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Author Topic: A few thoughts on NZ , in general  (Read 1536 times)

Offline Savayla

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A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« on: April 24, 2010, 08:19:00 am »
Hi all
Well, this is the second night in our rental home and our 24th day in the country.  Some of my thoughts on how it has been so far.  We went for a two week LAS in Australia around the Tweed Valley / Gold Coast area with a bit of Sunshine Coast and wwoofing in in the outback. It was a fantastic two weeks and I thought that our decision was going to be a very difficult one as we had been and stayed in Northshore New Zealand for 3 months, 5 years ago and enjoyed NZ.

This time around, we decided to do a trip which took us from Whangarei in the North Island, down to Coromandel,Rotorua, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown, Wanaka, Franz Josef Glaciers, and then Nelson, where we are now.  It was in no means a detailed trip as there is only so much you can do in 3 weeks, and we only got a good feel for the places, doing a bit of sightseeing on the way.  Our aim was to get a feel for New Zealand, not sightsee.  Talk about repeating oneself.  :2funny:

We had prebooked our house which is fully furnished and usually rented out as a homestay, but they do longer rentals.  It is quite stunning and more than we expected. 

Since we arrived, I have been afraid of the cold.  We camped most of the way, so was scared of the rain too.  Well, we had our first day of rain in Franz Josef, on the West Coast.  Typical weather there.  I do understand that there has been a drought, so we have been lucky.   In Whangarei, I was still aclimatizing from having lived in Malaysia for 18 months, and I was cold.  I was the butt of many a joke.  But I have since done very well and in Invercargill, although it was 15 degrees inside, I did not battle at all. 

I took my sister's advice (she lives in Norway ) and we bought 100 % merino thermal underwear and in this way you don't have to bulk up with so many clothes.  They truly work.  I battled to find leggings for my girls, as I don't like to wear plastic (ie, polypropylene that Katmandu sells ) but you can order them from The Wool Company online .    We actually walked one hour to the Fox Glacier and did not freeze (well Hubby did as he did not have this thermals on nor his beanie  :idiot2: ) .  We did not even have a windbreaker, only a normal jersey. 

So the cold worries are out.  This country is so clean and people so respectful of keeping it clean.  In all the holiday parks (which are wonderful ) everyone cleans up after themselves .  We have not even had a pee on the side of the road which we often did in SA   :angel: 

There is so much to do in NZ that is for free.  You don't have to pay alot to have fun here.  We have been to museums, bird parks, animal parks, walk to the glacier, amazing adventure playgrounds for the kids (and we have had some fun there too  >:D) .

Prices:  When you get here, you have to have a budget sorted out. Then you have to throw some of it out of the window !!!  In Australia, we only stopped once for hubby to have a cup of coffee as it cost R25 for a cup !! (and a doughnut or muffin at Dunkin Dougnuts and for an ice-cream !!! )  We have now stopped a few times and enjoy it.  Even though a cup here costs R18.   We have not eaten out yet though, not once.  That will come later.  We are eating well though and a lot of the food here costs cheaper than in SA.  There are always specials and good deals.  We find that New World is really good for their specials.  For instance, using the coupon book, you can get 3 tins of Watties Condensed soup for $4.29 or 3 tins of Canadian Salmon for $6.99 .  We have eaten a lot of ready cooked chickens.  They are not as good as the ones in Australia.  Those are seriously good.  But at between $11.49 and $15 , they usually go for a meal and then lunch the next day.    We have gone off the fish and chip shops as they are way too   oily   :thumbdown:  Just remember, that one portion of chips will do 2 adults and 2 kids.  Our family anyway.   Shop around for petrol or diesal .  The Warehouse does have really good deals, amongst the rubbish.  A friend of mine here bought her grand-daughter a dress in Woolworths in Hout Bay, Cape Town.  She brought it back, and to her surprise found the identical dress in the Warehouse.  Similar price .  Makes you think about the snobs who will go to Woolies but not to The Warehouse  :2funny:  Luxury items are penalised heavily, and this is usually snacks such as pies, ice-creams, doughnuts, etc. 

