Tag-Archive for ◊ Auckland travel ◊

19 Aug 2010 New Zealand – Tips For A Sailing Charter

New Zealand is an isolated country located at the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is composed of two big islands referred to as North and South Islands as well as other smaller islets, such as the Chatham Islands and Stewart Island/Rakiura. Because its flora and fauna have remained almost untouched for so many years, New Zealand can give anyone the most beautiful landscapes, consisting of its sweeping coastlines, vast mountains, and clear waters that are perfect for sailing in New Zealand.

The Bay of Islands in New Zealand is about 3 hours’ drive from Auckland. There are around 144 islands that make up this charming region. It has the best kind of climate the country has to offer and is considered to be an ultimate playground because of the several outdoor activities that you can do. For example, a trip in the Hole in the Rock offers visitors the opportunity to watch and observe the abundant marine life of the bay. You can enjoy a thrilling ride on a forward trampoline as well as the high-tech catamaran. A cruise on a chartered yacht can also take you to idyllic islands during lunchtime where you can dine and enjoy kiwi barbecues.

Just outside of Auckland is the the Hauraki Gulf. This is one of the largest cruising areas in the world with 100 islands to explore and over 200 sheltered anchorages and miles of beautiful coast. The geography of Auckland, with is narrow strip of land, makes the waters of the Gulf an fascinating place to sail. The steady sea breezes compete with southwesterly winds, and in mid-afternoon, there is the heat off the land to handle.

Auckland, New Zealand, meanwhile, gives you the energy that you need to handle the stresses of everyday city life. It gratify your appetite for you without having to avail the services of masseurs. The scenic landscape itself will calm your nerves and the numerous sea activities will pump up your adrenalin. For one, if you happen to be sailing in New Zealand, especially in Auckland, you can visit the Goat Island Marine Reserve which are definitely ideal for famelies. You can enjoy some kayaking, boating, or even diving and take pleasure in being surrounded by wide varieties of fish. If you are new into the experience, numerous chartered vessels have professional diving instructors who will be happy to show you basic diving techniques.

Speak of New Zealand waters and you can instantly associate it with the wonderful beaches of Able Tasman. You can treat yourself with golden beaches, lush virgin mangroves and forests, as well as worth-exploring coves. You can spread and achieve sun-kissed skin as you board any luxurious sailing catamaran. The white sands are perfect for anyone who dares to be about upon this wonderful gift of nature. Visit the Anchorage Beach too and treat yourself to a very delectable fine lunch.

Indeed, sailing in New Zealand can bless you with the kind of peace and rejuvenation that you need. Moreover, because of its temperate climate, the country becomes an ideal holiday destination all year round.

16 Aug 2010 Finding Cheap Holiday Offers Through British Travel Agencies

If you are looking for UK holiday deals, you can rely on the British Travel Agencies to find you the right package deals that have everything you need to have an affordable trip and do some adventurous sightseeing. Most people like to save money and when traveling to the UK for a vacation, you want to find something that allows you to have money for doing some fun things once you arrive at your holiday destination. UK holiday deals can be found for many different locations. Some of the agencies that have affordable travels deals are British Airways, Thomas Cook and Virgin.

There are many different UK holiday deals and destinations including England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These areas have many attractions to make you trip enjoyable. The best UK holiday deals might take you to England where you would see the Auckland Castle or the Lancaster Castle. England also has a beautiful countryside and prehistoric sites. Ireland has museums, historic buildings and historic houses. If your UK holiday deals land you in Scotland or Wales, you will want to see the Castles and the old Roman sites. Any of the British Travel Agencies can arrange your accommodations and airfare.

Virgin and Thomas Cook always have UK holiday deals with a tour of the many different attractions and places to stay near the attractions. British Airways also has UK holiday deals that will make you want to travel to the UK every year. If you love beautiful gardens and want to see the changing of the guards, then planning a holiday destination to the UK what you need to do.

