Category Archives: new zealand

My incredible experience traveling New Zealand’s North Island

Last week, I went on an amazing tour with Kiwi Experience, I took the Geyserland and Lake pass. We visited Hot Water Beach, Waitomo, and Rotorua. On Wednesday morning, the bus driver picked us up at the Kiwi Experience office and we took off for our backpacker adventure. Before we went out of Auckland we did a quick toilet stop at the Auckland Domain and here our bus driver told us everything about the Kiwi Experience adventure, safety, activities, and accommodation during the bus trip. After that, we started our journey to Hot Water Beach, our first stop of the bus trip. My bus driver was really amazing! He was really funny and knows everything about New Zealand. He tried to help us as much as he could with our travel and activities and he really wanted us to have fun.

IMG_9542

During our trip to Hot Water Beach, we stopped once in a little town with a shopping mall. We had some time to do some groceries and get some lunch. We stopped nearby a PaknSave, the cheapest supermarket in New Zealand. Kiwi Experience is really trying to think about your money and tells you when there is time to do shopping and they will tell you where you can find cheap food.

Around 14.00 pm we reached our hostel in Hot Water Beach and we had about 30 minutes to check-in, go into your room and get changed. Then we went for our first activity of the trip. The bus took us to Cathedral Cove and we had to walk 45-minutes down. It was a really easy hike and the moment you reach the beach is breathtaking. This beautiful spot was used for the movie ‘Narnia’ and it was one of the locations in the music video for the song ‘Can’t hold us’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We spend an hour around the beach before we went back up. When we visited the beach, the weather was really great and the view looked like a brochure picture. We went back to the hostel for dinner and we eat some fresh fish and chips.

IMG_9251

We were not able to get to Hot Water Beach before 12 pm. We missed the low tide at daytime so we went to the beach at night. This experience was amazing! We went with the whole Kiwi Experience group and had to find our way in the dark. At the beach, we had to find the perfect spot where we could mix hot and cold water to make our own natural Jacuzzi! The sky was clear, so we sat under the stars and had a perfect night in the hot water. This activity is definitely one of the best experience I’ve ever had!

The next day we were really tired, but we had to get up really early because of our busy day. Most people slept the first 1,5 hours on the bus and after that, we had our first stop to get some breakfast and do some groceries for Waitomo. After our break, we did a short hike track in Krangahake. Our bus driver guided us around the track that leads us through mines.

Next, we went back on the bus and continue our drive to Waitomo. During the ride, different accommodation and activity sheets were given and you could sign up for everything you wanted. I signed up for the Maori dinner and accommodation in Rotorua the next day. When we reached Waitomo, we first had to get out tickets for the Glowworm caves and the Maori dinner or sleepover. After that, we went to the hostel and we had some free time. Around 3 pm, 10 others and I were picked up at the reception and we went for the Black Labyrinth in the glowworm caves! This tour was really impressive. We had to climb and walk in the caves and when we reached the water we did the cave tubing and some small waterfall jumping. The most impressive moment was when all the lights went out and you could see all the glowworms in the caves!

IMG_9934

The next day we left Waitomo to go to Rotorua. After a 10-minute drive, we stopped for a short morning hike and afterward we left for Hobbiton. I did not go to Hobbiton this time, but we had some really nice weather so the people that went on the tour had a perfect day! The people that did not choose to go on the Hobbiton tour left for the OGO balls in Rotorua. I went in the OGO balls with one other girl and it was so much fun! First, we did the Straight Track, where you race another OGO balls downhill. The second time we did the Sidewinder Track, this is de world’s largest track. When we had to wait we could just chill in some outside Jacuzzi and enjoy the view over the Rotorua lake.

After a while, our bus driver picked us up and we went to our hostel in Rotorua. I stayed here for two nights and enjoyed my time with different people in the hostel. The first night, I went with the Kiwi Experience group to Tamaki, the Maori village. This cultural experience is amazing! You will learn a lot about the Maori culture, they will show you Maori dances, tell you stories and they will sing old songs. After that, we got some traditional food that they cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. They will end the evening with all the guys performing the Haka and some lovely songs.

IMG_9780

The next day, I left the Kiwi Experience group and went to explore Rotorua. In the afternoon, I visited the Redwoods with some people I met in the hostel. This forest is really beautiful and you can choose to do the free hiking tracks or go for a tree walk at day or night. We ended our trip in de Lava bar that is next to the hostel!

IMG_9988

On my last day, I went on another Kiwi Experience bus and went back to Auckland. Before we left Rotorua, we stopped at the Rainbow Springs Nature Park to learn something about the kiwi birds in New Zealand. We got on a tour and saw some baby kiwi along the way. After the tour, my trip was done and we went back to Auckland. My experience was really great, I had the opportunity to see many beautiful places and enjoy many different activities!

