Volume VIII, No. 4
DESTINATION: NEW ZEALAND
(from Nautilus News)
Imagine: A wonderful and unspoiled land where there's plenty to see and plenty to do...A land of remarkable contrasts - subtropical and primeval forests, tranquil lakes, golden sand beaches, bubbling mud pools and thermal geysers, snow covered mountains, ancient glaciers, majestic fiords and more. And always friendly and welcoming people.
New Zealand is one of the world's major island groups, stretching approximately 1000 miles across the South Pacific Ocean. The North Island and South Island make up an area similar to that of the United Kingdom or the state of Colorado. The climate ranges from sub- tropical in the far north summer to the arctic of a Southern Alps winter. Summers are rarely uncomfortably hot. The seasons are reversed from ours, with December, January and February being the summer months.
New Zealand has a low population compared to other countries of a similar size. Discovered about 1000 years ago, it was settled principally by British traders in the late 1700's. It still retains its British heritage.
There is also a riches of Maori heritage. Most Maori people can trace descent from the chiefs of Hawaiki who sailed to the islands of New Zealand in ocean- going sailing canoes.
Sometimes called "the worlds biggest farm', New Zealand is known for the quality and quantity of its agricultural produce. It is also a land of sheep farms. it has clean air and unpolluted waters which has helped lead to tourism becoming the country's biggest single foreign exchange earner.
Leading North Island resorts are Rotorua, a center of Maori culture and Wairakei in the Lake Taupo area. This island also has the city of Auckland, the capital of the country. On the South Island most tourist centers are close to the snow-covered Southern Alps.
RIDE A HARLEY
OR A MERCEDES WITH A KIWI
Design your own personalized tour of New Zealand with the help of a professional Kiwi guide. Michael Hood of New Zealand International Umited creates tailor- made luxury tours of the country. Mercedes Benz automobiles and Harley-Davidson motorcycles replace traditional packed minibuses.
You'll stay at the renowned Huka Lodge and other top-of-the-line hotels. Or, if you desire a more exciting, nontraditional setting, Hood will arrange for you to stay on a rarely visited native Maori Marae (tribal village).
Prices start at NZ$500 (US$325) for one to four people, including tax, 24-hour service and use of a Mercedes Benz during the entire trip. Contact Michael Hood, New Zealand International Ltd, 19 Windsor St., Parnell, Auckland, NZ Tel. (64-9)377-3677, fax (64-9)377-3678.
FIFTY AND LOVING IT
from New Zealand Herald
Overseas exchange stays are no longer limited to those breaking through puberty. Gerri Peev caught up with some active senior citizens.
Lynne and Duede (he calls himself Dude) McDonald from Hollister, California, have been hard to get hold of. They're playing golf, tramping in the Waitakeres, or sailing to Rakino, where Lynn went swimming for the first time in 21 years.
The only minor travel problem encountered by them has been the re-routing of their luggage to London. The only cultural incongruencies have been to do with language. "Panelbeater" is a tough one.
Seniors Abroad is an organisation founded by one-time geriologist Evelyn Zivetz. While she was on business in Japan, the locals asked how Americans could stay so active well into their twilight years.
Zivetz decided to end those queries and organised overseas exchanges for those aged over 50 in Japan, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Thirty-four Americans were dispatched around New Zealand last week as part of an exchange programme.
And sometimes the Kiwis are interested in Seniors Abroad. New Zealanders Ron and Betty Otter were greeted by a CNN film crew on arrival at Los Angeles Airport.
The immediate onslaught of cameras was a shock, but the crew became part of the Otters' lives for two days.
The Otters stayed with hosts, all of whom were over 50, in San Diego, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. Betty found that few Americans knew anything about New Zealand. She recalls one experience in a "posh" country club, where the MC introduced a choir singing international songs: "And now we go to Australia, home of the koala bear, kangaroo and kiwi."
American seniors over here have two home- stays with voluntary New Zealand hosts, the only criterion being an over-5O age limit. Before exploring Australia, the American party will meet up in Queenstown for a tour of Doubtful Sound and a sail down Lake Te Anau.
Lesley Harrison recalls one wheelchair-bound American lady who refused to go on that tour because she'd seen umpteen fiords in her life. When the rest of the party returned after what they had felt was an adventure, the 70-year-old told them she'd spent the afternoon white-water rafting instead.
Dear KIWIphile FILE:
Following is a short piece on immigrating to New Zealand. There were some inaccuracies in your last newsletter on immigration. I cannot guarantee that my information is any better but it can give people a better idea of what is involved in immigration.
I am here with my husband and 17 year old son. My husband got a job building a large fiberboard plant in the South Island town of Gore. My son is attending high school here in Auckland. I am a teacher and have a job offer but cannot work until we obtain residency. We enjoy your newsletter and use a lot of the material in our exploration of our new home.
Rosalie O'Donnell, Auckland
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON
IMMIGRATING TO NEW ZEALAND
My husband, 17 year old son and I are currently applying for permanent residency in New Zealand. I have been gathering papers and filling out forms for months. During that time the application form itself has undergone 3 major changes and 1 minor change. The qualifications change weekly. The rules are subject to change at any moment. It is a process that is tiresome and frustrating. I can't guarantee that the following rules will be applicable when you read this but it will give you a better idea of what you are about to undertake when you decide to apply for residency.
Residency is a desirable state for ex-pats (what Americans living abroad are called). Residency gives you the freedom to work without applying for a work permit every two
(please see page 10) makes it much more difficult for those of us who would like to live and work in this beautiful country.
