Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting Around--Barry

Traveling in New Zealand in the off season we've kept an open itinerary and made reservations a day or so ahead as we've gone along.   I pitched the guide book long ago and have been using Trip Advisor to select B&Bs and have had no problem at all with bookings, with the exception of Wellington last weekend when we had to settle for a hotel.  (Trip Advisor has become really important in the B&B business.)  All the places we've stayed have wifi internet access, allowing me to use Skype for local calls at 2-3 cents per minute.   (Pay Verizon $1.99 a minute for roaming in NZ--no way!)

Resting after a day's journey at City Lights B&B overlooking Rotorua--now where will we stay tomorrow night in Taupo?

The seven B&Bs we've stayed in thus far here have been very good, in several instances outstanding.   The owners have been wonderful to talk to.   They also provide great advice for touring and local restaurants, so again we've been able to dispense with the travel books.

Goat Island Marine Reserve an hour north of Auckland--a really good recommendation from Beth at 23 Hepburn B&B, Auckland

Opito Beach on Coromandel peninsula east of Auckland--there was no one else there when we visited--great recommendation from Robin at Jacaranda Lodge, outside Coromandel town (where we saw the Southern Cross the night before)

Continuing on the theme that New Zealand is an exceptionally easy place to travel in, I've found that even the left-hand driving is easier here than the UK or Ireland, mainly because the roads are wider, with little traffic.  In the hills and mountains the roads are quite winding, so I think 300km is the most you want to tackle in a day, while allowing some time to get out of the car to sightsee or walk.

No, I was not driving when I took this picture--heading to Rotorua

It's very off-season here, akin to late November back home.  Traveling off-season often means settling for less than favorable weather, but that has been far from the case here (so far).   With sunny days and high temperatures in the mid 60s, it's been just about perfect here.

Sheep in the vineyards in Marlborough wine region of South Island near Blenheim

Sunset a day later looking east from Split Apple Lodge, Kaiteriteri, west of Nelson


  1. Barry - can't wait to see the slide show of your pictures when you return. Maybe a Sunday afternoon. Thank you - Beautiful!

  2. Some amazing photojournalism here. Glad to see you doing well.