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Old 10-05-2006, 01:41 AM   #1
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OK, ive booked my flights now for my first solo adventure and im nervous/excited now, its starting to feel real

Ive got loads of questions so ill post a few threads rather than loading this one with every question I can think of !

Basically im leaving the UK for 5 weeks, (as this is the max holidays I can get from work). Hopefully this will be a taster of travelling alone and if it works out well then I can start thinking of taking time out to do some longer travelling.

Basically im looking for some advice on things I must see and do on the way, heres my itinerary, cheers everyone!

Leave UK early Feb 2007
Hong Kong (3 Nights)
Sydney (3 Nights)
New Zealand (22 nights on Magic Bus round both islands)
Adelaide (5 nights, staying with family so no need for hostels here)

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks again

If anyones got any general advice on travelling solo then please see my other thread, ta !
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:08 PM   #2
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Get one of the "Octopus passes" in Hong Kong. It's a card that you pay a base cost for, then can put extra cash into it whenever you want. It is good on subways, ferries, buses, etc. You don't even need to get it out to swipe it. I stuck mine at the bottom of my camera bag (ladies put their's in their purse), and just passing it over the reader deducts the fare. Uber-convenient!

And public transport is sooo easy to get around on. Check out my travelogue on HK on the link below...actually, it was one of my "soul searching" travelogues...

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Old 10-06-2006, 10:14 AM   #3
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Wow... you are going on quite the adventure!!

There are so many things to see...

I went on a two week vacation this summer with Contiki and saw a lot... you are gonna see some amazing things!!

London- you have to see the Tower of London, it is sweet to get in the history of the city... then head to Covent Garden and eat at Porters for some true English grub

Paris- of course the Eiffel Tower, but why not at NIGHT! It is soooo pretty being up there when the lights twinkle like "diamonds in the sky"

Switzerland- oh gosh you have to go to Lucerne, BEAUTIFUL in the middle of the swiss alps, then you can take a gondel ride to the top of Mt. Pilatus

Austria- for a nice comforting stop... go to Hopfgarten! It is so peaceful and a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city!! Eat a meatloaf sandwich... it may sounds gross but its some good good stuff!!

Hope you have an amazing time!!

Check out my blog for some more place I went and saw and my reaction to them!!

http://katedoescontiki.blogspot.com
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #4
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WTF does a Europe Contiki trip have to do with a HK/Oz/NZ trip?
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:10 PM   #5
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mate im on a similar trip at themoment. but Im staying in oz for 1 year at least. I left on sunday the 1st oct and flew to hong kong. Just be prepared for how crazy and over populated it is and also bear in mind that the pollution is really bad there. I had an excellent time and really enjoyed it. The restaurants are a bit crazy and it can be hard to order, but if you have a little patients you should be able to try out some local food. Also if you intend to go up victoria peak whicfh I definetly reccomend then bear in mind that the visibility is so poor during the day at times that the view may be a bit of a let down. I went up during the day and then decided to go back at night which is a lot better, though it was really busy as you had to fight for a spot to take pictures etc. also the que afterwards to go back down can get quite long and may take 30 mins to get back onto the tram. If you have the time I definetly recomend a visit to lantau ireland to see the big budda and the new cable carts that take you up there are definetly worth it, also if you are looking for some bargains there is a outlet supermaket at the train station on lantau ireland where you can pick up some really good bargains...

got to go now but if you need anymore help just ask!
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
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Cheers to everyone whos replied so far, much appreciated. Hong Kong sounds good, cant wait !

Ive started looking into YHA / Travel passes to get round New Zealand now. Originally i was going to go with Magic Bus (21 nights travel and accomodation = £460). Now ive looked into it, it works out a lot cheaper to go with InterCity/Newmans (15 days travel / 21 nights accomodation = £312, and that includes one ferry crossing)

The question is, does anyone have any experience with either cos it seems to be a fairly big price difference so im not sure if theres a reason why ??? the cheaper one includes a ferry crossing and seems a bit more flexible, frequent and reaches more towns etc ? Am i missing something here ?

Also, transpennine train journeys ? are they worth a go ? anyone been on one ?

