New Zealand is famous for "tramping" (hiking). If you are an avid hiker, I would highly recommend that you visit NZ. One of the best hikes I did was the Tangariro Crossing. It's a 1-day hike that takes you through such an alien landscape that at moments you would think you'd stepped on planet Mars.
Does anyone else have any places to recommend for hiking in New Zealand?
There's so many of them! There are tramps called the Great NZ walks, all spectacular and in both the north and south islands. Tongariro is one of them, which I have completed and agree with your description of it. I have also completed Lake Waikaremoana walk which took 4 wonderful days. There are also tracks that run right through NZ, the name of which escapes me at this moment, most of which run through the ranges. Some people do the whole walk which takes months, or you can choose to do parts of it, some of them day tramps. Great DOC huts to stay in on the ranges.
I love tramping NZ!
#2 Yorkshire_Kiwi has been a member since 8/2/2014. Posts: 31
Well, it's not surprising. New Zealand isn't close to anything. And it's not a cheap place. A nice place, but you know it's not attracting the cheapo backpacker type in droves...
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
NZ isn't close to anything? Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu??? Besides, there's more than enough to do in NZ!!
A nice place? Nice?? NZ is one of the most beautiful, breath-taking, amazing, adrenalin places on earth. Nice!!!
It may be a little more expensive than some places at the moment due to the strong NZ dollar, but there's certainly other countries that are a lot more expensive. It can be done relatively cheaply if you research properly.
Nice!!! - God give me strength!
#4 Yorkshire_Kiwi has been a member since 8/2/2014. Posts: 31
I agree Yorkshire_Kiwi. It's a stunningly beautiful place. Queenstown / Wanaka is one of the nicest areas I've ever been to.
Driving round both the islands at your leisure in a camper van is such an enjoyable thing to do. I did all the adrenaline sports, didn't cut back too much on food and had a few drinks, although not too much. I reckon I spent an average of $100 (US) per day. Certainly not cheap but you get what you pay for in some respects. I'm sure it is possible to do it for less, although not to the level of SEA.
#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Obviously you and I have different definitions of the word close. See, I wouldn't call over 1,000 miles away close. New Zealand is one of the furthest destinations anyone in the US or Europe could possibly choose.
According to the consumer price index, beer is between 5.50 and eight bucks a whack!
Low end restaraunts are listed at between 13-20 USD.
The cost of living index for 2014 lists New Zealand as the 9th most expensive country on planet earth.
I'm not saying it's not nice, because it has a reputation for being a nice place, but it's a long way from everywhere else and it's expensive. Two big red marks for trying to attract the backpacker tourist market.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Is this another place you haven't been to that you're opining on?
#7 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
I haven't been - but I can read a map and a consumer price index. He asked why no postings here, and I told him. Feel free if you have some other explanations China.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
When you Google Travelfish it is still described as a website for travel in SEA. Maybe if this description was changed to reflect the updated reality more people would be aware of, and hence post on, the new sections.
#9 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Doubtless that's a factor. I think cost and geograghy are the other big factors. And I'm guessing, but New Zealand is essentially a western, English speaking country. So the exotic factor is reduced a bit.
I'm not knocking the place. Never been and most who have say a lot of good things about it. But it would seem to favor the high end tourist more than the Khao san road type.
#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
You're wrong Mac. I typed up a long post yesterday in response, but lost it when I when I saved it. It's now 1.30am and I'm too tired to re-do it. There is a definitely a solid backpacker scene, in spite of the costs. Yes, NZ can be expensive, but there's ways to keep the costs down. Will try to expand on this tomorrow.
It may not be 'exotic' in the romantic sense, but it's certainly got it's fair share of adventure - the sort of crazy stuff that appeals to the younger backpacker crowd.
Australia and the Pacific Islands are very handy too - all only 2.5 - 3 hours flight away.
But to be fair, I live there. I'm sure I see it with different eyes. It would be interesting to hear the views of travellers that have actually been to NZ. Certainly, people that I have met while travelling myself over the last 8 months have raved about it.
Well, New Zealand draws about 2.5 million visitors per year. Thailand, by contrast, draws 26.7 million. Now to be fair Thailand is a regional hub, so people come here to go to Cambodia, Laos, etc. But still, I think it's safe to say that in the aggregate New Zealand, due to geograghy and cost (and perhaps other reasons) competes poorly with the more exotic SEA locations. I was VERY surprised to find that the US received an incredible 67 million per year. I expected it to compete poorly due to visa requirements and geograghy and cost, but it didn't.
Busy, I am sure New Zealand is a great place, and I am not knocking it. If it were cheaper and closer, I'd consider going myself.
#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
NZ is famous for bungee jumping and national parks. While it attracts some backpackers it has a lot of upmarket resorts in the $500 to $1000 a night bracket that attracts high end tourists.
The average petrol price is $2.18 as it imports nearly all its fuel together with high taxes. So a driving holiday can be expensive even though its a small country.
Worth a visit? Sure, but if you have done some of the mountain areas in Europe I wouldnt worry about NZ.
