As We Travel » New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com Traveling Tips, Destinations, Videos & Travel Blog Thu, 27 Nov 2014 05:37:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Top Three Things to do in Wellington http://www.aswetravel.com/top-three-things-wellington/ http://www.aswetravel.com/top-three-things-wellington/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:20:41 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=46588 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Things to do in Wellington Often basking in the shadow cast by popularly celebrated Kiwi retreats such as Auckland and Queenstown, it is rather easy to forget that New Zealand’s capital city Wellington also boasts wonders of her own with many things to do in Wellington. New Zealand is best traveled by car so you […]

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Things to do in Wellington

Often basking in the shadow cast by popularly celebrated Kiwi retreats such as Auckland and Queenstown, it is rather easy to forget that New Zealand’s capital city Wellington also boasts wonders of her own with many things to do in Wellington.

New Zealand is best traveled by car so you can take in that world class panoramic views on isolated highways and for those embarking on self-drive tours of New Zealand’s North Island; Wellington is approximately just over a seven hour ride away from Auckland with a total distance of 395.3 miles.

Sitting at the base of the North Island and ringed by mountains – notably Mount Victoria – the city exists in idyllic surroundings given her location on the Cook Strait where a splendid harbour and boutique eateries are never a million miles away from rural backwoods and hiking pursuits.

Here is our list of the top three things to do in Wellington.

Scale Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria

Already mentioned in our introduction, Mount Victoria is the perfect lookout spot over central Wellington and her surrounds.

Rising to 740ft, the peak allows travelers to complete a 360 degree turn at the top, witnessing Wellington Airport and the high rise CBD in the foreground while rolling mountains collide with typically rainy, yet marvelous looking clouds and the waters of Wellington Harbour and further afield, the Cook Strait.

This is definitely one for those fascinated by geography.

Wellington Cable Car

Things to do in Wellington

Things to do in Wellington

One of Wellington’s most cherished treasures; you’ll be fascinated to hear that the Wellington Cable Car has been running for as long as over 100 years with the attraction celebrating 110 years of service in 2012.

Running from Lambton Quay based in the city centre to the Kelburn Lookout – another great panoramic spot – the attraction is much more than a ride alone and at the latter terminus, the Carter Observatory and Cable Car Museum mean you can lose yourself for the best part of the day while marveling at two of the original cable cars that took to Wellington’s hilly slopes way back when in yesteryear.

Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington is home to New Zealand’s national museum, or in Maori – Te Papa Tongarewa. Situated right down by Oriental Bay on Cable Street, the museum reinforces and places emphasis on the importance of Kiwi culture and being.

Boasting six floors of exhibitions – with some carrying a small fee – general admission to the facility is free; meaning a great interactive, fun and intriguing day out can be had for next to nothing.

For more things to do in Wellington, New Zealand or holiday ideas, visit freedomnewzealand.co.uk.

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Spectacular Movie Locations in New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/spectacular-movie-locations-in-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/spectacular-movie-locations-in-new-zealand/#comments Sun, 26 May 2013 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=40840 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Movie Locations in New Zealand New Zealand has been a popular destination for making films since the 1970s. Using New Zealand as a location for filming has spiked in popularity in the last fifteen or so years. Best of all, it’s easy to visit many of these spectacular movie locations in New Zealand – to […]

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Movie Locations in New Zealand

New Zealand has been a popular destination for making films since the 1970s. Using New Zealand as a location for filming has spiked in popularity in the last fifteen or so years.

Best of all, it’s easy to visit many of these spectacular movie locations in New Zealand – to begin your journey through cinematic history, start by looking at what car rental New Zealand has to offer, pick your vehicle and get ready to roll.

The Last Samurai

movie locations new zealand

Watching Tom Cruise’s the Last Samurai; it would be difficult to tell that the filming took place in New Zealand and not in Japan.

This movie was released in 2003 and centres around the traumatised American Captain Nathan Algren who, in 1876, agrees to train conscripts for the new Japanese Meiji government. Algren is captured in battle and begins to embrace the culture of the Samurai he was initially hired to destroy.

