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Subject: The soc.culture.new-zealand FAQ (part 4 of 6)

This article was archived around: 17 Aug 2002 01:01:06 +1200

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Archive-name: cultures/new-zealand-faq/part4 Posting-frequency: monthly, and a pointer is posted to s.c.n-z on Mondays.
Subject: B3.4 Holidays Annual leave depends on who you are employed by and is usually negotiable under the Employment Contract Act. Three weeks leave and several 'sick days' per annum seems to be about the norm. The Holidays Act over rides the ECA which manadates at least three weeks leave a year. You may negiotate a more favourable arrangement than this, but not less favourable. Getting 3 weeks holiday does not mean you will always get a choice as to when you take it. Some offices close between Christmas and New Year, so that's a compulsory 1 - 2 weeks off. It less likely in the retail trade, but certainly still happens in factories. Bruce Hamilton added: "It is just an option. You can demand the leave. Also these days most companies *want* their staff to take the leave for genuine health and morale reasons. The "use it or lose it" option is a fairly recent innovation that has arisen because these days, at financial year end, accrued annual leave is listed as a liability. Silly I know, as they gained from the worker actually working, but that's how many companies now view it, and ask staff to not accumulate more than a year's worth, or face forfeiting leave in excess of the limit. Note that many companies extend the leave entitlement to 4 weeks after a suitable employment period." -------------------- B3.4.1 National 1998 01/01 Jan 01 New Years Day (first Monday/Tuesday if 1st is Sat/Sun) 02/01 Jan 02 Day After New Years day 06/02 Feb 06 Waitangi day (not moved if on a weekend) 10/04 Apr Easter Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday) 13/04 Apr Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday) 25/04 Apr 25 ANZAC Day (not moved if Sat/Sun, shops closed morning only) 01/06 Jun Queen's Birthday (first Monday of June) 26/10 Oct Labour Day (fourth Monday of October) 25/12 Dec 25 Christmas Day (first Monday/Tuesday if 25th is Sat/Sun) 26/12 Dec 26 Boxing Day -------------------- B3.4.2 Regional Note these are subject to variations typically to accommodate local show days. As a general rule (apart from holidays which are observed on show days) if the Anniversary Day falls on Friday to Sunday (inclusive) it is observed the following Monday, if it falls on Tuesday to Thursday it is observed the preceding Monday. Observed Date Region 1998 Jan 19 Southland Anniversary 1998 Jan 19 Wellington Anniversary 1998 Jan 26 Auckland and Northland Anniversary 1998 Feb 02 Nelson Anniversary 1998 Mar 09 Taranaki Anniversary 1998 Mar 23 Otago Anniversary ( 150th Anniversary ) 1998 Sep 28 South Canterbury Anniversary 1998 Oct 23 Hawkes Bay Anniversary 1998 Nov 02 Marlborough Anniversary 1998 Nov 13 North and Central Canterbury Anniversary (3rd Friday after Labour Day) called 'Show Day' and on the third day of the annual Chch A&P Show. 1998 Nov 30 Chatham Islands Anniversary 1998 Nov 30 Westland Anniversary -------------------- B3.4.3 Web Resources on Holidays Department of Labour Industrial Relations Online Information http://www.nzir.dol.govt.nz/index.html Public Holiday dates 1997 - 2004 http://www.nzir.dol.govt.nz/rights/leave/dates/index.html 1998 Public holiday dates http://www.nzir.dol.govt.nz/rights/leave/dates/1998.html#1998 Paid Holiday and other leave incl Annual leave rights and public holidays http://www.nzir.dol.govt.nz/rights/leave/index.html ------------------------------ Subject: B3.5 Technical Stuff If it isn't here, ask in s.c.n-z. If no-one can tell you, your problem is either dazzlingly obscure, or embarrassingly mundane! Whatever it is, if you still can't find out, wait till you get to wherever you're going; they are likely to have all the fixes for foreigners with their strange voltage gear, and they will even have the right plug to put on it. B3.5.1 Electricity The normal electricity supply is 230 volts 50 hertz alternating current (AC). 3 pin appliance socket from a viewpoint looking at the wall or a plug seen from the inside as one would while wiring it up. phase -----> / \ <---- neutral (or live) | <--------- earth If the wires you have are brown, blue, and green [yellow or white striped], then; brown = phase, blue = neutral, green = earth. The old code is red, black, green respectively. If you have ANY doubts, PLEASE consult a qualified electrician. Most hotels will have shaver plugs suitable for all international appliance of low power rating, and which will supply 110 and 230 volts. These plugs may be for shavers only. If in doubt, ask. -------------------- B3.5.2 TV Info NZ runs on PAL G on UHF. This gives the same picture and sound spacing (5.5MHz), but the channel spacing is slightly wider - the same as that used for 6MHz intercarrier spacing. Standard 50 hertz field rate, 25 hertz frame rate. We also use NICAM for stereo tv, rather than one of the various analogue systems. In the Southern Hemisphere, the locally-vertical component of the field is in the opposite direction to where it would be an equivalent distance north of the equator. This affects the colour convergence of video monitors. It's not a *huge* difference, and it took computer companies until the late 1980's to wake up to the difference and ship different monitor versions to New Zealand, South America, and Australia. Northern hemisphere monitors *work* but the colours won't be as crisp as you'd expect. Mike Tuppen wrote: " lines ch bw Vision bw Sound spacing Vision Mod Sound Mod U.K. 625 8MHz 5.5MHz +6MHz -ve f.m. N.Z. 625 7MHz 5MHz 5.5MHz -ve f.m. UK NICAM Standard I Second sound carrier is at 6.552MHz Main carrier modulated with mono sound or A The 2nd carrier digitally modulated with L & R or A and B or Mono plus data or full data. NZ NICAM Standard B/G Second sound carrier is at 5.85MHz Main carrier modulated with mono sound or A. The 2nd carrier digitally modulated as in UK So without tweaking you coils your audio output is likey to be somewhat poor! Also if channel spacing is different (as the channel band width hints) and if you set is digitally tuned you may possibly not be able to tune into the NZ stations. If your set is modern it might be worth contacting the manufacturer to see if it can be modified. Alan Brown wrote: "Our video/audio intercarrier separation is 5.5MHz compared to the UK 6MHz and the cost of getting the traps adjusted and IF retuned makes it uneconomic - especially on modern TVs where to achieve the change an entire module usually has to be swapped out. "Additionally few UK PAL sets have VHF modules and our free-to-air channels work almost exclusively in VHF 1 and 3 bands." -------------------- B3.5.3 Video Conversion NTSC/PAL tv's are available but expensive. Commercial conversion facilities are available. -------------------- B3.5.4 Bringing Computers In Only problems are power supply suitability. Large monitors may experience problems changing hemisphere (or Sun would have us believe!). See notes on tv info and video conversion above as applicable. -------------------- B3.5.5 Telephone Telecommunications companies Telecom NZ ( http://www.telecom.co.nz ) Sole supplier of residential phone lines. Cellular network is an analogue/digital hybrid system. The Telecom white and yellow pages are available online at: http://www.whitepages.co.nz http://www.yellowpages.co.nz Clear Communications ( http://www.clear.co.nz/ ) Competes with Telecom on toll call market, business lines and Internet ( http://www.clear.net.nz ) Bell South NZ ( http://www.bellsouth.co.nz ) Mainly Cellular phone service. Only supplier of GSM Digital cellphone within NZ Similar to British Telecom style. Uses BT 600 plug (not RJ-11) Phone line is pins 2 and 5 of the BT 600 plug (RJ-11 is pins 3 & 4). Hotels will have difficulty in converting plugs styles but conversion cables are available from retailers. Most NZ telephone systems can handle DTMF tone dialling. BEWARE: NZ pulse dialing is the reverse of most countries. The digit are reversed and so produce different numbers of pulses. The conversion is: digit | # of Pulses --------+------------ 0 | 10 1 | 9 2 | 8 [.....] 8 | 2 9 | 1 The best solution is to use tone dialing. Lin Nah contributes: "Here's something that may be handy for travellers with a digital Mobile phones. Those without GSM Mobile phones may rent or buy one. "There are SIM cards available on short term rental. This allows them to use their GSM digital mobiles. They will be allocated a NZ mobile number. They can drop the card off at the Budget rental car desk at the airport on their way out of the country." "There is no need to reserve a card. Arrangements can be made when they arrive in NZ. All they need to do is call 0800 800 021. Ask the help desk person where is your nearest Bellsouth office. (I think this presumes you are going to arrive in one of our cities with international airports like Auckland, Wgtn or Chch. I have this feeling that trying to get it when you are in Colville won't be too successful ;) )" To find out more: http://www.bellsouth.co.nz/rentals/index.htm There is also another option where you buy a GSM SIM card that has been loaded with a certain number of minutes. Each card is only valid for two months. There is no option available online on this pre-pay scheme. I suggest you ask Bell South about it if you are interested. -------------------- B3.5.6 Radio Apparently NZ radio stations broadcast on different frequencies to the US which may cause problems with some [imported] radio gear. Conversion kits are often required for radios in imported Japanese cars. -------------------- B3.5.7 Internet Guide to ISPs in NZ Wired Kiwis http://www.wiredkiwis.co.nz/isps/ Consumer Online http://www.consumer.co.nz/cgi-bin/net/isp_menu NetGuide http://www.netguide.co.nz/guidenet/isp/index.html http://www.netguide.co.nz/guidenet/isp/isp.html ------------------------------ Subject: B4 COMING TO NEW ZEALAND ------------------------------ Fly, sail, paddle or swim. See a travel agent near you. Soon! Bring lots of money, and leave as much here as you can... One of the cheapest ways to fly is as a courier. You must be reasonably groomed, have a clean record and be over 21 to do this sort of