The UK holiday deals might include theme park tickets or other attraction tickets. If you find the perfect vacation travel package, you can and will save money. Once you find the best UK holiday deals, you can then plan your stay around the attractions. Do not forget about the nightlife in these fabulous destinations. You can celebrate with Irish whiskey or a fine wine of England. There are so many different things to do when you find the best UK holiday deals.

11 Aug 2010 New Zealand Water Rafting

The vast majority of travellers who visit New Zealand come away with a memorable experience, and the vacationers who partake in water rafting are no exception. New Zealand is hailed as one of the most pristine and picturesque counties in the Pacific region, and this is clearly evident to those who go rafting through the country’s truly awe-inspireing rivers and byways.

Thousands of tourists travel to New Zealand to water raft each year. The New Zealand Rafting Association (NZRA) was established in 1996 in order to promote the sport of water rafting. The association is made up of tour guide operators and afficcionados who specialize in this thrilling sport. The code of conduct that the New Zealand Rafting Association follows is endorsed by the New Zealand government. Thanks to government support, the country is known as having one of the highest standards for safe water rafting activities. The association conducts training workshops and rescue operations as well.

Water Rafting in New Zealand: Where to go?

Even though New Zealand is a relatively small country with a population of roughly 4.1 million, the areas for water rafting are numerous. Adventuous vacationers have a choice of Rangitikei, Shotover, Upper Buller Mohaka, Motu, Gowan and several others. Tourists are rarely disappointed by the beauty of the landscape and the variety of rivers and byways. If you enjoy incredible natural scenery, New Zealand has a sparkling breathtaking environment. From the fjords and mountains in the south island, to the native forests and white sands of the north, New Zealand has diverse, pristine and beautiful natural surroundings.

In the north, you can experience the Karamea and Buller rivers while the west has the Waiho and Arnold rivers. Both rivers offer superb rafting trips.

The truly adventurous traveller can sign up with tour operators who provide guided tours of a total of eleven rivers. In just over two weeks, all eleven rivers can be travelled, some so remote that you feel there is no one else on the island besides you and your travelling companions. White water entusiasts have spoken of one place which the natives call “Chinese dogleg”. Other rafters experience blasting through a historical mining tunnel and then ending up in the rapids.

It is important to note that New Zealand has seven major regions: Auckland, Central Plateau, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Nelson/West Coast, Canterbury, Otago/Southland. These regions have water rafting facilities and they each have magnificent rivers and breathtaking panoramic views.

Water rafting in New Zealand is truly a sublime experience. The adventure sport turned national industry has become incredibly successful, mostly due to the amount of challenging and beautiful rivers and byways. Tim Alpe says that New Zealand is country known for its rapid and free flowing rivers, and the rapids come straight from the mountains. They snake their way through thick and lush forests and pour into the sea.

Be Safe: Watch that Raft and the River!

If you are not familiar with New Zealand’s rivers, it is strongly encouraged that you not venture out on your own. Even if advances in technology have led to improvements in raft design and construction, the amateur rafter should be accompanied by a licensed tour guide. Some people who are new to the sport are not aware that the flow of the river necessitates a certain kind of raft.. Rivers are graded from class 1 to class 5, and each class requires a different kind of rafting equipment.

When you engage the services of a rafting guide in New Zealand, you are assured that he or she possesses a high degree of expertise and knowledge about safe water rafting in that particualr country. They are familiar with rivers whose flows change from one moment to the next. They know about the international river grading system and what each grade means.

Since rafting is a year-round sport in New Zealand, vacationers have plenty of flexability. Rafting is common during spring, summer and fall. There are approxamitly 50 rafting operators that are spread out across New Zealand, so, if you find yourself in one rafting spot, you are bound to find another within a few miles.

If you are travelling with a group, you need to decide on a river that is appropriate for everyone. Decide how long you and your travelling companions want to go rafting. Some raft for only one day, others an enitre weekend, or even a week or two. Also, choose which level to persue. Are you looking for an adrenalin adventure or a moderate rafting trip so you can also take in the scenery. These are imortant coices to make. Depending on your preferences, your New Zealand guide can put a package together. Some operators will offer meal stops and will add in sightseeing on land.