We finally hired an immigration consulting firm to help us with the paperwork. Their advice was excellent but very expensive. The New Zealand immigration staff are most helpful and courteous but face policies that change from week to week. A point system is still being used with points awarded for university degrees, work experience, a job offer in New Zealand, age (most points go to 25-29 year olds), a spouses qualifications, and settlement funds of $100,000 or $200,000NZ. Funds are not required but can add up to 2 points. Under the Business Investment Category more points can be awarded for bringing in up to $3 millionNZ. Funds must be transferred in at the time of your application, not before. In addition to points, applicants must have proof of English language capability, have a police clearance from each country lived in, medical examinations including blood and urine tests and chest x- rays. Birth certificates, college degrees and all documents must be certified by a notary. The "pass mark" varies weekly although has remained fairly steady at 25 since Feb. 1, 1996. Applicants who do not meet the pass mark are no longer placed in a "pool" from which names are drawn. There are many other ins and outs of the process. This short paragraph does not begin to explain the entire procedure. There are also categories for family members and humanitarian applicants (from countries with human rights or political problems).
It has been a long and involved process with no guarantee that we will succeed. Many people we meet want to come and live in New Zealand but are not aware of the difficulties that face them. I will let you know if we are accepted. We expect to hear in 2 to 3 months. Should you do it? Absolutely. Living and working in a country is in no way comparable to being a tourist. It is challenging, thrilling, scary and exciting.
For more information write: New Zealand Immigration Service, P. 0. Box 3705, Wellington, NZ.
HERITAGE INNS. GUIDED HIKES AND STAR GAZING - From New Zealand Herald
History and a room for the night? That's the idea behind the collection of New Zealand Heritage Inns. The 28 properties scattered around New Zealand are historically significant and offer bed and breakfast accommodation.
The inns range from homesteads to small hotels. Others, like Willow Cottage in Wanaka, offer separate accommodation. Owners Roy and Kate Summers have decorated their rooms in colonial period furnishings to complement the 100-year-old cob building.
Many inns are in cities, including Taiparoro House in Tauranga and Auckland's Peace and Plenty Inn
in Devonport. The Historic Places Trust lists some of them.
Or contact: Bruce Hyland, Peace and Plenty Inn, 6 Flagstaff Tce, Devonport, Auckland. Willow Cottage: Maxwell Rd., Mt. Barker, Wanaka.
Some of the best sightseeing can be done in the dark. Or so Tekapo Tours reckons when it takes people to some of the country's best stargazing areas.
Company director Hideyuki Ozawa conducts the tours in English and Japanese. Visitors staying in Tekapo are taken to the St. Johns Observatory, site of much of the country's research into astronomy. Those staying at Mt. Cook visit St. Peters Lookout near Lake Pukaki. Details:
Tekapo Tours, Box 8, Lake Tekapo, NZ.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND
If you have a small group (8-16) interested in traveling to New Zealand but don't care for the run-of-the- mill BUS tour, please contact me. I have been visiting New Zealand for ten years and can help you plan a trip that is truly exceptional, is designed around what you like to do and how you like to travel. Because the groups are small, there is a lot of flexibility and we are able to spend time with local host families.
I have available an hour and a half presentation using slides, video and music that showcases the beauty and diversity of New Zealand. If you live in Western Oregon and are interested in booking this presentation for your group or club please call me, Judy Miller, at 541-998-5327 or write Next Stop New Zealand, 92772 Sovern Place, Junction City, OR 97448
TEN YEARS LATER - by Judy Miller
September marks the 10th anniversary of my first trip to New Zealand and falls just 4 months after the completion of my 10th trip.
Maybe it is perspective, maybe familiarity, but during my last visit in February I realized that somehow this trip was different. I did not purchase my airplane tickets until just two weeks prior to departure, actually slept the night before leaving and on the plane, wept when I arrived instead of when I left and all of a sudden understood that New Zealand and my friends there were now a regular part of my life. It is interesting and not inexpensive to have lives in two hemispheres, but definitely worth the effort.
In many ways, New Zealand remains very much as I remember it being in 1986. Although I have quit looking at it through rose-colored glasses, I still find the view enchanting. The people are wonderful and friendly, the scenery beautiful, the exchange rate good, the crime rate low. There is still no tipping and you can drive for miles and never see another car. You can call the owner of a bed and breakfast whom you haven't spoken to in years and have her not only remember who you are, but in which room you usually stay. You can book a farm or home stay
and end up with friends for life.
It is far too late to have New Zealand remain a well kept secret so there have been changes as well. It is now remarkably simple to get there. At least two airlines have daily non-stops from Los Angeles to Auckland (no more Los Angeles, Honolulu, Fiji, Auckland routings unless that is really what you want to do.)
Transportation facilities including Auckland International Airport, the inter-island ferry terminals in both Wellington and Picton, Milford Sound Cruise terminal, and the train station in Christchurch have all undergone major renovations in the past few years. Several main routes including those into Milford Sound and over Haast Pass are now sealed.
Agriculture officials no longer come onto each arriving flight and spray disinfectants into the air before passengers deplane. Milk is still given when checking into motels but is more likely to be in a cardboard carton than a glass bottle these days. You can now go into a restaurant and order 7-Up (not lemonade) and catsup (not tomato sauce). You see an alarming number of Kentucky Fried Chicken (confession...my very first meal in New Zealand was a 3-piece, original recipe box of KFC), McDonalds and Pizza Hut restaurants. The most distinguishing feature of Auckland's skyline is Harrah's high rise gambling casino. On the other hand, you can now find good espresso drinks in most places of any size which is a good thing.
I have mixed feelings about most of the changes but know they are probably inevitable and some even desirable. I can't help hoping, however, that on my 75th birthday trip I can walk into the pub at Haast Junction and have the place go silent and every head turn because they aren't used to seeing non-locals. That I can walk late at night near Milford Sound under a full moon and listen to kiwi calls echoing across the water. That I can offer a taxi driver in Christchurch a tip and have it returned. That I can sit with friends in front of the fire at The Cow in Queenstown, drink a good bottle of wine while waiting for a table and not be asked to leave when we choose to make fools of ourselves. That I can look into the black southern hemisphere sky and still be amazed at the number and brilliance of the stars.