 

Cheers,

Melanie

 

Advertisements
View of Lake Pukaki in the South Island of New Zealand

8 Reasons to travel to New Zealand

Aotearoa, Maori for the land of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes in the world. The country is divided into two islands, where 4.6 million people and over 29 million sheep live (yes we have more sheep than people). It is where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed and home to the best sports team in the world—the All Blacks.

If you’re still trying to decide on your next destination, here are the top 8 reasons why you should choose New Zealand;

  1. Hikers Paradise: New Zealand has many treks suitable both for newbies and experienced hikers. Both islands offer thousands of options for people who love hiking. The options for sceneries are also very varied, including forests, mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

One of the most appealing characteristics of hiking in New Zealand is that there are no dangerous animals—no poisonous snakes, no deadly spiders, no dengue mosquito. So hike away with beauty and safety (remember to ensure you let someone know where you are going hiking and stick to the designated paths).

2. Beaches: Being an island (two actually), Kiwi’s have easy access to a vast amount of beaches. The country has over 29,000 km of coastline. Even in cities like Auckland, clean, beautiful beaches and ports are widely available, and some can even be accessed via ferry.

3. Incredible Nature: New Zealanders have done their best to preserve the natural habitat of the country. 13 national parks, 3 maritime parks, and hundreds of natural reserves are open for tourists. Moreover, there are several special rivers & lakes, which are protected by the government. In total, around 30% of the country’s land area is protected conservation land. Only here, can a river be considered a “legal person”.

4. Safety: The crime rates here are very low compared to other countries. New Zealand is the fourth safest country in the world.

5. A wide range of touristic offerings: It doesn’t matter whether you have a wide or tight budget—you will find an option that suits your pocket as well as your interests and time. From North to South you will find varied places to visit, so maybe the only difficulty would be to choose which ones!

6. Amazing Road Trips: Renting a car or even a camper van for your road trip is very easy. For backpackers, students, couples, and even entire families, driving around New Zealand for vacations is a popular activity, especially during summer.

7. International Environment: If you want to meet people from all over the world, this is the best place to do so. Auckland, the most populated city in the country, is like a mini New York. It is a cosmopolitan and diverse city where people from all over the world converge.

8. World’s Extreme sports capital: If you are an adrenalin lover, this is the place to be. Kiwis created the first bungee jumping in the world and the range of extreme sports is very interesting, you can choose skydiving, bungee, rafting, caves, zipline, canyoning, and much more.

9. Just happiness: The kiwi attitude is all about being happy and chilled. The fun thing here is that it is contagious.

I’m sure you are convinced now…

Remember INTERNeX can help with all of your travel bookings so get in touch today for more information – travel@internexworld.co.nz

 Explore New Zealand with INTERNeX

Natalia travelling

INTERNeX New Zealand: New team member!

Hi everyone!

My name is Natalia Moncada, the newest member of INTERNeX New Zealand. I am a 26 years old, social communicator from Bogota, Colombia.

I have worked in different companies, such as Kimberly-Clark Colombia, PwC Mexico, and Havas Worldwide Vale Mexico. I have experience in communications, marketing and advertising. In my previous job, I created advertising strategies for different brands in the entertaining, retail, and food industries.

I am now studying Digital Marketing here in Auckland and will be working at INTERNeX 20 hours per week around my studies.

I will be in charge of supporting administrative activities in the company and also optimising internal and external communications.

I have always loved to travel and I’ve been very lucky to see some amazing places already. Now that I am in New Zealand I’m looking forward to discovering more wonderful places in this country (especially hiking places).

I am very excited to work with the INTERNeX team and to get to know all our travellers and partners.  I want to help as much as I can and have fun while doing it.

Feel free to email me anytime on Natalia@internexworld.co.nz

INTERNeX New Zealand: Tropical Escape to Fiji

While NZ might be full of awesome things to do in winter, for those of us drawn to the heat, a tropical island escape may sound more appealing….

Fiji is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean, around 4 hours away from New Zealand. It is made up of more than 330 islands – majority of which were formed through volcanic activity. Fiji has long been a popular holiday destinations for Kiwis and those travelling through NZ, with its beautiful beaches, hot weather, friendly local people, easy 3-hour plane journey, and the benefit of being in the same time zone as New Zealand.

We’ve put together a list of why a visit to Fiji should definitely be on your list of things to do during your time in the southern hemisphere:

  1. It’s close to NZ! Only 3 hours away. How often are you going to be this close to a beautiful south pacific tropical island?
  2. White sand beaches with hot weather all year round. Need we say more?
  3. The warm, welcoming nature of the Fijian locals. Fijian people are renowned for their incredibly friendly, welcoming nature.
  4. Snorkeling and Scuba diving. Fiji provides some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving.
  5. Hiking – Fiji is home to some lush rainforest trails.