03 Aug 2010 Travel destinations: North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is the most inviting, fun, exiting and diverse country in which to take a vacation. To explore the opportunities for a visitor to both islands is such a vast topic, therefore I have narrowed my recommendations to the North Island. There are so many opportunities on offer from viewing the amazing scenery, to experiencing the geological formations of this volcanic island. The people of New Zealand and the Maori culture really make for a warm and friendly experience. Well known for its adventure and sporting opportunities, everyone from the novice to experience outside enthusiast will take home some unforgettable memories of time spent there. The following are recommendations from my 10 day driving tour of the North Island, made a few years ago.

Auckland.

Although Auckland is a warm and welcoming city, with so much to do, if you only have limited time I would recommend the following; drive up Mount Eden or One Tree hill, for an unusual view of the city, have breakfast up the sky tower, take a walk around the harbor and marvel and some of the huge sailing vessels. With slightly longer, try a trip to one of the islands located just across the water from the city; Great Barrier, Tiritiri Matangi, Kawau, Rangitoto, Motutapu and Waiheke islands offer something for everyone from bird watching, geological exploration of the volcanic islands to amazing beaches. Piha beach on the coast North West of Auckland about an hour’s drive is a fantastic wide expanse of almost black sand with rolling surf, a great location to spend a few hours. Try www.aucklandnz.com for as much information as you can handle on this location.

Bay of Islands

Approximately 230kilometers north of Auckland you will find the Bay of Islands. You could easily spend your whole holiday here, with diving, sailing trips, fishing, golf, and numerous cultural attractions on offer. No holiday here is complete without a sailing trip out around the bay to see the numerous islands and hear about their history. Options range from dolphin viewing aboard a catamaran skippered by one of New Zealand’s leading lady racers, to a more sedate trip following the old cargo route around the island on Fullers’ Cream trip. Located in Paihia is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location where New Zealand’s founding document was signed. Cultural tours and shows are available to explain the relevance of this document in New Zealand’s history. Paihia is the busting tourist center of the islands, however it has

02 Aug 2010 Taking a New Zealand Vacation

Everyone is looking for the perfect place to spend vacation time at. One of the most popular ideas for vacations is, of course, a place that is close to being paradise. Tropical palm trees, soft, warm winds, crystal clear blue water, white sands, and nightlife that is full of great food, great people, and the best entertainment on Earth. New Zealand is a fantastic place to spend a vacation.

New Zealand is made up of two large islands, the North Island and the South Island, as well as many other very small islands. The country is famous for its geographic isolation, being about 1200 miles southeast of Australia. Since it is so isolated, New Zealand is home to some of the most extraordinary foreign wildlife and flora in the world. Travelers will find it interesting that until 2006, with the exception of a few species of bats, it was thought that New Zealand had no native life that was not marine life. In 2006, however, bones of a newly discovered native species had been found. Now, everything from exotic birds to tropical lizards and insects to land animals of all kinds can be found here. And, of course, the marine life that can be witnessed on a New Zealand vacation is second to none.

The South Island, being larger than the North Island, also is the more mountainous of the two. While at land level the climate is pleasant and warm, the mountain tops are covered with snow. The Maori people welcome visitors from all over the world all year round. English is the main language, followed by the Maori language of the native people. There is a heavy influence of English and British culture, and many famous movies and sporting events have been made here. The worlds largest Polynesian festival is held annually in Auckland, as are many other smaller festivals throughout the year. Agriculture has always been a main economic driving force in New Zealand, boasting some of the best dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables that can be found on the globe.

The perfect vacation spot for individuals, couples, families, and groups of friends is New Zealand. Where no two days are the same, and the cities, country, beaches and farms paint a perfect picture, the sports, activities, entertainment, dining, and rich culture with stay with vacationers for a lifetime to come.