I hope that I will find that the things that shouldn't change haven't.
THE CINEMA IN NZ IS ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD - from Focus
While it may be celebrating its first centenary (the first public screening of motion pictures in New Zealand took place on Tuesday 13 October 1896 at the Opera House, Auckland), cinema is not old yet. The aim of the Centenary is to celebrate moving image heritage and culture in New Zealand, to ensure an awareness of the production and exhibition of film in this country and herald the second century of cinema.
A major part of the celebration of the Centenary is the stamp series produced by New Zealand Post.
When it premiered at Auckland's Lyric Theatre on 17 August 1914, Hinemoa became the first feature film to be made in this country. Produced by George Tarr on an initial budget of only 50 pounds, it was filmed over eight days in Rotorua by Charles Newham. The film starred Hera Tawhai Rogers as Hinemoa.
Between 1940 and 1970 there were only three locally produced dramatic feature films made in New Zealand and all were made by a Wellington company, Pacific Films, which almost single-handedly kept the idea of an independent film industry alive through these lean years. The first of their features was Broken Barrer, made in 1952 by Roger Mirams and John O'Shea, a poignant story of a Maori woman falling in love with a Pakeha man and "facing the challenge of prejudice!" The film starred Kay Ngarimu and Terence Bayler
The arrival on Waitangi Day 1980 of a yellow mini on screens around the country announced the first great popular success of the New Zealand film industry
--Geoff Murphy's wildly energetic and funny Goodby Pork Pie. The film starred Tony Barry and Kelly Johnson as two desperates in a stolen mini heading from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
No film however, provoked as much public and critical attention as Once Were Warriors, directed by Lee Tamahori in 1994. Nobody predicted it would be such an astonishing success -- it is devastating, violent and scary, but it was seen by a third of the New Zealand population, out-grossing even Jurassic Park and The Lion King at the box office.
All the films featured on these stamps are about New Zealand, by New Zealanders, and represent some of the excitement, richness and diversity of film making in New Zealand over the past one hundred years.
(If you wish to join the Stamp Collectors mailing list contact: Basil Umuroa, Manager Customer Services, Philatelic Bur., N.Z. Post Ltd, Private Bag 3001, Wanganui, NZ.)
NEWSPAPER BAFFLES INTERNET ADDICT from Hauraki Herald, NZ
"Most New Zealand towns are 50 years behind those in the United States."
Ngatea woman Carol Davey was amazed to see those words printed in a newspaper sent to her by an American Internet pal.
The High Point Enterprise article related 60- year-old Barbara Moore's trip to New Zealand--and Mrs. Davey found many of the traveller's assumptions "diabolical".
According to Mrs. Moore, all Christchurch houses have flower gardens, New Zealand is safe and there is no Saturday shopping because people are with their families.
Mrs. Davey was particularly amused by her
"discoveries" regarding washing clothes.
"The hotels have washers and dryers and clothes- lines. Even the affluent in New Zealand have no washers and dryers," Mrs. Moore told the newspaper reporter.
Mrs. Davey, a self-confessed e-mail addict, has been on the Internet two months.
She has made many friends on the net and the newspaper was sent by one of her correspondents who wanted to find out if the article was accurate.
"When I got into the interesting parts (of the article) I could not believe my eyes."
"What troubles me is that this lady is taking a series of travel classes."
Mrs. Davey is concerned the article may hurt New Zealand's reputation as a tourist destination.
"Either people are going to be fascinated by our pioneer spirit or it will damage our tourism."
Mrs. Davey is writing to the paper hoping to correct reader's misconceptions on New Zealand.
(Editor: I can understand why Mrs. Davey may have felt insulted or concerned, but can assure her that most visitors to New Zealand are charmed by and somewhat envious of Kiwi "backwardness". I hear many people say that New Zealand is like the US was 50 years ago. In many ways--wonderful ways--that's true, but then one sees so many Kiwis using cellular phones, and there are said to be more fax machines in NZ per capita than in any other country. It is a happy mixture, it seems to me. And, yes, most Christchurch homes have flower gardens, no matter how small. New Zealand is safe by American standards, and there's not a lot of Saturday shopping through most parts of the country. However, I've visited in many NZ homes and they all have washers and most have dryers.)
MOUNTAIN JET-SETTERS - by Nancy Cawley
Powering up the Dart River near Lake Wakatipu, in a jet boat brings a new meaning to the word gripping. Hands firmly clamped on the bar in front, eyes shut for the worst bits, I feel as though I am on a runaway aquatic roller coaster. The dramatic mountain scenery slips by unseen, the enthusiastic shouts of my eight companions go unheeded. I am concentrating on staying alive.
Now and again, Bill Cook, the driver and head of Wilderness Jet, turns with a smile to shout, "All OK?". Despite the inner turmoil, I smile back and give a thumbs up sign with the others.
After a while I even convince myself. Obviously we are in the hands of an expert. Bill's surging runs up the straight stretches of river, his slalom style turns around rocky islands, and his finely judged spins in tight corners, remind me he has been driving jet boats for 10 years.
The tension subsides. I begin to take an interest in the sparkle of the water, the wide grassy river flats, the bush sweeping up to distant peaks, the glimpses of high waterfalls. We pass another jetboat going down river. All of us whoop and wave. Look at us, look at us, we semaphore.
Aren't we clever? Aren't we intrepid? Only two commercial jetboat operators are able to work on the river, Wilderness Jet and Dart River Safaris.
