Travel Tips to New Zealand

I have been previously staying in New Zealand over the last 2 and half years and I have to admit it's a delightful country in terms of the folks as well as the tidy green natural assets which still protect right until today. If you are planning a holiday here, here are a few things that you'll really need to have prepared.

New Zealand is a 4 season country. The north island is a lot warmer compared to the South. Always bring additional clothing and jackets.

New Zealand comes with an unpredictable unusual weather. It could be sunny when you're having your lunch and when you're wandering out from the restaurant, it started pouring! The weather conditions in New Zealand's much like a women's mind they said! Bring rain jackets or waterproof jackets to you, affordable umbrellas are useless because the wind are strong and I've given up on umbrellas after 2 were destructed because of the wind! Imagine that! Over the time, I've learned to check the weather daily using the webpage

Driving your car
Driving a car is legal in New Zealand if you're holding a valid driver license from your country for the first 1 year visit to New Zealand. After that period, you'll need to get a New Zealand driver license. The mileage between cities and other destinations of interest may take long hours of traveling as some of the roads will be hilly and narrow that you'll need to be really careful. I would suggest you to prepare some self driving time so that you get to really enjoy New Zealand's landscape which is exciting. Try to look for brown and green signboard as these are the scenic stop. Also, it is not surprising if you ever stuck on a few possum or even known as the road bumper here. During winter, many of driveways can be slippery so always be aware of the signs relating to the roads condition.

Look for a large i logo or i-site because they are visitors centers to help with your issues and coordinate your desired trip for reservations your accommodation, sightseeing attractions to transport. Their services are free and frequently you will definitely get a cheaper price from booking through them.

Depends upon the places where you are going, you will see many fish and chips within New Zealand. Excellent steaks and lambs are pretty common too. Along with fastfood like Burger King, Dominos, Mc Donald, Subway etc where you can find easily in the major towns for example Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Rotoroa, .. you will discover a huge variety of delicacies from Japanese, Korean, Chinese , Indian, Italian, Mexicon, Malay and various restaurants and cafe. A quick lunch break in most cases cost NZD 8- NZD 12, and a fine dine out in a restaurant will definitely cost about NZD 20- NZD 40. Unsure where to go? Read this site for highly recommended restaurants in New Zealand. Also, restaurants here are rated based on the overall cleanliness and hygiene levels, from grade ABC D.

Sports gear
Sun screen and Mosquito repellent is necessary if you're traveling from September – May. As New Zealand are highly exposures to the strong sun ray. Here we have a lot of well reserve forest walk, waterfall and nature caves. If you're considering some bush or boat tour, bringing a good pair of sport footwear, supplementary clothing, mineral water supplies, raincoat, and digital camera you may possibly see a kiwi if you're really lucky!

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Source by Bobby Johnny

How To Select A Good New Zealand Campervan Hire

Traveling around in a New Zealand campervan hire is the ultimate way of drinking in the natural beauty of this incredibly ravishing country. But you have to be aware of a few fundamental truths when it comes to selecting a good hire.

Ensure that the hire company includes 24 hour AA (Automobile Association) roadside assistance.

Campervans normally come loaded with bedding, cutlery, gas cookers, fridges etc to make your holiday stress free. Ensure that the hire cost you pay includes living equipment as well. Some operators may charge extra for equipment. Ensure that your campervan of choice meets your requirements exactly. A variety of models with advanced features in terms of seating and luxury at various prices will add to the confusion. So double check with your vendor to get exactly what you need.

The price of your vehicle rental of choice will determine the age of the vehicle itself. Most of them in New Zealand range from 10 year old ones to recent models with newer fit-outs.

An important criterion that will determine your travel plan and budget is the type of fuel your campervan will consume. Diesel is a cheaper than petrol and will cut your travel costs substantially. Generally, the larger vehicles are diesel though only a handful of vendors offer smaller diesel ones. Find out clearly what is included in the daily cost of your campervan hire.

Your age is a vital factor. If below 21, you should check with your hire company if you are eligible to drive in New Zealand. Most companies have 21 as the minimum age. Find out if you have any age associated surcharges.

Ensure that you check the vendor’s ferry crossing policy if you are going to both North and South Island. Some companies offer depots at Wellington on North Island and Picton on South Island while others do not. From travel experience, it is easier to ferry the vehicle across and drive away rather than unload it on this side, cross and repack a new vehicle on the other side and make new contracts.

Source by Tim A Alpe

Kiwi Prime Minster is Pregnant

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces she’s pregnant

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is pregnant. Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford said they were expecting their first child in June. “We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting,” she said in a statement.

Well first of Congrats and to be honest thats as far as I am game to go with this commentary. It is bound to create some lively conversation. Now get out why you still can Graham. 

Flying From New Zealand Downunder to the USA

I love to fly and this particular travel journey would see us fly from New Zealand Downunder to the United States. A travel package arranged by an airline or agent who would fly us all the way to the USA sometimes would have been one less thing to worry about, but as our budget was tight we decided to call ahead to airlines beginning with a New Zealand flight at the top of our list, and arrange our own itinerary. It meant we could fly from downunder, stop and start, anywhere we chose along the way. So for our Downunder flights we made personalized flights and we were able to secure a good New Zealand airfare after some friendly bartering. On one hand we were eager to fly to our destination from Downunder New Zealand quickly, but literally we had to mindful to allow plenty of time, especially with International Flights for documentation, check in times, and refresh times. It is also better to be 2hours ahead of another flight to allow for late or unexpected problems. Thank-fully we were foster and never had any, but did witness some passengers who did. Late arrivals, who simply missed their flight, from one lady who was ill, and could not make her connecting flight. Downunder is an excellent travel destination where New Zealand is well serviced both inland and on the skywaves. Due to currency exchange New Zealand Downunder is an attractive destination.

If its for business, or a holiday from everywhere travel light and I mean light. Most basic items of clothing can be bought at your destination so do not over-pack. Travel airlines are also beginning to charge extra now just for having luggage period, so another reason to pack lightly.

Try to imagine the things you use at home over the space of one week, and that's pretty much what you will need to take with you. Not much is it. But adequate. My all time most favorite travel buddy that I bought downunder New Zealand in a holiday store, for boarding flights quickly is one of those clip around purse bags, they sit flat on your waist of over your shoulder clip together and worn like a gun holster. They are designed to carry passports, boarding passes, and allows you to have your hands free, such a handy no fuss item, that I would never be without. My brother and ex detective advised me to wear it just so it sat under my t-shirt and makes it difficult for a would be pick-pocket.

Arrange all cash requirements ideally before you leave your country of origin, in our case Downunder New Zealand. In hindsight, since I knew where we would end up, I wished we had actually opened an bank account before arriving since as it turned out we arrived on a Saturday and found it difficult to find an agent to cash American Travelers Checks (yes I know it was the U.SA.) Good lesson to never take anything for granted.

So, we discovered not all Airports have an International Money exchange counter and if they do may not be open when your plane arrives, even though a brochure says it should be. If you will be flying into your destination and no-one will be picking you up, check ahead what transport facilities that airline operates, times, drop off points and cost. We also noticed that certain cab companies have less than honest drivers and if you do not know the town or city, you can become a target for some outrageous charges. Its worth being prepared. So when you are booking for example, try not to be coming during the early hours of the morning or very late at night.

