Category Archives: New Zealand

Three Great Tourist Attractions in Auckland

When you combine outstanding, picturesque scenery with one of the most vibrant cities in the country, you are left with the outstanding concoction that is Auckland. A place of outstanding contrasts a series of adventures to undertake, the largest city in New Zealand is home to more than 1.5 million people. As well as this, Auckland is the largest Polynesian city on the planet.

The entire city is built around the scenery, meaning you can go from the busy streets and bustling city-life to the beautiful country walks and hiking trails. With an excellent nightlife and a huge amount of enjoyable restaurants to fit your tastes, Auckland has all of the great attractions you need to create a real tourist trap.

Mix in the charming climate and the unique atmosphere within Auckland, and you are left with one of the most enjoyable locations to visit in the country. The most diverse city in New Zealand has a real amount of great tourist attractions you absolutely must visit.

Water Tours

The Auckland waters are truly outstanding and you can be there in just a few moments from central Auckland. You can take on cruises on a classic style yacht, and even charter one if you have the experience. You can go and visit the local mammals, with local eco-safaris taking place every day. You can also take part or just enjoy the spectacle of the America’s Cup Racing Yacht Tournament.

As well as this, you can take the ferry to Devonport and enjoy a far more rustic stay than the bustling life in Auckland. You can even visit the gun emplacements in North Head, which are well worth seeing if you wish to see truly outstanding pieces of firepower.

Hauraki Gulf

The Hauraki Gulf is right on the doorstep of Auckland, and plays host to a wide variety of truly outstanding natural islands. Visit the summit of Rangitoto, a huge volcano island in the middle of the Gulf. You can visit on a Kayak, and enjoy a casual paddle across to the island.

As well as this, you can take in an exquisite wine tasting class on Waiheke Island, enjoy a swim near Motuihe Island and see the outstanding Mansion House which is situated on Kawau Island. Mansion House was once the home of Governor George Gray.


The Sky Tower

The Sky tower is an insane 328 meters high, with glass fronted lifts all the way to the top. With this, you can take in some of the most outstanding views you will see your whole time here in Auckland. You even do the Sky Walk or the Sky Jump, which are truly outstanding and thrilling activities to take part it.

The Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in the country, and offers a full view at the top. With 80 kilometers in every direction, you can really take in the beauty that is New Zealand.

There are many brilliant places to come and visit in New Zealand, and Auckland has many more awesome tourist attractions. If you are planning on visiting, then make sure that you have the opportunity to do just that!

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The top 5 sports in New Zealand

Reflecting upon its British Colonial heritage, New Zealand has a very British-centric sports feel to it. The most popular sports are Rugby Union, Cricket, Netball, Rugby League and Cricket. Water sports are also very popular, as well as the likes of golf, tennis, netball and soccer.

New Zealand regularly compete in international tournaments in all kinds of sports, from the Olympics to the FIFA World Cup. But what are the most popular sports in New Zealand?

Cricket

Cricket is the national sport of the New Zealand summer, and is one of the ten countries which competes in Test Match Cricket. Although not as widely followed as the likes of Rugby, New Zealand has a strong cricket following and support. A large percentage of the population take a deep interest in the international cricket scene, and the country has been involved since the 1930s.

Traditionally one of the powerhouses of the sport, they have yet to lift the World Cup in the Men’s game.

Rugby League & Rugby Union

New Zealand and rivals Australia make up two of the real powerhouses of the Rugby scene, but unlike Australia, in New Zealand the dominant form of Rugby is Rugby Union. The Rugby League scene in the country is almost all semi-professional or amateur, and it does not enjoy a glittering profile amongst locals.

The national side has competed in the Rugby League World Cup since the 1950s, and they won the last World Cup in 2008, for the first time ever. Rugby Union, however, is considered the national sport of the country. A massive part of national heritage and identity, it takes in the biggest attendances by far.

The All Blacks are a much feared team in Rugby Union, and are the most successful team in Rugby Union history.

Soccer

Although not a massive sport at the moment, interest has been keenly growing in recent years, following the national team’s impressive showings at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they impressed in a group including perennial challengers Italy. In fact, New Zealand ended that World Cup, the only one they have been at other than 1982, as the only unbeaten side, going out in the groups despite not losing a group match.

Although attendances in the local championships are not great, there is a growing following for teams abroad and it is currently the most popular and biggest participated sport for boys and girls aged 5-17.

Horse Racing

Horse Racing is a slightly different style of sport, but it is nonetheless enjoyed massively in New Zealand, attracting regularly large crowds. New Zealand has been the breeding ground of some of racings finest steeds, and has a variety of Melbourne Cup triumphs to it’s name.

 

New Zealand sportsmen and jocket Mark Todd was chosen as the Horseman of the Century, having won a litany of medals and trophies in his career, most recently a Bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

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Stay warm with a Heat Pump in Auckland

Winter has come and gone, and spring is now here. Despite that though, New Zealand has faced one of the worst spring cold snaps on record. Instead of welcoming in sunshine and picnics, we were given a rude hello to September with the onslaught of an extreme storm. As a result, the weather went down and people began to pull out there old, expensive heaters. I highly recommend you ditch that though in favour of heat pumps for auckland – efficient and cheaper. I’ve always been a strong proponent of heat pumps, and here is why.

Reason #1: They Save Our Environment

Humanity has already left a nasty footprint all over the planet with its use of cars, rivers and landfills. The least we can do is give back a little – especially in New Zealand. Why? Well, New Zealand arguably needs its environment the most. We make so much money through our tourism trade, and our tourism is literally dependent on having nice scenery. Heat pumps are a really efficient form of heating, and use a tiny amount of electricity. Throw away those fireplaces and embrace modern technology, people.