#13 Turkishpizza has been a member since 11/5/2014. Posts: 40
MADMAC - what's the point in quoting high-level macroeconomic data on an interactive travel website? Surely the point of this forum is to share ideas, preferences and advice from each of our travels. If you haven't been somewhere then it's okay not to comment, you don't need to be involved in every conversation. For example, I stay out of Thailand related topics as I haven't been. I could copy and paste information from the Internet but I don't see the point.
#14 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
I was responding to the OPs question China, not commenting on whether or not the place is worth visiting or where I would go were I there.
#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Does anyone else have any places to recommend for hiking in New Zealand?
Wow, no topics yet? Here's one: TRAMPING
Either way, I don't quite see how you contributed to the discussion with first-hand knowledge?
Turkishpizza - NZ has much more to offer than mountains. We have some of the most amazing beaches - gorgeous swimming beaches where you can have the entire beach to yourself - or crazy wild beaches that take your breath away on the west coast.
We have thermal springs, excellent rivers for rafting and kayaking, quality hiking trails, active volcanic islands, excellent wineries, fishing, skiing.. just to name a few things. Not saying it's better than what you have in Europe - it's just different. And isn't that what travel is about?
People in the US and Europe need to stop being so precious about jumping on a long plane ride. Good grief MM, it's only 10 hours for you. Break it up with stops in Bali/Singapore/Asia if it's all too much for you to handle. I guess for us in NZ it's just what we have to do. It's a means to an end.
I agree NZ is expensive - but we still have loads of budget travellers coming through. But they just know that costs will be down in Asia, and they'll be higher when in NZ. It's no different that for me now, with the Euro hurting my budget a bit while in Greece. But the reduced costs that I had while in Indonesia keeps it all balanced out.
Petrol prices are high - and we complain all the time. But I don't think it's that much higher than other parts of the world.
We have a good network of hostels, many with cooking facilities so you can cook your own meals to help keep costs down. You can hire (or buy) converted vans to keep your accom costs down and stay in one of the many campgrounds which also have good facilities. Budget travellers probably won't eat out every night - our restaurant prices are also high. But you can pick up a decent kebab that will fill you up for about $7 and is relatively healthy. You can also easily get a loaf of freshly baked bread, some smoked chicken or ham and fresh vegetables and make yourself a pretty decent picnic meal. Go to a grocery store and buy a few ingredients to make a one-pot pasta - then share it with your fellow travellers in the hostel and enjoy the social interaction.
I realise that this isn't your travel style, MM, but I'd suggest you're the rarity on this travel forum. Most travellers (as opposed to expats who have settled in another country) embrace those sort of experiences.
Gotta go - I've got a ferry to catch.
The conversation has since evolved and, in any event, you did not respond to the OP's question which asked about hiking and tramping.
#17 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
Turkishpizza (if that's your real name), if you are referring to Kiwis as being grumpy then I strongly disagree. I found them very friendly.
One thing I noticed is that they are very competitive when it comes to sport, even sports they aren't that good at. Let's face it, they can be as cocky as they want when it comes to rugby because they are the best in the business (even if they robbed the WC in 2011!!). I was there during the football (soccer) World Cup in 2010 and many of them believed they were going to do exceptionally well, which was never likely to happen.
In terms of places, my personal favourites were Cape Reinga, Taupo (sky dive and also very scenic), Queenstown / Wanaka (simply stunning), Stewart Island and the Otago Peninsula (yellow-eyed penguins - really cool creatures).
The cities in NZ are not really the main attraction but I found them all pleasant enough, with maybe Wellington being the nicest.
#19 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
"People in the US and Europe need to stop being so precious about jumping on a long plane ride. Good grief MM, it's only 10 hours for you. Break it up with stops in Bali/Singapore/Asia if it's all too much for you to handle. I guess for us in NZ it's just what we have to do. It's a means to an end."
I would rather have a root canal than spend ten hours on an airplane. The only thing I hate more than buses are planes.
And Liz, people in the US and Europe don't "need" to be anything. To them their way, to you yours.
#20 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Oh the irony. The man with over 6,000 posts on an independent travel website hates, well, travelling.
#21 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
I travel all the time on my motorcycle. I've been to every provincial capital in Issan. I've also lived in eight different countries. It's not the travelling I hate, it's the buses and planes. Keep the legs short, that's my motto.
#22 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
If the above posts are indicative of how a typical Kiwi or visitor to NZ behaves then I have no inclination to ever go.
Which is odd, as most of the Kiwiâ€™s that visit my country have been quite well mannered and interesting people.
Madmac is usually on the money when he comments, thatâ€™s not to say I always agree with him. Far from it.
Who are any of you to dictate who can or cannot post in a thread? Mini modding is quite distasteful.
Madmac is correct. Distance and cost is a huge factor. In my opinion there are more interesting and attractive places that are closer to home. Backpackers tend to want to stretch their travels out for as long as possible. If they can do that 10 times cheaper elsewhere then they will.
I can highly recommend the Abel Tasman Coast Track, you can go for a day walk or take your tent and hike and relax for a few days. But this is only one out of many stunning tracks. For all you might check out the website of the Department of Conservation.
#24 delayne has been a member since 6/8/2014. Posts: 1