Planning your holidays and all flights with the best preparation you can helps make travel a truly enjoyable experience. The scenery, the service, the relaxation, the culture of airports, and people. The atmosphere alive with expectation, just waiting for you to take part and experience the world of travel and leisure.

Source by Carmen Smith

Outsourcing New Zealand

I remember getting and eating my first Kiwi fruit in the UK. I was about 16 years old and I didn’t know what to do with a fruit that was brown and hairy? Should I peel it, cut it or bite into it. What would it taste like? I was told that it was an excellent fruit and that it had all sorts of goodness as it had anti toxins and would be good for my health. The taste was described as tangy melon with a hint of sourness. I just bit into the fruit, skin and all to find that skin was not to my taste but the fruit was excellent. However the fruit was very ripe and juicy and a lot of the fruits juice ran down my school shirt.

Many years on and whilst doing the rounds as an Executive Solutions provider in New Zealand I’m often being asked these days to find “C” level people with experience of Outsourcing. A lot of New Zealand companies seem to be having their first “taste of foreign fruit” in terms of Outsourcing. People elsewhere in other countries have had their fill of Outsourcing but was it good for them? Will it be good for companies in New Zealand?

Back in 2010 Optimation a NZ company thought that the best way forward for any IT company seeking significant growth was to offshore all of the development work to India and keep the high value work of Business Analysis and Project Management in New Zealand. Amanda McVitty at the time wrote that Neil Butler the Co-Founder of Optimation had stated ” It’s an approach that is winning over local customers as demonstrated by the Optimation led OHR consortiums recent success in winning a major, multi-year Dept. of Corrections outsourcing contract for Application Development, Maintenance and Support.” Who could argue with that on the back of their success?

Two years later (2012) Vodafone ditches Offshoring, creating 100 new jobs. Having brought back the call centres from Egypt to NZ, this inspired the move of IT in Vodafone back to NZ. CTO Sandra Pickering said at the time, “It is more cost effective to hire New Zealand IT professionals”.

If this is the case and given that the cultural differences are less than traditional offshoring countries, surely this makes NZ a perfect place to become an Outsourcing haven, providing On Shore, Near Shore and Offshoring?

Vodafone moved its offshore development from India back in House. For some companies it is critical that they retain IP over products, services and applications. Development and Testing was returned to New Zealand and interesting enough the company that gained substantial testing work in Vodafone was Optimation. The company who had looked to India for everything except BA and PMs? This must have been a real turnaround for the company and a “sign of the times”, or was it that they had found that as a New Zealand company they now offered a better Outsourcing model.

Many other companies who have outsourced their IT are now returning to “In House”. These companies and Vodafone normally cite the reasons as being due to hidden costs of Management Layers and the physical communication to get things done. A traditional offshoring country will try and sell “apples against apples”, when they are really “apples against oranges”.

An IT developer on Shore could cost $750 a day and the off shore country will tell you that they can do this for $100 per day or less. What they don’t tell you is the hidden costs of translation and the management costs of their developers. Before you know it the time spent by your own people translating what was said and what was needed, to what was delivered, enables the On shore developer to be more effective and a cheaper option.

ANZ in NZ back in 2013 offshored jobs to India. This was argued by the unions and they were told it was done to increase profits. Given the banks’ profits at the time it made no sense to the union or the people who lost their jobs. Canon NZ however set up their call centre on the North Shore creating 80 new jobs and for its customers they felt happier that they could speak to someone from their own country rather than offshore. Canon’s country manager Mike Johnston said at the time “Superior customer service is a priority and a point of difference for the company. It makes good business sense to manage the contact centre in house, rather than sending it offshore”

Having seen an exodus of Kiwis chasing the Australian dream, we now see Kiwis returning to NZ and Australian companies moving to NZ. Even with the mining boom flattening out in Australia it is still cheaper to get work done in NZ than in Australia, by about one third.

Australia’s cost base has become too high and NZ has cheaper labour costs and cheaper electricity. IBM, Heinz, iiNet, lumo, Quickflix, L’Oreal, Australia’s third largest bank and Fairfax Media have moved jobs over to NZ. Given NZ and Australia speak English, both are culturally different, but very similar. More like “kissing cousins”. So it’s not just cost that becomes a factor, communication and excellent skills make NZ a great place to either Near shore or move to from Australia.

Pete Macauley of Michael Page stated, “Now more Australians are considering heading over the ditch”. His reason being that job losses has pushed Australian unemployment to a four year high.

There are some down sides to being based in NZ. One of those is having a HQ in Australia and that can make the NZ part of the company the poor cousin. Having worked with several companies in this situation here in NZ, I see the frustration for the CEOs and Senior Executives. One such company based in NZ with an Australian HQ had won lots of work and had a great pipeline of future sales. They were a good company with an excellent reputation. The CEO and staff never hit their bonuses. The reason being they had too much work and had to use extra Resource. Instead of using external NZ Resource they had to use HQ people from Australia. This meant that there costs became too high and the NZ operation made a loss on the projects, whilst HQ made a profit and earned their bonuses. The NZ operation part of the company lost two successful Country Managers, from being the poor cousin.

On Monday 21st July 2014, The Otago Times reported on KiwiRails outsourcing to China and asked the question was it worth it? “Ongoing issues with KiwiRail’s controversial Chinese-made freight wagons are making the state-owned enterprise’s decision to award the building contract overseas appear increasingly questionable. Work on 500 faulty wagons has been taking place for the past two weeks in Picton, carried out by more than a dozen China CNR Corporation staff and a team of translators, working under the supervision of KiwiRail staff. At least some of the work is on brake components. However, the obfuscation, rhetoric, semantics, claims and counterclaims between unions, politicians and KiwiRail in the long-running saga make it difficult to establish whether the work involves ”repair” or ”upgrades”, whether it should be expected, and whether the full costs of all work so far are being borne by the Chinese manufacturers or KiwiRail and the taxpayer”

For some industries outsourcing can make sense especially in NZ. Given the entrepreneurial spirit of a pioneering nation, the majority of NZ businesses are SMEs and start-ups. As a start-up you often have issues with constraints on finance. This is when Outsourcing can be an advantage. By using the internet it is possible to get up and running with a virtual employees such as a Sydney based operation. Having started up several business’ of my own this was a short term solution to my constraints of finance. It’s surprising how little you need to build up a multi-million dollar business from a start-up. My last successful multi million venture started from a loan of $3000.

The CIO web site believes that there are seven outsourcing nightmares that you need to avoid before you go down the outsourcing route. A quick read will help you on your journey.

Although this comes from a technology bias this could be used generically.

NZ has world class talent that for English speaking countries could provide an alternative to the established Offshoring Countries, in terms of communication, cost, culture, and time zones.

So are companies in NZ better looking for companies in NZ to Outsource their work to? As long as they have complete control of their finances, resources and understand the offshore trade off. Look at NZ first, you may be pleasantly surprised, especially for midrange and higher spend projects.