thing, also you have to be prepared to wait around until a job comes up. Also, try Reading the rec.travel.air FAQ for hints on saving money and rec.travel.australia+nz for stuff specific to us. ------------------------------ Subject: B4.1 Immigration -------------------- B4.1.1 Online Resources to Immigration Immigration Service http://www.immigration.govt.nz/ includes information about Visitor's permit, Student permit, Work permit and migrating to NZ Facts for the Visitor http://www.nztb.govt.nz/visitor/ Migration Christopher Werry has created a 'Moving to New Zealand' web page, which has info and links to Info on Immigration, Jobs, Housing, Appliances and Kiwi Expressions. The url is: http://nz.com/NZ/Immigration/Immigration.html NZ Immigration - Information on Migrating to NZ http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migration/ NZ Immigration Consultants and Advisory Services http://url.co.nz/nzimmig.html NZ Immigration Calculator Version 2 by Mark Cresswell http://www.liv.ac.uk/~mark/soft.htm Overview of Categories http://www.rmmb.co.nz/investnz/immig.html Wilson White Unofficial Notes http://www.wilsonwhite.co.nz/immig.htm -------------------- B4.1.2 Visitor's Permit Visitors to NZ must have a valid passport. The only exceptions are children under 16 who are included on the passport of an accompanying adult. Passports must be valid 3 months beyond date of departure. Visas may be required depending on nationality, purpose of visit, and intended length of stay. Visas are not required of US citizens in possession of a return or onward ticket staying up to 90 days. Australians and NZers need passports to get into each others countries. NZers now need visas too, although these tend to be no real difficulty. To find out more about the Visitor's Visa or Permit and how to apply for it, please refer to: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/visit/ -------------------- B4.1.3 Permanent Residence The following is from a New Zealand Immigration Service pamphlet entitled "Applying for Residence in NZ; Self-assessment Guide". It should be note that people in NZ unlawfully are ineligible to apply for for residence (except under certain circumstances). Migrants can apply for residence under FOUR categories, and need only meet the requirements of ONE category to 'qualify' for residence. The four categories are: 1. General Category (the points system; awards points against a number of quality criteria). 2. Business Investment (applicants are assessed on basis of skills, work or business experience, and their ability to transfer >NZD 100,000 to NZ. 3. Family (prospective migrants must have a 'genuine' relationship to NZ citizen/ resident). 4. Humanitarian (people with "exceptionally" difficult circumstances, resolvable only by moving to NZ, providing there's a close family connection). If one has less than the current requirements of 25 (May 96) points it's very difficult to get a job/grant money. To assist you in calculating the points you have, Mark Cresswell offers: Version 2 of the New Zealand Immigration Calculator for 16-bit Windows, is now available to download: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~mark/soft.htm filename: nzcalc20.exe This program is still FREEWARE, and is targeted at those amongst you who wish to gain residency in New Zealand. It covers the following categories of entry: General Skills Business Investement Family Humanitarian There is an extensive amount of online immigration information, and the program will calculate your points score based on the revised immigration policies. (Refer to Section B4.1.1 Online Resources to Immigration ) You are advised to contact your nearest NZ Embassy or NZIS office, to find out the current Pass Mark (25 according to the immigration office in Chch 10/5/96), and for more detailed info. ---------- B4.1.3.1 Resident Permit Residency gives you the right to live and work here, but it can lapse if you're out of NZ for too long (a couple of years I think). A first permit is valid for a period of four years from date of issue. To prevent individuals from receiving residency and never actually living in the country, future renewals to a returning residents permit may be issued for shorter terms, depending on how long the person has actually been resident in NZ, work status, etc. A person in New Zealand cannot renew their visitor's permit if they have applied for residence whilst in the country. If the Immigration Office cannot process the application within the validity of the V.P., the applicant has to leave New Zealand. The application is forwarded to the overseas post which deals with the country to which they have returned. It is better to apply before going to New Zealand, especially when you take into account the customs concessions available to first time migrants. If you are given a visa for residency you have some time to move to nz, but it pays to come in once within the first 6 months. This proves you are taking up permanent residency. If you provide a good reason, it's possible to take as much as two years before you move here. There are 2 types of residence permits; single entry and multiple entry. If you have single entry it means you have to apply every time you want to leave to ensure you can come back in. What you may get is a 1 year or 5 year permanent residency permit. At the end of that period, the amount of time you spend in NZ will probably determine if it is going to be renewed or not. So if you have not spent even a year living in NZ by the end of 5 years you better have a good explanation. There is probably a minimum. Check with the department. What you need to do is be able to explain why you are not permanently living in NZ (if you are not). Talk to your nearest NZ counsulate. ---------- B4.1.3.2 Points System Paul Nixon has provided the following (reformatted) outline of the new points system. "I have listed below what I understand will be the points structure of the new General Skills Category [formerly the General Category] which will come into effect in October 1995. PREREQUISITES English Language: Principle applicants to meet a minimum standard of English ie pass the IELTS General Modual Level 5. Non-principal applicants aged 16+ must also meet this standard or pay a fee of $NZ20,000 [refundable if qualification attained later]. Character & Health: No change. Applicants are required to be of good character and health. Evidence of this by references and medical. HUMAN CAPITAL FACTORS Flatter points structure created. Ten pts minimum requirement. Base degree [or equivalent], trade or 3 year diploma/cetificate = 10 pts. Advanced trade or professional qualification = 11 pts. Masters degree [or equivalent] = 12 pts. Statutory resistration for professionals eg. doctors, dentists, vets. EMPLOYMENT FACTORS Maximum age = 55 Job Offer; offer of skilled employment = 5 pts. SETTLEMENT FACTORS Settlement Funds: $100,000 - $200,000 transferred to NZ and readily available = 1 - 2 pts. Spousal Human Capital: If spouse/partner has base degree, trade or 3 year diploma/certificate = 1 pt. Advanced qualifications = 2 points. New Zealand Work Experience: Up to 2 pts available for work experience already gained in NZ on a lawful permit. Sponsorship: Family sponsorship = 3 pts, Community sponsorship scrapped. Under the new system there will not be an automatic points pass mark which applicants will have to equal or exceed. But a floating mark which may change from month to month, no doubt depending upon the "quality" of applicants at that time. Clearly the new system makes it much more difficult to get points in the first place and then much more difficult for applicants to assess if their points total will be enough to obtain a visa." ------------------------------ Subject: B4.2 Agricultural Restrictions NZ's isolation has kept its free of many animal and plant diseases. To maintain this, restrictions are imposed on the importation of certain animal and plant material. Before arrival you will be asked to complete a declaration stating whether you have food, plant or animal material with you or in your baggage. Aircraft cabins are often sprayed before disembarkation to ensure there are no foreign insects imported accidentally. You may ask to be removed if you have respiratory problems. Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) Online Information Quarantine http://www.mqm.govt.nz/gateassu/gateway.htm MAF Home page http://www.mqm.govt.nz/ -------------------- B4.2.1 Animal Quarantine Gloria Williams wrote: "I've seen this query from time to time in this news groups so thought there might be some interest in the latest policy on animal importation into NZ as documented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. "The main changes are: quarantine for dogs and cats can now take place within NZ instead of outside the country (Hawaii for instance) and the quarantine period is 30 days instead of 6 months. Your animal needs to be microchipped and there is a very stringent set of tests and treatments for diseases such as rabies, heartworm, parvo, distemper etc. which must be administered and verified by an accredited veterinarian. Travel to NZ from the country of origin must be in an IATA approved container which is sealed with a government approved seal. Animals must be from countries which have declared themselves rabies-free, or countries which NZ recognises as not having urban rabies or it is well contained. (Canada and US fall into this latter category) "These are the basic changes. To see if your animal will qualify for the new procedure, obtain the complete information package and the import health permit application from the: Chief Veterinary Officer Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries P.O. Box 2526 Wellington ph 64-4-474-4132 fax 64-4-472-7171 "Ex-pats overseas can obtain the information package from their NZ consulate." ----- "John Mee wrote: "Having just gone through that [changed countries] with my cat, perhaps I can shed some light on the process. First of all it will take close to a year to accomplish the process, with all the microchip implants, and tests. You should write to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for a copy of the latest protocols. They have changed recently, and I used the old ones. The people there are EXTREMELY helpful, compared to American bureaucrats, but the rules