My wife, daughter and I have decided to take a about a two week "vacation" in New Zealand, probably towards the end of July, early August. We would very much appreciate hearing from people who live in New Zealand or who have experience living there. Our plans are to (please let us know if this does not seem like a practical course of action) are to fly into Auckland, stay their 3 days or so, get some idea of the area, walk around, talk with locals, etc (this is what we plan to do every where).Then we would get a rental car and make out way south to Wellington (what is the best way to get there and where should we stop on the way) and repeat the Auckland agenda. Then take the ferry to the south island, go to Christchurch and do the same. Then go back north and end up in Auckland to depart. If we do this right, we should have some time to visit many areas along the way. Trying to decide where to stay (think mostly good deals but good quality), etc. Also thinking about the camper vans such as offered by www.wildernessmotorhomes.co.nz.
Would love to meet New Zealanders while we are there!
Our goals include:
2.Confirm (or not) our intuition that is telling us to at least seriously consider a move to NZ. If this is the case, "size up" possible employment opportunities. The immigration web site looks to me to basically say that, if one of us had a job offer, we would easily have over 100 points and that looks like the dividing line for likely entry for residency. I guess another way would be a work visa and then, because of job experience in NZ, getting more points that way for ultimate residency.
So, looking forward to the feedback and the trip which, we expect, will let us know if we should pursue this intuition or go with our alternate plan of establishing a more remote residence here in the U.S.
By this I mean CM posters, of course!
Hot spots in the North Island are the Bay of islands, Rotorua, Napier and Wellington. If you are into outdoors activities I definitely would spend more time in the South Island. There is not much to do in Christchurch, but I am a big fan of Nelson, which is right across the water from Wellington. Also the west coat of the South island in beautiful. You definitely have to go to Queens town, it it the ultimate tourist destination in New Zealand. Also if you want to get to know locals and hang out you should drive to the Dunedin. You should definately wait till it is summer there before you go because it gets really cold. I would ditch the car in Christchurch and fly back up to Auckland, or just leave from Christchurch. The last time I flew they had a direct flight from San Francisco to Christchurch. The best part of NZ is really the small towns you encounter while traveling, that is where I woud spend most of my time.
I appreciate the leads, a lot of research to do to plot our itinerary. I was checking the average temps in Dunedin and it looks like lows of mid 30s (F) are typical. That seems OK to me for travel in July which is what we will be doing this time. Of course, we might like it so much we go back in December too!
If you have any favorite restaurants or pubs to pass along, that would be great too!
To others - please chime in!
In Christchurch the Holy Grail is a must see pub, it used to be an old movie theater that they turned into a three story sports bar. Also the Indian food in New Zealand is wonderful, my favorite spot is called Little India in Christchurch. Other than that you should get a taste for meat pies. The local food is pretty much the same as England, unless you go to one of those luau type Maori shows where they roast a pig underground.
Personally, if I was contemplating moving to NZ (I'm Australian if you are new(ish) to CM) I would skip the Nth Island altogether. Too many people (by NZ standards anyhow......)
When TSHTF, you want to be as far away as possible from large population centres where chaos will start, and the South Island of NZ is the PERFECT place to be.
If it werem't for the fact I have invested a lot of time developing this liferaft and family commitments, I would emigrate there tomorrow...
Whilst I realise you need the 'job offer' to be allowed in, I would not dwell on employment. Plan the rest of your life as though you will be permanently unemployed. Debt free, cashed up, with a Permaculture Design Certificate under your belt.
Plan your life, live your plan.
Hi drop a line
Im in Christchurch
Just sent an email reply. Thank you!
Looking forward to more opinions on NZ.
Thank you Mike,
That's our ultmate goal... thanks for the thoughts on NZ and the south island.
My husband, son (in first grade at the time) and myself spent six weeks in NZ from Late October to mid-December 2005. Wow, already three years + , but the trip is still so vivid! My DH was between jobs so we decided probably our last chance to really pull out the stops. At least for us. We had enough frequent flyer miles for two free tickets. We flew into Aukland spent a few days hoofing it, then picked up a 4 berth campervan and adored it all. 2 1/2 weeks on NI and 3 1/2 weeks on SI. Then flew home from Christchurch. BTW...good thing Ben only six...because the double bed above the cab was his "berth" and all the luggage storage as well. He got to use to sleeping with the duffles.We used the "bathroom" to store all our fishing gear, boogie board, wetsuits.