For me, Outsourcing in the beginning was like my first kiwi fruit, very messy. Having had several experiences with kiwi fruit I have learned to slice the fruit and scoop out the inside getting the fruit part that tastes good to me. Even better is to make them into ice blocks!. I have learned that Outsourcing for me now means that I do not need to go overseas for everything as the skills and competitive price are here within New Zealand.

Source by Steve Douglas Brown

How to Migrate to New Zealand

New Zealand has almost everything anyone would want from a country. The country has a beautiful scenery, a relaxed lifestyle, various job opportunities and great educational system. These are just among the reasons why many would want to migrate to New Zealand.

But how does one move to the country. If you have moved once, then you are probably aware of how daunting the task is. It can be exhausting if you are just moving to a different city. Just imagine of how difficult it is if you intend to move to another country. This is why one has to be familiar first with the various ways to move to a new country. Here are some tips:

1. The first thing you need to do is to prepare yourself and your family. You should be prepared mentally, physically and emotionally. It will be challenging to leave your comfort zone and start a new life in a strange country. However, being prepared for it will make it easier and more bearable. Study the language as well. You need to be able to communicate to the people already living there when you move.

2. Learn about the culture of the country. It is important that you know the culture of the country because the culture of your country could be different from the culture of the country you want to move to. It would be easier to adjust if you know the adjustments you have to make.

3. Consider your immediate needs when you move to the new country. If you are bringing dependents with you, you have to see to it that their needs are addressed. For instance, if you have children, you need to find a competent school for them. You should keep this in mind when you are looking for a home in the new country. If you will be living with an elderly, you have to live in an area that has easy access to health agencies. The community should be conducive for them as well.

4. Learn about the cost of living. If there is something the same about living in various countries is that it does not come for free. You will incur expenses in order to survive. This is why you need to know how much you need to provide for your basic needs and the needs of your dependents. You should also know to help you analyze, whether or not you can afford to move there.

5. Make new friends. This will help you adjust more easily. Help your dependents do the same.

The above tips will surely help you adjust to the life in New Zealand. Now that you have made some preparations and research, you should also be aware of the various ways that one could use to move to New Zealand. Here are some of the common ways used by migrant to move here:

Skilled Migration Category:

This is among the commonly used ways of living and working in the country. This is for qualified foreign individuals. In order to be eligible, you should have the skills highly needed by the country. However, that is not all the requirements you need to meet. You should also have good health, good character and you have to be proficient in English language.

You need to have evidence of this three. This means that you have to undergo medical examination in order to get a medical certificate. You also need to have a police clearance. This is to make sure that you do not have any criminal records. You should also be able to use the English language proficiently. This can be assessed through IELTS or International English Language Testing System. This is an English evaluation exam that is recognized worldwide.

To start your application under this category, you need submit an Expression of interest or EOI. This is a way of introducing yourself and your skills to the New Zealand Immigration department. Here, your educational qualifications, work experience and the like will be considered. Such factors will be evaluated through the New Zealand Point System. Points will be granted depending on your qualifications. If you earn at least 140 points, you will be given an Invitation to Apply or ITA. Once you receive such, you will be asked to submit additional documents to prove the claims you made in your EOI. On the other hand, if the point you earned is less than 140 points but not less than 100 points, it will be placed in the EOI pool where it will be ranked with other EOIs. When a need arises, the EOIs in the pool will be considered.

After the evaluation, the applicant may be granted permanent status if he or she meets the requirements and have proven his or her claims. However, it could also be rejected especially if there is no sufficient evidence supporting his or her claims. The application could also result to an offer for a different status. A work to residence status is a way for the applicant to complete his or her requirements. After a specified period, the applicant may apply for a permanent residency status.

Business and Investment Category

This is a way of attracting entrepreneurs and investors in the country. The entrepreneur or investor has to qualify though. First, he needs to have sufficient experience in managing a business and it has to be a successful venture, He should also have enough capital to start up the business in the country and provide employment to the citizens.

There are different classifications under this category. Each has its own specific requirements. Among these classifications are: Employees relocating a business, investors and entrepreneurs categories.

Family Categories

One can also migrate to New Zealand with the sponsorship of qualified relatives. However, the sponsoring relative should meet the sponsorship requirements. Such family members may only support their spouses or partners, dependent and adult children, parents and siblings.

There are other ways to move to New Zealand. Check which category would you best fit and qualify. After determining the right category for you, prepare all the necessary requirements and complete the application process.

Source by El Pagong

5 Romantic Suggestions For Your New Zealand Holiday Or Honeymoon

Creating memories to share is part of building a lasting relationship. By visiting enchanting destinations and choosing some romantic activities, you will have some wonderful times to look back on.

New Zealand is the perfect romantic destination, with a wealth of beautiful scenic spots to visit. The stunning scenery, created by magnificent mountains, lakes, rivers, glorious bush, harbors, beaches, thermal activity and volcanic remains, offer a diverse countryside for you to explore together. In turn, they create many opportunities for you to experience and share a wide range of exciting activities.

Walking and Tamping

There are hundreds of trails for short walks or longer tramps or hikes through the very beautiful New Zealand native bush, featuring magnificent native trees, ferns and shrubs, beautiful babbling streams, and waterfalls. The birdsong and bush is as romantic as it can get. Enjoy a picnic along the way, or stay overnight in one of the many huts.

New Zealand Beaches

New Zealand beaches come in all varieties for you to choose from. But if it is romance you are looking for …………… there is a plethora of idyllic sandy bays just perfect for a romantic picnic, or hideaway stay. Choose your spot, and enjoy seclusion and the sheer beauty of a beach by the sea or one of the many glorious lakes. Many beaches will be just perfect for kayaking, walks, swimming, fishing, and watching the sun set …………. a glass of wine in hand.

New Zealand Wineries

If you share a love of wine and good food, the many wineries offer many romantic experiences Somehow the rows of vines stretching into the distance, backed by hills, sea or even city views, create a sense of romance.

– Try a bike ride tour around the vineyards in Napier
– Or a mini bus day tour in Otago – you'll go to Gibbstown Valley where you will do wine tasting in a cave, and another based in an old historic church. You can find special accommodation in that truly romantic destination – Queenstown.
– Hire a car on Waiheke Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, and visit the many wonderful vineyards. Several have restaurants overlooking the vines, with expansive sea views. A few even have accommodation.
– Enjoy a degustation meal with matching wines for a truly romantic dining experience. Vin Alto in Clevedon (Auckland), or Goldwater Estate on Waiheke offer wonderful degustation menus in gorgeous surroundings.
– Some wine areas, especially Marlborough and Martinborough, will have cottages in the area, where you can stay in cozy comfort, strolling to the vineyards for meals and wine tasting at your leisure.

Camping in New Zealand

New Zealand is a great destination to travel around in a motorhome or camper. Hire a cozy camper for two, and wake up to a different stunning view every morning. Create an itinerary, staying at the DOC (Department of Conservation) camps, for some stunning beach locations, for very cheap prices. Go out of season ……………… and you will have the camping areas almost to yourself.

Create a Host of Romantic Memories.