are very stringent, since NZ is an island nation and is rabies free. "By and large, after you have the requisite tests, treatments, etc. done, you will then have to find a place in (I believe) the only dog quarantine, which is Raymond Cheung's place in Auckland: Qualified Pet Services 150 Airfield road Takanini Auckland New Zealand 64-9-299-9539 "He has places for (my notes indicate) 8 dogs and 8 cats. I did not use him, since I had a cat, and chose to use the other cat quarantine facility. "Next you will have to find a carrier. United Airlines told me that they do not transport animals to NZ, however my quarantine facility HAS received cats from there. I used Air New Zealand from LAX. They will only accept animals from either Jet Pets or Kennel Club. I used Kennel Club, and had a good experience. Talk to: Dianna Escandon ph 310-338-9166 fax 310-338-8718 "Be aware that her services, including freight charges were something like $700.00. I don't what the charges are for a dog. "You will next have to acquire AND modify an IATA approved carrier, such as VARI-KENNEL. This will involve attaching screen over the doors and sides to make it paw and nose proof, drilling holes in the back for additional ventilation, and attaching a dish for water inside, with a funnel on the outside to allow water to be added without opening the cage, and then drilling holes for the USDA seals. "I think my total costs were something like $2,000, but I haven't added it up, nor do I intend to :-) "Quarantine takes 30 days, but that could be longer if the seals get messed up, if the paperwork isn't right, or if the Rabies test isn't correct." ----- Noeline McCaughan suggests that costs are lower at about $1,000 each, but I suspect that's from the UK and may exclude some of the costs outlined above. ----- Ceinwen Currie adds: "I brought my cat from the UK and all she needed was up to date flu jabs and two samples of faeces tested for hookworm eggs by the Min of Ag. She was examined by a vet before the flight and had a specially made crate to travel in. She was collected at the airport as soon as she got off the plane. It cost 600 pounds, so I hope she has a long and happy life here." ------------------------------ Subject: B4.3 Customs NZ Customs does not have a web site or email address. New Zealand Customs Address: PO Box 2218 Wellington Phone: 04 473 6099 Fax: 04 473 7370 -------------------- B4.3.1 Duty Free allowance Customs are generally more formal than in neighbouring Australia. Total value of Duty Free goods can't exceed NZ$700 Duty Free quantities: Alcohol; 3 x 1.125l bottles of spirits - must declare 2 bottles 4.5l of beer and/or wine - equivalent to 6 x 750ml bottles of wine or 1 doz cans of beer Cigarettes; 1 carton For more information: http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz/customs.html or ask at the duty free shop at the airport. They are usually quite up to date with the duty free allowances of each country. -------------------- B4.3.2 Allowances for people relocating to NZ You will be given an allowance of value of goods to be brought into NZ. So within the first 5 years ( I think) you can bring in quite a lot as long as you are within the allowance without being taxed (customs duty) provided they are personal belongings for your use here. Check the details with the NZ Embassy/Consulate in your country or write to the NZ Customs. You need to find out the allowance and ensure you know the exact conditions pertaining to your circumstance. ------------------------------ Subject: B4.4 Moving to New Zealand Hints on how to move your household good to New Zealand. Hopefully this will be useful to Expat NZers moving back, and anyone else relocating to NZ. -------------------- B4.4.1 Shipping stuff to NZ Richard Turner offers: "Well, I've just had the experience of moving back to New Zealand after spending ten years in the USA. Since there are oftentimes a number of enquiries about moving companies on this newsgroup, I thought I'd pass on my experience - in hopes that it may help someone else. "The cost of getting a moving company: "Quoted Rates from Iowa (Midwest USA) to Wellington, New Zealand ranged from US $160 to $225 per 100 pounds of goods. depending on the company. Also, an insurance cost of $25 per $1000 of goods values was also added. (This was door to door - other rates are cheaper if you go door to port or port to port) "In my experience, I got a number of quotes, I decided to go with a company (I won't name them - but think of Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock and the ship they came on) - Anyway, we were all set for them to come and get the stuff 2 weeks before we were due to fly out - a couple of days before the movers were to arrive, they called up and said that they could come and pick the goods up, but that they would have to sit in the Des Moines Warehouse for 3 months. I then requested that they not even bother to show up the next day. "The next company I went with was Allied Van Lines - the agent I dealt with, and the company were quite good to deal with. Between the time they picked the stuff up till the time I will get my stuff will be less than 6 weeks. "Also, the NZ agents for Allied, seem to be quite competent, but you should be aware that when your goods arrive certain forms have to be delivered to the company. These are quarantine forms and customs declarations, along with these you need to send your passport, and if you have been away more than 21 months - some proof of your extended absence from NZ - such as Tax forms and financial records (all of mine - were packed aboard the boat) - or a letter from your foreign employer. "As for moving a car - it would cost about $4000 US to ship a mid size car such as a Camry (weighs about 3000 pounds) "Also, if, at some point, you wanted to sell it in NZ, you would then have to convert it to right hand drive - this can get VERY expensive." ----- Frits Schouten adds: "It's not really a followup on Richard Turners experience, but it's certainly related. Five years ago or so, I had to move my household from The Netherlands to New Zealand and using movers is not the cheapest way to go. "Here is my experience. Note: all prices are in US dollars unless otherwise stated! "Various big international movers quoted me between $7000 and $9000 for door to door moving. Basically what they do is, pack your goods in a container (20ft for a normal household) and ship it for you. This is an easy way of doing it but not cheap. Also, if anything is broken on arrival the insurance will pay for replacement. The insurance is in most cases based on an itemised list of the contents of the container and is not cheap. Normally 6% of the contents value. "If you like a bit of challence in life you could do it my way. "I went to a shipping company (NEDLLOYD) and asked them what it would cost me to hire a 20ft container (you know the same one the movers were using) to ship my household to New Zealand. Answer: $2500 from Rotterdam to Auckland. I had to pay an aditional $150 for the truck to bring the container to Rotterdam and agreed to have the transport in New Zealand organised by their agent in Auckland. Here was a cost risk I was prepared to take. "The insurance is quite different. You can only insure the container for total loss. You agree on a contents value and the premium is normally 1.3% to 1.6% of that value. If the container goes overboard or is dropped from a crane etc. the insurance pays out the value you have agreed. This means that if, on arrival, you find lets say your beautiful mirror broken that is then to bad. But that is not a problem because this will not happen you know. You've packed it yourself :-) "The people from NEDLLOYD gave me heaps of help and excellent information on how to go about packing a container to get it flawless through customs and MAF inspections. "Bottom line is: - Have a very detailed list of the contents of the container, like box numbers and content lists per box. - Very inportant is to state how everything is cleaned!!! "The container arrived at the worst possible time of the year. The week before Christmas. Anyway the local agent for NEDLLOYD worked out to be of great value too (for the really keen ones, check out www.nedlloyd.com). That was btw International Forwarding Co Ltd. "We got a phone call from them telling me that the container had arrived and if I could come to Auckland to organise the paperwork. I dropped in just before lunch and the guy said: give me your passport and consignment papers and I'll take care of the rest. Bit scary but. Come back after lunch, please. So I did and guess what, everything was organised after lunch. The only thing left was to pay an additional few hundred NZ dollars to get the container to Papakura. The cost risk wasn't really there. "Two day later the container arrived and within a few hours I had several people asking if I had a garage sale. My whole household was on the front lawn :-) "Moral of the story is: take that challenge, it's exciting and it might save you a lot money." ----- John Mee wrote: "The hot deal for shipping goods [from the US?] is via Australia-New Zealand Direct Line, or any Conference member and ask them about using a 'Non-Operating Refigerated Container' (NOR). Because these are used to ship meat OUT of Australia and New Zealand, they have to get them back there, so the savings can be substantial. "I was quoted a price of $1525 for a NOR container, as opposed to about $3,500 for a regular container. I am not sure about the regular container, but the NOR container, I just looked up in my notes. ANZDL's home page is at: http://www.anzdl.com/ "I would also look at the Port of Oakland's (California) home page which has a lot of pointers to other shipping companies. It is at: http://www.portofoakland.com/shipping.html "At the rates for an NOR container, I seem to recall that the breakeven pont for Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) was about three or four cubic metres. On top of that, you can buy all kinds of stuff to fill your container and then sell it when you arrive in NZ." -------------------- B4.4.2 Importing a Car Martin Lange wrote: "I imported my left-hand drive Fiat Uno from Germany after I was granted residency. That was three years ago. The rules in 1993 where: a) You can get a "Left-Hand Drive Exception Permit" if - You are a Permanent