During the filming, Mount Taranaki made a nice stand-in for Mount Fiji in Japan. According to Maori legend, the mount once lived with other volcanoes on North Island, but fell in love with a hill called Pihanga.

The hill was the wife of another volcano, Tongariro and, after a fiery battle, Taranaki was exiled from the central region. His tears were responsible for creating the Whenganui River as he fled to his current location.

This is also a great place to learn and interact with native Maori tribes. There are eight tribes that still live in the region, and many experiences combine adventure with traditional Maori practises, such as going for a waka ride and following it up with a quad bike ride through native bush.

The Chronicles of Narnia

While much of the adaptation of this famous and beloved book, the first in a series, was filmed on a stage, several locations around New Zealand were used for outdoor scenes.

The movie tells the story of two children who are magically transported into the fantasy land of Aotearoa and become embroiled in a battle between the brave lion Aslan and the frosty White Witch.

Locations such as Woodhill Forest, which was used for the White Witch’s camp, were used in the movie. Other locations include:

  • Flock Hill - Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, this area was used for the Great Battle
  • Purakaunui Bay - South of Dunedin, the castle of Cair Paravel was superimposed on the cliff tops of this beautiful coast.
  • Elephant Rocks - This ancient outcropping of rocks became Aslan’s Camp in 2004. The town of Oamaru nearby makes a great base for exploring the area.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Perhaps the most well-known movie filmed in the area is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The tales of the hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring against the vile forces of Sauron and the machinations of the One Ring are well-known to movie and fantasy buffs everywhere.

There were many locations used to film the movie. Some highlights include:

  • Matamata, Waikato - Used as the hobbit village, Hobbiton, you can still peek into the hobbit holes that remain.
  • Kawaru River - This was the location of the iconic Pillars of the Kings on the Anduin River, though the pillars were computer generated.
  • Kepler Mire - Remember the creepy swamp with the floating dead? That was in fact the Kepler Mire wetlands of Te Anau.
  • Southern Alps - The treacherous Misty Mountains of Middle Earth the Fellowship tried to pass through in the Fellowship of the Rings were actually the Southern Alps.
  • The Shotover River at Skippers Canyon - This is where the elf Arwen defeated the ringwraiths.
  • Tongariro National Park - You might know this World Heritage site better as Mordor. Fortunately, one can simply walk into Tongariro.
  • Mount Ngauruhoe - This active volcano is gorgeous. It was also the body double for Mount Doom.

With so many great films having made such extensive use of New Zealand’s beautiful natural resources, movie fans will love being able to visit the shooting locations of their favourite flicks. Such a visit is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)

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Things To Do In – Australia vs New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-australia-vs-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/things-to-do-in-australia-vs-new-zealand/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=27670 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Nathan, who is from New Zealand, can’t count how many times people have asked him if New Zealand and Australia are the same country, if there is a bridge between the two (yes, people have asked if you can drive between the two countries), and even if they’re joined together. The list goes on, but […]

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Nathan, who is from New Zealand, can’t count how many times people have asked him if New Zealand and Australia are the same country, if there is a bridge between the two (yes, people have asked if you can drive between the two countries), and even if they’re joined together.

The list goes on, but one thing is clear – many people don’t realize just how different Australia and New Zealand are from each other.

The only thing they have in common is that they’re far away from the rest of the world, and that the people are very easy-going, laid back and friendly.

So when you’ve gone all the way down for holidays in Australia, you should definitely consider visiting New Zealand as well.

Australia

Australia is world famous for its beaches, surfing, outback and cosmopolitan cities like Sydney – there are so many things to see and do here that you will find it incredibly hard to get bored.

Here are some things that Australia offers…

Great Barrier Reef & Beach Life

A large part of Australia has a tropical climate and some of the most beautiful beaches and clear waters in the world.

The lifestyle on by the coast is all about beach-life, and the warm clear waters are perfect for surfing & diving.