31 Jul 2010 The city of sails

Auckland Harbour also known as Waitemata Harbour is a 70 square mile harbour and is the main access by sea to Auckland, New Zealand. It connects the city and port to the Hauraki Gulf, and thus to the Pacific Ocean.For this reason it is often referred to as Auckland Harbour, despite the fact that it is only one of two harbours surrounding the city. The Waitemata forms the north and west coasts of the Auckland isthmus. It is matched on the south by the shallower waters of Manukau Harbour.

The name is from the Māori language, with Wai te Mataa referring to obsidian glass. The ‘sparkling waters’ (a later translation of the meaning) of the harbour were said to glint like the volcanic glass prized by these early arrivals to the harbour. Auckland is often known as the “City of Sails” for the large number of yachts that grace the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

Some of the attractions of the harbour for travelers include the breath taking view across the sea with the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the background. Auckland’s vibrant waterfront is also home to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum. A visit promises a broad overview of New Zealand rich maritime heritage.As its Maori name, Te Huiteanaui-A-Tangaroa (holder of the treasures of Tangaroa – of the Sea God) suggests, this museum stores many of New Zealand’s treasures. Visitors may also get the opportunity to cruise across the harbour on a heritage vessel.

For travelers that wish to experience a little bit more adventure and excitement on their holiday a good excursion would be climbing Auckland Harbour Bridge. An Auckland hotel that offers easy access to the waterfront is the Copthorne Hotel which is situated near the Auckland Harbour the all of the rooms at this hotel offer beautiful views of the Harbour and also gives easy access to other areas of interest in the city.

24 Jul 2010 Factors to Consider When Obtaining A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

New Zealand, located across the continent of Australia, is a relatively small, rugged but very scenic and tranquil nation. It’s just about three hours by plane from Australia, and has a population of around 4 million people. The country’s European settlers began to settle here in 1642, and today compose the majority of residents. The Maoris, or New Zealand’s indigenous people, currently compose around 11% of the total population, and the rest are either Asian or Pacific islanders. It offers one of the highest living standards in the developed world, and has a thriving agro-industrial economy. Those who wish to travel and work in this lovely part of the South Pacific may now be able to do this, through applying for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

The country remains an integral part of the British Commonwealth, and has strong cultural and economic ties with the United Kingdom. In this part of the world, apple trees, sheep, kiwi fruit, olives and grapevines are common sights, and the landscape has a tranquil English countryside feel. New Zealand has three major cities. Auckland, located in the North Island, has a population of almost a million residents. Located in the North Island is the city of Wellington, which is the nation’s capital, and situated across the Cook Strait in South Island is Christchurch, which is the nation’s largest city. It has a population of 300,000 and is famous for resembling an ornate English town complete with elegant stone buildings, wide green gardens and a lovely river that cuts through the city’s central commercial district

Living costs in this country are relatively lower compared to the United States or Canada; however the wages are a bit lower than those two nations. The economy here thrives around agriculture, the services sector, and the farming/mining industry. For those wishing to travel and work at the same time, the most common visa issued to these types of travelers is the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (WHV). This work and travel visa is however, only limited to persons who live in countries that have reciprocal arrangements with New Zealand. Among the nations that have this arrangement with New Zealand are Canada, Argentina, Chile, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, France, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Uruguay and the United Kingdom.

In order to qualify for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, the residents of the following countries mentioned earlier need to be between 18 and 30 years old, are able to prove that they have access to sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country, do not have any dependent children with them while traveling, have not yet experienced working in New Zealand before, and can show evidence of adequate medical insurance for the duration of their visit. To legally work here, travelers also need to apply for an IRD number from the country’s Inland Revenue bureau, for taxation purposes. In order to get an IRD number, all you need to do is to download and fill up the application form from the IRD Website and send these to the New Zealand Inland Revenue office. You may also download an IRD form while overseas. In addition, some of the nation’s employers may require that you directly open a bank account, for the proper delivery of your salary and other temporary benefits. Although some banks here are quite wary of allowing foreigners to open a bank account, showing your working holiday visa and explaining that you are here for a year would help speed up the process.

