My New Zealand Experience...
Highs: Hang-gliding; hanging out with Jim and Kat; wine tasting in Hawke's Bay; mastering the skill of
driving on the other side of the road; doing the zig-zag hydro zorb; wine tasting in Marlborough; seeing
Sharon (from my felucca trip in Egypt); Queenstown; having beautiful weather while driving near Lake
Tekapo; hanging out with Lorenz; drive to Fox Glacier.
Lows: How expensive the different activities are; not having enough time to see and do everything I
would like to; the rainy weather in the South Island (and the lack of ocean visibility); the pain my feet felt
after hiking in Abel Tasman.
Best Moment: Hang-gliding!
Smells: Sulphur in the thermal pools in Rotorua; post-rain; wines.
Sounds: Jim's smart-a*s comments; sheeps 'baaaa-ing'; waterfalls; rainforest critters.
Sights: Waiheke Island (ferry was $28NZ); Waiotapu thermal area ($25NZ); lavender; landscape that
looked like Tuscany and Provence; Lake Tekapo; sheep; rainforests; lots of road-kill; Franz Josef Glacier;
Cpe Reinga (Dune Rider trip was $99NZ); 90 Mile Beach; Bay of Islands.
Tastes: Wines in Hawke's Bay; L&P (Lemon & Paeroa) soda; wines in the Marlborough region
(especially Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs); greenshell mussels; Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays and
Pinot Noirs; pavlova; hokey pokey ice cream; pancakes with blueberries and blackberries with lemon
honeycomb butter; antipasto platters; kaumara (sweet potatoes); lamb; pumpkin and kumara hummus.
Activities: The zig-zag hydro zorb ($45NZ); wine tasting in Waiheke Island (around $10 per winery),
Hawke's Bay (free), Martinborough (small fees) and Marlborough (mostly all free tastings; Buller River
Gorge 'Supaman' ($35 NZ); jet boating in Queenstown ($99NZ); hang-gliding ($180NZ); gondola ride
(free if you hike up the mountain and only take it down - $17NZ if you take it up); Milford Sound cruise
($40NZ); thermal baths at the Polynesian Spa ($15NZ); sand-boarding on sand dunes.
Towns I Stopped In: Auckland; Rotorua; Taupo; Napier; Wellington; Blenheim; Nelson;
Greymouth; Hopitika; Reefton; Hamner Springs; Christchurch; Lake Tekapo; Queenstown; Te Anau;
Milford Sound; Wanaka; Fox Glacier township; Franz Josef Glacier township; Murchison; Marahau;
Motueka; Picton; Martinborough; Paihia.
Purchases: Earrings; 4 bottles of wine (2 Sauvignon Blancs, 1 Pinot Noir, 1 Chardonnay); umbrella.
Fun Food Finds: Hokey Pokey (i.e. honeycomb); L&P soda; Tim Tams.
Western Companies Out Here: McDonald's; KFC; Burger King; Domino's; Pizza Hut;
Other General Info...
Visa needed? No.
Departure Tax? Yes. It is $25 NZ.
Ferry Cost? I found a fare of $169 NZ for our car to get on the Blueliner to go from one island to the
other. The InterIsland ferry was about $225 NZ.
Type of currency? New Zealand Dollar. About $1 NZ is equal to $.70 US.
Wallet Friendly? No. It was much more expensive than I was expecting. A typical breakfast was
around $13 NZD. However, eating out seemed much more reasonable than Australia.
Things New Zealand Is Known For: Sheep; amazing scenery; Maoris; kiwifruit; outdoor
activities; All Blacks (rugby team).
Religion: I'm assuming Christian.