You also have the Great Barrier Reef, a huge coral reef unlike any other in the world, where you can dive and snorkel among exotic fish, corals, sharks and more.

You won’t find anything like this in the cold waters of New Zealand.

The Outback

Making a generalization, Australia is a desert country, while New Zealand is a garden – completely different, but equally fascinating.

Australia’s outback is an adventure like no other, with termite mounds tall as houses, cooling gorges, canyons, national parks, and of course the impressive Ayers Rock and Alice Springs.

The sunsets you’ll experience in the red deserts of Australia are breathtaking, and looking out over a huge wide open space of “nothing ness” with a horizon stretching way out in the distance, is a big contrast from the usual “ocean sunsets”.

Play With Dangerous Animals

When it comes to wild life, Australia and New Zealand are as different as they can be – Australia has more dangerous animals than you could count, while New Zealand doesn’t have any dangerous animals at all.

In Australia you can dive with sharks, go on crocodile safaris and visit numerous places showcasing the creepy spiders and snakes you can find in the bush.

On the flip side, it also has cute koala bears and other cuddly animals.

New Zealand

Despite its small size, on holidays to New Zealand you will find stunning diverse nature with everything from active volcanoes to steep fiords.

It is completely opposite from Australia when it comes to wildlife as well, where many birds naturally evolved into wingless birds because of the absence of predators.

Here are some things that New Zealand offers….

Hot Springs, Volcanoes & Geysers

Bathe in the healing waters of natural hot springs, watch geysers exploding several meters in the air in Rotorua, or dig your own hot water jacuzzi in the sand at Hot Water Beach in Coromandel.

There are many ways to enjoy the hot springs in New Zealand, but whatever you choose you’re up for a fun, unique experience.

While Australia has some hot springs, they’re not famous for them, perhaps because it’s too hot there to enjoy them anyway!

The country also has many dormant and active volcanoes and a volcanic island (White Island), with a beautiful green crater lake.

Ngaruhoe is the volcano featured as Mt. Doom in the Lord Of The Ring Movies.

Glaciers And The Southern Alps

While Australia does have some skiing, it simply can’t compare to the Southern Alps in New Zealand.

Many people are surprised that skiing is even possible in these countries, but the truth is that New Zealand has some amazing glaciers and over a dozen ski fields for you to enjoy.

With much colder water temperatures, New Zealand is not always the best place for water activities, but there are two that truly stand out in all their glory; the incredible fiords in the South Island, and the opportunity to go whale watching.

There are many other differences between these two countries, but these are the first that come to mind – what differences do you think of when comparing Australia and New Zealand?

(photo credits: 12 – 3 – 4 )

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Friday Flashback – Hanmer Springs, New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/flashback-hamner-hot-springs-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/flashback-hamner-hot-springs-new-zealand/#comments Fri, 16 Jul 2010 12:00:22 +0000 http://socialsupermen.com/nathansofia/?p=46 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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December, 2009: First time we tried out our newly purchased tent (check out: How We Survived Camping In A Broken Tent For 3 Months In New Zealand ) was a 6 days trip to Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand.

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December, 2009: First time we tried out our newly purchased tent (check out: How We Survived Camping In A Broken Tent For 3 Months In New Zealand ) was a 6 days trip to Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand. We returned to Nathan’s parents’ home after 6 days, so happy to have survived for SUCH a long time – if only we knew we were about to spend another 3 months in that tent… but that is another story…

There wasn’t much to see in this little village, as Hanmer Springs is located on basically only one street, but it has  something pretty cool – natural hot springs.

When I heard about this I was amazed, but we were soon to discover (over the next 3 months) that hot springs are pretty much everywhere in New Zealand. “Not another f**kin one!” we would scream!

But this blog is about the happy days before we knew that, and at this magical place in Hamner Springs, these hot springs were the best thing in the world!

Don’t ask me how it works but they have designed a series of natural-looking rock pools and rivers which are fueled by this natural hot water coming out of the ground.