17 Jul 2010 Holidaying in Southern Australia: Melbourne and Adelaide

Southern Australia is an vast area of great contrasts with the land ranges from desert to plains to fertile wine-growing areas set amid rolling hills.

Melbourne

Capital of Victoria and Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne is often voted the most livable city in the world. For one thing, it’s sited on the Yarra River and scenic Port Philip Bay. Plus, it’s Australia’s vanguard city for sport, fashion, shopping, cuisines, music and nightlife, and is home to a host of museums, galleries and theaters, and large parks and gardens.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Melbourne’s centre for domestic and international flights is Tullamarine Airport. It’s located 14 miles northwest of the city center and accessible by skybus.

Spencer Street Railway Station is served by interstate trains. The Sydney-Melbourne XPT runs between Australia’s two largest cities daily. The trip takes 10 1/2 hours. The Overland connects with Adelaide daily. The trip time is 12 hours.

Bus services connect Melbourne with other major cities and regional areas of Victoria.

Melbourne’s public transport system, known as Metlink offers a wide range of options for getting around the city. These include trams, trains, and buses. Melbourne has the world’s oldest tram network which now runs over 200 miles of track. Trams are the most popular with tourists and locals alike for travel around the city and inner suburbs. Taxis are plentiful and Melbourne has an excellent network of bike paths.

Climate:

Melbourne has a capricious climate. It ranges from rainy to gusty and it often oscillates between warm and chilly in the space of one day. However it seldom gets really too hot or too cold. Winter temperatures range between 6°C and 13°C. In summer, it rarely gets above 35°C.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Melbourne

Melbourne accommodation is varied and good value.

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

Melbourne’s social calendar is comprises equally of sporting and cultural events.

*The year kicks of with Midsumma Melbourne, an annual pride event in January. It’s a three-week bash featuring a music, cabaret, and drag acts.

*Australian Football League Grand Final in September is the annual showcase of Aussie Rules Football.

*Melbourne Fringe held annually in September and October is the city’s exuberant art fest.

*LIVID Festival held in October is one of the country’s largest rock festivals.

Adelaide

Much of Adelaide’s charm comes from its location. It sits on the narrow Adelaide Plains between Gulf St Vincent on the Southern Ocean and the eucalyptus-covered hills of the Mount Lofty ranges. Today’s Adelaide is famous for its festivals, arts, sports events and wine from nearby vineyards.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Adelaide’s spanking new airport offers international connections to Auckland, Hongkong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. On the domestic front, it’s just an hour’s hop to Melbourne and less than three hours to Sydney, Brisbane, or Canberra. There are also buses and interstate trains.

Getting around the city is easy via train, tram and bus services that use the Metroticket unified ticketing system. The compact city center is fine for walking and there are two free bus services for the footsore. There’s also a tram that runs from Victoria Square to the seaside suburb of Glenelg.

Climate:

In a word, Mediterranean. Summer in Adelaide is scorching with temperatures leaping to 40°C and above. Winters are damp and miserable but never really cold. Spring and Autumn are the most pleasant seasons, balmy and temperate.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Adelaide hotels.

Events:what’s on and what’s hot

*Womadelaide, an outdoor festival of world music and dance, is held every February to March.

*The jewel in Adelaide’s social crowd is the Adelaide Arts Festival held at the beginning of March in even-numbered years. It features drama, dance and music, along with a writers’ week, poetry readings and art exhibitions. The Fringe Festival runs at the same time.

*Adelaide International Guitar Festival is in November.

06 Jul 2010 Navigating Through Your New Zealand Travel

New Zealand travel is quickly becoming one of the absolute coolest things to be able to say that you have done. This country is the best kept secret in the entire world, but more and more people are discovering it everyday. There are seven different climatic regions in the entire world and New Zealand has six of them. New Zealand travel is the best way to see golden sand beaches and marine parks that are protected that you can view them from on or below the surface. You will also be able to get up close and personal with active volcanic areas, but do not worry because they are completely safe. The Australian Alps are unlike anything else with their pristine snow caps where you can ski or climb depending on the time of year.