Resident, Holding a Work Permit or have a long-term Visitors Permit - Owned the car for at least two years overseas. b) You are not allow to sell the car unless it is older than 20 years OR converted to a right-hand drive. c) Your car must pass a technical check through the Land Transport authority. For up-to-date information, contact the Land Transport Safety Authority, Head Office, 7-27 Waterloo Quay, P.O. Box 27-459 Wellington Ph: +64-4-494-8600 Fax: +64-4-494-8601 Anyhow, unless your car is something VERY special, it is not worth the hassle. Especially Japanese assembled car are not expensive. If you arrive in Auckland, rent a car for a few days and shop around at the "Japanese Assembled Car Dealers". Be aware of the fact that most "Japanese Assembled Cars" have tinkered clocks. Do not believe the mileage the dealer tells you - it has been manipulated in every second import. The dealers have huge ranges for negotiations. A friend of mine in Auckland negotiated the price down by 45% THREE times. After purchasing such a car he brings it to a PIT Stop, gets the brakes fixed and drives around. Another hint: The New Zealand Automobile Associations runs at least one independent workshop in Auckland. You can bring your potential "next car" there and get an non-partisan assessment." ------------------------------ Subject: B4.5 Information for Visitors A brief summary of entry requirements can be found at http://www.nztb.govt.nz/visitor/entry.html -------------------- B4.5.1 Departure Tax A departure tax of $NZ20 per person (over 5 years old) is charged of people leaving New Zealand who have been in the country more than 24 hours. This is to be paid after the traveller has checked in as the tax receipt is attached to the traveller's boarding pass. -------------------- B4.5.2 Health No vaccination certificates are required to enter New Zealand, but if illness occurs within three weeks of entering the country, consult a doctor. Facilities are good but not free to non NZ residents (except in the event of injury due to an accident). Please refer to this page for advice regarding Health and General Insurance: http://www.nztb.govt.nz/visitor/insurance.html -------------------- B4.5.3 Overseas Embassies In NZ AUSTRALIA: Union House 32/38 Quay St. Auckland ph 0 9 303 2429 72 Hobson St Thorndon Wellington ph 0 4 473 6411 GERMANY 52 Symond St Auckland ph 0 9 377 3460 90 Hobson St Thorndon Wellington ph 0 4 473 6063 GREAT BRITAIN 151 Queen St Auckland ph 0 9 303 2971 2 The Terrace Wellington ph 0 4 472 6049 JAPAN 37 Shortland St Auckland ph 0 9 303 4106 Cnr Victoria and Hunter Sts Wellington ph 0 4 473 1540 USA Cnr Shortland and O'Connell Sts Auckland ph 0 9 303 2724 29 Fitzherbert Tce Thorndon Wellington ph 0 4 472 2068 ------------------------------ Subject: B5 TRAVEL WITHIN NZ Be warned that transport services are likely to be VERY well patronised around the beginning and end of any school or university holiday period, Easter break, long weekends and Christmas period. These change yearly so anything more specific would be pointless. If you want more accurate dates, refer to section B3.4 Holidays. ------------------------------ Subject: B5.1 Info Sources B5.1.1 Tourism Board There is one. There is also the Visitor Information Network which has conspicuous black, green, and white signs including a large italic 'i' at the left hand end, throughout NZ cities/towns. http://www.nztb.govt.nz/ -------------------- B5.1.2 Maps Tourist Maps (ones for each town with the sights marked etc) can be obtained from the Visitor Information Centre of that area. Usually these are free. Road Maps can be purchased from the Visitor Information Centre, the Automobile Association shop, Bookshops and Petrol Stations. The AA Shop and big bookshops will have a good selection. Petrol stations tend to stock regional maps only. For maps on walking tracks or other geographical maps of NZ can be obtained from the nearest branch of the Land Information New Zealand (was the Department of Survey and Land Information), or the Department of Conservation. Visitor Information, Bookshops and the AA are likely to have the maps too. It pays to carry a light tent and be prepared to camp if travelling in the more popular places during the summer. Watch out for Giardia. Boil drinking water in areas known to be infected (ask at a DoC office) and FOLLOW the rules for waste disposal; we don't want it to spread... ------------------------------ Subject: B5.2 Accommodation There is a wide variety of accommodation available in NZ, with something to suit each budget or travelling mode. Travellers will be spoilt for choice. Types of accommodation include Hotels, Motels, Backpackers, Bed and Breakfast, Camping Ground, Caravan Parks, Holiday Parks, Farm Stay etc. As a rule it pays to book accommodation (and transport) well in advance if you plan on being here during the tourist season (November to March). Booking is less important with Backpacker style accommodation. If you have access to a web browser, you will find the URLs available in Section B5.2.6 "Online Accommodation Guides" a useful starting point. -------------------- B5.2.1 Hotels Basically these are buildings with rooms rented out by the night. They tend to have a dining facility like a cafe or restaurant, bellboys to help you with bags etc. The price and quality depends on the type of hotel it is. There are budget hotels that provide the basic room. Some even have cheaper rooms if you share facilities. An example is the Kiwi International Hotel in Auckland where the price starts from about NZ$70 per night. At the other end of the scale there are luxury 5 star hotels where the average double room is at least $150 - $200 per night during off peak. There are very few 5 start hotels in NZ, the good ones are mostly four star hotels. The mid-range hotels are at least $100/room/night. The Chains in this range include, Quality Hotel, Flag Inns and Best Western. -------------------- B5.2.2 Motels and Motor Lodges These are by far a more popular choice of accomodation compared to hotels. As with other accomodation modes, the range is from cheap to expensive. Motels are typically big units that usually have full kitchen facilities. They are suitable for families as you request for units that have more than one room. You should be able to park your car near your unit. Most motels will not have a dining facility. The larger or more upmarket ones may have a restaurant. There's definitely no room service though many of them provide breakfast if you wish to order it (at additional cost of course). The range of prices go from around $60 per night to $200 per night. Two examples of recent motel experiences: 27 Dec 97 - Motel in Taupo at $160 per night. It was essentially a 2 room unit. There were 2 king sized beds, a huge bathroom, a spa pool, tv and a kitchen. The kitchen had a dining area with a table that will accommodate 6 people. The kitchen facilities include a microwave, fridge, toaster, electric kettle, stove, a set of cutlery and crockery, tea, coffee (plunger coffee), and milk. Towels and toiletries like shampoo, and soap were provided. There was a swimming pool in the Motel. September 97 - Motel in Hamilton $65 a night. 1 bedroom unit with Queen sized bed, tv and arm chair. Kitchen had microwave, stove, toaster etc with table that seats 2 ppl. Bathroom was small with shower, toilet and sink. -------------------- B5.2.3 Backpackers Some information about backpackers: For those of you not familiar with backpackers here's a quick rundown. Most of the time you have multiple beds in a room. This can be either single beds or bunk beds. Backpackers are either old houses converted into backpackers or purpose built buildings. Each backpacker has a kitchen as backpackers tend to cook their meals to lower their cost. Some backpackers segregate their rooms by genders and some don't. Same goes for toilets and bathrooms. Many backpackers also have single and double rooms but the price is more. Bunk beds in dorms range from NZ$10 a night. The kitchens (whether purpose built or not) tend to be designed so that more than one person can cook at the same time. So at blenheim backpackers, by each stove was a food prep area with its own knives, forks, pots, bowls etc. There's more than one stove. There are ovens and microwaves. There's more than one fridge too but most of the time there are no freezers. At the backpackers in Dunedin, the fridge was one of those multidoor ones you get at dairies or petrol stations. This was a four door fridge with glass doors and shelves. There are no chores (not even at the YHA). However you have to clean up your own mess. ie if you cook, you have to do your own dishes and should give the stove and bench you used for food prep a wipe. The detergent for dishes is provided. There is a lounge and dining room. There's showers, toilets but very rarely are there baths. It is not usual to have an ensuite. In fact at Topspot(Kaioura), in the main house, none of the rooms there had ensuites. But at the newer house, each room had an ensuite. Even if you check out by 10am, you can hang around and use the communal facilities (lounge/kitchen/shower/toilet) till you leave. all you need to do is vacate your bed and room. All backpackers have a laundry facility with washing machine and dryer. Some of them are coin operated. I brought my own laundry detergent. You either buy a small bottle to take travelling with you or some backpackers sell small packets of washing detergent. Sometimes you can lock your rooms (so only people in your room have the key to it) and at other times there's no key. If they lock up at night, you can find out the combination or key if you plan to come in later. You should keep your food in the kitchen. There are lockers there and the fridge. no one steals it as you have to label the bag/box with your name. I bring a sleeping bag to sleep in. you can bring your own sheets and blankets. Some do provide bed linen and blankets. The backpackers guides or YHA guide (booklets) usually tell you what's provided. Otherwise you can ask when you ring to book. Usually they are quite flexible. So if I decide to stay on the same place, all I have to do is tell them before 10am (the normal checkout time). Usually you only need to book a day or two ahead. Unfortunately since we were travelling over the peak time, many places were full so I