Lying in these pools was one of the most relaxing and amazing feelings in the world.

Perhaps you usually don’t enjoy swimming in the rain or snow, but when you have a dozen of small 40 degree outside pools to soak your tent-beaten body in – then it’s perfect – even if it did have a rather odd smell of rotten eggs….

Have you ever been to a natural hot spring like this? If so, what did you think.

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Queenstown, New Zealand – City and Travel Guide http://www.aswetravel.com/city-guide-queenstown-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/city-guide-queenstown-new-zealand/#comments Tue, 13 Jul 2010 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=3291 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Attractions And Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand Location: South West of New Zealand’s South Island Currency: NZD, New Zealand Dollars Language: English Short History: Before the Europeans settled in Queenstown, the Maori used to visit seasonally to hunt Moa (an extinct bird) and gather green stone. When gold was discovered in the Arrow […]

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Attractions And Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand

Location: South West of New Zealand’s South Island
Currency: NZD, New Zealand Dollars
Language: English
Short History:
Before the Europeans settled in Queenstown, the Maori used to visit seasonally to hunt Moa (an extinct bird) and gather green stone. When gold was discovered in the Arrow River in 1860, people came from across the world just to dig for gold. Today it’s known as the adventure capital of the world and draw thousands of tourists every year.

Queenstown Travel Guide

There is no better place where you can get the combination of adventure, nature and beauty than in Queenstown.

What used to be a small village has now turned into the bustling hub for nature-loving adventures.

Beautiful nature surrounds the town and you will find many adventure attractions:

Skydiving, skiing, mountain climbing, bungy jumping, mountain biking – you name they have it – but don’t worry Queenstown isn’t just about the fun, crazy adventures, there are also many beautiful things to see and fun things to do without added adrenaline.

Attractions – What To See & Do:

Most activities here include some type of outdoor adventure, and for the fearless this is pure paradise. Queenstown itself is a very small town, and many of the things to see and do are within the wider Queenstown area, so be aware that you’ll have to get yourself outside the actual city center to enjoy many of the activities and history.

Here are some great things to do and places to visit on your stay in Queenstown:

Queenstown Hill: Queenstown hill is a great place to spend a day. Take the gondola or hike up the Queenstown hill (it takes about 2 hours to walk the whole way up – yup we tested this!), enjoy the amazing scenery and take a few rides on the Luge. If you dare you can also try bungy jumping over the trees, or paragliding from the hill.

Sheep Farm: Take the 98 year old steam ship (coal-fired) TSS Ernslaw over Lake Wakatipu to visit Walter Peak High Country Farm. At the farm you get an insight in what farmer life is like in New Zealand. You get a tour around the farm, have ‘afternoon tea’ and watch a sheep shearing show.

Arrowtown: Only 20 minutes away from Queenstown is Arrowtown, an old gold mining town. Try your luck with gold panning, take a tour around historic buildings and the Chinese Miners Settlement where some houses are still intact. This is a great place to buy gold jewelery and learn more about New Zealand gold mining history.

Adventure Sports: Queenstown is the perfect location for adventure with its lake, rivers and mountains. Here is a small list of thrills (with a link to each company) you can find in Queenstown:

Getting There & Around Town:

You can get to Queenstown by car, bus and they also have an international airport.

By Bus – Most major NZ bus companies operate routes to and from Queenstown. Intercity, Naked Bus, Magic Bus are a few examples.

By Air – The airport is only 10 minutes away from town, and you can fly here with Qantas and Air New Zealand. Domestically, there are several connections each day from main New Zealand centres. Air New Zealand flies direct from Sydney and Melbourne year round with Qantas offering a winter services out of Sydney and Brisbane.

An airport to town center bus operates daily between 6:30am and 11pm. Service to and from all major Hotels & Motels, Airport, Sunshine Bay, Fernhill, Frankton, Remarkables Park Shopping Centre & downtown Queenstown. Bus shuttles cost 10 dollars (discounts when you’re more than one person) and a bus 6 dollars.