As you travel around the country you can enjoy a wide range of wonderful experiences to share. These are those very special experiences that bring back memories and get you through the ordinary days. In New Zealand you could

– Swim with Dolphins – Auckland, Bay of Islands, Akaroa or Milford and Doubtless Sounds all have day tour operators
– Whale Watching – Kaikoura is the most popular location, but there are several other locations including Auckland
– Kayak along a lazy river – Paihia in the Bay of Islands hires out kayaks, and has many lovely inlets to explore, while you will find kayaks for hire in many spots as you travel around
– Bush tracks Amble the many beautiful bush tracks-you will come across these as you travel. Ask at the local tourist centers, for recommended walks.
– Picnic in beautiful Gardens – or try lunch in the Stone Cottage on the edge of the Christchurch Botanical Gardens, or at the restaurant in the Domain in Auckland, for the best of both
– Ski by day and snuggle up in a cottage by night – Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Ruapehu are all good destinations.
– Take a boat trip on one of the many lakes, sounds or rivers – Milford Sound, Doubtless Sound, Lake Taupo, or enjoy a meal on the paddle steamer on Lake Rotorua
– Ride a gondola up a mountain, and relax in a restaurant soaking up the mountain atmosphere …………. Queenstown, Christchurch and Rotorua are all great spots for some romantic mountain top dining
– Share a private thermal pool-the Polynesian Poolsin Rotorua, Taupo, orHanmer Springs are three suggestions.

These are but a small selection of wonderfully romantic activities you can enjoy together on your New Zealand holiday or honeymoon.

Source by Gail Gillespie

America's Cup Diary – July 2007

The 32nd America's Cup Match was the most extraordinary, intriguing, unpredictable match in the event's 156-year history. Alinghi defended the Cup against challenger Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) by a seemingly healthy 5-2 margin, although that scoreline does not justice to how close things were between these two bitter rivals.

Why bitch? Not because of the 'defect' of key members of Team New Zealand after the 2000 Cup. For most Kiwis, the departure of tactical Brad Butterworth and other important players to Alinghi is now water under the bridge. No, the new reason to re-open old wounds was ETNZ team head Grant Dalton saying that if they won the cup they would reintroduce nationality rules.

Arguably the only nation that would be capable of fielding an exclusively home-grown crew of world-class standard is New Zealand, possibly also the USA. For smaller nations like Switzerland it would make it virtually impossible to mount a credible challenge. And so Alinghi billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli was outraged at Grant Dalton's intentions to clamp down on nationalism. After all, here was the team to which Bertarelli had made a NZ $ 10 million (approx US $ 7.8 million) loan. "The nationality rule he's speaking about is obviously primarily directed to Alinghi, so I guess that's the thank-you note for helping him get his team together. out of work. And more surprisingly so, they are probably friends of his, since a lot of teams have Kiwis in their ranks. "

The other big fear of the Kiwis taking the Cup back down to New Zealand was that all the good work achieved in Europe – attracting more teams, more sponsors, bigger audiences – would seriously be lost if it returned to the opposite side of the globe. Some sailors described the 32nd America's Cup Match as a battle for the very future of the event. American grinder on Alinghi, Mark Newbrook commented: "I think we've seen a glimmer of hope for a very high level of professionalism for this sport in Valencia.

"There's an opportunity for the sport to move beyond the philanthropy of one rich fella who had some money to burn on the sport, where it might get to the point where this is a self-sustaining sport and there's enough corporate interest for it not to Rely on the whim of some wealthy family. That would be very promising. I've said right along if Alinghi wins the Cup it will be very good for business, and I mean good for everyone on all the teams in the Cup. "

All of which explains why the Spanish and Italian challenger teams, Desafio Espanol and Luna Rossa, broke with tradition by offering to train not with their fellow challenger, ETNZ, but the Defender Alinghi. If Alinghi won the Cup again, their commercial futures would be more or less assured. Life would be a good deal more uncertain if the Kiwis were to win.

Not that many were giving Dean Barker's team much hope of toppling the Swiss team led by another Kiwi, Brad Butterworth. Word on the street was that the Defender's weapon of choice, recently launched SUI 100, was a very potent machine. In the first race, however, the Kiwis cave the Swiss a good run for their money. Alinghi won, but not by a convincing margin. And then the Kiwis won the next two. 2-1 to the Defender. Boatspeed differences were actually imperceptible, especially in the flukier breezes of Race 3.

Race 3 was an epic contest, albeit in light winds, but with multiple lead changes as the wind ebbed and flowed in favor of one team, then the other. Alinghi led around the final mark, but on the run to the finish the Kiwis sneaked around their rivals to drift across the line in front. Alinghi was outraged that the race had gone ahead. Bertarelli described the race as "a little bit of Las Vegas, which is why I do not think the race should have happened".

After that loss, Brad Butterworth would later say that it was at the end of Race 3 that he was convinced Alinghi would win the America's Cup. So it proved. Dean Barker was the better starting helmsman, causing all manner of trouble for his opponent number on SUI 100, American driver Ed Baird. The Kiwis would hold the early advantage in a number of races, but for all Baird's failures in the pre-start, he was steering SUI 100 very well around the course, and the Swiss boat started to demonstrate an ever-so-small-but -significant advantage over NZL 92.

Subsequent races were also nailbiting affairs, with the lead changing on a number of occasions. But Race 7, which would prove the final race of the 32nd America's Cup, was perhaps the greatest cup race of all time. It began with a typically aggressive pre-start, both boats coming off the line neck and neck. After a drag race out to the left, Alinghi was always forced to tack away, but superior tactics saw the Defender lead narrowly around the windward mark in 17-18 knots of wind.

Down the run, Alinghi's spinnaker work looked uncharacteristically shaky and the Kiwis surged into the lead. They narrowly defended the lead until the top of the next windward leg, when Alinghi had the New Zealand boat pinned out on the left. Dean Barker attempted an ambitious "dial-down" manoeuvre to wriggle free of Alinghi's clutches, but Ed Baird did a superb countermove, allowing Barker no room for escape. Baird had to alter course to avoid a collision, and the umpires had no hesitation in giving the Kiwis a penalty.

It looked like job done for Alinghi at this point, but down the final run, a broken spinnaker pole fitting combined with a massive change in the wind – a 160-degree shift and a big drop in pressure – saw the Defender suddenly stranded – just metres from the finish line. The Kiwis responded better to the change of conditions and sneaked past the stricken Swiss. Just before the finish, Barker luffed up and tackled the boat to shake off that penal, tacking back to cross the line just as Alinghi surged up to them again. Across the line there was nothing in it, a moment's uncertainty before the race committee hated the blue flag, giving the race win – and the America's Cup – to Alinghi, by just 1 second.

It was an extraordinary conclusion to a gripping contest. Bertarelli was deluted to have won, not just the sporting contest but the battle with Dalton over nationality. "We enjoy being able to meet and compete against people from different backgrounds and we would never lock anyone out of this competition," said the billionaire. "I never thought when we started, that we would be locked out of it. When I said that we were fighting for our survival, I did not know how right I was, and here we are. m looking forward to continue. "

Two days later Alinghi and organization body ACM announced the new Protocol Governing the Thirty Third America's Cup. Having secured a hastily formed Spanish yacht club, the Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, as the Challenger of Record, the Swiss produced a document that stacks the odds heavily in the Defender's favor. Of course, to some extent this has always been the case, because the Defender gets to set the rules of the next Cup. The Challenger of Record is meant to argue the challengers' point of view, but it sees the Spanish were happy to sign the document and read it later. Spanish naivety has outraged the other challengers. Some may not come back to the Cup.

