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Is there still any life here?

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Hi,

 

As the title says... Will be in NZ later this year but can't seem to find any forum about gc that's still active.

 

Anyone?

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Mainly on Facebook now.

Geocaching NZ: https://www.facebook.com/groups/geocaching.nz/

Kiwicaching: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kiwicaching/

Recreational GPS Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gps.org.nz/

It's Not About The Numbers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/INATN/

The Casual Caching Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/casualcachingclub/

 

And others, some public, some private...

 

Cheers,

Kevin aka GenCuster

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Hi,

 

As the title says... Will be in NZ later this year but can't seem to find any forum about gc that's still active.

 

Anyone?

 

I'm in the top of the South Island. I'm not aware of any further forums or on-line groups, but you're welcome to ask here and I'll see what I can do to help.

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OK, there IS some life left :lol:

 

I'm not on facebook, never will be.

 

We will make a tour from Christchurch to Mt Cook, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Fox Glacier, Westport, cross over to the North Island, Rotorua, Paihia, 90 Mile beach, Auckland.

Of course, we'll need internet access along the way (mobile hotspot) and cell phone. It looks like Vodaphone has best coverage? We're aware there will be a lot of blind spots (same was true for our Aussie trips). Any suggestions for a prepaid SIM with only data and another for just text/local calls?

As for caches, I'm still making a selection based on favorites, time available... but any "must do" caches?

 

Thanks.

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The main telcos are Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees, all of whom will offer varying degrees of coverage, but the first two should be your best bet. I know Spark run 'free' wifi zones in a good number of towns and cities, so that might swing you one way. I can't really comment on cost as our cell phone costs are bundled with out home plan, but the websites will give you the full run down. Depending on where you will be staying most motels will have WiFi in one form or another

 

Generally, I'd say good planning will be key, re. pocket queries, pre-downloading etc. You'll know what sort of caches you'll be after. I can only really speak for the Nelson/Tasman region which it seems you might *not* be passing through, so I'm a bit limited on the 'must-dos' elsewhere, but you might want to factor in some of the world's oldest active caches (http://stateofwilderness.com/100-oldest-active-geocaches/) 6 of the top 100 are in New Zealand, including 4 in the Dunedin area and one in Auckland.

 

Generally speaking, and not knowing where you are travelling from, I'd allow plenty of travelling time. Outside the main centres, the highways here are not what some would see as highways, with many being windy, single lane roads. I'd go via the Catlins from Invercargill to/from Dunedin as its a lovely drive and the west coast can be lovely if the weather's good, but absolutely rough as in the rain and wind.

 

If, when you are up in Paihia and if you get over to Russell, you should check out Mrs Woodcock's Seat (https://coord.info/GC2F87V). There's also a couple of Earth Caches and a virtual at the very top at Cape Reinga, so they are worth a visit.

 

Oh, and while you are up that way, if you like ice cream, be sure to stop at the Te Kao dairy and try out their infamous 'whoppa stoppa'!

 

Happy planning and feel free to ask if there's anything else...

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The main telcos are Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees, all of whom will offer varying degrees of coverage, but the first two should be your best bet. I know Spark run 'free' wifi zones in a good number of towns and cities, so that might swing you one way. I can't really comment on cost as our cell phone costs are bundled with out home plan, but the websites will give you the full run down. Depending on where you will be staying most motels will have WiFi in one form or another

 

While the free Wifi zones sound good, I don't feel like sitting in the car next to a phonebooth to connect <_< We'll have WiFi most every night in B&B's but, as we experienced in Tasmania/Vicoria last year data backup is a must. As we saw on a coverage map, Vodaphone has the most coverage but do they have the best? As pre-paid offers can change anytime we'll have to keep an eye out what gives...

 

Generally, I'd say good planning will be key, re. pocket queries, pre-downloading etc. You'll know what sort of caches you'll be after. I can only really speak for the Nelson/Tasman region which it seems you might *not* be passing through, so I'm a bit limited on the 'must-dos' elsewhere, but you might want to factor in some of the world's oldest active caches (http://stateofwilderness.com/100-oldest-active-geocaches/) 6 of the top 100 are in New Zealand, including 4 in the Dunedin area and one in Auckland.

 

I have all NZ caches in a GSAK database and have marked "months not yet found" caches as to do but the ones near Christchurch and 4 of the 5 near Dunedin are a a bit out of the way. I'm sure we'll try a few though. Last year in TAS/VIC I missed a few because I didn't mark them as oldies and I only noticed them when it was too late. We did a few caches on Mt. Wellington in Hobart and missed virtual GCD402,Trigpoint Scenes 1. Won't happen again :ph34r:

 

Generally speaking, and not knowing where you are travelling from, I'd allow plenty of travelling time. Outside the main centres, the highways here are not what some would see as highways, with many being windy, single lane roads. I'd go via the Catlins from Invercargill to/from Dunedin as its a lovely drive and the west coast can be lovely if the weather's good, but absolutely rough as in the rain and wind.

