New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Discover the Alpine scenery, great walks and Maori culture of New Zealand. Learn about ancient aboriginal cultures, remote islands, endemic wildlife, vast deserts and stunning beaches of Australia. Delve into the diverse islands, peoples, landscapes and festivals of the paradise known as the South Pacific.

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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:24 pm

Geee!!
I spend 10 months every year here!
And I still haven't seen the whole country.

It's like anywhere you go,2 weeks is only enough time to travel around , looking at the main spots.
Now 4 weeks gives you more time to really explore a place that you find you like.On the Kiwi Experince you will have just that option taking 4 weeks, hop off and stay at the choicest spots.Such a shame to rush .Slow down , and enjoy.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby ShaunaG » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:50 pm

That's good advice...and New Zealand is one of the places I'm very excited to see as I've heard amazing things...it's a favourite among Canadians!

I am assuming it's a relatively easy place to travel solo and meet other backpackers?
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:06 am

The Kiwi Experience is going to be hard to beat.Just had a look at their operation.Your accom, is guaranteed at most stops.
They have a good itinerary.Get up north to Cape Reinga, the 90 mile Beach brings back memories of camping up there with the army.
Then perhaps taking the East Coast loop out to Rangitukia /Gisborne will get you out to some wilder parts of NZ.Back through Rotorua/Waitomo Caves( not bad, seen better overseas, but best we have,...)then Taupo. There are some wonderful walks and scenery around Mt Ruapehu/Tongariro.
Our Kapiti area has great natural (even now considering all beaches open to naturists...)wild life reserves..Kapiti Island for native birdlife,and our local Nga Manu where you'll see kiwi's, tui's , kaka, among others.And our living fossil Tuataras.A reptile dating back before the dinosaurs.
The ferry crossing from Wellington through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton on a fine day is stunning.And spend a few days around Nelson/Motueka/ Takaka, and Abel Taman Park.Great beaches, scenery, wilderness walks, kayaking, or catching a water taxi out around the bay, then walking back.Get right out to Farewell Spit.Unique sandspit formation.
That area is a favourite.
The South Island needs little mention...so many great places of wonderful scenery.The West Coast was a very underdeveloped area, but has boomed with tourism.You'll find it laid back and welcoming.
Queenstown awesome.And spend time there to take the steamer.Home of the bungee jump.And do take the Shotover Jet...you'll survive.You'll scream your head off.Try and keep your eyes open....
Going down to Invercargill is worthwhile if you have the time to get across to Stewart Island.That is really getting away from it all.But stunning walks through the island.
Now on the way back up, take a trip over to Akaroa,nestled across the volcanic Banks Peninsula.A very picturesque spot , originally settled by the French and retains some of that charm,and we make the pilgrimage there whenever we can.Now there are a few vineyards in the bays makes it all the more worthwhile.
Kaikoura has to have a full day.Get out whale watching.And if you don't tell anyone else, I can let you into where to find a secret seal cave nursury...don't want this destroyed by being swamped with tourists.But imagine a cave, open to the sea, where a stream feeds into a large underground pool.Where the seal herd bring their cubs, and a few adults mind them while the adults go fishing.Where seals are so tame they will come right up to you.And there are 100's of cubs.
Access is over private land which helps protect it.Thankfully.

You'll have plenty of opportunity to see our indigenous Maori culture, Rotorua..Te Papa Museum in Wellington has a great display...there is a significant and beautiful Maori Church just north of here in Otaki.Rangiatea Church.Shootthroughers miss that beauty.

Just a little to get you interested.Enjoy.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby Loet » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:13 pm

I think I've missed something, but does GAP have any New Zealand tours? I can't find any on this website, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. I am hoping to do a combined Australia/NZ trip next year.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:06 pm

Currently GAP have Australia trips only.
But cross your fingers for New Zealand in the upcoming brochure due October....
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby simonlangler » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi guys, and Travel Bunnie if you're still out there!
I triped through China last year with Gap and had a blast. Because of this I'm going to go with them again. This year its gonna be New Zealand. Question is..North or South?...And does anyone know of a good (cheap) flight centre for flights to NZ from Canada (Toronto)?
Cheers and keep safe out there
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:07 pm

Try here-
http://www.cheapflights.ca/flights-to-Auckland/
Or expedia.com
Or keep an eye out for Air New Zealand off peak specials.