My favorites: Goat Island Marine Reserve (NI), Coromandel Penisula (NI), Nelson and Abel Tasman (SI) Haast (SI) Wanaka (SI) Doubtful Sound, Dunedin and CC (all SI). I regret we did not have time to go to the far north of the NI...and mind you...my favorite places mostly revolved around the fact the weather was good (sunny and warm) while we were there. If it had been winter or cold and damp could have been very different. I enjoyed the "big" cities too...the Te Papa in Welington incredible. And dont miss the Victorian Attic at the Christchurch Museum if you are into the natural world. Oh, and I also loved Ernest Rutherfords "Cellar" in old Christchurch University. BTW, the YMCA is right across the street and very reasonable. or at least was then.
We went with the idea of emigrating in the back of our minds and although we loved it, decided to far from our aging parents and family. Everyone we met was very friendly and helpful. I thought the South Island was amazing..the sheer physical beauty, the water, the lushness, the trout (catch and release only), those incredible green lipped mussels (feel free to eat those, try some smoked), the lack of people! Of course it is not all pristine and pretty....but nowhere is. Try to squeeze a third week from somewhere and stay as long as you can. You will not regret it. I would go back in a heartbeat.
We scrimped and saved and ate really cheaply (easy to do when you travel with your kitchen) and the campervan parks so clean and welcoming. Especially if off season. Bring lots of layers! And also keep in mind not everyone has the temperment for such travel. Both Steve and I drove and navigated (not so easy with a big diesel stick shift driving on the wrong side of some very dodgy roads) the campervan ourselves. We had a rough itiniary planned out, but invented alot of it ourselves. It would drive some crazy. BUt we are DIYfers in all aspects.
I would love to meet you and your family. You are welcome to come and stay with us on your way through if you wish. If not then just a passing visit. We live about an hour north of Wellington. I will talk you silly about NZ when you are here - but you are right - it is a very very good choice in these times. I will talk you through my hours of thought I have put in to locations within NZ and reasons.
Send me an email if you would like to catch up.
Thank you Greendoc and Amanda for the excellent information. Amanda, I will be emailing you in about four hours, I am sneaking this in on a busy schedule right now...
I will post more here as we firm up our plans and have other thoughts. We are inclined to fly into Auckland and leave from Christchurch at this point and will probably be buying tickets in the next couple days.
More thoughts from others welcomed. I will make sure to post our plans and expereinces...
Just sent email,
This is for Septimus and all others interested in NZ
I can take no credit for it, the information comes from Vanity Fox (Paul) who I know won't mind me sharing what he wrote to me:
Sorry I just couldn't get the paragraphs and formatting to work after cutting and pasting.
I'm really glad you posted my study. By chance I opened up CM.com this morning and found this thread growing. I just hope that those with curiosity will dig as deeply as they can into the info and comment as often as they can so as to make this thread viable and visible.
On another note, our laptop is 'caput' (scrap!!), probably a result of all the hours it's put in to this site!! We drove to a computer shop in a place called Kiskunfelegyhaza (thanks for the spelling Andrea!) and we're picking up a decent replacement (with an English language not Hungarian memory system), and I should be fully back on line by the weekend, including email!!!
Best To You,
THank you for your continuing great info on NZ - much appreciated.
I have tried to set up a NZ forum to centralize all the posts.
My wife, daughter and I have decided to take a about a two week "vacation" in New Zealand...If we do this right, we should have some time to visit many areas along the way. Trying to decide where to stay (think mostly good deals but good quality), etc. Also thinking about the camper vans such as offered by www.wildernessmotorhomes.co.nz.