Australia is full of tours that allow you to explore the forests and amazing plant life that is all around. There are basically two different parts of New Zealand: the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is home to Auckland which is the largest urban and suburban area in the entire country. This suburban area has a population of almost two million people and it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery with harbors and beaches that are to die for. If you are a surfer then you will find this area to be especially unique because there a so many different undiscovered surf areas that will truly open your eyes to a new world of surfing that you never thought imaginable. To the west of Auckland, you can find some rather large vineyards, so if that is what you are in to then plan to be there for the entire day. Auckland has a very strong reputation as being a Mecca for sailors and that has been reaffirmed again and again over the years. It actually has more boats per capita than any other city in the entire world.

Do not worry if you are not a surfer or an avid boater because this city boasts some of the best shopping, galleries and museums in the world. These areas are great because they provide a multicultural environment blending European, Asian and Polynesian cultures. There are many other great tourist attractions so whether you are traveling alone or on a family vacation you will have no problem finding something for everyone to enjoy.

30 Jun 2010 Weird travel stories
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Cruising at about 35,000 feet, the woman calmly finished her economy class airline dinner. Her husband sat in the adjoining seat, blood seeping through his trousers. He excused himself to use the lavatory. Returning in a fresh pair of britches, he once again took his seat. “Don’t worry Jacques”, his brother-in-law seated across the aisle counseled. “We’ll be landing in Papeete soon and then we’ll be home in a short while. You’ll be okay there”. I had my doubts.

They had boarded the plane in Auckland, New Zealand. I had first noticed them in the passenger lounge; an elderly man and his wife accompanied by her brother and sister-in-law. The group of four stood near the water fountain. The older man was dressed in summer whites. He had just made his way out of the men’s room. I couldn’t help but stare at the blood on the front of his pants thinking “What the? Something must have broken loose. Has he had surgery”? Countless thoughts raced through my mind. The biggest question was Why aren’t they getting medical assistance for him”? His wife and relatives looked at the mess and then took a sweater and wrapped it around the front of him like an apron, effectively covering the blood. My companion noted, “They’ll never let him fly like that”. I had misgivings. With the front of his trousers covered, the gate attendants would never notice.

We made our way to the gate, without further incident. Finding our seats I noticed that I shared the same row as the elderly gentleman and his wife. Great, I already felt queasy. After we had reached cruising altitude, the old man headed for the lavatory in what would be the first of many trips. I noticed that he carried a pair of trousers under his arm. After a short interlude, he returned, carrying a bloodied pair of pants with him. His wife noncommittally took them from him and stuffed them into a carry on. My eyes were drawn to the gruesome packet. This was going to be a long and unnerving flight.

More trips to the restroom were in store. I was shocked by the wife’s nonchalance with her husband’s condition. By the end of the flight, the gentleman was out of clothing. He had wrapped a blanket around his waist and quietly waited in a seat saturated with blood. The flight attendants were never the wiser of the drama being played out.

As the plane approached the landing strip at Papeete, Tahiti, the foursome secured their seat-belts. After landing, they waited while the rest of us deplaned. That was the last I saw of them. After a brief stopover in Tahiti we were to continue with the same plane to Los Angeles. We were on the ground longer than anticipated due the airline’s need to change out the seat the gentleman had occupied.

With thoughts of his prognosis going through my mind, we re-boarded the aircraft. Selfishly, I was relieved to think that I wouldn’t have to be made an unwilling party to an old man’s dire medical problem. The next set of passengers couldn’t possibly be as bad. I smiled as a beautiful young Tahitian couple and their toddler approached my row. They returned my smile and took their seats. I started to breath in a sigh of relief, but then realized something. They weren’t wearing any deodorant.