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Orienteering Visitor

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 7 December 2007, 11:37 AM  
Hi Christina,
If you head north of Auckland you will probably end up running short of time and be in no condition for the Waitangi Carnival.
My suggestion would be to hire a campervan from Maui, or some other reputable company, It'll save trying to find accom during the high season. There are plenty of awesome holiday parks you can stay at overnight with you van. (Note the vans are probably much smaller than some of those huge American motorhomes you have at home that we see on TV, but easier to drive on our smaller windy roads.)

Settle in around Auckland, yep there is plenty to see there.
The ferry for Tiri Tiri Matangi leaves from the ferry terminal at the waterfront. If you don't have time a shorter trip would be to climb Rangitoto Island, with a visit to Devonport for coffee and short climb to the summit of Mt Victoria.
The Night life around the Viaduct harbour can be entertaining, alternatively during the day it is a good spot for relaxing and people watching with a variety of restaurants with good lunch menues.
North west of Auckland, about 45 minutes is woodhill forest, entering the main head quarters gate you can find the bike park, a great mountain biking area, where you can hire bikes.(if this interests you it would be good to book the bikes the day before, someone will be able to get the number if you want.) At the same location is tree adventures, a confidence climbing thing.
Other highlight for Auckland could be the views from Mount Eden or One Tree Hill. A drive to the ruggard West Coast at Piha, a famous surfing spot, and the Auckland Museum if it interests you. Wellington has our more superior National Museum.

Definately head south via the coromandel penninsula.
Just inland from Thames up the Kauaeranga Valley there's quite a good overnight hike up to the Pinnicles. It's a steep but scenic walk. We took our kids up there and stayed in a huge 40 bed hut.The final climb past the hut to the summit is mental but the views...!!! We booked over the internet (very cheap). As usual just carry food and sleeping bag. Maybe some eating utensils, plates etc... they did have cooking facilities including pots and pans.

Heading north around the penninsula as others have mentioned there are plenty of things to see. Giant Kauri trees, water gardens, arty places such as Coromandel Town, nice beaches such as Cooks Beach, Hahei, and Hot Water Beach. At Whangamata you can also head up the Wentworth Valley for some short hikes.
Further south Between Waihi and Paeroa there are some very interesting hikes and a small museum displaying relics from the gold rush here. There's also a nice old pub. At the very northern end of Waihi Beach is a great Top 10 Holiday Park, with the beach at your doorstep, swimming pool, and a fantastic running trail northwards along the coast. The further you go the better it gets if you don't mind heights!
Mt Maunganui at Tauranga, is one of NZ's premier beach spots. A jog around 'The Mount' is quite scenic, as is the main beach!

Rotorua has plenty to do as Marcus can point you to, from great hikes, the Luge, Wildlife Parks, Maori Cultural Shows, Volcanic Geology, Mountain Biking, Agricultural Farm Shows etc...

Kerosine Creek can't be much of a secret, I've also been there.

Taupo is another great place, my fav town. If you wan't something a little different take a boat trip to the Western Bays of Lake Taupo, an overnight trout fishing tour will be a bit expensive but very memorable. Don't miss Taupo Hot Springs about 1km up the Napier - Taupo highway. Best to visit in the evening when a warm swim is more relaxing, or to sooth your sore body after a long days hiking. You can do White water rafting trips on the Tongariro River from Turangi at the southern end of Lake Taupo. These are not extreme but scenic.

Tongariro crossing, yeah. If you simply havn't got the time there are some shorter walks from the park Information Centre although not anywhere near as dramatic.

During the O Carnival the events around Hamilton are very close to the Waitomo caves, definately worth a visit, the more adventurous can do blackwater rafting, abseiling etc. Save your pennies if you're keen to do this stuff. My family are planning to stay at the nearby 'Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park' during the Hamilton stage although it is not where many will be staying.