I learn later that jet boat customers often go through a change of mood on the water. Before each excursion drivers discuss with passengers the type of trip they want, and gauge their reactions to a few spins and turns. (I feel grateful Bill saw me as a wimp-at-first-thrill-seeker- later. Without that initial rush of adrenaline, I wouldn't have found the rest of the trip so exhilaratingly euphoric.)
"Most people are not here for a thrill trip," says Bill. "A lot of them are parents with young children. They just want to cruise the river and look at the scenery."
Backpackers in the valley take the occasional ride with Wilderness Jet, when feet and/or enthusiasm give out. For others, the jet boat trip triggers an urge to see the Dart Valley on foot at a later date.
A big plus on the outing is the spacious scale of the valley. Nearer Queenstown, commercial jet boats operate on relatively enclosed, deeply gorged rivers. But the 40 mile long Dart River, draining glaciated peaks in the central Mount Aspiring National Park and flowing into Lake Wakatipu, has carved out a valley that is nearly a mile wide at its mouth with braided streams flowing between broad shingle islands.
High snowcapped mountains are set back on either side of the Dart Valley, a wilderness area of spectacular beauty. On the northern side is Mount Earnslaw (7,000 feet), the second highest mountain in the Park after 10,000 feet high Mount Aspiring. It is in this area that Bill has seen whitetail and red deer, and once, right out of its normal high altitude habitat, a lone chamois.
Past Chinaman's Bluff the valley narrows, with green forest flanks to the water's edge. The name of this landmark and others like Dredge Flat, reflect the valley's early gold prospecting history.
We stop three or four times for a commentary and look around. At Rockburn Pools there is time to go for a brief bush walk, swat a few sandflies and think about a swim in the dark green pools. A paddle in the snow fed water puts paid to the last idea.
We investigate one or two side streams which have carved out mini canyons for themselves, embraced by dark beech forest on either side, skipping up rocky rapids only a jet boat could handle.
The jet boat was invented by New Zealander Bill Hamilton in the 1950s, on his South Canterbury farm, Irishman's Creek. Today, the versatile shallow draught craft operate all over the world. This one is powered by a 350cc Chevrolet motor with three stage Hamilton jet units. The 260 horse power motor revs to 4000rpm and is capable of 50 miles an hour on flat water, but its usual cruising speed is a comfortable 35-40mph. Around 9 gal. of fuel is consumed on each two hour trip.
Our furtherest point up the river is Sandy Bluff, 150 yards above lake level. On the way back, a suspension bridge over a sidestream is pointed out to us - part of the popular four day
backpacking route that traverses the Dart and Rees Valleys. Tracks and huts are maintained by the Department of Conservation.
Both Bill Cook and his partner Wayne Johnston know these mountain valleys from years of shooting, fishing and backpacking. Perhaps this is why the trip feels like an exciting trip with good friends. There just hasn't been a commercial feel to the day.
Before the 45 minute trip back to Queenstown, we wind up in true Kiwi style with a beer at Glenorchy. We are all on a high, raving about the sights we've seen. I wonder if Bill feels the same. I ask him if Jet boating has become a ho hum experience. Does he still get a buzz? He looks around our crowded table with a smile. "I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't," he says.
For further information contact the New Zealand Tourism Board, 501 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite #300, Santa Monica CA 90401. Ph. (310) 395-7480 OR (800)388-5494.
NEW ZEALAND TRAVELERS
Excerpt from a letter from Alan Riegelman, Director of New Zealand Travelers: "Now my tenth season of running a tramping tour business is history and I'm home at Tealcot feeling quite unaccustomed to unlimited leisure time. It's turning out to be a time for some significant reflection and rumination on the winds of chance that brought me to New Zealand and a whole new life, full of adventure and new experiences.
So m sitting in my converted garage office in a quiet New Zealand river valley, listening to the river sing and glad of the company of Julia, my beautiful Yellow Lab, who is lying at my feet asleep in front of the heater. The quiet life, in a quiet, sparsely populated country certainty suits me. On reflection, the emergence of Vermont as an over-busy center of rampant tourism was probably the unrealized impetus for my expatriation here. I'm happy to write that I've never had even a nano- second's regret at coming here and staying here. It surely is my karma to be here'
My comfortable and beautiful home, Tealcot, has fully recovered from the horrendous flood of a year-ago last February 24th, though we had a cyclone come thru in September 1995 that dropped a 150' Radiata pine across the road and smashing my fence, a portion of the garden and just missing the house. What a mess! However, being a well-seasoned insurance manoeurver from the flood experience, I held out for big bucks (some 20 year old trees and shrubs literally bit the dust), and derived substantial incremental benefits from the event.
I'm off to AMERICA on the 28th of May to spend June and July manning my Shelbourne office and obtaining what I hope will be a plethora of customers. For some years I have entertained the fantasy of having to tell prospects to book for next season, because this season is TOTALLY SOLD-OUT! You never know Alan"
Publisher: Alan has a beautiful brochure ready to mail to those who feel backpacking, dayhiking or walking New Zealand Travelers style would be their thing.
The following is from Alan's brochure: For those who like to explore on foot, New Zealand is a wonderland of glaciers, fjords, endless beaches, rain forests, high mountains and rushing rivers--all features of the compact and accessible 600-mile-long South Island. Our small friendly 18-day tours for walkers and backpackers present an intimate look at this faraway land of almost mythical beauty, "Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud."
Our guests share a love of human-powered traveling; the exhilaration of hiking under their own power through a wild and ever-changing landscape and a warm relaxed glow of sitting down to a country-gourmet dinner after a day of exercise and fresh air. Some want the challenge of backpacking through the pristine wilderness. Others like to hike in exotic and spectacular places, but would rather dine without carrying the food on their backs, and prefer to spend the night in conventional lodgings. We offer both opportunities on the same tour.