There are very few assurances in the current Protocol. We do not the timing and we do not know the venue. It could be Valencia in 2009, or it could be anywhere in Europe in 2010 or 2011. What we do know is that the next event will take place in a new class of racing yacht, at 90 feet long, slightly larger than the existing ACC yachts. Apart from that design details are very sketchy.

So, interesting times, even after the conclusion of an epic 32nd America's Cup. A little too epic, perhaps, for Ernesto Bertarelli. The terms of the 33rd America's Cup seem written to help ensure Alinghi returns to the safer pastures of the 5-0 whitewash which the team enjoyed over Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland 2003.

Source by Andrew Rice

The Spire Hotel – A Bombastic – Boutique Hotel In Queenstown – NZ

The Spire Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand was a refreshing change after the many
cookie cutter, low service hotels we stayed at in Australia. The Spire is a small 5 star, ten
room, luxury, boutique hotel that provides you with chic, trendy, luxurious surroundings and
A + service. In a word, it's Bombastic.

Our flight into Queenstown was re-routed due to poor conditions in Queenstown (low
clouds, a fairly common occurrence I'm told) so we were busy up from an airport a few
hours away.

By the time we got to the airport we were tired and ready for the hotel. Since we were over
two hours late our transfer to the hotel had left so I had to call the hotel to make
arrangements. To my surprise, when I called the hotel they acted like they had been waiting
for us and actually had someone on the way to come pick us up. "Mel will be there in five
minutes "he said. Little did I know the General Manager herself was coming to pick us up.
started to have a very good feeling about this hotel and what was about to come.

Mel drve us back to the hotel and while on the way we discussed what we wanted to do in
Queenstown and she said, "do not worry, I'll arrange everything for you."

Upon arrival at this chic and trendy hotel Mel invited us to have a drink (complimentary, I
should add) in the bar while our bags were sent up to our room. Check in was quick and
simple, not the long drawn out process that you have at most hotels. This brave us the
opportunity to take in the simple beauty of the lobby and bar; they exude style and comfort; I
could not wait to get up to the room.

The room was unlike any I had seen in all of Australia or New Zealand. Trendy, spacious,
sleek lines, luxurious, and chic, with a high-tech entertainment system including a flat
screen tv / computer monitor and gorgeous views of the mountains. Who could ask for
more? Bombastic! (all that and I forgot to mention their Pillow Menu)

The staff did a fantastic job keeping us busy; arranging a 4×4 tour (up the mountain and
through rivers and streams), jet boating up the Dart River, a private lunch at a deserted lake
nestled at the base of the mountains, a trip to Milford Sound, a ride on the TSS Earnslaw
Steamship (built in 1912), a tour of Walter Peake High Country Farm (sheep ranch) as well
as bombastic dinners at The Bunker, Wai Waterfront Restaurant and The Postmaster's
House Restaurant in Arrowtown.

Was The Spire perfect? No, it fell short in a couple areas. The breakfasts and morning
room service both need some work. And the set dinner "signature menu" with paired wines
we had at their restaurant, Inspire Restaurant, left us more disappointed than it did inspired.

Overall though, The Spire Hotel is definitely a MUST when in Queenstown.

Source by Andrew Satkowiak

Travel to New Zealand – What is the Best Time of Year to Go to New Zealand?

Of all the questions I have put to me, the most difficult question is "When is the best time to go to New Zealand?" Without knowing what your interests are, or what you want to do, it is very hard to answer. The question may be "When is the best weather in New Zealand?" However the answer may change depending on what your interests are. So perhaps you want to come and go hiking, fishing or skiing. Maybe you are interested in gardening, or just want to do a self drive holiday. All of these will give a different answer to the question "What is the best time of year to visit New Zealand".

In order to find out what is the best time to travel to New Zealand, you should first decide the places you wish to visit; as well as the attractions, activities or tours that you would like to do. Once you know this, it is a lot easier decision when to visit New Zealand.

The climate in New Zealand is fairly mild, so it makes a great year round destination to visit. Each season in New Zealand has an appeal all of its own. Although the weather in New Zealand over summer (December to February) is of course warmer; traveling over this period is not necessarily the best choice, or due to other obligations is sometimes not possible.

New Zealand's weather is very changeable, as a result of this means that even over summer there are always quite a few cooler and wetter days. As far as rainfall goes, over winter (June to August) the North Island of New Zealand is a little wetter than the rest of the year; while the South Island is slightly drier. Although there is less sunshine, there are still many sunny days over winter. The highest rainfall falls generally in the Fiordland and West Coast regions of the South Island of New Zealand; while the areas with the greatest sunshine are Nelson and Marlborough in the South Island; as well as Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty in the North Island.

Coming prepared

In all seasons you should come prepare for cooler and wetter weather. We suggest that at all times of the year you dress in layers. It is better to bring a number of warm thinner layers, rather than one thick pullover, as well as a good quality waterproof jacket. This allows you to quickly adjust to sudden changes in climate each day by adding or removing layers. You will also be ready for sunny days, so you should always bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen – you may need them!

Summer in New Zealand – December to February

Visiting New Zealand in summer allows you to be there during New Zealand's warmest and best weather. However if you are looking for a quiet summer holiday, then sometimes come some other time! Summer is the peak season for tourists in New Zealand, and as a result it gets very busy. Accommodation, transport and activities do require booking ahead; and prices tend to be substantially higher.

Autumn (Fall) in New Zealand – March to May

Travel to New Zealand in autumn brings with it the chance to see the magnificent kaleidoscope of colors, as the leaves on the trees and plants change to dramatic russet browns, reds and golden shades. To see these changes at its vibrant best, then visit Wanaka and the Otago region of New Zealand in the South Island; Egypt Hawkes Bay in New Zealand's North Island. If you are looking at a self drive holiday, then travel any time after Easter, and the roads and number of other tourists are always reduced; so autumn is always one of the best times to travel to New Zealand.

Winter in New Zealand – June to August

Winter in New Zealand is when the mountains get their annual coating of snow, and the skiers come out to play! There is a great choice of Ski Areas in New Zealand to choose from, for both advanced skiers and the first time novice. Turoa and Whakapapa Ski Areas in Tongariro National Park are extremely popular with skiers from Auckland in the North Island. Whereas in the South Island you can ski to your hearts content in Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Hutt or one of the many small club ski areas. The ski season usually runs from June to early October, though Whakapapa's season often goes for much longer.

Skiing is often combined with a self-drive holiday. As there is very little traffic on the roads, and snow falls are generally in the mountains, driving is normally very easy. Snow in the valleys usually only occurs with the heaviest snow falls.

The North Island in winter is colder and a little wetter than the rest of the year. However the South Island is generally a little drier, with clear skies and crisp winter nights.

