GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS
CAN'T CHOOSE? Call our New
Zealand Project Consultants, Kath Mortimore and Kate
the best three months of my life ... The support I received was
extremely helpful ... I really would recommend Travellers to
anyone. Keep up the good work."
"100% PURE NEW ZEALAND" is the official ad slogan for this uniquely diverse country.The natural landscape makes this a very popular eco-tourism destination and an adventure lovers’ paradise!
This energetic country has an abundance of adrenaline fuelled outdoor activities that utilize the natural landscape, much of which is protected. This is nature’s adventure playground.... Amidst breathtaking scenery you’ll find the best locations for bungee jumping, white water rafting, hiking up glaciers, hang-gliding off mountains, sailing across fjords, skiing down active volcano’s, and swimming in thermal springs and geysers… you won’t be disappointed!
With both Māori and European influences, New Zealand also has a unique cultural background making it a wonderfully diverse and welcoming country. New Zealand is a very friendly and open culture and New Zealanders (or Kiwi's as they are commonly referred to) are usually informal in their relationships.
“When not at school, our time as volunteers was spent seeing the sights around Auckland such as Devonport, Waiheke Island, Rangitoto, and Mission Bay and experiencing the fantastic Maori culture Auckland has to offer. Once a week we would try and cook a big group meal which was great fun as there was usually about ten to twelve of us. We also went out to various restaurants we had scouted out – recommendations go to Mt Fuji (amazing Japanese place on Queen Street). BK Hostel is a great place to stay, it’s clean and friendly and well situated within Auckland.” BethanThomasNew Zealanders are passionate about sport, especially rugby, and it forms a major part of the culture. A lot of patriotism is expressed through sport and so it is taken quite seriously. New Zealanders also enjoy many other sports, such as cricket, netball and rugby league.
Message from Annette Orchard Travellers Organiser in Auckland, New
We are the ultimate outdoor playground and, if it hasn't been done, we invent it- Jet boating, Black-water Rafting and Bungee Jumping to name a few. Within easy reach you can also go Whale-watching, Sky-Diving, White-water Rafting, Abseiling and numerous other activities. The locals are invariably friendly and helpful and will make you welcome.
Auckland "City of Sails" is a modern vibrant multi-cultural city of
one million with a beautiful harbour, numerous islands, beaches,
parks and volcanoes for you to explore. You will always see people
out jogging, walking and cycling. There are numerous multi-ethnic
restaurants, great shops and a busy night-life scene. New Zealand
has a temperate climate and although winter can be frustratingly
wet, it is reasonably short.
On this page:
The country is situated in the South Pacific Ocean, a whopping 995 miles south-east of New Zealand (the equivalent distance between London and Moscow). The country's capital, Wellington, is officially the most southerly capital on the planet. But it’s Auckland (located towards the top of the North Island) that is the most populated with almost 1 million of New Zealand’s 4.1 million living here.
Wool, meat and dairy products are ranked at the top of New Zealand’s exports, with an estimated 10 sheep to every 1 person! Around 10% of New Zealand’s economy is also driven by Tourism, with around 2 million tourists arriving each year and an official ad slogan: "100% PURE NEW ZEALAND".The country can be divided into the North Island, the South Island and Stewart Island, as well as many tiny surrounding islands. The North Island is typically famous for beaches, springs and bush, whilst the South Island boasts mountains, glaciers, alpine forests and farmlands.
New Zealand’s diverse cultural background stems from its’ 1,000 year history, with heritage from both Māori and European settlers. Combined with Pacific and Asian influences this has created a unique culture. New Zealanders are typically referred to as "Kiwi’s" after the flightless Kiwi bird, which has become the country’s national symbol. Kiwi birds are unique to New Zealand and thought to be around 60 million years old.
Climate: New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has a subtropical summer, the inland alpine areas can get as cold as -10°C in winter. Most of the country, however, lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and abundant sunshine.The country does not have a large temperature range and lacks the extremes found in most continental climates. However, the weather can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones blow in. Summer is the busier time of the year, yet winter also brings hoards of tourists to the popular ski-resort towns. Spring, stretches from September till November, summer from December till February, Autumn from March till May and winter from June through till around August.