The second hand shops here are amazing.  Hospice and Salvation Army.  Have picked up some really good clothes.  All clothes have to be washed before putting on the shelf.  Also linen and kitchen stuff, toys, and books. 

Cars:  If you shop around, you can buy a really good car for a cheap price.  Our friend helped us, and we have bought a 1992 4x4 Izuzu Bighorn Turbo (look it up, we had never heard of them but on our internet searches on trade-me , they looked good and solid ) .  It had low mileage (135 000 km ), is a 3.1 litre, Turbo.  Mint condition outside and in.  Cost us $4200.  We have just travelled 4000km and he didn't even give a hiccup.  We love her. 

The Kiwi's are incredibly friendly, polite and very  helpful.  I have heard some stories of how when in the workforce you have to speak a certain way as we come across as too arrogant and stroppy and give orders.  Well, Duh !!!   Instead of telling a person to "please put that on my desk "  you are meant to say " You might want to put that on my desk " .   ::)   Hubby had that in Australia when we worked on a farm.  The farmer would say "you might want to pick up that log ".  Anyways, not a biggie, and we have not experienced it yet here.  My landlord even asked if he could  give me a big hug to welcome us. 

Driving :  I was worried more about foreigners not keeping to the left and going into us, but so far, they have all behaved themselves.  :sweat:  .  On the whole, the roads are excellent, even the rural ones. Better than Australia.   We came across so many roadworks.  The signs are very good.  It has been tiring driving in the South Island, with all the mountains, and they are very good at telling you when you should go 25km around a turn. Hubby says they have worked it out perfectly, as you can't go any faster !!.   Speed limits are either 100km, or 70km  when approaching a rural town, then 50km when going through a town, which is really bloody difficult !!!  I was driving today, and man, I am going to get a ticket.  50km is just way too slow.  Everybody obeys the speed  limit though.  So far !!   Everything you know about planning times and distances --- throw it out of the window.  You travel an average of 60 /70 km an hour.  Roads are steep and windy, especially the South Island.  We were often caught with our pants down.  The AA booklets are the best guide.  o that

Clothes :  We were told that the clothes here were very bad  quality.  We have not found that.  Just like in SA, there is Woolies, Pep, Markhams, other branded (expensive ) stores , etc.  Here there is the same.  Just wait for the specials and you can clothes yourselves very well. 

They don't lock their houses.  I will repeat that incase you think you have not read it correctly.  THEY DO NOT LOCK THEIR HOUSES.   :yippee:  This has been the case for us in Invercargill, and now in Nelson .  We are about 500 metres from the main highway, yet, they leave everything open.  Today we went out shopping, and we left it open .  The reason we were so mad, is that our landlord, who lives next door, looked at me askew when I locked the one door.  "We don't lock our houses here !! " he said.  ooops.   Sorry, won't do that again.  So we didn't.  They have been here for 24 years, and their doors are literally OPEN. 

So that is it in a nutshell.  I am sure I will remember something else tomorrow .  We are sitting around the table, eating pasta, drinking red wine, smelling the roses (actually, they are next to me ) and listening to some classical music.  Life is good. 

Basically, we are in awe with the beauty of New Zealand, its cleanliness, efficiency, friendliness .  O0 Now we need to get our arses into gear and get PR.