Spring in New Zealand – September to November

Spring is a great time of year to visit New Zealand. The mountains still have their covering of snow, with the ski season coming to a close in early October. The annual spring melt, makes it a popular time for adventure seekers to go white water rafting in the swollen rivers. Spring is also a popular time to visit New Zealand, with the new growth and buds bursting into flower. In the North Island gardeners flock to Taranaki for the annual Rhododendron and Garden Festival; or alternatively travel to the Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay to see the magnificent blossom in flower.

In the South Island you soon learn why Christchurch is called the "Garden City", as the parks and gardens are alive with color. A visit to Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens is a must. Further south Dunedin has many historic gardens including Larnach Castle, Olveston House and Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens. Nearby is Alexandra where you can see the blossom and the annual spring festival.

Best Time for New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

If you can avoid the annual summer rush to New Zealand, then you will always find your New Zealand self drive holiday to be much more relaxed, and save you money in the pocket! This particularly applies to Motorhome and Camervan Rental, where costs reduce dramatically the further you move your travel from the December to February high season. As well as substantially lower rates, rental companies often encourage travel with extra specials over the low season between May and September.

Source by Richard Wolskel

What To Expect On A New Zealand Vacation

New Zealand is one of the most isolated and beautiful countries in the world. Most people think of the country as being just off the coast of Australia and tend to lump the two together, in fact over 1200 miles of water separates the two countries.

On a visit to New Zealand, you can experience some of the most dramatic and unspoiled landscapes anywhere on earth. New Zealand boasts snow-capped mountains, deep blue lakes, forests, geysers and boiling pools of mud. The South Island contains most of the country's highest mountains, including Mount Cook at 12,000 feet; while the North Island has more volcanic activity.

New Zealanders do not take their beautiful country for granted, many towns and cities have walking trails and around a third of the land is designated as National Park. Also, if some parts of New Zealand look vaguely familiar, the country's dramatic and unspoiled landscapes are featured in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

One thing that you will immediately notice about New Zealand is that it is sparsely populated. Sheep outnumber people by about ten to one. The sea has always been important to the people of New Zealand ever since the Maoris settled on the two islands around 1000 years ago. No place in the country is more than about 80 miles from the sea.

Although the country is sparsely populated, it has become increasingly cosmopolitan, attracting immigrants from all over the world. Many New Zealanders are of British descent; there are also many immigrants from China, Korea and Japan. Around 23% of New Zealanders were born overseas, one of the highest such percentages in the world. Visitors as well as residents enjoy a high standard of living in beautiful New Zealand.

New Zealand appeals to lovers of the great outdoors and in recent years, the country has become one of the main destinations for so-called adventure travel. You can find it all in New Zealand, white water rafting, skiing, hiking, (tramping as it is called here) sky-diving, hot air ballooning, kayaking and swimming with sharks. Also, for the true thrill-seeker, the most extreme of extreme sports, bungee jumping.

Queenstown has become the unofficial capital of adventure sports as well as the most visited destination in the country. The city boasts the world's first commercial bungee jump site. It has also become a popular destination for skiing and winter sports. Queenstown is located in some of the country's most beautiful scenery, in a country that is not exactly short on natural beauty.

While New Zealand is unduly a major destination for outdoors enthusiasts, the country also boasts sophisticated cities and a fascinating culture. New Zealand has also been recognized for its quality wines in recent years. The country has six major wine growing regions and it is possible to spend your entire time here simply touring vineyards. There are over 80 in the Auckland area alone.

Auckland, known as the City of Sails, is where most international visitors arrive. It is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the country and offers a wide selection of shops, nightlife, galleries and restaurants. Many visitors are surprised at the quality of the dining in Auckland – particularly recommended are those restaurants specializing in Asian and Pacific Rim cuisine.

The Maoris were the first inmates of New Zealand and it is difficult to travel through the country without coming across reminders of their culture and influence. The Auckland Museum is a great place to become familiar with Maori culture. For a more hands-on experience, visit the reconstructed and authentic Maori village at Tamaki. One place not to be missed is the East Cape, one of the last places where the Maori language is part of everyday life.

For much of the 19th century, New Zealand was a British colony and one of the most noticeable things to any visitor is how much parts of the country feel like Britain. The city of Christchurch, with its squares and avenues and beautiful Victorian buildings, is perhaps the most "English" of New Zealand's cities, it even has a River Avon running through the center. The delightful town of Dunedin may have been transplanted from Scotland. Also, another aspect of New Zealand life that is good to know, New Zealanders drive on the left.

Most visitors leave New Zealand with a favorable impression. It is a country that really does have it all, wonderful scenery, vibrant cities, excellent food and wines and a fascinating culture.

Source by Craig Elliot

What to Do in New Zealand

"Ki Ora! Welcome to New Zealand!" This is often the comment you will get when you step off the plane into one of our international airports at Christchurch, Hamilton or Auckland.

New Zealand is an amazing place to live and a fantastic place to visit. We have lush, green rolling hills surrounding us in many parts of the country but then we also have acres and acres of lush, green flats with flowing rivers all leading out to the Pacific Ocean.

There is so much to do here and no matter what your age, there is something for everyone. Having lived in New Zealand all my life and having traveled around most of the North and South Islands, I can tell you there is no other place in the world I would rather live.

So, what can you do in New Zealand? Well, if you are into hiking and camping, this is going to be like heaven for you. We have some fantastic mountain ranges. The best places to go for hiking and camping are Taupo, which is in the middle of the North Island, Wellington, Christchurch and the west coast of the South Island, where there are some amazing hiking tramps down there.

Not into hiking or camping? Prefer shopping? I have just the place for you! Auckland, our largest city, has got one of the best places for shopping ever! There are so many factory shops and bargains to be had, you will most certainly find something and being a bargain shopper myself, I would recommend checking out "Dressmart" at Onehunga, it is huge and has some of the best shopping to have had! Another fantastic place to shop is the main street of Wellington; catch a cable car to get around. Christchurch has some fantastic shopping malls also.

Ok, so you are over shopping? Want to see all the different attractions New Zealand has to offer? Well, where do I start ?! Here is a list of my favorites spots through New Zealand, there are many more but these are the ones I love:

