Auckland New Zealand – On a budget with family

19 04 2013

This is what we have found so far

A taxi ride, with the lovely Raj79, cost 75 NZD from the airport to the Best Western in the Central business district.

The Best Western is a good place to stay with a family. The family unit has separate accommodation for the kids and adults. There are two supermarkets adjacent so you can buy fresh croissants in the morning and keep costs down. 12 NZD was the average cost of a day for breakfast. There were two food courts nearby one above Countdown supermarket (which had excellent Chinese steam dumplings) and another a little walk in Queens St. We dined out on 22NZD in one evening and were full!

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Skytower is 61 NZD for a family ticket. To date this has been our most spectacular outing. We also had tea and cake for an additional 6 NZD each 🙂 Staff in the tower were lovely also.
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If your missing loved ones or cant withdraw yourself from the internet you can keep in touch with Vodaphone Smart 19 data package which cost 30 NZD. It gives you 500MB of data, 50 min talk and 5000 texts. You will needs an unlocked phone. We took a Nexus 4 and it has been utterly priceless this week for directions and email.

We wanted to explore the North Island and hired a car via Apex Car Rentals. A mid size saloon costs
61 NZD day with the collision damage waiver. The staff were a joy to deal with a made the process painless.
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Auckland Museum has been our second most favorite attraction. It is 10 NZD (donation) for adults and free for kids. It was very educational re the Maoiri culture and the history of the country. It is set in a magnificent building in spectacular grounds. Parking on the road is cheaper than under the museum.





Progress report (Or lack of depends how you look at it)

9 02 2013

“Best plans of mice and men” as they say-  this weeks been no exception.

The initial euphoria of booking the flights quickly passed and then there were several days of  “Oh Cr@p, what have we done” followed by “Oh cr@p, where we going to stay” (In NZ).

The first part of our holiday is in the North Island of New Zealand, a place we have been wanting to visit for a long time.

However, being newbies at this “travel families” game we are somewhat overwhelmed by all the fantastic places to visit in the North Island. I have been in contact with Keith who lives in the fabulous Flying Tortoise who recommended Tauranga, The Coromandel and Northland.

My other friend, Arthur Daley, has also recommended Kerikeri ( Bay of Islands) 100 kms north of Auckland. Mummy Pig wants to go to Hobbit World near Rotorua apparently. I write like I know these places but I don’t have the foggiest idea where they are or how much time it will take to reach them. Keith and Arthur tell me there will be lots of accommodation available en route – I hope they’re right 😉 . Lots of time to be spent pouring over Google maps I think.

However, that aside, I have been conversing with Shivani at Rent a Dent Auckland to enquire about car prices. They have been very helpful with information, in fact they seem to be the one of the few car rental company that will actually communicate by personal email. Well done Rent a Dent.

I also had a good result with Lowe Alpine purveyors of outdoor stuff. My trusty backpack/holdall decided to shed its lining for no apparent reason. I sent a picture over to Lowe’s and to cut a long story short they replaced it with a cut price TT Roll on 40, which was received yesterday. It looks the biz and has loads of pockets and compartments. Of course it immediately sparked arguments with the kids as to who was going to have it 😉

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Well that’s been the week so far, hopefully more updates soon 😉