Fellow travelers, hopefully you find this handy:
1. Scrub your O shoes, you'll have to declare them at customs (and any camping gear, particular interest in tents). Even a bit of dirt caked onto a few cleats earned ours a dunk in a bleach bath, not sure what they would have done if they were completely covered with mud like after Ultralong Champs!
2. You need and onward ticket to receive your boarding pass.
3. Citizens of Australia, Great Britain, Canada and USA can go through the short line with the self-serve kiosks at immigration. It is not clearly signed, so ask if you're confused - the All Others line is long and slow.
4. If camping, download the app CamperMate. All details about campsite costs, amenities and location are available offline, and it will use GPS to show your location without a data connection. Really helpful.
5. Safe travels, see you in the woods!
Haha, NZ customs once took Blair's O shoes from him as he entered the country and he had to pick them up again when he was leaving (good thing it was from the same airport). Funniest moment was when they initially brought him back the wrong pair of shoes!
Also, what they really want to know about your "tint" is whether there's mud on the pegs. So have these packed separately and easy to show to customs rather than having to unpack the entire tent in front of the officers :)
"Onward ticket" Where do you get that? And why a boarding pass if you are arriving?
That just means a ticket back out again. I believe the case is that they won't give you your boarding pass for the flight TO New Zealand if you don't have proof of a ticket that takes you back out again.
Be prepared to get wet. While the current forecast for the Oceania weekend itself isn't too bad, there has been a lot of rain in recent weeks (Auckland's had about 450mm since the start of March), and more heavy rain is forecast Wednesday/Thursday - just how heavy depends on how close Cyclone Cook gets to NZ, but another 50-100mm would certainly not come as a surprise.
The sand dune areas should drain pretty well, but the Middle on Monday could be "interesting". According to a notice on the event website, there have been many small landslides on an area not too far from the map but few on the mapped area itself.
(Incidentally, said cyclone is forecast to make a direct hit on Noumea as a category 3-4 system (equivalent of a category 2-3 hurricane in the US system), which might make things interesting for those at the events in New Caledonia).
Did I read something that more sink holes have appeared?
Just make sure to know where you are on the map and you'll be fine. If it is not mapped, it is not really there.
Unless it's Lake Disappear, which we drove past yesterday south of Raglan: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/12409/lake-...
Those of you from drier countries will find NZ very grin.
We are getting drenched - lots of flooding and road closures, some of which are left over from Debbie last week. Worth keeping an eye on for those arriving in the next 48 hours, sounds like there's potential to wreak havoc with flights. Glad the first event is urban and in Auckland!
All we have to do is get to Auckland - from the Coromandel Peninsula, that's currently not a given :(
That was our original destination today...:-)
Turns out the cyclone tracked a little further east than expected and largely missed Auckland, although the Bay of Plenty is being hammered as I write.
Rain? We just completed the Milford and the Routeburn tracks on Monday with not a single drop of rain in 8 days (probably a record).