Getting Around TownThe city center is small enough to walk around, but if you want to really make the most out of the whole Queenstown district the best way is by having a car.

However, if you’ve booked a tour package for adventure activities the transport is usually included in the price.

Queenstown also has a small local bus operating system called connectabus, which runs in 3 routes. The price depends on how many zones you travel through.

Where To EatThe cheapest option would be to buy food from the supermarket and cook it at the hostel, but if you want to eat out I really recommend Sombrero’s Mexican Restaurant. Cozy environment and great food that fills you up! You can find the restaurant on the main street among many other pubs, restaurants and eateries.

Where To StayA popular hostel with a young atmosphere is Nomads Queenstown Backpackers. It’s nice and clean, has a lounge area with a fire place, free breakfast and even a sauna! It also has a really good location in town, which is always a big plus. Room rates start from 25 NZ dollars.

We hope you have a great trip! Where are you off to next? maybe one of our free travel guide below will come in handy!

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Driving On The Wrong Side Of The Road, New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road-new-zealand/#comments Fri, 09 Jul 2010 12:00:29 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=3549 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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February, 2009: I can’t quite remember how, but somehow we ended up at the most random camping ground in the middle of nowhere in the north island of New Zealand. We had heard the beaches were nice for surfing, but it turned out that the only way to reach the beach was by car. Luckily […]

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February, 2009: I can’t quite remember how, but somehow we ended up at the most random camping ground in the middle of nowhere in the north island of New Zealand.

driving on the wrong side of the road in new zealandWe had heard the beaches were nice for surfing, but it turned out that the only way to reach the beach was by car.

Luckily we got to borrow an old truck from a farmer living nearby.

This is one of those times where you really love how open, and friendly the New Zealand people are.

The fact that someone lets a couple of strangers take his truck and use it as much as they like whenever they like (using his petrol) wanting nothing in return – is amazing!

wrong side of the road, new zealandWhen people trust each other and believes the best of others it gives me hope.

Besides, how could you possibly have the heart to let down someone who shows that trust in you?

That is why I took great care of that ol’ truck, and treated it like fragile glass.

Yes, that’s the reason I drove 15 km/hour along the road, not because I was shit scared to be driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road… :p

(After 5 minutes on the road we had a whole following of 6 cars driving behind us trying to get past)

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City Guide – 24 Hours in Christchurch, New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/city-guide-24-hours-in-christchurch-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/city-guide-24-hours-in-christchurch-new-zealand/#comments Mon, 05 Jul 2010 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=4479 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Christchurch, also known as the garden city, is one of the oldest cities in New Zealand. It’s a small city with a lot to offer and a great balance between outdoor life, culture and shopping. 9 am - Power-Start Breakfast Start the day with a power-start breakfast at the Lotus-Heart Cafe, a cafe which has […]

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Christchurch, also known as the garden city, is one of the oldest cities in New Zealand. It’s a small city with a lot to offer and a great balance between outdoor life, culture and shopping.

9 am - Power-Start Breakfast

Start the day with a power-start breakfast at the Lotus-Heart Cafe, a cafe which has a focus on healthy eating and strives to create a global cuisine naturally.

You will find it in Cathedral Square, on Colombo Street, where you can also get a close up view of the wonderful Christchurch Cathedral.

10 am – Smell The Roses

The best way to understand why Christchurch has its nickname as the garden city is to simply go to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens – which is FREE. It’s a beautiful park to walk around, smell the gigantic flowers and admire the massive trees.

The best part for me was the rose garden, which included a wide variety of flowers. You will find many chances to practice your nature photography.

11 am – The Canterbury Museum

After a nice walk in the gardens, make sure you stop by the front gate and have a look inside the Canterbury Museum – where once inside you will have a chance to learn the history of the local area and it’s Maori culture.

12 pm - The Arts Center – Shoppers Delight

Visit the arts center, where you will find a maze of over 40 specialty shops, workshops and galleries.