  • Swimming at 90 mile beach at the top of the North Island. This is just past Kaitia which is about 6 hours drive from central Auckland.
  • Fishing off Great Barrier Island. There are some great charters and this is some of the best deep sea fishing you can find.
  • Enjoying a good coffee on the waterfront at Mission Bay in Auckland. This is a fantastic place to be during summer.
  • Visiting the Auckland Museum for some history about our beautiful country. Learn about the Maori culture and how our country has evolved through the ages.
  • Head on down to the Waitomo district and go to the Waitomo caves where you can go white and black water rafting and see the amazing glow worms in the caves. This is a truly surreal experience.
  • Visit our national bird, the Kiwi at the Kiwi house in Otorohanga. Get up close and personal with this two legged flight fewer birds. They are gorgeous.
  • Taupo – my favorite place to be during summer and winter. Taupo has one of the largest lakes in the world which is the crater left behind by one of the largest volcanic explosions to rock this world. The lake is renound for its amazing trout fishing. Also one of my favorite things to do is para gliding behind a boat on the lake, you get some amazing views! Take it that step further and do a tandem sky dive over the Taupo district. My Dad did this for his 50th birthday last year; he was on a high for days after that!
  • Drive an hour and half out of Taupo and you will come across some of the best skiing in the world. Mt Ruapehu (which is still an active volcano!) Is one of the busiest mountains during winter; you can ski on either side of the mountain as there are two ski fields.
  • Cape Kidnappers is another great historical place to visit and it is one of the warmest places in New Zealand. Take the tour up to the point at Cape Kidnappers and visit the colony of Gannets (birds) that gather there. Be warned about the smell though, it's something you have to experience!
  • Catch the ferry at Wellington across to Picton in the South Island and you will find a very different New Zealand. The South Island is not so much hustle and bustle, it is more a relaxed, take your time atmosphere, a great place to chill out.
  • Nelson is one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand and it is not hard to see why. This is a great beach side city and lots of people are retiring here or bringing their families to for the lifestyle.
  • Head down the west coast of the South Island and you will come across a town called Kaikoura, where you can take a cruise on a boat to see some of the most amazing dolphins and whales, up close and personal.
  • Queenstown is probably my favorite town in New Zealand, it has a great atmosphere all year round, is surrounded by a beautiful lake and one of the best ski fields in New Zealand. Whether visiting during summer or winter, you will love the locals and tourists a like, this is definitely a place to be.
  • Invercargill, where one of my brothers lives, is a small town at the very bottom of the South Island. On a clear day, you can see Stewart Island in the distance. Drive half an hour out of Invercargill and you will come across Bluff … famous for it's Bluff Oysters, this sleepy little town has "lands end" marked by street signs pointing you in the direction you want to head. A great place to have your picture taken and of course if you like shell fish, you will want to taste their oysters.

There you have it, some of my favorite places throughout New Zealand, my home country and the place I will always come back to. Please come and visit us and come up with your own favorite places to visit!

Source by Kat Beechum

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Black

(as of UTC – Details)

What is Echo Dot?

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.

Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo device you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).

Alexa, find me a Chinese restaurant. | Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?

Made for any room

Sleek and compact design makes Echo Dot a convenient addition to any room in the house. With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers and shop tens of millions of Amazon products using just your voice.

Echo Dot can also directly connect to speakers using a 3.5 mm stereo cable or using Bluetooth to add voice control to your home stereo system in the living room or den.

Voice control your music.

Echo Dot provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you.

Echo Dot also provides hands-free voice control to Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

Voice control your smart home

Use Echo Dot to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger…or even raising your voice.

Echo Dot works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, fans, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more from Philips Hue, TP-Link, ecobee, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Lutron, Nest, Wink, Honeywell, and more.

Far-field voice recognition

Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With a more powerful processor, the all-new Echo Dot has improved wake-word performance to hear you ask a question from any direction—even in noisy environments or while playing music.

When you want to use Echo Dot, simply say the wake word, “Alexa,” and Dot lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly.

Always getting smarter

Alexa—the brain behind Echo Dot—is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Dot, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo Dot is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.

Just in the last few months we’ve added Amazon order tracking, repeating alarms, and thousands of new skills from third-party developers.

Echo Dot has skills

Skills add even more capabilities like ordering a pizza from Domino’s, requesting a ride from Uber, tracking your fitness with Fitbit, ordering flowers from 1-800-Flowers, and more. Enabling skills lets your Echo Dot do even more—simply discover skills you want to use in the Alexa App. To enable a new skill, just ask Alexa.

New skills are being added all the time. You can also see ratings and reviews to learn what other customers are saying about the thousands of skills available in the Alexa App.

Do More with the Alexa App

With the free Alexa App on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily setup and manage your Echo Dot.

Use the Alexa App to connect services you already use like Spotify, Pandora, and Google Calendar. Setup your smart home devices from Philips Hue, TP-Link, ecobee, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, Lutron, and more. See which books are available to read from your Kindle and Audible libraries. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover third-party skills.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set music alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more
Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music.
Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
Controls lights, fans, TVs, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and others
Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer; Amazon Echo is not required to use Echo Dot
Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, DISH, and more

Five Reasons to Consider Moving to New Zealand

If you weigh the living in New Zealand pros and cons, you will probably understand why so many people migrate to New Zealand. Some of the reasons that outsiders are moving to New Zealand include the following.

A Thriving Economy

Although not everyone who wants to migrate to New Zealand realizes it, the economy is one of the richest in the world when all things are taken into account. Considering living in New Zealand pros and cons, the median household weekly income of $ 1,236 should be a strong pro. When you add to it the fact that there is very little income difference between the richest and the poorest inhabants, moving to New Zealand makes perfect sense.

Free Hospital System

Few countries can boast of a better situation regarding health care. Just look at the mess many countries are in health insurance and a plan to migrate to New Zealand is an intelligent one. Living in New Zealand pros and cons are heavily tipped toward the pros on this one item. Generally speaking, no one moving to New Zealand is denied health care.

Ability to Produce Food

Many of the jobs in New Zealand are dependent on the climate, and farming definitely benefits from the insufficient rain and mild climate of the islands. It is reliably easy to produce good crops so anyone who migrates to New Zealand can be assured of not going hungry. The temperate weather itself is something that attracts people to New Zealand.

Social Welfare System

The infrastructure of a caring community should be considered when living in New Zealand pros and cons are discussed. Because of the concerns of all, no one goes hungry and the number of homeless people is very small. Who would not want to migrate to New Zealand when they consider the generosity of its people?

The recent earthquake of Christchurch was indicative of how people come together and assistance is in place for residents who have sudden and dramatic problems. New Zealanders represent some of the largest givers in the world. Those who consider moving to New Zealand should understand that they will be a part of a sharing world.

Inflation Worries

In much of the world, inflation is running rampant. Some areas have annual percentages of 20 or more. While nothing can assured, the living in New Zealand pros and cons point to a solvent and stable economy that is definitely a positive reason for people to want to come to the islands.

Preparing to Move to New Zealand

Anyone with the desire to swap nationalities and become a resident in New Zealand should consider the proper channels to gain entry into the country. Having gainful employment in advance is the recommended way to relocate.

There are organizations that assess individuals and advise on job opportunities and, in some cases, match people up to employers. This service provides that any newcomer can obtain job interviews upon arrival and save valuable time in locating an employment position.

Source by Andreas Becker

Exploring Fiordland, New Zealand

Day One: Trek to Lake Marian

Driving the Te Anau – Milford Road must be one of the best scenic drives in the world. First you enjoy expansive views of Lake Te Anau, then suddenly the open grassy Eglington valley appears, surrounded by mountains. You venture past the exit from the Routeburn Track before turning off into the bush clad Hollyford Valley. Just 4km down the Hollyford Road is the start of the walk to Lake Marian. After crossing the Hollyford River there is a spectacular series of waterfalls with cantilevered boardwalks above the river hugging the rock face. The track gets a little rougher but just over an hour later we reached the beautiful alpine lake, located in a hanging valley and surrounded by snow-dusted peaks of the Darran Mountain range – most of which are over 2000 meters. The setting is simply spectacular and equally as good as anything we have seen in Nepal or the Pyrenees but without the expensive plane ticket! A picnic and a quick swim in the very chilly snowmelt lake then it was back down the track and back to Te Anau.