booked weeks earlier (last weekend of nov). By then a couple of places were fully booked. Each backpacker is unique. Whether it is a good backpacker or not depends on the people who run it. Many I have encountered view it as a way of life. They love meeting travellers. They often help you by providing Information about the area, and any travel related help. For example they may have the timetable of trips. Some even ring up to make the bookings for you. They can provide some very useful advice (what to see, where to eat, where to go , what's on etc) They usually have a map handy for that area with important spots marked out (like the nearest supermarket etc) The atmosphere they create is quite important to the people who stop there for the night (or longer). Sometimes they join in or organise social events for the people staying there that night. For example it is not uncommon to find a notice on the noticeboard saying "BBQ tonight - bring something to throw on the grill". So you socialise with the other travellers. Or sometimes everyone contributes a small amout of money for the stuff. It is not uncommon to strike up conversation with other travellers either in the lounge or dining room. This is handy for picking up travelling hints. It is quite interesting hearing of others travelling experiences. ---------- B5.2.3.1 Youth Hostel Association There are about 58 YHA hostels throughout NZ. YHA are a few dollars more per night than Backpackers. The YHA web site is http://yha.org.nz/ YHA (Youth Hostel Association) NZ PO Box 436, Christchurch, NZ Phone: (+64 3) 379 9970 Fax: (+64 3) 365-4476 email: info@yha.org.nz * you can get the info from your nearest youth hostel. As an indication, This info from Judy Shorten: "The Auckland Youth Hostel, called City Hostel is excellent. Twin bed rooms, small shop and dining facilities on the premises, tourism information available, etc. It is approx. $18 per night, and you can also buy a 20/230 card which allows you to stay 20 days in any YHA around New Zealand for $230. You also can request the bus from the Airport to drop you off right at the door. There is another YHA in Parnell, a couple of miles out of the central city area." Lin adds: You do not have to be a YHA member to stay at a YHA hostel. Non members can get a starter card where you pay $4 more per night for up to six nights. After six nights (if these are within six months of starting the card), you trade the starter card for a year's YHA membership, without additional cost. YHA membership is quite cheap - only around $25/yr. It is worth it if you are travelling around NZ as you will be eligible for certain discounts like 50% on standby flights or 30% discount on any travel by bus or train and other discounts. ---------- B5.2.3.2 Backpackers Accommodation There are many different booklets on backpackers accommodation to NZ. They can be obtained free from the visitor information centres or backpackers. Only the 2 - 3 more popular guides are available. During peak season, you only need to book up to a week ahead. However if you are looking for double rooms or family type rooms in backpackers, you best book earlier as those are quite scarce. During off peak season sometimes you can either just turn up or book a day or two ahead. It is possible to get the backpackers you are at to 'forward book' you to the next place. Most of them are happy to do it without payment for the service or charge a minimal fee. The number of groups catering for backpackers is expanding rapidly with nice new accommodation being built (at least in Christchurch!). In Auckland, Wellington, Chch and Queenstown, there are also a couple of backpackers travel centres. Other than the YHA card, there's the VIP Backpacker discount card. The VIP card gives you similar discounts to the YHA card train and bus seats. There are also other discounts available. This can be purchased at backpacker travel centres, certain backpacker hostels (usually the hostels within the VIP chain). The cards are not available to NZers. For more information try this contact: Galaxy Holdings Ltd (Trading as VIP Backpacker Resorts Int'l NZ) 9 Fort Street Phone: (+64 9) 357 0177 Auckland Fax: (+64 9) 358 1142 New Zealand email: nztravel@iprolink.co.nz Prices are normally $8-20/night for a room. Backpacker accommodation in Chch: Dreamland 03-3663519 21/23 Packe St Foley Towers 03-3669720 208 Kilmore St Stonehurst Hotel 03-3794620 241 Gloucester St Charlie Browns 03-3798429 268 Madras St Backpacker accommodation in Auckland: Parkside Backpackers Inn 09-3098999 189 Park Road, Grafton Aotea Backpackers Hostel 09-3033350 295 Queen Street, Central Kiwi Hilton Backpackers 09-3583999 430 Queen Street, Central Auckland Central Backpackers 09-3584877, fax 09-3584872 cnr Fort Street & Jean Batten Place, Central Central City Backpackers 09-3585685, fax 09-3584716 26 Lorne Street, Central The odd thing is that when two of these (Aotea Backpackers Hostel and Kiwi Hilton Backpackers) were checked recently (3/97), they stated that they will NOT accommodate NZers, and that people who just turn up get priority over people who book in advance! Here are the details of who published guides: Budget Backpackers Hostels NZ Ltd ( http://www.backpack.co.nz ) This is the main/Blue book with over 200 hostels in it. Mark Dumble: 99 Titiraupenga St, Taupo, NZ Phone/fax: (07) 377 1568; email: bbh@clear.net.nz Eric Foley: 208 Kilmore St, Christchurch, NZ Phone/fax: (03) 379 3014; email: bbh@backpack.co.nz NZ Backpacker Hostels Association Ltd PO BOX 5475, Auckland, NZ Backpackers Accommodation Down-Under PO Box 4446, Auckland, NZ Phone: (09) 303 4482 Fax: (09) 443 8004 ATA (Accommodation Travel Activities) PO Box 8, Kaikoura, NZ Phone or fax:(03) 319 5916 (03) 319 5359 (business hours only) There is an internet resource called The Internet Guide to Hostelling which, among other things, contains a list of hostels in New Zealand. It is available via WWW, Gopher, FTP, and Email. The WWW URL is: http://www.hostels.com/ For information on how to access the guide in other ways send email to: info@hostels.com. -------------------- B5.2.4 Miscellaneous Cabins in motorcamps are usually the next step 'down' from motels. Campervan parks: There is a free brochure by the CCA whose members run the parks for campervans, camping grounds etc. This is avail at the Visitor Info centre in Queen St. Department of Conservation huts in National Parks have variable facilities, with charges reflecting this; a few simple shelters are free, the more comfortable huts (gas stoves, mattresses) are $15/night. You can always bring a tent... -------------------- B5.2.5 Published Accommodation Guides These can be purchased from Visitor Information Centres (or at least from the ones in the main cities) and bookshops. Jasons publishes several guides. There's one on Hotels and Conference Centres. The Jason's Budget Accommodation gives information about cabins, tourist flats, cheap motels, camping and caravan sites. There is also Jason's Motels and Motor lodges. Some consider them more comprehensive than the AA books. The AA guides provide an extensive outline of all types of accommodation for all areas as well as local attractions. There's one for each Island as well as one for the whole of NZ. There's a guide to Bed and Breakfasts in NZ -------------------- B5.2.6 Online Accommodation Guides Destination NZ page of Accommodation Links http://url.co.nz/cgi-bin/searchnz.cgi?category=accom Jasons accommodation guides http://www.nz-travel.co.nz/accom/index_acc.cfm The page takes you to the Jasons Online Accommodation guides. The guides are listed below and are searchable. - Jasons Motel guide - Jasons Hotel Guide/Conference Directory - Jasons Budget Accommodation guide (incl. holiday parks and campgrounds) - The New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Book - Jasons Backpacker and Hostels Online AA Accommodation Guide http://www.aa.org.nz/accom/ YHA Guide http://www.yha.org.nz/ Budget Backpacker Hostels http://www.backpack.co.nz/ Worldwide Hostel guide - NZ http://www.hostels.com/nz.html NetTravel NZ Accommodation http://www.nettravel.co.nz/ Unique Hotels & Lodges http://www.unique-lodges.co.nz/ ------------------------------ Subject: B5.3 Transport Trains are good but have limited distribution. Buses tend to be more flexible and there are a variety of regional bus passes available. Information should be available from the relevant booking offices. Bus tickets for around the South Island are around $250 per person. The 'Travelpass' offers unlimited travel on Tranz Rail (formerly New Zealand Rail) trains and InterCity buses for, for example, five days travel over fifteen days, or fifteen days travel over five weeks. A further option (to be taken at time of purchase) is to add one trip by air with Ansett New Zealand at extra cost. Unofficial details on 'Travelpass' are at: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/travelpass.html There's are also 'through fares' (you have to ask for them) but there are limited seats. Typically: Auckland to Picton $108 Auckland to Christchurch $159 and these include a seat on the train then the Interislander. Unofficial details at: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/money.html. Buses and trains have seats discounted at around 20-50% but there are limited seats each day allocated on a first come first serve basis. So the earlier you book the more chance you have of getting them, eg. try to make bookings for Christmas/New Year break in mid-October and you may find many of the cheap fares are gone. There are a variety of other discounts available for students, senior citizens, YHA members and so on. 