As much as possible, we get off the beaten track and away from tourists. You visit the real New Zealand; overnighting in the private Kiwi homes of Alan's neighbors; staying for two days at a working high-country sheep station; eating New Zealand dishes home-cooked by our talented staff; wetting your whistle at the corner pub; learning Kiwi words; and in general getting the true feel of the country.
Learn more. Contact New Zealand Travelers, P.O. Box 605, Shelburne VT 05482.
800-362-2718, 802-985-8865, Fax 802-985-8501. Or "Tealcot", Teal Valley RD1, Nelson NZ. Phone/fax 64-3-545-1777.
ALL ABOARD - NEW ZEALAND
by pim Dodge, Tour Host and Lecturer
October 1995--We were up early to once more catch another flight--this time down to the North Island of New Zealand to the capital city of Auckland, and the pilot flew the plane over the erupting volcano so we could catch a glimpse of the ash and smoke spewing skyward. Our motel, the Quality Inn Roseland, is right across from the Auckland National Rose Gardens, but we are just a bit early to view this spectacular display of bloom. That evening it was dinner at the motel....absolutely a full house, crowded with some of the scores of Orientals who visit here, and some of us had to sit at a coffee table for our meal. We had such fun that again, some of the group were sorry they couldn't join us.
The next morning it was a trip to another museum--this time the National Museum of Auckland, and then a drive up Mt. Eden gave us a great view of the city and the harbor. We headed for TiAwamotu to meet our hosts for we would spend that evening soaking up local flavor, staying with them on farms. About four people stayed at each farm and in comparing notes the next morning found that we all fed young calves,
we all toured pastures, we all were served much too much food, including the national dessert Pavlova, and we all fell in love with the families we stayed with. This plan is very innovative and has brought nothing but raves from visitors to the country--while making money for some of the local people!
Sunday morning found us in Rotorua--one of my personal favorite spots, the home of the native Maori, the Polynesians who founded and settled New Zealand a few centuries ago. I LOVE their saying about the white man-- "You came to this country with a Bible and we had the land. You asked us to pray, we bowed our heads and closed our eyes. When we opened our eyes, we had the Bible and you had our lands." So very true and what has happened to these peoples is comparable to what was done to the American Indians. However, slowly but surely, land and other amenities have been restored and their culture will not die, but live.
Lunch that day (in Otorohanga) was in one of the most charming places I have ever been in. A dear couple built this home only 10 years ago, calling it Crosswinds-- to look at it you would swear it was centuries old, all of stone, even to the floors, and decorated like a castle of yore. They have the most beautiful gardens and pools and they served us a meal that I have never seen equaled. Lamb was featured, of course--local vegetables, homemade ice cream with blueberry sauce--and all of it served so beautifully. The ice cream was in ice bowls surrounded by flowers, the tea and coffee in a magnificent tea service, the coleslaw served in an enormous cabbage leaf, etc. Ambience that I cannot believe--and a memory which shall serve me always.
We explored the Glowworm Grotto at Waitomo Caves. Back in Rotorua we walked through Rainbow Springs wildlife parks and again enjoyed the flora and fauna.
Georgie Pies, comparable to our McDonalds, was much fun as we tried out their steak and kidney pies, chips (fries), etc. And walking around that delightful little town on the lake is wonderful. Never in my life have I met more friendly people, each one more willing to assist you or to simply chat. Even met a young policeman who had just made his first trip to the US and he wanted desperately to go back--to become a Los Angeles cop!!
That evening we attended a Maori hangi, the traditional, cooked in the thermal pool feast...venison, shrimp, Iamb, sweet potatoes (kumara), etc., etc., and again, of course, Pavlova, that fabulous meringue dessert filled with whipped cream and fruit.
After the hangi we were privileged to watch a spectacular show put on by Maoris--singing and dancing to their legendary native songs, wearing their native costumes. These proud people are keeping alive their traditions by teaching their young people the old ways and putting on these hangis each evening for the tourists.
We had attended an agricultural exhibition at the world-renowned Agrodome that afternoon--a young showman demonstrating sheep shearing and showing the various kinds of sheep and dogs in his country. Audience participation was encouraged and some of us milked cows, fed baby lambs and had our pictures taken with the sheep and dogs who were certainly well trained. They sat for a long time on the stage so we could do this.
Leaving Rotorua the next morning we stopped briefly at the lake to see the magnificent black swans-- feathers like velvet--and each of them honking and quacking, waiting for the inevitable breadcrumbs which are for sale everywhere. Up through the Manukau Hills we traveled through Hamilton and through the rolling countryside and back to our hotel in Auckland.
Twelve of our original group left us the next morning to return to the States and we flew from Auckland to Christchurch, the most English city outside of Great Britain, with its stone and gothic-style buildings, the willow-fringed River Avon, all of its beautiful parks, etc. Our afternoon was free to wander the city and a visit to a pub was in store for our group of what we affectionately came to call "17 nuns and a priest."
We left at 9 the next morning and since it was a beautiful day, we changed our itinerary and went by way of Mt. Cook--all snow-covered and absolutely breathtak- ing. Crossing the Canterbury Plains, we stopped in the town of Omarama for lunch, passing Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, and thru Burke's Terraces--to a gorgeous suite. The downstairs boasted a living room, dining area, kitchen, laundry, bath and outside patio, and the upstairs had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a sundeck overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the snow-covered peaks--absolutely the nicest hotel on the whole trip. Plenty of room so that night we threw a party and all 18 of us enjoyed the BYO drinks and the goodies which we had picked up in one of the local grocery stores. At the height of the party the doorbell rang and room service delivered a beautifully decorated, enormous tray of cheeses, crackers and fruits--compliments of the manager and staff!' (WE DO HAVE GREAT TIMES). There was even enough left over for the farewell party the following evening.