I took a look at the wildernessmotorhomes.co.nz site and was struck by cost -- even after the exchange. Surely there is a better way... Is there a way to facilitate moving and living around the planet that is less expensive and less cumbersome? It goes without saying that the foundation of any sustainable way forward is organic farming/gardening and that most of us will end up as gardeners or farmers or foragers whether we like it or not. How can we transition smoothly? Can we organize it such that we do not end up on a series of disorganized "lifeboats"?
Why not form a club that owns assets around the world? For a taste of how it could work: How about the club -- let's call it the Mindful Capital Club -- buying a camper van in New Zealand? If looked after properly, a van like this can last at least 10 years. If the club bought the van for say $100,000, the average weekly cost over the ten years would be $192.00. There would be adjustments for seasonal demand and of course there would be other expenses such as maintenance, taxes and insurance. Now extend this to real estate. Why don't we follow the example of private golf courses. We can have access to real estate and camper vans without paying interest if we only agree to cooperate. Our go it-alone-mindset has led to credit and it may be the death of us.
Just like the game of golf, we could initiate a set of rules for the game of living well so everyone is on the same page. As an example, consider the professional golf rule of only having 14(?) clubs in the bag. We could have a rule that says that anyone playing the game of living well -- at least while they are in the system -- can only occupy 500 s.f. of personal living space and that they must garden or cook at least 20 hours a week. We could even buy a golf course or two. Wineries. Spas. Living with 80% less energy use does not have to be painful. We just have to use our minds.
I found this book really good:
Melting Point by Eric Dorfman. About climate change and how different parts of NZ are likely to be affected. The author ultimately recommends living in Hamilton or Rotorua. But that is only from a climate change perspective. Not from a SHTF perspective.
He says the west coast (of all of NZ) is likely to get more rain. Which is excellent in terms of being assured of no droughts and being able to grow stuff.
I know you set up another thread, sorry. There are quite a few threads on NZ now. Probably best idea is for people to just do a New Zealand search. I will put a link to this thread from it though.
Plan your life, live your plan.
Mike - I did some research, and found a place near me in New Mexico that offer a two-week certification course. It's a www.permaculture.org - I am extremely interested in going there next year for the course, and getting the certification.
The truth is, though, I have lots of fear on lots of different levels about making such a drastic about-face regarding my career. Was hoping you could give me a little feedback: What am I going to do when I get the certifcate? Will I be employable? If I'm to buy land to implement said PC, won't I need a job? Will I start my own PC business? Teach others?
Any feedback you can give me is appreciated.
This is a great site by the way! Have been browsing through this forum for (OMG!) hours now and can't stop! Just stumbled over this post about New Zealand and wanted to share my experience. My wife and I spent 3 weeks driving all over the South Island (decided to skip the North Island after some research) and found plenty of cosy, small villages where people still have their own vegetable gardens, make their own jams and bread and keep a couple of cattle, sheep and goats plus chicken and there were plenty of cats and dogs around (I guess mainly for entertainment but also to keep the stock under control...). It was just wonderful to meet some of the real Kiwi locals! We were travelling in a campervan (I think you mentionend Wilderness campervans in your post? We had one of their as well! Fantastic vehicles! We booked ours via a broker, because the choice of vehicles was too overwhelming!! I think it was www.procamper.co.nz and their staff is unbelieveably helpful!! Seriously, you never find service like this in the states! Fantastic!) Back to the topic... We ended up spending some of our nights camping on local farms (after asking for permission of course) and met so many wonderful people. My wife, who is a teacher, is currently trying to apply for a job in the lower part of the South Island (seems to be the most laid back there) and fingers crossed we may be able to move there within the next year. This would be a dream come true. We would be so much safer down there.
Anyhow, I just wanted to re-inforce that New Zealand is fantastic and everybody should take a closer look at it, just in case, you know ... Stay safe.
Just wanted to chime in my experience in the land of the Kiwi...
A coupe friends and I spent a month in NZ back in 1990. We rented a hatchback economy car and covered most of the country. Flew into Auckland, drove up north and spent a week around the Bay of Islands, headed back down to Lake Taupo, Rotorua, Coramandel Peninsula and Wellington for about a week. We then took the ferry to the South Island and spent about 10 days traveling down the west coast to Milford Sound, then a few days around Dunedin and Christchurch before heading back to the states.
Beautiful country (reminds of the Pacific Northwest where I now live) with lots of geographic and climatic diversity. The people were so friendly and accomodating it was unbelievable. Met lots of other travelers from around the world as well.
Overall, a great place to visit, and I'm sure a great place to live if you can make it pay. If I hadn't moved to the PNW, I would probably have gone back to visit again by now. If an opportunilty came up to move there legally, I would certainly consider it. For now though, my desire is to move away from the Seattle metro area into the Olympic rain shadow on Whidbey Island-- just got a find a way to make a living up there!
They have the lords of the rings there. and they have kiwi fruit. One day I will visit there after I go see New Ginny. Maybe I will move there for good. After the earth cakes they probably need a lot of masons to patch things up.
Just another take on NZ
I am an environmental scientist, trained in geology, of 20 years experience. I looked at emigrating to NZ about 5 years ago, for many of the reasons already mentioned.
However, we decided not to emigrate for a number of reasons:
-The peak energy issue is a major concern. The gasfields in NZ are on the decline. The coalfields in the south island, whilst plentiful, have some major geological constraints. My husband nearly took up a job with Pike River. Lucky he didn't....
-The weather in the winter is truly atrocious. There is a very short growing season. This is something to consider if you intend to grow most of your own food.
-The standard of living is good, but the cost of living is very high.
-Public transport, particularly in the south island, is barely adequate. There is a long long way between towns....
-the career options for our children were limited compared to Australia.
If none of those things are an issue for you, then NZ is a great option.
THanks for reading.
After living in NZ now for over 1 and 1/2 years (based in Wellington but travel around quite a bit for my job but mostly on the north island). NZ has its challenges like any place with people! :-)
Peak energy is a concern but less in NZ than most other places. Example: 80-85% of electricity generation is from hydro or wind (U.S. is less than what, 3% or so?)
I guess winter weather is a matter of perspective. Winter weather is mild even when compared to Louisville, KY where I lived for over 20 years. The "bad winter storms" are no worse than typical for Kentucky winters and the temperature is much warmer with lows in the 20s F in the mountains just about as cold as it gets (much warmer elsewhere).
Growing seasons seems long to me. Citrus grows all the way down the northern part of the south island.
Cost of living is high compared to many parts of US but not so much if you are used to big cities in CA, or Chicago, NYC or Washington DC. Once you know where to shop for food, the prices are not bad and many fruit and veggie items (especially) are cheaper than is the U.S. On average, food quality is notably better than in the U.S. Real estate is still too high relative to income but not as bad as it got in CA before the U.S. crash.
You can make much more in Australia. On the otherhand, Oz seems much more like the U.S. when I visited there.
I agree with the poster who recommended ditching the car in Christchurch and flying back to Auckland. Two weeks is really minimal time to do justice to NZ. Avoding a retrace of steps back to Auckland would probably be a good corner to cut. Three weeks would be much better, and six weeks to two months would be better still. OK, maybe I'm dreaming.
If you're going to ferry the car from North to South Island, you might want to check on reservations. Kiwis are great travelers and, although I don't think July is a very busy travel season, I'd still check. BTW, there are two ferries, one to Littleton/Christchurch (middle of south island) and one to Blenheim/Nelson (top of south island). Which one you take will make a big difference to your trip. If you're determined to drive the full circuit, you should probably take one ferry outbound and the other on the way back.
My fave spots in NZ (lived there in the '70s) were: the whole thing, especially the Bay of Islands (north of Auckland -- might be out of your way), Kaeo/Whangaroa Harbor (way north of Auckland). You might have to miss these due to time constraints. Favorite spots on South Island: the whole thing from north to south, especially Lindis Pass to Mt. Cook, Queenstown, etc. May be a bit chilly during July.
When I was there, I thought NZ was the best place I'd ever been for an English-speaking person to live. I understand that the North Island has become quite expensive. It was dirt-cheap when I lived there, but that was 35 years ago. This is perhaps a good reason to bias your "vacation" toward the South Island, where I think it's still pretty affordable once away from the trendy spots.
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