'The Kiwi Experience' and similar budget travel systems are worth investigating if you want less structured transport arrangements. Due to an increase in theft and vandalism, leaving vehicles on the main roads has become unwise. Always remove valuables and lock it when leaving the vehicle. Backpackers card holders (includes YHA cards) also gives you a 30% discount on any bus or train fare on the main bus lines or TranzRail. -------------------- B5.3.1 Cycling/Sea Kayaking Excellent cycling in NZ but it pays to like hills... Bringing a bike in from overseas is often a good idea and resale here is possible although it may take several weeks at some times of the year. ALWAYS lock your bike solidly to something immobile when you aren't actually on it. For cycle tourists, there are two books available - Cycle Touring in the South Island and Cycle Touring in the North Island. There is also one that covers both islands, but apparently there are many mistakes in it. Lin Nah kindly generated this contribution: "For the Auckland area, go to the Auckland visitor's centre and ask for advice. For further afield, look into one of the packages like Wild Cycles offered by Kiwi experience [phone (64 9) 366 1665; fax (64 9) 357 0524] there are probably other companies that offer similar packages. Here's a list of places to rent bicycles from (typed late 1993). Auckland Name Phone Fax Address Bicycle Tour Services 276 5218 276 5218 PO Box 11296 Cycle Xpress 379 0779 11 Beach Road Kiwi Experience 366 1665 357 0524 PO Box 1553 Mountain Bike Hire 358 9893 575 5105 5/28, Armadale Rd, Remuera NZ Pedaltours 302 0968 302 0967 PO Box 37575, Parnell Pedal Packers 302 0880 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell Pedal Pushers 360 0512 Ring when arrive in Auckland Penny Farthings 379 2524 309 1559 PO Box 8829, Symond St Ross Adventures 357 0550 357 0502 PO Box 33686, Takapuna If you are interested in the Kiwi Experience, they have something called Wild Cycles. This combines their bus trips and cycling. KE runs a cheap bus network in both the North and South Island. So the deal in Wild Cycles (as I understand it) is that you can send you luggage ahead by the bus. So you carry the minimal necessities with you while you are cycling. If you are tired of cycling (tired, fed up, too hot, too cold and whatever excuses you want to discontinue) just stop on the road side along one of their routes and flag the next KE bus that comes along. It is also good for those who only have time to cycle one way and have to take the bus back. Unfortunately no one seems to have email 8-( The ones below I have not called. They are either not within the Auckland calling area or are within the Auckland area but no one replied whan I called. Name Phone Address Adventure South 03 332 1222 Box 33153 Christchurch Classic Cycle Tours 06 358 9893 Box 4499, Palmerston North Desert Coast Bikes 09 411 8612 47 Waitea Rd, Muriwai Rock Hard Mountain Bike 07 892 2938 National Park Sounds Cycling 03 578 0442 2 Selwyn St, Blenheim" David Morris offers: "Another option: Active Leisure Cycle Express, cnr Beach Rd/Anzac Ave, Auckland. Ph 379-7790. The guy who runs it is a real cycle nut... his knowledge of touring is encyclopaedic. "If I want any work done on my machine I go to him. Can't give a better recommendation that that!" John McHarry sent me this e-mail: "NZ Pedaltours operates fully supported cycle tours in both the North and South Islands. These include a sag wagon, all meals, and overnight accomodations in motels with one or two farmstays. I have been on two of their tours and found them excellent and good value for money." For ideas on where to go, try: http://www.wcc.govt.nz/extern/kennett/homepage.htm It's the NZ Mountain Bike Web Page. If it's run by [one of] the legendary Kennett Brothers, it's likely to be well worth a look! ----- Sea kayaking is a great way (the best way?) to see parts of NZ, and guided tours are becoming more popular and available. For information on cycle touring or sea kayaking, email A.Ferguson@chem.canterbury.ac.nz The coastlines around Abel Tasman National Park and the Marlborough Sounds are renowned as sea kayaking areas with trips possible all year round. Lin wrote: "For the Abel Tasman National Park (cruise, coach - from Nelson to the park, and everything related to activities in the Abel Tasman National Park) talk to: Abel Tasman National Park Enterprises ph (+64 3) 528 7801 fax (+64 3) 528 6087 "They are open all year except for Christmas Day. The 1994/95 prices: "Full Day Cruise. I took this on NY day '95, it was excellent. Bring your own lunch. 9am - 3:30/4pm, adult $42, child $14 "Coach, Cruise, Kayak and Hydrofoil. Start 9am at Kaiteriteri. Take the launch to Torrent Bay - arriving at around 10.25am. Your guide and kayak are there. You start on a 5 hour guided kayak from Torrent Bay to Bark Bay. then you catch the hydrofoil back to Kaiteriteri, ETA 6pm. Start & finish Kaiteriteri; adult $90 "There are quite a few more variations. Once you see their brochure you will know what I mean. I was very impressed at how flexible it is. For example with the kayak example above, you could have paid $80 to start and finish in Torrent Bay. You could have left Kaiteriteri a few days before by the boat, been dropped off at Totaranui (or any beach the cruise passes) and walked your way back to Torrent Bay. "The park has one of the most beautiful set of beaches and scenery I have seen. I hope no one spoils it. "Kaiteriteri to Torrent Bay; if you don't want the guided kayak trip you can hire kayaks from them. Single kayaks $18; double kayaks $25 (this is from the 93-94 brochure). "No, I have no connection to the family who owns the Abel Tasman enterprise (this is a family business). I was very impresssed with the choice and service. "In the Nelson/Marlborough region; don't forget the swim in the river at the Pelorus Bridge. Also visit the vineyards in that area." ----- If anyone can suggest a better place to put this, I'd like to hear it! NZ Tides Tidal predictions are now available for Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton and Dunedin, a week at a time from: http://www.e-media.co.nz/wp1/ New Zealand Tidal predictions, Notices to Mariners and links to marine weather are available on Waypoint 1. There is also information on the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Federation, Yacht and boat clubs etc. Other major boating areas will be added. Thanks to the Hydrographer RNZN. -------------------- B5.3.2 Hitchhiking Hitching is *relatively* safe in NZ, but generally speaking, busing is advised in the more obscure corners on NZ; it's likely to be quicker and safer. Lots of people hitch, but every now and then one of them is assaulted and/or has all their gear stolen. -------------------- B5.3.3 Renting A Car/Campervan Several main companies; Hertz, Avis, Budget, Maui, etc. Some agencies have mini-buses as well as cars. There are usually cheaper local alternatives to the big chains. Taking a vehicle from one island to the other is expensive and it is normal(?) to drop a rental vehicle off on one side of Cook Strait and pick up another on the other side, but may not be possible. If you leave a car at the end of a road and fly out (eg. Milford Sound) you may be charged the cost of retrieving it. The general impression is that renting a car in NZ is are not cheap compared with US and European rates. >From an advert in a New Zealand Tourist Board info packet, Ed Guy (guy@degallo.unx.dec.com) contacted Pegasus Rentals in Christchurch. The result was a car at about $35/day. In Auckland, it is possible to hire a car for around $40 a day if it is for a 'long' period, but the problem with using these cheaper companies as opposed to the well known ones is the quality of the car. The bigger (more expensive) rental agencies have newer cars (1-2 years old). The cheaper companies have older cars. Most of them provide you with a special AA (Automobile Association) membership for the duration of the car rental which covers towing anywhere in NZ. Most companies have branches or associates around the country and although there are (were?) only 3 international airports in NZ (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) there is usually no problem in being be able to drop off cars elsewhere. Christmas/New Year is a peak period so it is difficult getting a car at the last minute. Most cars in NZ are not automatic so if you want one you had better specify. Check the Yellow Pages of the phone directory for an extensive list of rental companies. M. Steven offers: "Maui have a web site at: http://www.discover.co.nz They are one of the biggest companies in the campervan/motorhome market. There are several sizes. They are not cheap." ----- Lin Nah provides the following list(!) dated 20 Nov 1996: [non-affiliation disclaimer removed :-)] Pointers to car rental companies (some of them have campervan hire): Quick reference to car rental places in Auckland (campervans on pg 3) http://www.evernet.co.nz/E_VerNet/nz/transport/auckland/rental_cars/ This points to quite a few pages. All they have are names of car hire places in Auckland with phone and fax numbers. Rental cars in Christchurch http://www.canterburypages.co.nz/rc/index.html Adventure New Zealand: http://www.holiday.co.nz/rentals.html This site has pointers to car rental, campervans(motorhomes), and motorcycle hire. Maui campervan hire: http://www.discover.co.nz/econocar.html See also: http://www.discover.co.nz/getabout.html Nationwide car rentals and "Wheels rent a car" http://www.nzcentre.com/nzcars.htm Pegasus car rentals http://nz.com/webnz/pegasus/ Seabrooks (car sales with a buy back scheme) http://www.tdtech.co.nz/Seabrooks/ Link lowcost rentals http://www.gisnz.com/linkrent.html Apex Car Rentals - chch http://www.southern.co.nz/rental/ Rhodes Rent a car - canterbury http://www.canterburypages.co.nz/rc/rhodes/index.html ----- Campervans Regarding campervans, Greg Lauer offers: Last May (1995) we hired a '2 berth luxury' campervan from Adventure Rentals in Christchurch. Because it was off season it cost us NZ$60 a day. >From what I can remember we just phoned them and picked it up the same afternoon. We had four people in it. If you want some more info email me at <glauer@expert.cc.purdue.edu> ----- A while back, Dale Gold wrote: "Here's what I posted on the subject in Oct '94. No doubt the prices are all different now, but I hope it is helpful. Perhaps you can repay the favour by posting any changes to this newsgroup :-) [hear hear!] "This is *only* a list of the companies that had brochures at Christchurch Airport on 10-Oct-94, and I can make no recommendations. I included some points which looked interesting, but made no attempt at any detailed comparisons. Hopefully, this will provide a rough guide and a means of getting more detailed information. "GENERAL INFORMATION: Most places require that vehicles be returned to their starting point, but you'll have to ask about this. $200-500 deposits are typical, and some companies have age restrictions, minimum hire periods, etc. Most vans will come with cooking gear, heater, etc. Bedding, ski racks, bikes, etc. are often available at extra cost. "All prices are in NZ dollars. GST = a 12.5% tax. The two prices are for High and Low seasons. High Season = 1 November - 30 April Low Season = the colder months Area codes: Auck=09, Chch=03, Picton=03, Wgtn=04 --- Avon Campervans 2 berth $124 $74 Includes: GST Excludes: $15 insurance 7 day minimum, age 21, appears to allow auck-chch rental! Auck 275-3040, fax: 275-3496 Chch 379-3822, fax: 365-5651 NZ Freephone: 0508-258-258 UK enquiries: (0993) 823-363, fax: (0993) 823-648 --- Gypsy Hire Ltd. 2-3 hi-top $129 $83 2-4 $135 $90 4-6 $189 $95 shower, loo big 6 $210 $130 shower, loo Includes: Unlimited km, GST, insurance. 