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Evening all,

I wonder if anyone on this board would like to help this poor guy.

I'm currently at uni here in Scotland, but I am planning to go to Australia or New Zealand to travel for maybe two months or so in October/November (yeah, I know the rugby World Cup is on at that time, but I'll figure it out) and want to hear if any natives of these countries can tell me where I should go. I've got some money saved up, so I don't plan to work or anything, but I quite fancy seeing the country. Also, if any non-Aussies or New Zealanders have done something similar, what are your opinions?

I'm not definitely going as yet, as I can't find anyone who is willing to go with me (they all want to start working, mad people!), but I haven't ruled it out.

Cheers for any thoughts.

And if any non-Scots are thinking about coming to Scotland, it's a great place. Honest.

Which reminds me of an American tourist who, on visiting Edinburgh Castle (which, to those who aren't aware of it, is right in the centre of town) commented that it was very clever of us Scots to build a castle right next to a railway station and in a commercial area.

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PureNZ the website to go with the advert...

I went for 6 weeks in 2001 (NZ only as my mums family are all aussies now so I've been many many times) and loved every second of it. Am going to go back once I get myself sorted here.

I can't remember all of what I did so I'll just say - if you see any adverts for any of the following playing live, cancel anything else you had planned and go and see them (these are all just off the top of my head, I could think about it and make a definitive list but we'd be here all night) -

David Kilgour/The Clean
Fur Patrol
Hasselhoff Experiment
Idle Faction
The Brunettes
Chris Knox/Tall Dwarfs

But especially Fang. Go see Fang.

Umm the Kings Arms in Auckland is lovely - it claims to be a pub but ha! you won't ever see a pub that nice over here! It's more of a ski lodge. But in central Auckland... great live music, nice atmosphere, pool table, garden & BBQ. What more could you want? Have I said you should see Fang yet? They're very good. Other venues I can think of - Fu Bar (Why is it pitch black in there?? WHY? One of the presenters of The Wire said he fell down some stairs in a central auckland nightclub and nearly broke his ankle. I reckon it was probably Fu... what with the lack of lighting, all those smoke machines and the strategically placed stairs. Nice place though. Big Grin ), Rakinos, Temple (is it moving? I think its moving...), Galatos erm... oh and the St James. There are many more of course - these are just the ones i can think of.

I liked Dunedin lots. The Otago Penninsulas really cool. Elm Wildlife tours are great, they're run out of Elm Lodge backpackers place.

Which brings me onto the BBH card. get one. It's fantastic. Much better than YHA in NZ as there are more places that take BBH cards than YHA's and its a phonecard too. There was a website around here for it somewhere.... ah yes, here it is - I arranged my trip over there the other year 4 days before I was due to take off and they got my card to me in the UK from NZ in about 2 days! I was mighty impressed. The Brown Kiwi in Auckland is a lovely place to stay - its on the link bus route, theres the post office & several banks round the corner, a supermarket down the hill & a street full of cafes/bars next to it. It's also only $8 to the Kings Arms by taxi (or about 15 minutes walk when you're drunk & $2 short of the cab fare to the top end of Ponsonby road) and $5 to Queen Street (I suppose these may have gone up since i was there, but still, rough idea eh...).

Umm... I thought Te Papa was brilliant. The Arc cafe in Dunedin does fantabulous coffee and has free internet. The Clean have been known to play there as well...

Oh I got a rail pass thing to travel round - you buy a set number of points and then use the points on the trains/buses/ferries and if you buy the right thing planes to travel round the country. I'm not sure if they still do them. If you have a rough idea of where you want to go then its a good thing, possibly not so great if you're just gonna turn up and decide whenever - you might end up spending all that money on one of them only to find you like it too much in one place. It was one of these - . I viewed it that it was good to get that all paid for and out of the way than to have to keep some money aside to get around the country once I'm there, and I did manage to use all of the points.

I can't think of anything else that would be useful at the moment - apart from locations of music shops Big Grin

GO! Go now! It's brilliant. Chances are you won't want to leave either. Smiler

PS: You should all check out Fang. They're excellent...
Fang - them.. Ben Howe ex of Superette and boss of Arch Hill records....

Umm it depends on what you want to do really I guess. I tried to fit most of the country in in 6 weeks - flew straight to Dunedin to start then worked my way back up to Auckland via Queenstown, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier, Rotorua, Tauranga & Auckland - I suppose cos I wasn't sure how long it'd be before I could go back. I would have liked more time in Dunedin/Otago, Christchurch & Wellington but the other places 4 days was probably enough (though I spent more time in Auckland than anywhere else and would have loved to just stay). I also missed out on going to the Bay of Islands. I was meant to and had planned on it, but there was too much to do in Auckland. Oh and Queenstown. I was there in Winter so would have liked more time to practise that whole skiing thing (speaking of which they do some really good learn to ski/snowboard packages. I'll dig the website out).
Te Papa in Wellington has the colourful Split Enz suits on display if you want to check that out. If you're a sporting fan there's the Cricket museum in Wellington and the Rugby museum near Auckland i think. Staglands in Wellington (Near a place called Upper Hutt) is one place worth checking out, it's like a petting zoo but it's amazing, it really brings out the fun in people. Stewart Island is really amazing, it's one of the most beautiful places i've ever seen and it's so peacful and wonderful. Enjoy your stay here in NZ and i hope it gives you many wonderful memories.
how up my alley is this?

i just got back a week or two ago from a two month stay in oz visiting my boyfriend. i mostly stayed in victoria, and spent a week in new south wales. these are the places i remember most:

*great ocean road - lots of great scenery along the way, such as the twelve apostles, the grotto, and some nice short rainforest bushwalks.

*melbourne - of course. just to say you went. it's a really nicely constructed grid of a place, partly metrpolitan, partly not. some great movie theaters and pizza on lygon street. good photo ops during the day of the yarra river. also check out the st. paul catherdral - you can't miss it, it's nestled in there.

*merimbula - on the sapphire coast in NSW, excellent bush walks and beaches along Sapphire Coast Drive. it's also about an 8 hour drive from Melbourne. opportunity to catch sight of some fantastic wild life (i.e. 4 foot lizards, roos, etc.)

*cape shanck - this provided me with some absolutely gorgeous photos. go on a sunny, warm day and swim in one of the giant rock pools. it's in victoria.

*point nepean - went there on christmas eve morning and rode bikes up and down hill, great exercise, spectacular views of the bay on all sides. there are also some really cool preserved war bunkers at the very end.

*flinders beach - loads and loads of rock pools, and there's a small blow hole that will definitely spit in your face if you stand right above it.

*gunnamatta beach - premier surf beach in VIC. ideal for body boarding as well. just be careful.

*sorrento beach - there are about 4 or 5 rock formations all called London Bridge scattered around VIC, and this one i liked because you can crawl around inside, play with the rock pools, and even climb around and above it, which allows for some spectacular ocean views. (you may actually see signs for it on your way to/from point nepean.

*healesville animal sanctuary - good place to spend an afternoon. the platypi were my favorite, i think. and they do have student concession, i believe.

places i meant to go to, but didn't make it - wilson's promontory nat'l park, and hall's gap (in the grampians nat'l park) are both reputed for camping and great bushwalking.

hope that helps some!! i'll try and answer any other oz questions you may have in response.
best of luck.


Thanks to everyone for their advice. Hopefully the financial situation will sort itself out and I'll be somewhere-bound come October time. Wierdly, the consensus of opinion seems to be that New Zealand is the place to go. So I guess that's where I'm going, although the flight price will probably cost my entire budget! Oh god, I've got some figures to add up....


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