Days Two and Three: Kayaking on Doubtful Sound

A picturesque but lengthy trip us across Lake Manapouri then over the Wilmot Pass and down into Doubtful Sound. After geared up and being instructed in kayak technique, we cruised off to explore the sound with 6 others for a two-day trip. Confusingly, both Doubtful and Milford Sounds are actually not technically sounds (river valleys flooded by the sea), but are actually fiords – valleys scoured out by glacial action long ago. Paddling effortlessly along the becalmed fiord our knowledgeable guide pointed out the scars left on the rising cliffs by the glaciers and intensive faulting that has shattered the rock in places. The wind picked up in the afternoon so we tried kayak sailing – hoisting a sail up the paddles at the back of two linked kayaks and then holding tight to the bottom of the sail at the front of the kayak we cruised nicely up Hall Arm to give weary muscles a rest.

Landing next to a fresh water stream at the end of the day to our relief we found that the camping spot secluded in the pristine rainforest had an insect free shellter. Hordes of the famous Fiordland sandflies, which strangely do not bother you while you are on the water, amassed around us as we raised our tents. Removing the food laden-ballast from our kayak we realized we'd massively over-catered and spent the rest of the evening crouched over the gas stove and stoking the boilers of the other kayakers.

The morning mist was just rising over the surrounding peaks and the sand flies appeared to have slept in as we packed up and dipped our paddles into the crystal clear waters and headed towards another Arm of the fiord. A tiny research boat shadowed some bottlenose dolphins playing, remembering us that despite the remote ruggedness of Doubtful Sound other people, mainly tourists on cruise day trips, do venture into this wilderness place. After paddling around Elizabeth Island and learning all about the edible plants that grow in the New Zealand bush, we picnicked on a white-sand beach and carved up the delicious birthday cake that provided us. Cake consumed and one last kayak up the peaceful sound and we were greeted on dry land by several Keas – New Zealand's cheekiest native bird. After draining the camera battery taking photos of their antics, we retracted our journey back across Lake Manapouri to Te Anau again.

Day Four: Exploring Milford Sound

Most New Zealanders have at least seen pictures of the legendary beauty of Milford Sound, but perhaps not so many have viewed it from both above and below the water. Starting out early from Te Anau we deve the scenic Milford Road again, through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound – recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site from 1986. Few tour coaches had yet reached up and were on our dive boat, it still felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Chances are when you visit Milford it will be raining, as having seven meters of rain a year makes it one of the wettest places in the world. For us however, we were blessed with clear blue skies and calm waters. After cruising out along the fjord with its steep rock walls towering hundreds of meters above us we moored just benefit the towering Miter Peak. Unique dive conditions are created in Milford Sound due to the high rain that creates a tannin-laden light-filtering freshwater layer on top of the seawater. For divers this means that sea creatures that would normally live at great depths such as black coral colonies – which oddly enough are actually white to look at, can be seen at only 15m. Fortunately non-divers can also get a glimpse of the underwater world by descending the purpose-built underwater observatory build discreetly into the side of the fjord.

After exploring the beautiful and unique Milford underwater life, our dive boat crew gave us a treat by pouring hot water down our dive suits – Milford Sound water registers a chilly 13 degrees even in summer. Dressing up warmly we explored the fiord by boat, cameras clicking away at the multiple picture postcard shots. Clambering onto land right at the mouth of the fiord near the Tasman sea, we explored the small stone ruins of a gold prospector's hut built in the 1930's. Re-boarding the boat for the journey back we witnessed a sea lion repeatedly tossing a fish around above water, playing with it mercilsly before devouring it. Its friends lazed on the nearby rocks completely ignoring the intruding tourists and we cruised by, wowed by the many stunning waters and mountain vistas typical of Fiordland National Park, in our books justifiably the number one New Zealand tourist attraction for New Zealanders.

Dock Bay Lodge:

What a treat we had in store when we chose to stay at Dock Bay Lodge, just minutes drive from Te Anau township. This newly opened purpose-built lodge was the dream of long-term Te Anau locales Dawn and Mark Dowling and opened in 2006. 5 spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the tended greens of the Te Anau golf course, Lake Te Anau and towards the Kepler and Murchison Mountains. The lodge has everything you would expect including king-sized beds, spa pool, gym, fluffy bathrobes, sumptuous breakfasts, wireless internet, complimentary mountain bikes and golf clubs.

Guests enjoy genuine southern hospitality through Dawn and Mark who established the business because of a love of hosting and helping people. Focusing instead on providing a memorable experience to guests rather than filling every room each night, their down-to-earth yet friendly and professional style really made us feel at home. Dawn seemed to expect every need we might have had and was on hand to supply information, she prepared take-away breakfasts when we rose to do activities before dawn, and added little surprise trips to make our stay memorable.

So many activities are within easy reach of Dock Bay Lodge – especially for lovers of the outdoors. A keen national-level golfer, Dawn did not take much persuading to join us in teeing off from the 11th fairway which merges with the lodge's garden. Milford and Doubtful Sounds are but a short drive away, the entrance to the Kepler Track is almost on the doorstep of the lodge and mountain bike tracks abound. Those into water sports can enjoy Lake Te Anau that the Lodge overlooks, and lovers of fine cuisine can sample excellent New Zealand, Italian and Chinese cuisine in the town center and environs.

Source by Trina Stevens

Where to Get Halal Food in New Zealand?

There are few restaurants in New Zealand that serves Halal food, and even a few places that sell raw Halal food. In larger cities, such as Auckland and Wellington, there are quite a number of Halal Malaysia Restaurants, Indian Restaurants and Kebab stands. In smaller towns, it is unlikely that there will be such shops and restaurants.

In the cities, there are specialized shops that sell Halal foodstuff, Asian cuisine, etc. I have been to a number of Asian supermarkets around, and some of them do sell things like Sambal chilli and Halal Indomie Mee Goreng. In fact, the local supermarket chains also carry various Halal certified foodstuff, especially if there is a significant number of Muslims in the area.

One of my fave eating-places is Nando's, which happens to serve only chicken. Since the first time I went there was with my friends from Dubai, I am guessing that it is Halal. The good news is – there are heaps of branches located all around in major cities. In fact, there are more than 15 outlets in Auckland alone.

Another Halal restaurant I was to is Rasa Malaysian & South Indian Restaurant in downtown Wellington. To be honest, I only was there once, and it did not leave me a deep impression. The food was not bad or what, it was okay, just not that great to keep me wanting to go back.

My Muslim friends also greeted me to some Kebab Restaurants. The one I frequent the most is probably Jabies Doner Kebab at the town Bulls. It is so close to Palmerston North, and sometimes we just drive over to eat Kebab. We pass by quite often when we drive up North, as this is one of the places where we can turn to State Highway 1.

If you need to find where the Halal Restaurants and eating-places, most I-Site visitor centers will be able to provide you some recommendations. But I strongly recommend you to bring a few packs of instant noodles along, just in case you decide to stay in a smaller town for a night or so.

Source by Doris Chow

Clickbait why I hate it

The reason or reasons (as I think about it) Is one that I am stupid enough to click the link and two that it inevitably under delivers. Having said that its power is quite amazing and I am thinking of using it more often.