[QUOTE=ssn679doc;1134867]So, if a clueless Yank wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand, what is the best route to go... just fly down and wing it so to speak, or go through a trip organizer?[/QUOTE]
yeap I agree with Badger - very freindly, very accommodating.... just come and stay at Gwammas - She will show you a grand old time . x
i liked that secret circle one. lol i also *love* supernatural. supernatural is family.[/QUOTE]
How could I forget Supernatural?! My favorite season was the one with the demons trying to make people fatter and more stupid for food. I think I laughed more that season than I have at anything in a long time. I liked Secret Circle also and was sorry they only gave it one season to catch on to the viewers. :)
Saw this on FB.....[URL="http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151296658216861&set=a.10150616692721861.380805.251061411860&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf"]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151296658216861&set=a.10150616692721861.380805.251061411860&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf[/URL]
i would also say fly down and wing it. the only advantage of going to a tour provider around here is you would almost definitely get to see the wildlife. whereas if you just blundered around on your own, you may not. there is info out there as to where it all is but you do have to find it and alot of the tours go over private land. that said, the last person who came to see me i think we calculated she saved several hundred on tours as i knew where to look so i took her. we do only live in a tiny corner of NZ but i imagine it would be the same everywhere else. another serious disadvantage of coming here to visit is you may not want to go home. obviously i am not biased in any way, shape or form LOL
that link didnt work doc.
morning all - I think that you have to be a member of face book to see it Seas....................................
you can go in on my page................. Its a Spartan event, actually it looks a wee bit like that link that you sent me, moving big tyres............mud...................boyz.....................
Gwammas biscotti went down a treat last night. In fact I have just popped some more in the oven for tonights party !!!
two hours baking seems such a long time - but worth the wait !!!!!!
[QUOTE=seaweed;1135414]i would also say fly down and wing it. the only advantage of going to a tour provider around here is you would almost definitely get to see the wildlife. whereas if you just blundered around on your own, you may not. there is info out there as to where it all is but you do have to find it and alot of the tours go over private land. that said, the last person who came to see me i think we calculated she saved several hundred on tours as i knew where to look so i took her. we do only live in a tiny corner of NZ but i imagine it would be the same everywhere else. another serious disadvantage of coming here to visit is you may not want to go home. obviously i am not biased in any way, shape or form LOL
that link didnt work doc.[/QUOTE]
The link was a Spartan Race in Australia.... I would love to do on Spartan Sprint (5k) this summer/fall...
Oh, I'm all about wild life while on vacation.... animals too, of course...
All I know of NZ is what I have seen in the movies, such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter etc, and the views are fabulous.... so I would love to visit some day.... Must save pennies, pinch nickles until the buffalo burps etc...
Harry Potter ???? was some of that filmed in New Zealand ???? We learn something new every day !!!!
....... get that buffalo burping Doc, and we will show you a grand old time............... way down - at the top of the world!
i didnt know harry potter was filmed here either. LOTR i've only seen the first movie and i could see the possum damage on the bush in the background LOL i'd love to do a spartan sprint too! not that i am sprinting anywhere with my very annoying ankle right now. i am off for a ride on the HOG soon to console myself. but i am still annoyed. i cant stand that LSA stuff G or i would try to make some biscotti. in terms of qtys and stuff. what is the new recipe? i made some more bread last night without the seeds and nuts and with rice, coconut and tapioca. the kids ate all the last loaf despite bleating it was too soggy and they didnt like the seeds. so what i did this time was left out the seeds/nuts. halved everything properly with measuring cups. so instead of 5 /12C total of wheat flour, i made it 5 1/2 x 1/2 C ( ie used a half cup as a whole cup ) of the other flours. the half cup was coconut flour. the other 5 i did i think 3 rice and 2 tapioca. and no i left the whisky till after i'd made the bread! i used 1 egg, 1/2 tsp of xanthan, quite a few grinds of salt, 3tsp dried yeast. 1 tbsp honey. for water, i put poss 1/2 c in with the yeast and honey. then i did 2 x 1/2C and mixed it all in. bear in mind the egg is in there too so more liquid to add to the total. it still looked dry as so i added another 1 x 1/2C water. it was more bread dough-like than the last time i made it but i left it at that. bunged it in a loaf tin and left it to rise. i prefer a crust on my bread so i usually preheat the oven to about 200 degC, put the bread in for 10 and then turn it down. ended up with nice fluffy bread with a crust. totally paleo if you call white rice paleo even LOL the kids much prefered it to the last batch as they dont like seeds. there is some left and the kids are away till tomorrow but i told them i would save it for them. i am tempted to biscotti some to see what happens.
