Pacific (New Zealand) living and travel
November 3, 2007 11:02 AM   Subscribe

What links New Zealand (University of Auckland), Surfing, Diving, Engineering and island hopping together? more inside

Answer: ME!

I am going to the University of Auckland (New Zealand) this coming semester for engineering courses. Right now i am saving up enough money to do Lots of traveling. My plans so far are to visit lots of islands (tihiti, somoa, etc) so i can get in some good surfing and scuba-diving. I am fairly advanced at both. I already have a trip planned for Japan. Now my lovely hivemind its time to ask my questions.

The below questions are for anywhere in the pacific, not just Australia & new zealand.

*What suggestions do you have for must visit sites?
*What else should i get into, i'm thinking about bungee jumping / sky diving, anything else?
*What islands / parts of islands should i go to, specifically to surf & scuba-diving.
*Will i be able to buy a surfboard and coffin (hard case) in or around Auckland, or should i look else where. I do not want to fly to New Zealand with my current one.
*I am an outdoors type of guy and very frugal, at the recommended places of visit, will i be able to camp?
*What troubles am i going to have traveling to so many places, will i be able to get visa's at the airports?
*Do most flights leave right from New Zealand or will i need to go to Australia first?
*In Auckland will i be able to find a uber-cheap room for rent or should i stay in the international house (don't know the price...)?
*How much should i expect to pay for a 3 day visit to these places (with or without flight)?

Please let me know any relevant information i should know concerning any of this, especially if you know how i can keep this as cheap & dirty as possible. Anything goes for me if it saves me money where i can.


*Bonus point question:

I need a new travel backpack (the big ones you can fit ~2 weeks of clothes in...you know the type). Can anyone recommend a store that i can try them on in New York City AND that sells gift cards online.
posted by Black_Umbrella to Travel & Transportation around New Zealand (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The price for living in the international house ranges from $3,350 - $4,050 USD (US Dollars). That includes 3 meals a day.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 11:22 AM on November 3, 2007


Can anyone recommend a store that i can try them on in New York City AND that sells gift cards online.

Paragon. 19th and Broadway.
posted by dame at 11:54 AM on November 3, 2007


Auckland is a great city to visit (I know because I live in one of the outer suburbs). You can easily get flights to many Pacific Islands from here. Visas? It depends upon your passport and country of origin.

There are some great surf beaches around New Zealand. Piha and other West Coast beaches are less than an hour from the central city (where the university is located). There is also good diving to be had all around the country. There are lots of surf shops and outdoor equipment retailers around the place.

You could look at our local version of EBay - trademe to get an idea about what is available down here.
posted by chairish at 1:02 PM on November 3, 2007


Make sure you don't miss Raglan, when a towns wiki page has a break down of its surf, you know it's good. You can camp at raglan, which is about 90 mins drive from Auckland (from memory). Last time I was there, it was about $15 NZ a night to camp.

I would be incredibly surprised if you can't find a decent board here, as mentioned above, check out trademe. Trademe also has a decent flatmates wanted section. A decent flat will be around $150/week as long as you don't want to live right in the city, though dives go far much cheaper.

Air New Zealand
is probably your best bet of getting to the islands, they have prices on their site.
posted by scodger at 1:27 PM on November 3, 2007


great info guys, thanks!

New Zealand MeFi Surf trip anyone?
posted by Black_Umbrella at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2007


For international fares, I always go with a travel agent. They usually have access to better deals than you can find on the Web.

It sounds like you have an awesome time planned. Oh, to be in college again.
posted by reenum at 4:34 PM on November 3, 2007


What troubles am i going to have traveling to so many places, will i be able to get visa's at the airports?

As above, depends on your passport, but if you're from the US (this is based only on your shopping in NY!), you should be looking at the Consular Information Sheets for each country you plan to visit.

The other trouble you may run into is that you should make sure you have re-entry/multiple entry permission on your NZ student visa before leaving NZ.

Lastly, as far as Samoa, keep in mind that part of it is American Samoa, a US territory, in contrast to Independent Samoa.
posted by whatzit at 5:01 PM on November 3, 2007


Wow. Lots of questions, I'll try answer a few...

What else should i get into, i'm thinking about bungee jumping / sky diving, anything else?
There's some good rock climbing to be had down south (South Island). Not so much outdoor stuff around Auckland, but if you head down to Christchurch it would be fun to go out for a few days. Kayaking is really accessible around Auckland... There's courses you can take if you have no experience. The outdoor world is your oyster really...

Surfing in NZ?
Close to Auckland is Raglan, the Coromadel which has some good spots, the West Coast beaches - Piha, Murawai/Maori Bay, Tawhranui is an hours north of Auckland and is popular too.
Check surf.co.nz for more specifics.

Will i be able to buy a surfboard and coffin (hard case) in or around Auckland?
Surfboards are sold in a million places in Auckland. Not hard to get at all. I recommend Ballistics, which is a 10 minute drive out of the CBD.

I am an outdoors type of guy and very frugal, at the recommended places of visit, will i be able to camp?
Yep. Check out the Department of Conservation website for more info, they have many campsites around the country.

In Auckland will i be able to find a uber-cheap room for rent or should i stay in the international house (don't know the price...)?
Are you coming for the summer semester or the one starting in Febuary? If it's the summer one, you should be able to sub-let from desperate student going home.. or you could just find a room in a flat (share-house) for around NZ$150 a week for a nice place. NZ$80-100 for something not so nice. I believe the university offers rooms at Grafton for around $140 a week, check out their site. Or you could always stay in a hostel if you want to be really really cheap?

Have fun... and if you have any more questions feel free to ask. A lot of my friends are engineers at the UOA so I know a bit about that stuff too.
posted by teststrip at 6:09 PM on November 3, 2007


teststrip covered NZ pretty well. I'll point out that many of the Pacific Islands are surprisingly expensive, especially if you want to eat Western-style food (a lot of it is imported). Rarotonga, for example, was about as expensive as traveling in NZ - probably not too cheap for you at the moment, given the low US dollar.

LonelyPlanet will give you the basics of visas and costs for different Pacific nations. You might want to check if you can camp - I don't know about the countries you mentioned, but in Rarotonga you have to have accommodation booked or they won't let you into the country (theoretically, anyway).

You can get direct flights from NZ to most or all Pacific Islands - we have a large PI population (especially in Auckland), so travel to the Islands is no problem.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:14 PM on November 3, 2007


Flights to the Islands aren't exactly cheap. This website grabaseat sometimes has some great deals but go quickly.

Anything under $400 NZ return is an awesome deal to the islands and same for Australia.

NZ tip....cathedral cove.
posted by DOUBLE A SIDE at 3:07 AM on November 4, 2007


While you're here check out the Auckland Uni Underwater Club. They'll hook you up with diving and other outdoorsy activities in the area, be a good way to meet people and provide an easy 'in' to the area. I have no affiliation, just know from past experience how useful a good university club can be.

(I know the question is several months old by now, but figured I'd throw it out there anyway given how wonderful our summer is turning out)
posted by shelleycat at 7:16 PM on January 30, 2008


« Older "people dying, children crying - look, fingernails...   |   What kind of bird was this? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.