On Friday we drove to the gold mine town of Arrowtown which was most fascinating--a leftover from the mining days of the 1880s--very quaint, and once more, great shops. A stop at the gorge where bungie jumpers did their daring-do and then to the Skyline Gondolas for a trip up to the top, and some of the most breathtaking scenery we had ever seen.
A gale wind was blowing that day and for only the second time in history, they shut down the gondola ride and twelve of our group were stranded up on the mountain for about two hours.
The group had shopped downtown and had found an almost-life-sized kiwi bird which they presented to me as a gift. We decided to have a naming contest and since we had kidded about the 17 nuns and one priest traveling together, Doris
Lorenz won the contest with her name "Nunnery." She became our mascot and pictures were taken of her attending her first cocktail party, riding on the bus, flying, staying overnight with the bus driver (naughty-naughty), etc. The next day one of the gals purchased an egg for Nunnery!!
We had made arrangements to charter a couple of planes, and the next morning an excited group flew over to Milford Sound and the Southern Alps, and were fortunate enough, on the boat trip which was included, to view dolphins, seals, penguins and one of the most photographed areas of the world. This was indeed the highlight of the whole trip for almost everyone.
That afternoon was free, so much time was spent by everyone in the lovely little city of Queenstown--small, but becoming very tourist oriented. The hotel offered shuttle bus service, a food court featuring McDonald's, pizzas, Thai food, natural food, etc., etc. Here in town, we even found an arts and crafts fair going on and got some great buys.
The next morning found us heading for Omarama again where we once mere found lovely rooms at the Lodge there--and that evening another party--this time a farewell to the group.
We drove back to Christchurch through the Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass and the MacKenzie Plains, then along the coastline. We arrived in time to catch our plane back to Auckland.
It was with a sense of sorrow that we said goodby to everyone. We left Ken and Ida in Auckland to spend a week with their friends there, and the rest of us flew back to L.A. that evening.
It was a fabulously exciting, heart-warming adventure for all of us. We have wonderful memories which will last us a lifetime. We can recall any of the group members by simply bringing up those memories, and although we will never meet again together as a group--perhaps some- time, somewhere, we shall meet one more time.
****In speaking at various functions where I have been a keynoter, I am finding that the 1997 Australia-New Zealand trip is going to be a great one again. There is SO much interest being shown in that upcoming tour, and although the brochures will not be out for a few more months, I would appreciate your letting me know if you are interested in joining us.
We will be leaving from Los Angeles at the end of October or the beginning of November of 1997--when it is spring "down under" (or as THEY say, "up over"). All the flowers will be in bloom and the weather is ideal for touring. As you all know, it is one of my favorite tours, and we'll have an wonderful time.
Write to pim Dodge, P.O. Box 769, 649 Crystal Ave., Frankfort MI 49635, or call 616-352-6013.
ITEMS FROM THE INTERNET
Gloria Williams wrote: "I've seen this query from time to time in this news group so thought there might be some interest in the latest policy on animal importation
into NZ as documented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
"The main changes are: quarantine for dogs and cats can now take place within NZ instead of outside the country (Hawaii for instance) and the quarantine period is 30 days instead of 6 months. Your animal needs to be microchipped and there is a very stringent set of tests and treatments for diseases such as rabies, heartworm, parvo, distemper, etc. which must be administered and verified by an accredited veterinarian. Travel to NZ from the country of origin must be in an LATA approved container which is sealed with a government approved seal. Animals must be from countries which have declared themselves rabies-free, or countries which NZ recognises as not having urban rabies or it is well contained. (Canada and US fall into this latter category).
"These are the basic changes. To see if your animal will qualify for the new procedure, obtain the complete information package and the import health permit application from the Chief Veterinary Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, P.O. Box 2526, Wellington NZ.
FOUR WEEKS IN NEW ZEALAND (FIT)
By Frank Brunner, Rancho Bernardo CA
My fascination with international travel stems back to growing up in England with my American born parents. My father worked in the U.K. prior to World War II. I had the good fortune to travel extensively with them, and quickly learned that a holiday was a great deal more interesting if one spent some time learning all he could about the places to be visited before the trip started. I still practice that today. Our trip to NZ was planned to be a self-drive four week adventure through the North and South Islands from March 3rd to 28th. A stick shift model was chosen for reasons of economy, and the choice of Maui Rental cars enabled us to drive the car right onto the ferry at Wellington to reach Picton on the South Island.
We started at Auckland and drove 5,200km during this period with a Toyota Corolla. I arranged most of the places to stay prior to Leaving home by corresponding with our friends Don and Tish Graham (who we met on a Blue Lagoon Cruise in the Yasawa Islands near Fiji in 1991). They own a 2,000 acre farm on the South Island near Parnassus. Their son-in- law As a travel agent in Christchurch. We opted to stay at 3- star travel lodges or motor inns with "efficiencies" being the norm. Average cost per night came to about NZ$104 including taxes. We ate all meals out although it would have been very possible to eat some in our room.
We drove on some of the best roads we have ever seen to each of the following places: we visited Don's brother's brand new 3,600 sq. ft. house in Kerikeri (North Island), stayed at Don's "summer bach" for two nights in Kaiteriteri (South Island), flew a chartered Cessna out over Great Mercury Island (No. Isi.) from Whitianga, took another Cessna up and over the still smoking Mt. Ruapehu near Lake Taupo (No.Isl.), flew a third Cessna (equipped with skiis) up and around Mt. Cook and landed on the Tasman Glacier (a 55 min. trip). We managed to visit both Milford and Doubtful Sounds.