“Annette, the project leader for New Zealand, was fantastic. Took me and the other volunteers out for a free dinner on my first night, paid regular visits to the hostel to make sure everybody was ok, and I doubt any problem that occurred would be too much for her to fix. Excellent service.” John Robert Thornton (Journalism Volunteer in New Zealand)
owes its popularity to that most important necessity…water. Its position on
a thin stretch of land tucked between two harbours encourages an active,
outdoor lifestyle. The many yachts that sail through the harbours and across
the adjoining Hauraki Gulf have led to Auckland’s name as the ‘City of
Auckland is incredibly picturesque, with a backdrop of extinct volcanoes looking out across the many islands clustered around the coast.All of our projects are based in and around Auckland.
The waterfront dominates the city. Shopping enthusiasts will be easily satisfied by a large range of shops and boutiques, while sports fans will be delighted in rugby at Eden park which is home to the Blues super 14 rugby team. In and around Auckland you will find plenty of restaurants and cafes to dine at, day trips to local islands and lots of other attractions.
The Sky Tower is Auckland’s main attraction and a must for all visitors as it is the largest freestanding tower in the southern hemisphere. The tower offers spectacular 360 degree panoramic views of Auckland which is a great way to get your bearings and understand the layout of the city. You can also do a sky jump from the top of the tower - falling 192 metres in 16 seconds!
Auckland Museum is a must for people interested in the history of New Zealand. The museum has a comprehensive display or Māori and Pacific Island culture. There are also live Māori shows provided by the museum which will give you a good insight into the Māori culture.Extinct Volcanoes are plentiful in Auckland itself. There are 11 extinct volcanoes in the Auckland area and they provide great view points of the city and an interesting climb to the summit. The craters are also a good feature and will provide you with some interesting photos. The most well know extinct volcanoes in Auckland are Mt Eden, Mt Wellington and One Tree Hill.
You can also climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge or do a bungee jump off it - not for the faint hearted but great for views of the city and an adrenaline fix!There are a couple of superb markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Check out Otara Market (6.00 a.m. to noon on Saturdays) - great cultural mix, particularly the Polynesian bargains available, such as Tapa cloths and crafts. On Sundays, visit Takapuna on the other side of Auckland city. This has a more Asian feel and also has local crafts and food, as well as bargain priced imports.
Auckland's busiest tourist season arrives with the warmer weather between November and April, hitting its peak during summer school vacations (20 December-late January). To a lesser extent the Easter weekend, Labour Day weekend (late October) and the mid-year school vacations are also busy. January and February are the best beach-weather months, and December and March either side are usually warm - even hot at times. November and April are slightly cooler and not so good for hanging around at the beach, but it's noticeably quieter, and accommodation is easier to find. (taken from Lonely Planet)
|MAP OF NEW ZEALAND AND THINGS TO DO:|
THE NORTH ISLAND: Auckland is dotted with the Hauraki Gulf islands, some of which are minutes away from the city and make great day trips. The islands provide a good escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and provide good views of Auckland as you sail away.
The most popular island is Rangitoto which includes a 50 minute hike to the top of the summit where you can look down into the crater of the extinct volcano which erupted for its last time 600 years ago.
Waiheke Island is also a popular place to visit and is close to Auckland by ferry. The island boasts many beautiful beaches and rolling hills with vineyards on them. The Great Barrier Island is the largest island in the gulf and is a very rugged and scenic island - it is 88km from Auckland.
Northland & Bay of Islands: Northland is the winterless paradise, with varied and spectacular scenery – beautiful beaches, awesome trees, lush national parks and world-class dive sites.
About three hours north of Auckland is Paihia, the main town of the Bay of Islands. Paihia has good beaches and you can do many activities from there: swimming, dolphin watching, diving, sky diving, etc. Nearby to Paihia is Waitangi, where the Māori chiefs and the British government signed a treaty in 1840.
From Northland you can take a day trip to visit Cape Reinga and 90 mile beach where you can have a go at sand-surfing on the awesome dunes. The Northland has the majority of the remaining Kauri trees in New Zealand, the tallest being 51.5 meters in Waipoua Kauri Forest.
If you're into diving you can dive the rainbow warrior - a sunken Greenpeace ship off the mainland.
