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Facts about New Zealand
Stuff to See and Do
Anyone who is from Europe is used to a pretty good travel system. When you come to NZ do not expect this. Coaches have a timetable, but most of them never seem to be convienent. There are only 3 commercial lines for a train. 1 on the north and 2 on the south and they make English train service seem good!!!. . My best option in my opinion is renting a car/campervan. There are many companies who offer competative prices. Yes it can be expensive individually, but put a note in your local hostel and I sure you will find many people who will want to share in an adventure. Also with NZ there are alot of off the beaten track places litterally!! that are amazing and worth the look, also many dirt tracks especially on the south island. Some offer relocations , which they will let you have a car for FREE!!! providing you can get from point A to point B within a certain timeframe , some will also include free insurance , petrol and with NZ a ferry crossing to the South Island or North Island.
Renting a camper is a great way to see New Zealands beautiful scenery at your own pace.
We hired one for South Island and loved it! We were able to drive as far as we wanted each day and stop off whenever/wherever we felt the need, or if something cool grabbed our eye; sometimes in the most random places (such as the tiny town of Springfield when we spotted the giant doughnut from the Simpsons movie!)
We were also able to camp in amazing places (and save on hostel costs!)...some of the DOC campsites are in great locations and many are free or only have a small cost. Yes the facilities are basic but thats part of the fun of camping right?!
Of course there are campsites with v.good facilities and we did stay at a couple of those for a decent shower etc! Even these are reasonably priced.
Overall we had a fab time and would recommend it to everyone traveling round NZ!
We hired from Jucy rentals (the bright green&purple ones!) -they were awesome! http://www.jucy.co.nz/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'> http://www.jucy.co.nz/
What To Bring
If you want more in your travelling , do not follow Lonely Planet , if you are interested with mingling with the locals , for me it is an expensive phone book. I travelled around New Zealand for 18 months and barely used it . Also locals can advise you of some better places to go .