5 day minimum Auck 480-5098, fax: 443-0485, cell: 025-328-126 Chch 327-6230 (ph/fax), cell: 025-328-126 --- Maui 2 berth $144 $89 4 berth $203 $123 6 berth $228 $137 Includes: GST Excludes: $13.50 daily insurance Auck 275-3529 Chch 358-4159 --- Newmans One of the 2 biggest companies, but no brochure. Auck & Chch branches --- New Zealand Adventure All sizes, no prices listed. Auck 256-0255, fax: 275-3027 Chch 359-7917, fax: 221-7305 --- NZ Travel Bureau Ltd 2 berth $139 $59 4 berth $199 $89 shower, loo, diesel 6 berth $229 $109 shower, loo, diesel Includes: insurance, GST, unlimited km Chch 358-9888 PO Box 14189, Chch Airport --- Pegasus/Thomlinson Thrifty 2 $69 $49 Townace Economy 2 $79 $59 Hiace S.W.B. Tourist 2 $99 $79 Hiace L.W.B., 2 adults, 2 kids Executive $119 $99 Hiace Pop-top, Diahatsu Delta All include: GST, insurance, unlimited kms 4days+ Auck 358-5757, fax: 373-5727 Chch 365-1100, fax: 365-1104 Picton 573-7733, fax: 573-7759 Wgtn 384-4883, fax: 384-3225 --- Pleasure Motor Homes 2 berth $90 $60 All inclusive. Minimum age 25. minimum 7days (sum), 5 days (win). Also offer 4 & 6 berth vans. Chch 359-9657, fax: 359-9628 516 Wairakei Road, Chch --- Breakaway in Hastings offers 4 berth campers, no prices in brochure, minimum age 30 ph: 06-874-8833, fax: 06-874-8850" ----- Lin Nah adds the following list dated 20 Nov 1996: Campervans Campervan rental from AA http://www.aa.org.nz:80/motorhomes.html Maui campervan hire http://www.discover.co.nz/maui_nz.html Pegasus car rentals http://nz.com/webnz/pegasus/ -------------------- B5.3.4 Train Services Good, if they go where you are going. In the North Island, there are the main line from Auckland to Wellington which runs west of the central volcanoes, a main line to the east coast at Tauranga and a number of branch lines. In the South Island, there is the main trunk line north-south down the east coast between Picton and Invercargill, and the midland line east-west between Christchurch and Greymouth via Arthurs Pass. The middle and long-distance trains operated by Tranz Rail under the name "Tranz Scenic" are listed below. All fares quoted are full adult fare in NZ$ as at July 1997. Various discounts are available, even during the peak travel season. Range of discounts are 20% - 50%; Supersaver(50%), saver(30%), economy(20%) and full fare. If you have a youth hostel membership card or a recognised backpackers card, you will automatically be eligible for a 30% discount on all train and bus fares - use that if supersaver fares are not available. Students (with recognised student IDs) are eligible for a 20% discount. Overlander; (Daylight) Auckland to Wellington, 685km/10 hours 40 mins, both ways, Daily $55-135 (route includes cities, rural towns, lakes, volcanic plateau, gorges, bush, rolling farmland). Northerner; (Overnight) Auckland - Wellington, 685km/11 hours, both ways, departs Sun-Fri $120. Half-price 'no-frills' fares are available during holiday periods on both the Overlander and the Northerner. The frills omitted are the more comfortable carriages and the complimentary refreshments, including lunch. Kaimai Express; Auckland - Tauranga, evening, 3 hours 25 mins daily $54 Tauranga - Auckland, morning, 3 hours 30 mins daily $54 Geyserland Express; Auckland - Rotorua - Auckland, approx 4 hours 10mins each way, daily $63 (route includes rolling farmland, towns, city, bush, volcanic plateau, thermal areas) Bay Express; (Daylight) Wellington - Napier 334km/5 hours 20 mins, both ways daily - $70 (route includes city, farmland, bush, river gorge, hill ranges, wine making country) Southerner Express; (Daylight) Christchurch - Invercargill, 594km/8hours 40 mins, both ways daily, $117 (Christchurch - Dunedin $74) (route is east coast of South Island to the southern-most town, farmland, hill ranges, coastal). This train has in the past run only Monday to Friday during winter. There is only one train per day north and one south between Invercargill and Christchurch. Coastal Pacific; (connects with Interisland ferry) Christchurch - Picton, 350km/5 hours 20 mins, both ways, daily $72 (route is northern half of east coast of the South island, hills, seaward mountain ranges, fishing towns, whale watching area, Marlborough Sounds) Tranz-Alpine Express; (Daylight) Christchurch - Greymouth, 5 hours 20 minutes each way, daily, $99 return or $76 one way (route is spectacular crossing of Southern Alps from east to west coasts; Pacific Ocean to the Tasman sea) The Taieri Gorge Railway run excursion trains through the spectacular Taieri Gorge to the west of Dunedin. It's possible to take the Taieri Gorge Limited from Dunedin and connecting bus service to Queenstown or vice versa. The timetable for the Taieri Gorge Limited varies through the year, running only on some days of the week outside the peak season. All Tranz Rail services (except suburban) and Taieri Gorge Railway services, together with a reasonable sample of current fares and the details of the various discounts on offer, can be found at: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/ Everything that's there is accurate as at July 1997. Be warned that Tranz Rail's fares are not as systematic as those in some countries. Also try: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/new.html ----- Three suggestions regarding scenic train runs. The Railway Enthusiasts' Society do excursions from time to time as well as operate the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, SW of Auckland. Write to: PO Box 13-684, Onehunga, Auckland Phone: 64-9-636-9361 Fax: 64-9-636-9558 The Mainline Steam Trust,PO Box 2722, Wellington Phone: 64-4-476-2733 Fax: 64-4-476-3164 Otago Excursion Train Trust, PO Box 140, Dunedin Phone: 64-3-477-4449 Fax: 64-3-477-4953 ----- Charles Eggen offers: "There is one night and one day train daily [Auckland - Wellington]. Forget the night train. You might consider getting off at Otorohanga and spending time visiting the many wonders of the cave system around Waitomo. Actually there is a nice native bird aviary in Otorohanga, the largest in New Zealand. The Kiwi House, as it is called is open 9:30am-5pm daily, unless there have been changes recently. There are frequent shuttle buses from Otorohanga to Waitomo(30 min.trip) daily and lodging is usually easier to locate and cheaper in Otorohanga, but there has been a growing number of Bed & Breakfast and Farmstay facilities in the Waitomo area, so an improved selection of accommodations seems to be occurring. You should check out the Waitomo website at: http://hindin.co.nz/waitomo/ "Another possible consideration for a stopover would be National Park. There are accommodations in that small rail community as well as within the Tongariro National Park at Whakapapa Village where the Grand Chateau Hotel tops the list with economy rooms at about $110 and the prices go up from there. Ruapehu volcano is the dominate feature htere, but not the only one and if you enjoy walking/tramping, there are many possibilities." -------------------- B5.3.5 Cook Strait Ferry (See also under B5.3.4 Train Services) There are 2 types of boats; the Interislander which takes 3 hours and the Lynx which takes 1hr 45mins for the crossing. The Interislander - ferry service connecting North and South Islands between Wellington and Picton. As at July 1997, the full adult fare was $46 one way.The fare for a car up to 6m was $165, with an extra $21 per half metre. For timetables, see http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/interislander.html It is possible (and cheaper?) to drop a rental car at one terminal, travel as foot passenger and pick up another rental car on the other side. The trip takes 3 hours 15 min, with spectacular scenery of mountains and the sounds. The ferry usually departs Wellington and Picton five times a day depending on weather. Another 'high-speed' ferry service is in operation seasonally. The Lynx (the catamaran) is back for the summer; timetable at: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/rail/lynx.html The Lynx costs NZ$190 for a car and NZ$60 per adult. Michael Steven adds: "The ferries sail roughly four times a day - around 10am, 1pm, 6pm and 10pm (from memory) Make sure you are up on deck for the last hour of the trip through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. [....] The 10am ferry coincides with the daily train from Picton to Chch which leaves about 1.50pm Full fare passengers get very comfortable - airline-type seats with a fixed coffee table between each set of four. Afternoon tea is served free. Budget tickets do not get the afternoon tea and have less comfortable seats for the trip." Bruce Hoult offered: "Booking is not required, but it can be a very good idea if you don't want to end up on the 2am sailing at peak times. You should be OK in November or the first week or two of December though. Foot passengers and motorcyclists (that's me :-) will virtually always get on any sailing they want, without booking in advance. "If you will have a rental car, the best option is usually to use a company that lets you drop your car in Picton and get a new one in Wellington and take the ferry as a passenger." To which Lin Nah adds: "They have changed the booking rules recently. Both ferries have cheaper rates for those who book early but there are possibly no cheap fares during peak periods. I believe they are using the similar rules of allocating "seats" as airlines, buses and trains are. "I agree with bruce's advice regarding rental car. IMHO the cost of taking the car across far outweighs the inconvenience of having to unload and reload the car at each end." ----- There is a new venture for the yacht 'Lion New