 

We're from "the other side" +18000Km away (Belgium). We have a stop in the Catlins (Owaka) so that's covered :D

As for traffic, we expect a bit of Tasmanian road experience. Driving times seem to be a questionmark as sometimes Mapsource/Basecamp have the same result as text on websites or Google maps but sometimes underestimate by up to 1 hour on a 3-4 hour stretch. Looking at the roads in streetview we expect average speeds on "highways" to be around 70Km/h not including stops.

 

If, when you are up in Paihia and if you get over to Russell, you should check out Mrs Woodcock's Seat (https://coord.info/GC2F87V). There's also a couple of Earth Caches and a virtual at the very top at Cape Reinga, so they are worth a visit.

 

Mrs Woodcock's Seat is selected but we might not get to it. The hole in the rock (earthcache) is selected and we will go there. All Earthcaches on our route are selected as they are at the sites we're going to visit anyway.

 

Oh, and while you are up that way, if you like ice cream, be sure to stop at the Te Kao dairy and try out their infamous 'whoppa stoppa'!

 

Happy planning and feel free to ask if there's anything else...

 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Ice cream ©Homer Simpson ;)

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The main telcos are Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees, all of whom will offer varying degrees of coverage, but the first two should be your best bet. I know Spark run 'free' wifi zones in a good number of towns and cities, so that might swing you one way. I can't really comment on cost as our cell phone costs are bundled with out home plan, but the websites will give you the full run down. Depending on where you will be staying most motels will have WiFi in one form or another

 

While the free Wifi zones sound good, I don't feel like sitting in the car next to a phonebooth to connect <_< We'll have WiFi most every night in B&B's but, as we experienced in Tasmania/Vicoria last year data backup is a must. As we saw on a coverage map, Vodaphone has the most coverage but do they have the best? As pre-paid offers can change anytime we'll have to keep an eye out what gives...

 

Generally, I'd say good planning will be key, re. pocket queries, pre-downloading etc. You'll know what sort of caches you'll be after. I can only really speak for the Nelson/Tasman region which it seems you might *not* be passing through, so I'm a bit limited on the 'must-dos' elsewhere, but you might want to factor in some of the world's oldest active caches (http://stateofwilderness.com/100-oldest-active-geocaches/) 6 of the top 100 are in New Zealand, including 4 in the Dunedin area and one in Auckland.

 

I have all NZ caches in a GSAK database and have marked "months not yet found" caches as to do but the ones near Christchurch and 4 of the 5 near Dunedin are a a bit out of the way. I'm sure we'll try a few though. Last year in TAS/VIC I missed a few because I didn't mark them as oldies and I only noticed them when it was too late. We did a few caches on Mt. Wellington in Hobart and missed virtual GCD402,Trigpoint Scenes 1. Won't happen again :ph34r:

 

Generally speaking, and not knowing where you are travelling from, I'd allow plenty of travelling time. Outside the main centres, the highways here are not what some would see as highways, with many being windy, single lane roads. I'd go via the Catlins from Invercargill to/from Dunedin as its a lovely drive and the west coast can be lovely if the weather's good, but absolutely rough as in the rain and wind.

 

We're from "the other side" +18000Km away (Belgium). We have a stop in the Catlins (Owaka) so that's covered :D

As for traffic, we expect a bit of Tasmanian road experience. Driving times seem to be a questionmark as sometimes Mapsource/Basecamp have the same result as text on websites or Google maps but sometimes underestimate by up to 1 hour on a 3-4 hour stretch. Looking at the roads in streetview we expect average speeds on "highways" to be around 70Km/h not including stops.

 

If, when you are up in Paihia and if you get over to Russell, you should check out Mrs Woodcock's Seat (https://coord.info/GC2F87V). There's also a couple of Earth Caches and a virtual at the very top at Cape Reinga, so they are worth a visit.

 

Mrs Woodcock's Seat is selected but we might not get to it. The hole in the rock (earthcache) is selected and we will go there. All Earthcaches on our route are selected as they are at the sites we're going to visit anyway.

 

Oh, and while you are up that way, if you like ice cream, be sure to stop at the Te Kao dairy and try out their infamous 'whoppa stoppa'!

 

Happy planning and feel free to ask if there's anything else...

