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Heading to New Zealand/Australia


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#1 Merlin

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:15 AM

We leave on Sunday for a month down under. We'll probably splurge a couple nights but for the most part we are on a budget and hope for the best bang for our buck. We'll have a rental car the entire time so will be flexible to drive for good food! If anyone has any advice at all, I'd really appreciate it if you shared.

In NZ we have one day in Auckland, the rest on the South Island: Christchurch, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Te Anau, Wanaka, Dunedin.

In Australia: Gold Coast/Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas, Daintree, Hunter Valley, Sydney (and several jungle lodges for my bird watching).

Between moving and my mom's operation, I've had little time to do the necessary research. Help, please! Thank you.

#2 foodie52

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:50 AM

Get the Lonely Planet guides - they are fantastic. We had wonderful meals based on their recommendations.
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#3 Steven Dilley

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:16 PM

Auckland - The French Cafe. About a block away (same side of the street) is a pretty cool brew pub. Blanking on the name.

Chch has some interesting looking Chinese places, though I can't vouch for quality. Petrini is a cool lunch spot, with cute store attached. Downtown Chch has a cool little area with small restaurants, shops, cafes. It's pretty small, so chances are you'll run into it just walking around. German place, Japanese tea house, brew pub, etc. Anyway, the brew pub is cool with above average food.
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#4 Maison Rustique

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:42 PM

I'm so jealous! Have a wonderful trip!!
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#5 Behemoth

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:27 PM

we were in Sydney and Cairns last july, really fun. I wrote up some of it:
Sydney
Cairns
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#6 fantasty

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:41 AM

This was many years ago, but we had a great meal in Auckland at Cafe Melba. Also a place that I think was called Java (or maybe the Java Room?) in Parnell, that was also a winner. We had gone to NZ with low expectations for food and were pleasantly surprised across the country, on both islands. I don't think we had a single bad meal in two weeks there.
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#7 Adam Lawrence

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:55 PM

I had some of the best fish and chips ('fush and chups' if you're practising your Kiwi accent) in Kaikoura. It was ten years ago, so I can't remember the name of the place, and frankly who can tell whether it still exists? But the place was a joint wet fish counter/chip shop, and you could choose a piece of fish and have them fry it for you. We drove quickly to the seal colony a few miles north of town and watched the seals play as we ate (it was honeymoon).

The other thing about Kaikoura is that it's famous for lobster (they call them crayfish there). I asked the B&B owner we were staying with where we should go to eat it: he said most of the restaurants were much of a muchness and that we should buy a cooked one from the fish shop, some bread and mayonnaise and go have a picnic on the beach. The downside was that half the seagulls in the Southern Hemisphere came to investigate, but it was a pretty good experience.
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#8 AaronS

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:59 PM

Going to spend two weeks in auckland soon, I would really love any recent reports/suggestions. I did notice that Shelton Brothers imports a surprising amount of NZ beer but haven't found much else that looks exciting.

#9 Eatmywords

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 03:22 PM

What do you mean 2 weeks in Auckland? Are you restricted to the city? Very little to do/see there. I hope you have plenty of time away.

If not, my number one rec for the North Island (assuming you're in decent shape) is the Tongariro Crossing which is about 4 or 5hrs by train or car (btwn Wellingtong and Auckland).

Touted as the single best day hike in N.Zealand (we thought it was the best wed taken during our 6 month trip throughout Asia) it should not be missed.

If you're a Lord of the Rings fan youll recognize the volcano, Mt Ngauruhoe or Mount Doom (first pic shrouded in clouds on the left). Its tough to put into words how incredible this place is. Land of the Lost meets Mars. Pics do little justice. You just have to go.



first mile or two
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M leading the way to stinky lakes that never freeze (full of sulfur)
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This blogger covered it well. (Funny, he shot many of the same angles we did)

Provide more schedule details.

#10 AaronS

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:04 PM

I'm actually staying in Auckland for two weeks, we're here to let my father in law meet our infant so I really am stuck in the city for two weeks. The infant also means no real hiking unfortunately, but that does look amazing and I'll try to work it in next time we're here.

What I'm really looking for are Auckland dining/drinking recomendations. I have found a place to buy NZ microbrews, which haven't been stellar so far.

#11 AaronS

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:52 AM

I guess I should add that I'm not looking for the Per Se of Auckland, I'm more looking for the Katz's or Sripraphai or Ssam Bar (2007 era) of Auckland.

We had a really nice walk around the old cannon in Devonport today.

#12 memesuze

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:06 PM

I guess I should add that I'm not looking for the Per Se of Auckland, I'm more looking for the Katz's or Sripraphai or Ssam Bar (2007 era) of Auckland.

We had a really nice walk around the old cannon in Devonport today.

I had a terrific lunch at a Thai restaurant, the Blue Elephant
I wasn't in Auckland and eating out for very long, but I'll check my notes tonight.
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#13 Eatmywords

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 03:44 PM

The best food we had in Auckland was at a Korean BBQ across the street from our hotel. I think it was on Queen St. Ill have to do a little searching. (Mind you, this was 3 yrs ago so who knows if its still around).

Similar to our Picnic Garden in Flushing, Queens, they offered a raw meat/veg buffet you grilled at your table with a few sauces and various banchan. Much to choose from and the cuts and quality were very good. I imagine others are doing similar and easily found with a google.

I know this doesn't help much but we also had some really good kidney and other offal meat pies in random bakeries near the center of town.

#14 AaronS

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:15 PM

There are a ton of Asian places downtown that weren't there in 2008. The pie places in west Auckland don't have much in the way of offal but I really like the mince that I can get near where I'm staying.

I can recommend Gailbraith's Ale House for solid British style ales, most of which are cask conditioned. The appetizers I tried were good too but I didn't have a full meal.

We took a nice train ride on the Rainforest Express that ended up near a dam, really hard to believe that you're still inside the city limits. It's near Titarangi.

#15 AaronS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:04 AM

spent another 2 weeks in auckland in march. my sister in law had us eat at a few "cafes" and the food was awful everywhere we went.

I did manage to have a few good meals at the fridge, which is a fancy pie place on new north road that's reliably good, if a little too heavy. I only get the pies and the caramel square.

the other good meals were at an indonesian place in an all asian food court on albert street in the auckland cbd. I recommend the rendang in particular. I'm sure I'll be back if I'm sentenced to more time in the antipodes.

I also recommend the auckland art gallery if you're looking for something to do in auckland. there's a bar on vulcan lane just off queen street whose name I don't remember that has a nice selection of NZ microbrews. it's right next to "the oldest bar in auckland" - which only has mass market garbage on tap.