Zealand', renamed 'Phantom of the Straits' which runs between Wellington and Picton. Any information about making reservations, etc., would be appreciated. ----- The ferry to Stewart Island, the Foveaux Express, sails twice daily from Bluff, phone; +64 03 212 7660 The only alternative is to fly. Southern Air have several flights daily from Invercargill and one from Dunedin. YHA/Student standby rates are available. Phone; +64 03 218 9129. -------------------- B5.3.6 Coach Travel Buses go pretty much everywhere there are main roads. There are many different options with several companies including the Backpacker buses for which you buy a ticket to travel the whole country and get on and off when you wish (prices for Backpacker buses fluctuate wildly due to a price war). Here is some miscellaneous information (prices quoted are in $NZ). Auckland to Wellington overnight; around $45 - $50 per person (full fare - $96). Intercity bus currently (March 96) has only one bus per day north and south along the West coast. There is a daily bus between Queenstown and Dunedin, via Cromwell, each way, but you will not be able to make connection in Cromwell without an overnight stay. There is a small van bus that travels between Invercargill and Dunedin via the Catlin region that is a beautiful trip. For details, contact Charles Eggen. Most(?) coach lines run strictly point to point. If you want to stop in the intermediate sections, you will need to pay more. eg. Intercity coachlines: Greymouth - Queenstown $125 or Greymouth - Franz Josef $42 Franz Josef - Fox Glacier $10 Fox Glacier - Queenstown $87 totalling $139 Mount Cook Land Line: Nelson to Queenstown $144 Wanaka to Queenstown $25 More from Lin Nah: "There's a coach pass for the North Island. It is for bus travel only with Intercity. I am going to type excerpts from the brochure. "North Island Coach Passes Convenient passes for travel throughout the north island on any intercity coachlines scheduled services linking the major cities, towns and tourist destinations in the North Island. Coaches operate daily between main centres..." "All passes are designed to offer you the freedom to get off and on the coach where and when you want. Valid for up to 3 months with travel being on a standby basis. However for a reservation fee of $3 per sector, you may reserve seats in advance." (A sector is from where you get on to where you get off the bus.) "North Island Value Pass Offers flexibility for travel between Auckland and Wellington. Adult - $95." "There are 2 routes. You either go from Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua - Taupo - Wellington, or Auckland - Thames - Rotorua - Taupo - Wellington. You won't be eligible for any discounts (i.e. no student or YHA discount). There are other combinations, for example you can go Auckland - Thames then go round the Coromandel Peninsula, Tauranga, Rotorua and Wellington for $130 per adult. The second combination is Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua - Whakatane, Opotiki, Gisbourne, Napier, Taupo, Wellington for $180 per adult. "Which option you take depends on how much time you have. The $3 booking fees do add up. However April (unless it is Easter Break) is not peak travel and you may get away with not paying the booking fee. "There's a travelpass which offers travel with Intercity (bus), Tranzscenic (train) and Interislander (Cook Strait ferry; Wellington - Picton). You can buy the pass for travel within an island or one for both island. (I presume that within one island means no Interisland ferry). There's also an option where you can include Ansett airline as well. "This pass is valid for a set number of days. You can buy a 10 day pass or a 3 week pass (the price varies of course). You are only allowed to travel a certain number of days within the duration of your pass, e.g. you can travel for 5 days over a 10 day pass, 8 days over a 3 week pass. "There are tour services that do Auckland - Wellington with overnight stops along the way (probably Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua, night stop in Rotorua, Rotorua - Taupo - Wellington, etc.). They will have stuff like accommodation booked for you and stop for the sights along the way. ----- "Other options if you are willing to divert from the mainstream is to use one of the [main] backpacker bus services; Kiwi Experience or Magic Bus. Magic has a better reputation than Kiwi Experience, however I have not used Magic and can't say much more than that. Kiwi Experience is known as the party bus where there's a lot of drinking, etc. I have only heard good things about Magic (from other backpackers and people running backpackers). The price should be comparable as they are both in competition. In terms of where one goes, they are almost identical. "The good thing about these backpacker buses is they do allow for stops along the way. "The overnight stops mean you can do activities along the way like whitewater rafting, blackwater rafting, bungy jumping, grass skiing, jet boating, maori cultural shows, adventure caving or abseiling, walks, etc. The bus driver will book you on the trips you want and you pay for them as you go. They will also book accommodation for you at a backpackers or you book yourself. Again you pay as you go. Backpackers prices are $10 - $16 per night. YHA is more expensive but the quality is more consistent. You can also choose to stay more upmarket - there are double rooms avail at the backpackers and most YHAs. The buses pick up and drop people off at most YHAs and backpackers." Kiwi Experience (KE) have a package called the 'Back Paddock' which runs from Christchurch through Arthur's Pass to Greymouth then down the West Coast and back to Chch via Wanaka, Queenstown, and Mount Cook. For $204, you need a minimum of 6 days and can take up to 3 months to finish this route. They take you to a few places on the way. You pay for your own accommodation and any entrance fee to any sights. KE run daily so there is no problem with stopping as long as you like. Magic Travellers' 'Tranzalpine' is very similar to the 'Back Paddock' but swaps Mount Cook for Dunedin. For $229, your route needs a minimum of 7 days and should be valid for 3-6 months. The network only runs every other day so if you want to stay longer than one night, you may end up staying 3 nights. Kiwi Experience has a trip called Geyserland. Minimum of 3 days of travel and valid up to 3 months. The route is: Auckland -> Thames -> Waitomo -> Rotorua -> Auckland. Your night stops are at Waitomo and Rotorua. Cost is $75 but this doesn't include accommodation or the $12 entry to the glow-worm caves. They can arrange blackwater rafting, hangi, stay at a marae in Rotorua, abseiling, etc. "This is from my Kiwi Experience brochure in 1995 - so things may have changed a little other than price. "Auckland - Waitomo; Waitomo - Rotorua; Rotorua - Taupo; Taupo - Ohakune; Ohakune - Thames; $121" "This year's map has the Auckland - Wellington - Auckland return for $219. Since Wellington - Auckland is done in one day, I know the minimum length for Auckland - Wellington is 5 days. I doubt the price will be more than $150." Magic Travellers network had a route called 'Top of the Town' for $120: Auckland -> Hamilton -> Waitomo -> Rotorua -> Taupo -> Turangi -> Rotorua -> Thames -> Auckland. As a comparison, Intercity coach lines has a route from Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves for $100.50 including admission to the caves. Discounts are available on some lines if you have a backpackers card and/or book [well] in advance. YHA and backpackpers card (VIP) get a 5% discount. Numerous other tour operators and routes exist. Shop around! Contact numbers: Tourist Information Centres may handle all the bookings for you (see A1.2.2) or, for Auckland: Intercity: Phone 357 8400 or 0800 731 711 Mt Cook: Phone 309 5395 Kiwi Experience: Phone 366 1665 Fax 357 0524 Magic Network: Phone 358 5600 Fax 358 3471 -------------------- B5.3.7 Driving Visitors should get, and READ, a copy of the Road Code. The most important thing to remember is that driving is on the LEFT HAND SIDE. The Automobile Association has a site at: http://www.aa.org.nz:80/ There is info there for travellers, like suggested itineraries for touring NZ by car, and AA accommodation guide (a quick guide that has an estimated price range). Another useful thing is there's a NZ map with a table of distances between towns in NZ. Bruce Hoult: "I've hired cars the three times I've been in the US, and I don't think it took any longer than 30 seconds or a minute to get comfortable driving on the "wrong" side of the road each time. Your US license [presumably this also applies to licenses from other countries] and passport are all you'll need. The international license is an unnecessary ripoff." Lyndon Watson: "Most people seem to have little trouble adapting. Remember, right-hand turns cut across the traffic, and that you give way to the right. Watch the speed limits and remember that they are in km/hr, not mph." If you want to go between (or even to) main centres, and can drive, check the car hire companies. Some of them may want to relocate cars and will let you drive their car, for free hire as long as you pay petrol AND pay the insurance excess if you meet an accident. There are likely to be other conditions, such as delivering the car within 24 hours of picking it up. -------------------- B5.3.8 Commercial Tours Are available in most main and holiday centres. Prices will vary and it may be worth shopping around. See B5.3.6. -------------------- B5.3.9 Flying Three main options (Air New Zealand, Ansett and Mount Cook) and numerous smaller airlines including companies offering helicopter transport/tours. If you have a backpackers card, you can also opt for standby seats at 50% discount. Here are some air fares for Christchurch to Auckland one way: Mt Cook Air/Air NZ cheapest fare is $124 Unlikely to be any left for this summer due to a recent special where you could book a seat for $149 to anywhere in another island, or $99 to anywhere within the same island. These turn up from time to time so keep an eye open. Air National: $119 Relatively unknown (check the Auckland phone book). Not so much an airline as a cargo plane with seats. The service cost $99 back in January 1995 (Lin posted something then). Night flights Air NZ: $164 Ansett: $168