 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 01:48:53 am by Nolan »

Offline tmprince

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2010, 03:31:25 pm »
Perfect post now to get you on facebook so we can see you post photos.
thanx for all the details ,I keep demandig these from everyone there but no one wants to" post to long"
I thrive on the details and its the little detaiols like prices of clothes ,food and entertainment and rent that I crave.  :yippee:
 :gl2: for the rest of your journy  :1hug:
Lovies
Marcia
EOI submitted   13-01-09
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ITA recieved     09-02-09
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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2010, 03:31:25 pm »

Offline Savayla

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2010, 08:07:57 pm »
Marcia, I am like you.  I want details.  Everyone is so different, the way they get over, the funds, how they shop etc.  I have gleaned so much from some posts and every little bit helps.  I am so glad that you enjoyed it, I will post some more details as I remember or experience them, as some things may help others.

If you want details, details, then you are welcome to send me a personal message and I will try my best. 

But please remember that I am a person that does not go for brands .  I like to buy good quality second hand clothes, or cheap good quality new clothes.  Shoes are always new . This is how I was in SA. 

 We spent about R3000 on thermals for our family of four, which included things like Long Johns, leggings, thermal tops, gloves, socks, scarves, beanies.  Some people may think we are crazy, but it has been worth every  cent.  We are not walking around like Michelin Men, but are very comfortable.  I needed a lot of T-shirts, so at the Hospice shop in Whangarei, they had bins where you could fill a bag for $3.  I only found 2 that were good quality and that I liked, and some for the kids so didn't fill the bag.  But I did get a beautiful jersey for $5 at the Salvation Army .  As we didn't have time to hunt around other places, we bought the girls fleeces and tracksuit pants at The Warehouse.  You are looking at around $17-20 for a pair.  Not great quality and very synthetic.  But they will do for now until we find a good sale.  PJ's for me and the girls were cheaper and same quality as Woolworths at home at The Warehouse. 

 Foodwise, we try go organic, free range which is much more expensive, but not for everything as some things are just too crazy.   But I do look at the prices of other things like dressings, mayo's, tinned food, spices, etc.  Dried fruit is so expensive here I am looking into buying a dryer as fruit where I am is cheap from the farmers .

Ok, was not meant to put details down here. 

Cheers


Offline maanhaarleeu

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2010, 09:57:13 pm »
Nice post Savayla, thanks for keeping us updated.  Wish I could see the country like you are seeing it right now.
Feels like when you start working full time, travels are kept to the surroundings and maybe longer ones over a
vacation.
Enjoy! ;)
Auckland NZ, Howick

Offline SaKiwiBoer

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 09:58:52 pm »
Nice post Savayla. Liked your "open home" bit. We "sometimes" forget to lock some of our "back" doors but I wouldn't leave my front door "open" for the world to see. Not here on the NI and definitely not here in Roto. I'm not saying it's crime ridden but it's just the way I am. Still a little bit to much SA'n in me still...  :2funny: . Cheers, SAKB.
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Offline Nolan

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2010, 01:51:01 am »
great post, tx for the feedback.

I can't recall when we last locked our doors when we go out - i do lock them at night though, it's no fun being woken up at night with strangers in your house

Offline Savayla

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 07:34:43 am »
Ok, now for some help.  I have managed to download some photos on my facebook of our travels around NZ.  But, how do I post the links here ?  They are not in one Album, but in about 4 .  I tried to send the link but it only has options for those on my actual facebook list. 

Anyone ??   :sweat: :idiot2: :'(

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 07:34:43 am »

Offline tmprince

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 07:40:33 am »
invite us on your facebook ! (marcia xylia prince) you can then invite everyone from the forum that is on mine and any that are not may invite me too.  :yippee:
Lovies
Marcia
EOI submitted   13-01-09
EOI selected     28-01-09
ITA recieved     09-02-09
ITA submitted   24-06-09
ITA lodged       26-06-09
CO assigned     28-09-09
WTR approved  14-05-2010
Arrived 01-07-2010
PR March 2011
5 YEARS TODAY 01-07-2015

Offline Savayla

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Re: A few thoughts on NZ , in general
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 10:34:43 am »
Ok, you are invited to my facebook ...... :2funny: >:D :angel:   That was easy .... Thanks Marcia  :angel: