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Old 11-08-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
New Zealand Sugestions

Just pulled the trigger on a ticket to New Zealand to the South Island. Where are the best place to meet up with other boaters and suggestions for camping, hostels, and transportation around as economically as possible.

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Old 11-08-2005   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
lucky man

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Old 11-08-2005   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 14
Me too

When are you going to be there. I should be getting to the South island on Nov 29th and be there for about 5 days(this is just part of a month long trip). I'm looking to get a few days of class 3 or 4 boatin in around that time and wasn't quite sure were to go. Drop me a line if you figure anything out.

mwardgeo at yahoo dot com
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Old 11-08-2005   #4
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
you lucky dogs. the south island is the place to be. the hardcore tend to congregate at lake mahanipua (sp) campground about 20 km south of hokitika on the west coast. class III boaters will find more runs around murchinson and tend to group there. people who are inbetween will have fun in either zone and you should check out both because they are both very cool. the coast is really where the action is regardless. camping is the cheapest route to go but if you want a roof over your head the town of ross has super cheap accomodations only a few ks south of lake mahanipua. i'm jealous as hell. hook into sum fo me.
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Old 11-08-2005   #5
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
Contact Mick Hopkinson in Murchison, South Island. He runs NZ Kayak School and has the levels dialed.
Rotorua is a good spot on the North Island. Kaituna Rules!
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Old 11-08-2005   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46
Murchison is definitely a good place to base yourself out of for paddling. I spent 2 weeks at the campground (holiday park), located on the river just north of town, and hooked up with other visiting boaters. A rental car, paddling guide and Lonely Planet guidebook to NZ are a MUST. The Christchurch YMCA is a cheap and convenient place to stay while travelling through Christchurch.

Check out the NZ whitewater guide, available at most bookstores or kayak shops in Christchurch, at:

There are two paddling shops in Christchurch. Talk to Rob at the Paddler Zone. Their website is:

Definitely bring your own gear and paddle. Think about renting or buying a boat down there, especially if you're planning on doing a lot of paddling. The helo creeking out of Hokitika is world class. A good source of info for buying boats is the forum at:

Oh yeah... The first thing you do when you get to NZ is buy some sand fly repellant. Trust me.
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Old 11-08-2005   #7
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
Thx a ton for all the advice, I've already got the Lonely Planet and the NZ whitewater guide book, so from the guide book and what has been posted here, Murchison and Hokitika where the places I was looking at going to.

I was hoping to take the bus to keep the expenses down, but it sounds like a car is needed? Where do people buy used and sell used cars/vans down there and is it worth renting for only 2 weeks?
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Old 11-08-2005   #8
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 273
When you go to lake Manipua, make sure you take advantage of the glow worm tours--"to the lake". You'll see what I'm talking about when you get there. It's the full-on "kiwi experience."
hey diddle diddle...
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Old 11-09-2005   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46
If you want to buy a car or mini-van (lots of those down there!), check the for sale flyers posted on the wall at the YMCA, youth hostel, or at any one of the tons of internet cafes downtown in Christchurch.

If you want to rent a car or van, go to the information centre downtown on the square. There are tons of brochures form car rental companies in Christchurch. The smaller companies will more likely offer you a deal. If you get a car, finding roof racks may be a problem. Sometimes the rental company may have these available (for surf boards). Don't forget to bring cam straps. A van, even though a little more expensive, offers a place to stay and store your boat.

I also remember hearing about a rental company in Christchurch that will sell you a used vehicle (for about $1000-2000 USD) and will buy it back from you at 1/2 price when your done travelling. You'd have to research that further when you get to Christchurch. I'd plan on spending 3 days there getting a vehicle and supplied up before heading boating.

The exchange rate is still favorable. All said and done, I think I spent about $1200 for two weeks of car and boat rental, food, gas, camping, and lodging at Christchurch.

And remember... Americans tend to be viewed as loud-mouthed pompous asses most anywhere outside the US. Don't support that image. Be a respectful traveller and wear your "George Bush sucks!" t-shirt.
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Old 11-09-2005   #10
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137

If you are going for an extended trip to NZ I would deffinatly buy a van. I spent 3 mo down there and bought a van. Look at it this way. It will be more expensive up front but when you sell it you will get all or most of your money back. A nice little nest egg so you are not totally broke when you rotate back to the world. If you are staying for a month or less I would probably rent something because you have to figure in at least 3 days on either end to to buy/sell your ride. Check out the Backpackers Car Market in Christchurch they offer a place for backpackers to sell their cars. There are also two car fairs (used car flea markets) on the weekends in cristchurch at the racetrack. Ask the people at your hotel or hostel about it. Plus there are tons of flyers up at the hostels and internet cafe's. Lasly if you buy or rent a van that you can sleep in you will save big bucks on lodging and if you keep the windows up you can escape the motherf***ing sand flies.
have a great trip

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