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Good Times Across the Tasman

What about a trip across the Tasman to see New Zealand in summer?  Kiwis can boast about temperatures being somewhere within the average Aussie’s comfort zone during the summer months.  If you can bear to wrap up warm during the winter months New Zealand is truly a winter wonderland, and is one of the most amazing places you’ll ever see – particularly in the South Island with the snow-capped Southern Alps.

There are always special places to go, and there are always plenty of activities – from white water rafting to multiple night treks that will have you tramping and camping through some of the most untouched, pristine mountainous areas in the world.  And the best thing about the wildlife over in New Zealand is that the sand-fly is about the only creepy-crawly that is likely to cause you any grief, but then there are plenty of tricks that the locals know which manage to keep these beasties at a distance.

Probably, the best and cheapest way to see New Zealand would be to hire a vehicle that suits your budget.  The great thing about car or van hire, is that you’ll pick and choose exactly where you’ll go and what you’ll do each day.  You’ll be seeing New Zealand at your own pace, which will also mean that you’ll meet the friendly locals who, at worst, will only ever give you a friendly ribbing over the last time the All Blacks beat the Wallabies…again.

Most of the great New Zealand sites can be travelled to by car.  Milford Sound is a must see, the glow worms at Te Anau, gorgeous scenery from Roxburgh to Alexandra, The Remarkables, Mt Cook, the Maze at Wanaka, Haast, Fox Glacier, Hanmer Hot Pools, New Zealand’s Hydro dams, the Catlins, Nelson Bay beaches, The West Coast, Punakaiki, The Wild Food Festival, Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens, Hooker Glacier walk… the list goes on, and these are just some of the easy-to-get-to places around the South Island.  Do take a look at Arrowtown in Autumn, and make sure that you ditch the car and travel on the TranzAlpine train for a long weekend away in Greymouth.

Gorgeous autumn colours in Arrowtown, Cebtral Otago.

Senior Citizens looking for cheaper options will find that there are some great savings to be had on travel and accommodation, both in Australia and throughout New Zealand.  If you qualify for a Seniors Card from your state government here in Australia, then most Seniors Cards can now also be used for concessions when visiting New Zealand.  Holders of Australian Seniors Cards are now able to access the same discounts as holders of New Zealand’s SuperGold cards, when travelling across the Tasman.

If you love driving, there are some of the great new cars available for hire at the bigger rental car businesses.  New Zealand is one of the easiest and friendliest getaways for an Australian to make.