Rotorua: known as ‘Rota Vegas’, Rotorua has a large number of attractions and adventure activities for high adrenalin junkies. Rotorua is renowned for being the smelliest place in NZ due to the sulphur rich atmosphere in the area. It has a thermal area with spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and exploding mud pools. Te Puia and Te Whakarewarewa is a thermal reserve and Māori cultural center where you can see geysers spurting out water and experience a traditional Māori meal. In Rotorua there is also an abundance of extreme activities such as white water rafting on the worlds largest drop (7 meters), zorbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, sledging and more.
Tangariro National Park: Tangariro was New Zealand’s first national park and has 3 peaks; Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tangariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. Tangariro is the most famous mountain and was filmed as Mordors mount doom in the lord of the rings. The Tangariro crossing is classed as New Zealand’s best one day hike. The crossing is 17km and takes you inbetween Mt Tangariro and Mt Ngauruhoe and has stunning scenery of the mountains and various lakes.
Waitomo Caves: The Waitomo caves are famous for having large quantities of glow worms inside them - an incredibly unique sight and a must see in New Zealand. Here you can also do caving and abseiling up to 100 metres. Black water rafting is also available in the caves - this unusual activity can only be done in this part of New Zealand.
Wellington: Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and is located at the bottom of the North Island. It is renowned for having steep hills and a wonderful cultural and artistic center. Wellington has a large number of museums and historic buildings, and cable cars which will take you to the hill summits for excellent city views.
THE SOUTH ISLAND: The Abel Tasman National Park: The Abel Tasman National Park is a very popular hiking area (or tramping as it is known in New Zealand). There are a number of treks in the park that allow you to pass through some beautiful scenery (considered by some to be the best in New Zealand).
Franz Josef glaciers: The glaciers are one of the most famous sights and tourist spots in New Zealand. The glaciers are well worth a visit - a hike with a tour guide is a must.
Christchurch: Christchurch is often described as the most English city in New Zealand - with its' English style buildings and heritage it is not hard to see why. Christchurch has a number of attractions and is a major stopping off point for people traveling down the east coast of the South island. There are a number of attractions to see in Christchurch including; cathedral square, the botanic gardens, museums or simply just walking through Christchurch to get a feel for the place.
Queenstown: Queenstown is referred to as New Zealand’s adrenaline activity capital and with all the activities it has to offer it is not hard to see why. There are numerous white knuckle activities to test your nerves; these include bungee jumping, skiing, skydiving, rafting, sledging, jet boating, caving and hand gliding.
Milford Sound: Milford Sound is a Fiord and one of New Zealand’s biggest tourist attractions. The clear calm waters either side of the cliffs are very picturesque, with a 1692 peak in the distance and rainfall which creates amazing waterfalls. A beautiful and mysterious place.
Stewart Island: Stewart Island is New Zealand’s 3rd largest island and is very rarely visited by tourists. The island is south of the main South island and is renowned for its beautiful red sky and natural untouched beauty.
|LIVING IN NEW ZEALAND:|
Zealand is a very friendly and open culture and New Zealanders (or Kiwi's
as they are commonly referred to) are usually informal in their
relationships. We will brief you on cultural characteristics to assist
you in interacting with locals.
New Zealanders are passionate about sport, especially rugby, and it forms a major part of the culture. A lot of patriotism is expressed through sport and so it is taken quite seriously. New Zealanders also enjoy many other sports, such as cricket, netball and rugby league.Prior to British settlers Māori's use to cook their meals in what is know as a ‘Hangi’ - an underground oven. Special stones are heated in a fire and placed in an earthen pit, with the food put on top of it. This is wrapped and covered with earth and left for several hours. Typical food that would go into the hangi would be various types of meats and vegetables, such as kumara or sweet potato.
When the British arrived they brought their traditional food with them. Food in New Zealand is similar to that of most of the western world and in major cities it is easy to eat a variety of food such as American, Mexican, Asian, Italian etc. Due to New Zealand being a multi cultural country there is a wide variety of food available. There are a few dishes that New Zealand is renowned for:Roast Lamb: or 'hogget' - a popular choice for meals with the addition of sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, greens and pumpkin. A must for visitors to New Zealand.
Seafood: New Zealand's has a bountiful variety of shellfish, oysters, lobsters, scallops and crayfish. Other seafood, such as cod, flounder, hapuka, kingfish, John Dory, snapper, squid, and terekihi, all taste great and are widely available. Fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper from the local takeaway are one of the best and least expensive ways to sample New Zealand seafood.