On Doubtful Sound we even had the pleasure of photographing the replica of Capt. Cooks' ship while underway heading out to sea while on an anniversary celebration.
The places we visited were numerous and each offered something unique in terms of scenery and excitement. I'll run through them in the sequence in which we traveled and briefly mention the highlights for each.
Auckland: Tarleton's Antarctica Exhibit is outstanding. Kerikeri: the fastest growing residential community in New Zealand. Cape Reinga: famous for its bus tours along the so-called 90-mile beach which is really 65 miles long. Pahia and the Bay of Islands: probably most famous for the boat trips out to the "Hole in the Rock". Whitianga: at the northeast corner of the remote Coromandel Peninsula, world renowned for its world-class fishing. Lake Taupo: a beautiful lake site and the only McDonalds Restaurant with its own DC-3 that you can eat in. Mt. Ruapehu (which erupted in Sept. 1995): easily reached from Taupo and best seen from the air. Napier: an important wine growing area and major East Coast (No.Isl.) port for wool product exports. Wellington: capital and modern new city built on earthquake prone land ravaged earlier in this century.
Ferry from Wellington to Picton: a pretty voyage as long as the weather is nice and the sea is calm which it was for us. Nelson: blessed with a mild climate and lots of new residential construction underway. Kaiteriteri: a favorite with locals for summer vacations and many small beaches. Abel Tasman National Park: a superb park for recreation including hiking. It is served also by water taxis from Kaiteriteri. Lewis Pass: site of lots of natural wonders including a river that disappears into the earth. "Waingaro" (our friends' ranch): here we attended a dedication party for a brand new 15-station sheep shearing shed, got a close-up view of how sheep dogs are able to masterfully move sheep with only whistle and voice commands and saw first-hand how a large rach is managed.> Don and Tish raise sheep and Simmental cattle. He is president of the Simmental Cattle Assn.
Arthur's Pass: this was one of the most challenging parts of the trip since we encountered heavy rain as we drove through the Otira Gorge heading down to the West Coast. Hokitika: this small town is right on the beach but heavy rain marred this overnight stop, too. Franz Josef and Franz Josef Glacier:
with the weather beginning to clear (we had only two days of rain on the whole trip), we drove to the base of the glacier to see it but also enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Franz Josef Hotel within sight of the glacier.
Cardrona Pass: this road is marked on maps as a shortcut to Queenstown, but it is not supposed to be used by rental cars and especially campers (gravel road and extremely winding at the south end.)
Queenstown: most touristy of all the towns in this country, but very pretty location on a vast lake. The Skyline Aerial Tramway (not the restaurant) is a must. Arrowtown: an old gold mining town with a lot of character to it. Coronet Peak: largely known by locals as a favorite place to ski in the winter, but always a superb site from which to view the local mountain scenery.
TeAnau: primarily a town from which to reach Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound: reached by road through the Homer Tunnel (the day we drove there the tunnel was blocked by an eager trucker who tried to haul a large concrete pipe through the tunnel which got stuck inside). We did greatly enjoy the fjord-like scenery once we got to the Sound. Doubtful Sound: not at all well known, this fjord is the site where a major underground power station (which you can visit and photograph) has been built in recent years. It rivals Milford Sound, but requires an all-day trip to reach it from TeAnau.
Omarama: primarily known as a stopping place enroute to Mt. Cook, it is the site of some one million- year-old clay cliffs that reminded us of our own Badlands in the U.S. Mt. Cook: the highest mountain in New Zealand which is in the heart of the Alps and is truly spectacular to see in clear weather, which we were very fortunate to have. The hotel called the Hermitage is located here, and from our room we had a great view of Mt. Sefton and Mt. Cook.
We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary at Mt. Cook with the flight up to Tasman Glacier and around all of the adjacent peaks. It was very exciting. Geraldine Township (near Christchurch): site where we finally managed to film sheep shearing close-up in a private session with the farmer. Christchurch: this city is blessed with many beautiful gardens, including its famous Botanical Garden on the Avon River. We went punting (boating) on this river as well.
Concluding this commentary on a truly memorable vacation, it would be unfair not to mention the delightful nature of the New Zealand people. It is easy to understand why are so outgoing because their philosophy is that they like progress but do not like many of the things they see going on elsewhere around the world.
New Zealand is a land where you see cellular telephones and Victorian houses both in the same vicinity. It is hard to forget that they don't accept tipping and maintain the finest roads we have ever seen. All you have to do is to remember to keep to the left!!! We feel fortunate to have documented this entire trip on 35mm color slides and Hi8 video tape. Both programs are being edited for showing to audiences in the near future.
(Frank can be reached on America Online at FCB PLX.)
We noticed in your KIWIphile issue of March 1996, that under the heading of LETTER BOX, Mr. John T. McWhorter of California was anxious to contact Clive and Beverley Kingsbeer.
Well, their address is as follows: Clive and Beverley Kingsbeer
Allenby Grove, Makaraka
Gisborne, New Zealand
Phone 06 868 1448
Clive and Beverley are members of our Voluntary Host Program, and have always been most willing to welcome overseas visitors to their home and encourage international friendship.
Of course if John T. McWhorter is in the Auckland area and would like to meet one of our volunteer hosts there, then I hope he and any other visitor will call us and we can arrange a home visit.
Polly Ring, 775 Riddell Road, Glendowie, Auckland Ph. 575-6655
Thanks for reminding me of my renewal.
In September I spent 3 weeks in NZ and thoroughly enjoyed all the places visited. Visited with a friend I had met previously in Firenze. He and his family have a small motel on the beach "Monty's Place. (The Monty McGougan Family, 18/2 West End, Ohope, NZ. Tel/fax 07 312 5665).