Harry Potter was filmed in Scotland -- none of it was filmed here. Though, some of the FX might have been done here. . . but I don't know. I don't think I know anyone who worked on potter here.
In terms of visiting NZ, I have to say that people are nice and friendly, but if you want to see all of the good stuff -- such as Lord of the Rings sites -- then you'll need to check in with experts at theonering.net. There are books about seeing the sites, but overall the books are based on GPS and not organized well (ie, a tour from north to south getting from site to site is NOT in the book, but there's a chronology of "first the fellowship was here, then here, then here" -- so you have to really study the effing book to figure it out). Also, Noldor blog is great. Jack is a local LoTR tour guide -- definitely worth the tours btw -- and he'll have all kinds of information about what to see and where to go.
NZ used to have a great web site of routes and htings to see along the way, btu for some reason, they stopped having that service on their web site. It was gold, that.
So bottom line, for all of their tourism focus, they make it *really effing hard* to see what you want to see and do what you want to do. It's a real PITA.
Thus, I recommend *studying the heck out of guide books,* trawling websites for information, and definitely ask questions here such as "I want to go to Matamata to see hobbiton, how do I get to christchurch from there to get to twizel?"
Well, the answer to a question like that -- which Jack and I have gotten a few times -- is that you can drive from Matamata to the nearest city with an airport (Hamilton, I think), and then jump a flight from there via Air NZ to CC, and then you can get a tour directly from a hostel in CC< or you can take a bus to Twizel, and stay in Twizel, and get a tour out to the setting for Rohan and the great hall from there.
See? Not easy to just get around unless you organize things. :)
Also, most kiwis do the old hike, tramp, and hang -- so the idea of "touring" the country seems to be rather foreign to them. I went do the dept of Conservation to get permits to go to certain places (which you do need), to try to find out where to go to see specific NZ birds. Their answer was a truly annoying and unhelpful "the bush."
Yeah, thanks for that. Very clear. "The bush" can refer to Wellington's green belt just as much as it can refer to the primordial forests of the fjordlands. So WTF Dept of Conservation?
Anyway, I spent a lot of time, therefore, studying old books on NZ native birds, looking for where local (NZ) bird watchers were seeing certain breeds frequently, and putting together a loose map of areas where we could go bird watchign and would most likely see certain birds. Yes, all of those places were in "the bush" but there were places where it was *easier* to see weka, pukeko, and kiwi. Kea pretty much live in only one area, so yeah, you gotta go there. It's not really "the bush" per se. It's semi-arid, high altitude scrub areas. But, it's far out -- so I guess that's also "the bush."
As such, touring NZ is actually *hard* in some ways. But if you just want to come and get a camper van and drive around and see what happens (and, you know, if you want to get laid then head into the hostels in high season), then you'll be fine.
If you want to do and see certain things, it takes a lot of effing work and tourist and related organizations on the ground aren't that helpful.
i ecotour guide occasionally and "in the bush" is actual quite a valid thing to say as birds fly around lots. if there is a nest somewhere you know about you are more likely to see certain birds but you would have to be an idiot to tell anyone else where a bird nest of something rare is if you knew. they are also seasonal. fantails everywhere right now. not usually one to be seen in summer. tui are about in droves when the kowhai are flowering or certain exotic species like red hot pokers are flowering. the spoonbills can be one of quite a few places and then some depending on which way the wind is blowing is another good example. they can also simply not be there. penguins are about depending on the tides and or the time of day. they also run away back out the sea if they see people. our lizards get poached pretty badly too so no one will tell you where they are either. all these factors mean it is often better to go on an organised ecotour if you want to see everything and be guaranteed to.