Fiji YachtingAt INTERNeX we work with Awesome Adventures Fiji who provide a huge range of Fiji island hopping adventures and tours. INTERNeX members are also eligible for an exclusive discount if you book your tour through us. To check out the full range of tours available, see http://www.awesomefiji.com. But remember to get in touch with us directly at INTERNeX to book, in order to be eligible for the discount.283145_2121197627423_6467880_n

Winter in New Zealand

Winter is definitely settling in here in NZ! Looking to plan a winter adventure, kiwi style? We’ve put together a list of reasons why NZ in winter is awesome:

  1. Less queues and no peak pricing: One of the great things about travelling New Zealand in winter is that it’s considered the ‘low season’, meaning you can check out some of the biggest tourist hotspots and avoid those crazy summer queues! Note: Avoid the school holidays if you can, as these tend to be busier times. https://www.govt.nz/browse/education/school-and-college/2016-school-holidays/
  1. Whale watching in Kaikoura: While sperm whales hang out in the Kaikoura coast all year round, come winter the humpback, pilot, blue and southern right whales stop by on their way from the Antarctic to the tropics! June to August is the best times to see them, plus with the added bonus of the beautiful snow capped mountain scenery.
  1. Hanmer Springs: Hanmer springs is located between Christchurch and Kaikoura, and is considered one of New Zealand’s best hot springs resorts. With picturesque scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the famous thermal pools and spa (co.nz) are a beautiful place to relax.
  1. Queenstown: Know as the adventure capital of NZ, Queenstown is the perfect place for a winter adventure! With world class ski fields, beautiful scenery, bars, ski-touring and more, you’ll be sure to see some of the best winter scenery there is to offer.
  1. Baby Seals in Kaikoura!: The perfect spot for the animal lovers among us. There is a waterfall located 15 minutes north of Kaikoura (Ohau Waterfall Walk) which is filled with baby seals during the winter months 🙂
  1. For the snow sport lovers: NZ is home to 18 commercially operated ski fields. The three main regions that are popular among tourists are Mount Ruapehu (in the central North Island), the Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka in the South Island), and Mount Hutt (near Christchurch in the South Island).
  1. Ohakune Mardi Gras: Known to be the premier winter street party of the season, this is an awesome way to welcome the cooler months with local and international artists, street performance, fireworks, and an atmosphere like no other. For ticket information and more see: http://ohakunemardigras.co.nz/#_

NOTE: Stay safe on our roads. Be sure to take extra care on road trips, especially in winter where the roads are often icy. Make sure to check the conditions before beginning your journey, ensure your car is road safe with all defrosters, heaters, indicators, lights, tires, etc. are all in good working order.

We’d love to hear about your winter adventures. Let us know what you’ve got planned for the upcoming winter months in the comment box below.

11988498_10206851987476140_2591828115369073019_n.jpg

INTERNeX New Zealand: Queens Birthday Weekend (31st May – 2nd June)

This coming weekend (31st May – 2nd June) is a long weekend here in New Zealand in celebration of Queens birthday. This means that Monday is a public holiday 🙂

There’s plenty going on down at Queens Wharf in Auckland City (99 Quay Street, Auckland) over the weekend. From 10am-4pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend there will be attractions, market stalls, tea parties, vintage and new car displays, and history of our British and Irish counterparts.

The programme for the weekend can be found below. Definitely worth checking out, and remember admission is FREE 🙂

Saturday 31st May
10:30: City of Sails Pipe Band
11:00: Northland and Auckland Scottish Country Dancers
11:30: Clan Celtica Pipe Band | Traditional marionette puppet performance
12:30: Northland and Auckland Scottish Country Dancers
1:00: Clan Celtica Pipe Band | Traditional marionette puppet performance
1:30: City of Auckland Morris Dancers
2:00: Meadowbank School Maypole Dancers
2:30: Daily film: Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Sunday 1st June
11:00: Signals Pipe Band & Highland Dancers
11:30: City of Auckland Morris Dancers | Traditional marionette puppet performance
12:00: Twisty Willow – Irish and Scottish folk music
1:00: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – all welcome
2:00: Traditional marionette puppet performance
2:30: Daily film: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Monday 2nd June
10:30: Twisty Willow – Irish and Scottish folk music
11:30: Pukekohe Pipe Band | Traditional marionette puppet performance
Papakura Pipe Band and Highland Dancers (15 minute slots)
12:00: Auckland and District Pipe Band
Clan Celtica Pipe Band
12:30: Massed pipe band
1:00: Maritime Crew – sea shanties
2:00: City of Auckland Morris Dancers
2:30: Daily Film: Wallace and Grommet: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

INTERNeX New Zealand: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the year

Auckland Museum is currently exhibiting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This exhibition – which is on loan from the Natural History Museum in London- features close up encounters with the natural world.

There are backlit images of animals, landscapes and nature on display, with captions and fascinating back-stories.

Definitely worth a visit! These photos are on display from 25th April until the 3rd of August 2014.

Tickets are free with museum entry (museum entry is $25 for non New Zealand residents).

Getting there: Getting to the Museum is easy! You can walk through the Domain (a wonderful park located close to the city), or catch the LINK bus service (look for the red, green or orange buses). For more information about planning your journey, check out the website http://www.maxx.co.nz . This website provides information about public transport around Auckland City.