South Island is generally more scenic, with plenty of adventure sports.
You'll spend time in Queenstown.And that can be a full on time with Shotover Jet, bungee , gorge swing, hang gliding etc.(I see there's been a sad double fatality on that today.Tragic)
Try and arrange an extra week prior or after your S I trip to work your way back up through the North Island and pick up the main spots perhaps.
What time of year?
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby DanielBMe » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:13 pm

I'd love to visit NZ as well. The scenery looks amazing! Plus I'd love to see all the hobbits in their natural environment lol
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:49 am

I got to spend four weeks in NZ about 25 years ago and it was amazing even though we spent 3 of the 4 weeks on a sheep ranch. The sheep ranch was in the Bay of Islands so we had incredible views and fishing, could jump on the Cream Ferry and just enjoy the hospitality of the locals. Truly an amazing experience.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby Zuleika » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:44 pm

Just a couple of words about the Kiwi experience - if you are in your early 20's, want to party and drink a lot every night and have lots of rowdy fun and sex and not really spend much time soaking in the surroundings - then this is definately the trip for you - think Contiki tours.

But if you are a bit older and prefer to do daytime stuff, scenery, spending time in your surroundings and not get pissed every night then I would recommend you pick a different company. (heard good things about Stray and Magic or just get the national coaches - they go everywhere)

This was the case 10 yrs ago when I was there and I hear it is even more popular these days for its party reputation.

Just depends what kind of a time you are after.


PS One other thing to watch out for is that if you get off your allotted bus to spend time somewhere, you can end up getting stuck there for longer than you want due to the next buses coming through all being full.

PPS JIMSHU - you should really get out more - I have been all round your beautiful country, it is truely amazing and right on your doorstep LOLOL
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:45 pm

PPS JIMSHU - you should really get out more - I have been all round your beautiful country, it is truely amazing and right on your doorstep LOLOL

RAFLMAO!!
So when do travellers get out and thoroughly explore their own backyards?

We've been around NZ a fair bit.Used to take the family caravanning all over.And do short trips still.
But the main exploration will be later when we get to old to want to do those long haul flights.
Anyway, travelling sure does make one appreciate home more....
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby Zuleika » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:11 am

Hee hee hee!!!

Apart from the places you mentioned, I also really enjoyed The Coromandel - wine tasting was outstanding (and the homemade gin!!) and the beaches lovely and deserted and very pretty - and there are hot springs on the beach - so just dig yourself a big hole in the sand and sit in hot bath water - partic good for nippy days like when we were there. Not many tourists there either.
I did a jaunt around the top of the North Island - again not too touristy, loved 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga, but also Pahia and Bay of Islands - beautiful.


I spent 9 months in NZ, such a lovely place, brilliant memories.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby jimshu » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:36 pm

Great place up there.We're heading down on a rellie rally at Easter, but will explore Akaroa /Bank's Peninsular at Easter.

And for everyone reading this, there is no better time to book that trip and get down here.Flight specials, and accom. bargains as visitor numbers have dropped because of world crisis.
But best part for you is that our dollar has dropped.From 1NZD=0.80cents US to now buying only 51US cents!!
That means everything here is 30% cheaper on top of what you could bargain off.

Make this year, Kiwi year guys!

And shed a tear for us when we want to travel out of here.... :? :(
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:42 pm

Zuleika wrote:Just a couple of words about the Kiwi experience - if you are in your early 20's, want to party and drink a lot every night and have lots of rowdy fun and sex and not really spend much time soaking in the surroundings - then this is definately the trip for you - think Contiki tours.


Hmm... feel like reliving your 20s Zuleika? ;)



Just kidding of course -- that's good to know as I want to soak up the countryside rather than the alcohol when I go back to NZ.
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Re: New Zealand-- trips through GAP/ Intrepid

Postby Zuleika » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:01 pm

ExplorerWannaBe wrote:
Hmm... feel like reliving your 20s Zuleika? ;)



LOL - I wish!!! Im still having fun these days - just different fun!!
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