This was my 3rd visit to New Zealand and I would love to live there for a short time during the spring and summer periods.
There is so much good to say about New Zealand and I tell others they should make NZ a MUST SEE vacation.
Jim Fleming, Fort Worth, TX
You may recall that we were subscribers for some years, but when my wife became ill in 1994 (she passed away in Feb. '95) we had to suspend our B&B home hosted operation.
Indeed looking back in my file of past copies I'm most interested to see the number of your correspondents who stayed with us: Kitty Baier of Anaheim, Allan and Martha (the A&M Team), etc., etc.
Whilst we, because of Sheila's illness, had to drop out of the 1995 NZ B&B Book and I did not feel it appropriate to re-enter the '96 edition, I do take guests here, being careful to explain that I am on my own now. Most are guests that have previously stayed with us, and returning on a second or third visit, or contacting me on recommendation from other guests, or simply using old directories.
Now that I have a fax, communication is easier and quicker on many occasions.
I have found the company continues to be interesting and good therapy!
My youngest son, previously a stockbroker in Auckland, late last year purchased an interest in and is now running the Hollyford Guided Walk in Fiordland.(see below).
He is leaving on a NZ Tourism Board promotion this weekend to 5 cities in the USA , and I have suggested he give you a phone call whilst at LAX.
He is interested in subscribing to your publication, so I enclose a cheque for US$30, which I think is the 2- year overseas rate. I hope to have access to his copy from time to time to keep up with your most interesting publication.
John D. Rose, Pineapple Cottage
27 Shipherds Ave., Epsom
Auckland 1003, NZ
Phone and Fax (09) 630 3542
WILDERNESS LODGE OVERNIGHTER
Hollyford Valley Walk, Martins Bay, Fiordland
A unique wilderness experience ideal for those delighted by nature and intrigued by history.
Includes: magnificent scenic flight Queenstown- Martins Bay and return; comfortable lodge accommodation and excellent meals (dinner & breakfast); virgin rainforest and coastal vegetation; guided walk to see the rare and endangered Seal and Penguin colonies at Long Reef--optional boat return.
Small tour numbers allow the Hollyford Valley Walk to guarantee you a unique and personalised wilderness experience. NZ$395 per adult.
Phone 03 442 3760 Fax 03 442 3761 (or freephone within NZ: 0800 832 226).
CORRECTION - from page 2
We regret an error in the article on immigrating to New Zealand. At the bottom of the first column it should read: Residency gives you the freedom to work without applying for a work permit every two years. I also believe that it shows our adopted country that we are serious about making a commitment to this place and the people here. Immigration numbers in New Zealand have been rapidly increasing since 1991. Prior to that there was actually a net population decrease each year from the number of New Zealanders going overseas to live and work. Now that the number of immigrants is visible, up to 54,000 in 1995, there are many here who think the doors should be closed. Xenophobia does exist as New Zealanders see their lifestyle being sought out by people from all ovei the world. The greatest number of immigrants come from Northern Asia with England and Europe close behind. The government is trying hard to deal with this problem but it makes it much more difficult for those of us who would like to live and work in this beautiful country. (My apologies to Ms. O'Donnell).
NEWZGRAM - the News Aerogramme of New Zealand
(Newzgram is a four page news aerogramme produced twice a month for Kiwis living abroad (and those of us who live elsewhere but love NZ). For more information or a free sample, write to Newzgram P0 Box 3882, Christchurch NZ, Ph. 0-3-377 1335, Fax 0-3-377 1248.) From Newzgram: People visiting NZ from overseas are being urged by fruitgrowers not to smuggle plant material into the country. The call follows the discovery of three fruit flies thought to have entered the country on a piece
of fruit smuggled through Auckland Airport. Fruitgrowers Federation president Ron Becroft says "one careless act could endanger NZs $1.4 billion horticulture industry." He wants the Government to boost spending on border surveillance, which he says has not kept pace with the increase in tourists and trade.
From Newzgram: A new range of bread containing micronutrients which have helped restrict heart disease among Eskimos has been launched in New Zealand. North's Extra Bread contains Omega 3, which has been discovered in rich quantities in Arctic fish. NZ nutritionist Dr. John Birkbeck says Omega 3 is important for the development of babies' nervous systems and eyesight in the months before and after birth: "On the strength of the medical research which continues to be published on the subject, it gives children new hope against the risk of asthma, and all of us another important shield against heart disease."
From Newzgram: New Zealand has been named as one of five countries impeding progress on an international programme to prevent climate change. The independent London-based Verification and Technology Information Centre says efforts to agree on specific targets for greenhouse gas reductions are being "largely thwarted" by Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia and NZ.
From Newzgram: Strong stomachs were required by entrants in Otago University's inaugural Kiwi Olympics, held as part of orientation celebrations. Preliminary events included inflatable sheep throwing, Kiwi dropkicking (using a stuffed bird) and gumboot-sculling. The finale was a Kiwi cuisine quadrathIon, which included eating live huhu grubs, a plate of tripe and a pavlova, washed down with a glass of tomato sauce.
From Newzgram: Waste disposal workers displayed their skills in Dunedin's inaugural Classic Dustmen's Derby Events included wheelie bin and rubbish bag relays, a compactor truck race and a rubbish bag fling. Organisers say it was a lot of fun, and they hope to repeat the event next year.
From Newzgram: An American tourist celebrated her 80th birthday by becoming the oldest person to bungy jump from a helicopter in Queenstown. The A.J.Hackett bungy company has invited her back to celebrate her 90th birthday.
From Newzgram: Conservation news from New Zealand's Forest and Bird Protection Society is now available on the Internet. The Society hopes eventually to extend the service to offer membership and mail order products.
READERS - Please send in articles and letters for the next issue. I need them by August first. Thank you.