 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Ice cream ©Homer Simpson ;)

 

Mrs Woodcocks seat was our twelth cache found (28/12/2012). At that time we were using a Garmin Nuvi and internet cafes and libraries to print out cache pages. This cache had us noobs really stumped until a kind resident came out gave us a hint. Recommended.

Akaroa (Near Christchurch Canterbury) is nice place if you can make it there. We have (so far) 68 finds in NZ while visiting by cruise ship.

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I use 2Degrees mobile on a pre-pay plan. 2Degrees has value packs that you can purchase and top up as you go along. Their 4G mobile hotspot sells for NZ$129 and comes with 2GB of data.

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The Travellers page on the AA website http://www.aa.co.nz/travel/time-and-distance-calculator/ is a good one for distance / time calculations. The only issue is that they don't factor in any time for geocaching stops :) (An example Christchurch to Picton is 4hr 21min according to the website - which is pretty accurate - but I know of a couple who took 14 hours to do the journey because of all the stops they made to make finds!)

Cellphone coverage, Spark possibly better in the South Island in the more rural areas, while Vodafone will do the North Island.

Which ones to find/must do - check out favourite points awarded, they are an indication of which ones are pretty good - by other peoples standards.

One I would recommend in Christchurch is 911 Fire Fighters Memorial - https://coord.info/GCA094

Tekapo - Dog and God - https://coord.info/GC270JP (muggles can be an issue due to the popular location of the church and dog)

Wellington - Geocache by Kevin Anderson - https://coord.info/GC46 (the oldest in NZ, and as you can see by the GC number a member of the oldest group in the world)

West Coast, far south, Auckland and far north, sorry yet to visit my self so can't pass on any recommendations. A note for you when travelling the West Coast of the South Island, the coastal route from Westport to Greymouth was cut by a massive slip recently. Alternative route via Reefton. It will add about 2 hours to your journey. The AA website http://maps.aa.co.nz/ is saying the road is open again (single lane only) but delays can be expected.

 

Hope you have an enjoyable trip and have fun geocaching here in NZ. If you happen to pass through Wellington, drop us a line.

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The Travellers page on the AA website http://www.aa.co.nz/travel/time-and-distance-calculator/ is a good one for distance / time calculations.

 

Took your example and my mapsource calculation says 30 minutes less. Something I've noticed several times, mapsource versus google maps can make a huge difference. On the other hand, Christchurch to Mt. Cook is only a 2 minutes difference. I guess we'll get the hang of it pretty soon when actually driving. Maybe start the day a bit early. So far we mostly pinch off a few minutes off the GPS calculated driving times whereever we have been.

 

Cellphone coverage, Spark possibly better in the South Island in the more rural areas, while Vodafone will do the North Island.

 

I guess we'll go for a Vodaphone SIM for data in our mobile hotspot, Internet will be available every evening/night at our accomodation.

We'll use my wife's phone for local calls confirming trips or letting hosts know we'll be early/late. Not sure which provider though. We're used not always having service along the way (WA, TAS B) )

 

911 Fire Fighters Memorial - https://coord.info/GCA094 Bit out of the way but added

Tekapo - Dog and God - https://coord.info/GC270JP was already on the list

Wellington - Geocache by Kevin Anderson - https://coord.info/GC46 Completely out of the way unfortunately but GC40 is only 150 Km from where we live, we're bound to get there someday.

 

the coastal route from Westport to Greymouth was cut by a massive slip recently. Alternative route via Reefton. It will add about 2 hours to your journey. The AA website http://maps.aa.co.nz/ is saying the road is open again (single lane only) but delays can be expected.

 

Good to know, we'll check. We have accommodation in Westport but we have a few more weeks before we leave. (We're waiting for the earthquakes to calm down :D )

 

Hope you have an enjoyable trip and have fun geocaching here in NZ. If you happen to pass through Wellington, drop us a line.

 

We'll "pass through" meaning we'll arrive from Picton by ferry, visit the city and have accommodation in Lower Hutt to have an headstart the following day.

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Earthquakes - what, when? Did the earth move? Oh do you mean that little bit of movement up off East Cape? That was just the earth hitching its pants up :D Didn't feel anything down here.

 

Wellington, heres a few suggestions when you're in town, few of the better ones.

Paddy the Wanderer - https://coord.info/GC1KENQ

Historic Star Boating Club - https://coord.info/GC2JC6Y

Mt Victoria - https://coord.info/GCEE0

 

Lower Hut - lots of caches in the area which you could grab, nothing that is really outstanding (don't tell the local CO's that :blink: ) but you could pick up a few for the records.

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