Thanks again everyone !
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:02 AM   #7
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I was just in NZ a bit ago and maybe you should look into renting a car for that time. It is cheap over there and will get you all over. Plus the ferries take them too. The ferries however, are expensive. You should budget a good amount of money for travelling over there. But the exchange rate for you from the UK is amazing right now. I had a great time around Lake Tekapo, Greymouth (just to go to Monteith's brewery), Christchurch (stayed for a month), Nelson (ok, not much to do). You should also go kayaking wherever possible, I saw a lot of what you dont get to see on the ground that way.

As for HK, it is a great and lively city with lots of pollution. Since they were under British rule for so long you dont need to worry about the language barrier because all of the buildings are marked in both Cantonese and English. Shopping is awesome there. If you go to the markets they expect you to barter, go down 50% and get ready to get in a heated argument with their calculator. Check out some shrines and gardens around HK. They are absolutely amazing and you wont regret the day trip.

As for Oz, no info, haven't been. Good luck! And have soooo much fun!
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Old 10-10-2006, 01:29 AM   #8
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Cheers Indierock05 for the suggestions

Yeah i did think about hiring a car but to be honest im travelling on my own and im pretty shy so i was kind of thinking that the best thing i could do would be throw myself in with everyone else that way i have to speak up and cant be shy ! (if that makes any sense ?!?) I think if i hired a car id probably just go off and do my own thing all the time instead

Kayaking sounds good though, never done it before so im on it !

Thanks again
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:49 AM   #9
 
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yo

intercity/newmans are like the public or goverment type of bus so im guessing that you wouldnt meet as many travellers as you would on the others as they are organised for tourists.

am not 100% on this though as i never really take the bus at home but if i can help you with anything else just ask.
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Old 10-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #10
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(gazz @ Oct 10 2006, 09:49 PM) [snapback]142120[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
yo

intercity/newmans are like the public or goverment type of bus so im guessing that you wouldnt meet as many travellers as you would on the others as they are organised for tourists.

[/b]
Totally agree, i think we may have contiki here now as well if your looking for a younger crowd. Yeh the ferry is round bout $40 NZ for a student each way i think and round $100 to take a car across. The South Island is beautiful but I think you could easily focus on just Queenstown, Nelson and the Malborough sounds and still get the best out of it, their are Glaciers and gold mining towns on the west coast but otherwise not a lot id say, although im a tad biased being from the North! If you've got any questions Id be happy to help!
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:47 AM   #11
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Gazz / Kiwichick thanks for the info !

Ive made my mind up now and im going to go with Magic Bus, probably better for me rather than using local bus services (Intercity)

OK ive a couple more random questions !:

Firstly, how far in advance will i need to book hostels at that time of year ? can you book them the day before or is it better to plan my stay and book weeks in advance ? I was going to just "wing it" as ive no idea if ill be staying somewhere for a day or 2 or 3 so didnt want to book to far ahead but also dont wont to end up struggling to find somewhere !

Secondly, what kind of weather should i expect in Feb/March or is it pretty much a mixture depending on which island your on ?? Only reason i ask is so i can get an idea of what to bring, im assuming ill be fine with a thin waterproof coat

Cheers everyone
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:41 PM   #12
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In Feb / March you should be fine with a waterproof coat, Feb is usually our hottest month, march can get a bit cold but nothing too drastic.

The weather does vary across the islands but it should be reasonable no matter where you are.

On the bus matter, a new company has just started nakedbus.com , i don't know how good it will be but at the moment they are having $1 fares between a lot of places in NZ which might help to keep some costs down, they reckon when you pay their full price it is still like half of normal buses. Might be something to look at if you have some extra time away from your magicbus trip.

Im not entirely sure about the hostels, but so long as you book around new years and the week before / after new years i think you will proberly be fine. Just keep in mind that all the uni students are on holiday at this time and don't go back till the end of february.
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:48 AM   #13
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I imagine by the beginning/mid of feburary u'd be pretty sweet just booking the day before bcos school and uni are starting again, places such as napier might be more questionable though dependant on what kind of sesasonal work they have going, Waitangi day or wknd would be another date to book around and thats the 6th of Feb
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