Also every Friday there is a farmers market and on Saturdays it’s the weekend market where the square is packed with over 80 stalls selling all from hand made bags to food from all corners of the world.

1 pm – Window Shopping & Natural *Legal* Drugs

Walking around central Christchurch, will give you a chance to do some window shopping. Take a look into the Cosmic Corner shop where they sell legal drugs (which are natural, legal and claim to give you a similar feeling to real drugs… interesting :S)

2 pm - Chicken or Vegetarian Sushi?

A great lunch option is sushi. It’s around almost every street corner, and there are so many varieties to choose between, all from chicken to vegetarian sushi. The quality of the sushi in New Zealand is in general really good as well.

5 pm - Beach Walking At Brighton Beach

Spend the afternoon at the beach, relaxing in the afternoon sun (which is the best time to be out at the beach in NZ, without getting too burnt), walk along the beach and enjoy the waves.

7 pm – Get Fat @ ‘Two Fat Indians’

Have some curry at the Two Fat Indians Restaurant, which serves up great food for an amazing  price. This is some real Indian food, so don’t ask for spicy, Nathan made this mistake and it was HOT! – but great ;) They have great lunch offers as well, so if you like to eat early you can get a great deal before 3 pm.

8 pm - Tequila or Coffee To End The Day?

Check out the SOL square (the hub of South of Lichfield), an alley full of bars and cafes, decorated with some cool street art. In this part of town you will find a little something for everyone.

If you have a spare day:

If you have a spare day in Christchurch I recommend checking out the Port Hills.

It’s a beautiful place with the best view over the city, the ocean and all the way over to the Southern Alps.

It’s a perfect place for a picnic, go for a walk or enjoy some mountain biking. This is where you can find many locals hanging out in the weekends.

Hope you have a great time exploring Christchurch New Zealand!

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Falling In Love With Surfing In New Zealand & Australia http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-falling-in-love-with-surfing-new-zealand-australia/ http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-falling-in-love-with-surfing-new-zealand-australia/#comments Fri, 25 Jun 2010 12:00:33 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=3545 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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March 2009: We got stuck in the ‘poor-man-mindset’ for a while, and were discussing while in New Zealand & Australia last year, whether we would buy ourselves a full body board set (rash top, fins, board, board bag) or not – we really wanted to, but it was a lot of money and what would […]

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March 2009: We got stuck in the ‘poor-man-mindset’ for a while, and were discussing while in New Zealand & Australia last year, whether we would buy ourselves a full body board set (rash top, fins, board, board bag) or not – we really wanted to, but it was a lot of money and what would we do with everything once we left a few months later?

Luckily, we got over ourselves, bought the boards and fins (plus a mega huge board bag..!) and had the time of our lives.

Honestly, I was completely freaked out by the whole surfing thing at the start, and once Nathan showed me some ‘real’ waves my first thought was “Is this guy crazy?”

I couldn’t understand how he could really think that I would willingly, let alone happily, throw myself out in THAT? Only a person without any fear or brains would do that!

With my legs shaking and my heart jumping I paddled out. And got wiped out. Paddled again. Wiped out. “It gets easier once you get past the waves!” Nathan yelled out.

After having swallowed half the ocean, I finally learned how to get passed the waves, and pretty soon I was even starting to enjoy it.

Nathan was like a fish in the water on his board, and from him I learned that surfing was more than just a sport – it’s a state of mind.

The peace you experience in the early morning hours out there in the water is a feeling you can’t describe other than that you feel like a free spirit. You feel the connection with nature, you realize what life is really all about – you feel that freedom of life.

But before getting *out the back* – as they say… you have to get passed all the crashing waves.

It’s just as much of a mental challenge as a physical one, and if you don’t stay focused you’ll give up – giving myself another month and I had fallen deeply in love with this *sport* – thanks to Nathan and the beautiful waves we experienced together.

Have you fallen in love with a sport on  your travels? Tell us about it!

Here is a video of Nathan – well see if you can SPOT Nathan somewhere in all the big waves – a bit too scary for me!