So there is more than enough to do, too much in fact for a short visit to our little country. The orienteering tour itself should provide plenty of scenery and entertainment, you'll more than likely need a recovery holiday when you get home if you try to do too much.

Hopefully your trip will give you a taste of NZ and you'll want to come back for more, and keep our South Islanders from feeling left out, by comming to The 2009 Oceania Carnival around Christchurch. Of course you will have to go via the wonderfull, sunny Hawkes Bay and capital city Wellington where there are many fine O maps and adventures to be had!

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 7 December 2007, 1:10 PM  
We recommnd the following accommodation for during the O carnival

Show Profile  Cristina Posted: 7 December 2007, 5:19 PM  
Wow, thanks for all the suggestions, you guys rock.

I'm already feeling like the trip's not long enough. I'll have to do some poking around with all this info and start planning. I'm sure I'll have more questions later...

Show Profile  addison Posted: 8 December 2007, 3:09 AM  
talk it up

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 8 December 2007, 11:23 AM  
Coromandel Peninsula and Te Urewera have already been mentioned, but as a former resident of both places I can add a bit more detail ... and bias.

Coro: Some nice walks around Thames have already been mentioned, the west side of the Peninsula north of Thames has some great coastal scenery but no "attractions" as such until Coromandel township. The east side of the peninsula is overdeveloped, but there's a few amazing spots like Cathedral Cove and a point north east of Whitianga that I've forgotten the name of right now but could find out, so I won't advise missing it completely! Coromandel is by far the coolest town on the Peninsula (Colville, up the road a bit comes close, but I can't really call it a town), and it's north of here that things get really special (though the roads also get progressively less tourist or campervan friendly the further you go). Mt Moehau, Port Jackson to Stoney Bay walkway, views to the Barrier Islands and others, the odd spot of counter-culture, reasonable wildlife thanks to a few governmant and private conservation projects... and a couple of the bestest campsites in the country, including Waikawau Bay, a long long long perfect beach which at peak times has a knot of people at one end, a smaller knot of people at the other and is otherwise nearly empty.

Te Urewera - one of the last few large areas of wilderness in the North Island, so given that, you'd really need more than a couple of days to truly appreciate it. If you're into wildlife though, there's a major conservation effort going into the northern part of the park centred on the Waimana Valley inland from Whakatane (eastern Bay of Plenty) and this is one of the few relatively easily accessible places where you'll still find most of NZ's surviving forest bird species, including kokako (The World's Most Amazing Songbird). An early morning (as in starting pre-dawn!) walk from the Waimana Valley up to the Otamatuna ridge is one of the few almost garanteed ways of hearing these guys in action. One small catch - the Waimana Valley access road is occasionally a victom of political tension! Other accessible kokako populations are near Rotorua - Marcus might know something of Kaharoa and Manawahe...

And a further suggestion, tell your bosses, loved ones, teachers, whatever that you won't be back home until sometime after Easter (NZ Champs time) which will give you a few more weeks to follow up all these great suggestions, and we might even let Jenni and Bloomberg tell you about the South Island then!

Show Profile  Cristina Posted: 4 January 2008, 4:36 PM  
Okay, a bit of a different question this time. Any suggestions on where to buy a couple of s. hemisphere compasses when we get to NZ? Apparently they're tough to get over here...

Show Profile  Greig Posted: 4 January 2008, 9:14 PM  
Michael from Mapsport will almost certainly be at Waitangi Carnival for a list of what he has and prices.

Otherwise if you are in Christchurch I know Mapworld have thumb compasses. They are more expensive than Mapsport though.

If you are looking for a normal compass (ie not thumb compass) then most outdoor stores will have them. Bivouac is a national chain which is in most of the major centres.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 5 January 2008, 7:39 PM  
Confirming that The MAPsport Shop will be operating at the Waitangi Carnival. Our objective is to open an hour before the first start time. I look forward to meeting you, Michael Wood




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