Reason #2: They are Cheap and Save Money

Come on lets face it – who likes spending money on electricity? NOT ME. I like using it but I don’t like spending money on it. When I buy some nice dinner, it tastes good. When I buy a new shirt, it looks good. When I pay my electricity bill… I get no immediate gratification, except for the fact that I know I can go turn on a lightbulb, and it will work. So, if there is any way I can find to lower my electricity bill, I usually try to do that. And there are some really great tips out there for how to do that, actually. But for now, one of the ways I do that is through my heat pump.

Reason #3: They are super warm and cozy

Everyone loves sitting in front of fire places. Nothing makes you feel more warm and cozy. But here is the thing. Fireplaces feel lovely… when you are in that room, right in front of it. The heat does not distribute well around the room. Instead, it all clumps into one place – which is exactly what you DON’T want! For a nice warm house, you want the warmth to distribute through multiple rooms. Heat pumps don’t do that specifically unless you purchase a ducted one, but what they do do is fill the whole room with warmth – increasing chances of it flowing throughout the house. In short, they keep you warmer and while don’t have the same “feel-good” factor, are much better.

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Auckland Farmers Market

If you are sick of eating sprayed up vegetables and “goods” which are no longer quite so good for you, then why don’t you consider checking out the Farmers Market’s in Auckland? They provide plenty of quality farmed goods that you can really pick up quality produce for a great price, safe in the knowledge that you are buying genuine food.

However, there are many markets to check out and finding the one most suited to you can take a little time and patience. Some of the best farmers markets are in Auckland, and they are usually based in the cities anyway, so you shouldn’t have to travel too far;

La Cigale’s

La Cigale’s French Market is one of the most impressive of the Farmer’s Market, and is a favourite for many. You can pick up a variety of produce like dairy, seafood, and meat. It’s absolutely bouncing on a Saturday and gives you plenty of opportunities to pick up some great food!

The people are colourful to say the least and if you go down regularly enough you will start to see some old faces and many new – it’s always full on Saturdays. Although open on Sundays, its nowhere near as full or vibrant and you don’t get quite the same quality of selection, so make sure you visit on a Saturday for the full experience!

Oratia

A strong community-based Farmer’s Market, you get more than just produce here. It’s shaped like a horse-shoe which is always good, it helps add to the authenticity, and you can get a mix of good bargains, local music and some very unique wines to try out – so make sure you arrive via public transport!

The spices and garlics are some of the nicest you can pick up at a market – put them on any meal and turn it from a micro-dinner to divine cuisine – it’s also quite famous for the quality of tomatoes on display at the market and you can get them all over the place. It’s again one of the great Farmer’s Markets and is well worth checking out – it’s impossible to miss.

Sandringham

Sandringham is still in it’s first stages as a Farmer’s Market, but it’s already beginning to get quite the reputation as one to watch out for. With the intention to expand further in the future, going around the different suburbs in a rotation scheme to make sure everybody gets a chance, this once a month opportunity gives you the chance to pick up some cuisine not found in too many other markets.

From Japanese dumplings to some simply divine bread, there is plenty of very different food you can pick up at the Market to make it worth your while. It’s a bit different to your usual market, there are a lot of artisans in some very specific subjects who regularly visit here, so have a little fun exploring and see what you think of the place!

However, these are not the only markets! There are many more all across Auckland and frankly our best recommendation would be to see where you go with it – travel to a town, if you have the day free, and see what is on offer! The majority of Farmer’s Markets in Auckland take place on a Saturday or a Sunday, so ask around and see what sounds like it may appeal to you – but at least you have somewhere to start now on your Market hunt!

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What to do with storage once you’ve moved?

My relatives recently have been contacted by their Storage Contains located in Christchurch, telling them that their contract was up, and asking if they’d like to renew. They got a nice surprise when they said they would – the prices had lowered! How often do prices get lowered? The only time I’ve ever truly seen prices be cut was by fast food companies during the recession. And now that we are starting to climb out of it, the value items are much worse than they used to be before (I suppose companies assume that we all suddenly have amazing jobs now, don’t they).

I was pleased for them, though. I’ve mentioned them before on this blog – they are kiwi’s who live in New Zealand. They used to live in Christchurch, until they recently moved up to Auckland. You may or may not have heard, but there were some sizeable earthquakes in New Zealand. They started on September 2010, and they only just stopped properly in 2012. But it still left the city savaged. My cousins had their home utterly destroyed. As a result, it was deemed unsafe to live in. So they had to store all of their stuff. You don’t realise just how much stuff you have and how much storage room it takes until you don’t have a house anymore. I felt that way when I moved to my tiny apartment here.

Regardless, they were lucky enough to find the company Storage Direct. They were very tired and so they didn’t want to have to lug it all out to a shed, but apparently, this outlet actually delivers mobile storage units to your house. It is a neat idea, and one that saved them a lot of headaches. They then picked it up for them, and have been storing it for them ever since.

They had plans to take it all with them to Auckland. I’ve talked before about how I believed that once you’ve gone without all of your stuff, you get used to it fast and suddenly you don’t feel like you need it after all. It turns out that it was true for them. Once they had gone without all of it, they didn’t really need it. That is why it was great that their rental prices for the unit had decreased, since it meant they had to justify it less to themselves.

But still – what do you do with all of the junk? I’m leaving it up to my readers. Please let me know in the comments.

Photos taken from: http://www.storagedirect.co.nz

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