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Friday Flashback – Everything Is World Famous in New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-world-famous-in-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-world-famous-in-new-zealand/#comments Fri, 11 Jun 2010 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=3530 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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Feburary, 2009: We spent just over 60 hours in total on buses for 3 months in New Zealand. Spending so many hours on buses probably sounds horrific to you, but thanks to the bus drivers it was honestly enjoyable – the bus rides with these New Zealand bus drivers felt more like long guide tours […]

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Feburary, 2009: We spent just over 60 hours in total on buses for 3 months in New Zealand.

Spending so many hours on buses probably sounds horrific to you, but thanks to the bus drivers it was honestly enjoyable – the bus rides with these New Zealand bus drivers felt more like long guide tours with travel guides who loved hearing the sound of their own voice than simply drive from pointA to pointB.

Every bus driver we traveled with had so many stories lined up for the whole ride, that they just simply wouldn’t shut up. Not that we wanted them to, they would tell both funny and interesting history of the land scape that was passing by the windows as we toured around the South Island.

(by the way – the bus company we used was Intercity – we had a awesome deal – flexipass – where you could get off and on as much as you wanted within 60hrs of bus travel – took us 2.5 months to use it all up)

It just amazed me how someone can talk uninterruptedly for five+ hours straight without caring whether anyone listened or caring whether people wanted to hear him. These men just talked and talked and talked, and without having to say a word they shared their own biography along with the history of New Zealand.

Our brains overwhelmed with so much information it was hard to remember it all, but one thing we got straight:

New Zealand must have the most ‘world famous things’ in the world..!

Every single village, including those so small you had passed it before the bus driver had even finished mentioning it, was world famous for something: World famous for the biggest loaf of bread, world famous for the biggest cookie, world biggest L&P bottle (as if L&P was sold anywhere else?), you name it…

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if someone one day said that New Zealand was world famous for having the most world famous things…

However, I’m not sure where they came up with saying everything is world famous, maybe the well known L&P slogan *World Famous in New Zealand Since Ages Ago…* says it all!

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Friday Flashback – Exploring The Night Sky In Tekapo, New Zealand http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-exploring-the-night-sky-tekapo-new-zealand/ http://www.aswetravel.com/friday-flashback-exploring-the-night-sky-tekapo-new-zealand/#comments Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.aswetravel.com/?p=3504 jQuery(document).ready(function(){ var options = { sites : new Array("facebook","twitter","gplus","linkedin","stumpleupon"), plugin_url : "http://www.aswetravel.com/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-social/" }; load_all_in_one_social_banner(options); });

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December, 2008: On our way down to Queenstown we stopped over for a night in Tekapo. It’s a small village with only 300 inhabitants, set 750 meters above sea level. It’s the closest village to Mt Cook, the highest mountain in South Pacific, and the night sky in this place is out of this world! […]

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December, 2008: On our way down to Queenstown we stopped over for a night in Tekapo.

It’s a small village with only 300 inhabitants, set 750 meters above sea level. It’s the closest village to Mt Cook, the highest mountain in South Pacific, and the night sky in this place is out of this world!

At a place this high up and no city lights to lighten the sky, you could see so many stars that there is almost no space between them. I woke up to go out for a pee in the middle of the night, and as I looked up I thought I was still dreaming.

First I just stood there for a few minutes looking up, thinking it was my sleepy eyes that was duplicating everything. Then after I rubbed them and it wouldn’t go away I realized that what I saw was real.

For some reason I thought it would disappear from me any minute, so I threw myself back into the tent shaking Nathan ferociously, almost in panic, to wake him up and come out to see it – I have never experienced something so amazing since, and any pictures you see really can’t do it justice!

What made Tekapo such a beautiful place was the lake. It had the most amazing color of turquoise. Milky, thick and bright. It looked very tempting, but turned out (after I had a dip) that it was only 8 degrees COLD!!! … (more about this next week – have a wonderful weekend & see you here again on Monday!)

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