. If you plan on sending some gifts home for birthdays or the holidays I would recommend sending it at least 2 months prior to make sure it arrives on time. I sent a pack to my sister for her birthday and it took a minimum of a month and a half to get their… yah I missed her birthday. I actually thought it was lost in the mail, but no, it finally arrives a couple weeks after her birthday. The next time I sent a package home it paid for i to be to be a fast-mail (not sure of the correct term – it is not express – that is a little much for my budget!) which meant is was supposed to arrive in 7-10 working days… it arrived in 20 working days. Working for the post office would be great – no accountability.
If you are sending gifts home or getting something sent to you, get it registered and insure it. It usually only costs about $5 more, but it is worth it. If your package is lost, the Post Office will pay you the value of it and if it is registered they should be able to track it. Should being the key word..