This is part two of our tips for travelling, house and pet sitting New Zealand where we explore:
House & Pet Sitting and Getting Around
One thing we noticed about the house sits in New Zealand is the requirement for a vehicle. All the sits we did and a large majority of what we saw advertised required the use of a vehicle to get to the shops, transport the animals etc. We were fortunate to have access to owners’ vehicles in all but one sit and even though we were selected for a few others we could not accept due to the lack of suitable transport.
Additionally we found quite a difference between the Islands in the way we traveled and house sat as explained here:
We found that seeing this Island by using a House & Pet Sitting Assignment as a base and doing day trips was never going to work. For starters opportunities on this island are limited, and the ones that are available are usually not within day trip distance of the best places to see. Our suggestion is to hire a campervan between sits, leaving yourself a minimum of 25 days to really experience and explore the island. Additionally the whole island is an attraction so moving on each, or every few, days is a must to see it.
This island is different. The best to see are clustered into areas and within easy day tripping distance. Additionally there are many more sits available, which are usually close to a cluster of things to see. Our suggestion here is to use the bus system to go between sits, which for the most part is very good, and do sits where a vehicle is available to do day trips.
Things to Do and See
On the South Island for us it was all about the natural beauty and there is something new to see around every corner, and on that Island there are plenty of corners! Some of the must go and do’s are:
On the north it is all about the movies, beaches, geothermal and culture. This Island is quite different from the South in that you travel long distances not seeing much between point A and B. Some of the must go and do’s are:
What and What NOT to expect
There are a few things in New Zealand that if to come expecting you are going to be sadly disappointed. Yep this is the forewarned section:
Internet – The internet sucks. Yep sorry folks if you come here expecting that access and speed you have in other first world countries it’s not going to happen. In the cities it’s passable and the further you get out the worse it is. Yes you can make do, but if you rely on steady connections and speed do your research.
TV – Don’t get me started, even pay TV. Our suggestion BYO it! Make sure you have plenty to watch before you come. A hard drive of movies and TV shows has been a valuable source of entertainment.
Road Works – Our experience is make time for them. It seems that the roads on both the South and North Islands are in a perpetual state of repair and you can bet on being delayed.
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Thinking of going travelling in New Zealand, and using House and Pet Sitting for accommodation?
Well here we have detailed a few tips and tricks to consider, (some of which we didn’t), before you pack those bags and book the tickets to the land of the long white cloud.
In this two part post we explore:
Finding House and Pet Sitting Opportunities in NZ
There are a few world wide House Sitting Sites that cover New Zealand such as:
Other places you can visit or advertise your services are:-
What time of year to visit?
Well this really depends on what you want to do, where you want go and most of all what you want to pay!
Our basic criteria was to travel and see as much of New Zealand as possible, while keeping it as cost effective as possible with the hope of avoiding as much of the tourist crowds as possible.
Yep big ask I agree, yet we managed to achieve it for the most part and here is how we did it.
We traveled in the shoulder season (mid spring) and so glad we did. For starters the campervan rental prices are about a third of what they are in summer and they have all just been serviced over the winter period. Next there is virtually nobody on the roads, or at the attractions and there is plenty of room in the camping grounds so no forward booking is required. So what is the down side you may ask? Well really we could not find one, the weather was great, there was still snow on the mountains with minimal road closures.
As for house and pet sitting at this time of year there was limited opportunities. However we were lucky to do one week in Nelson, travel for a month, then spend another month in Nelson sitting. We found the majority of available sits on the South Island to be around either Christchurch or Nelson.
Lets start this with a don’t!
Don’t try travelling around the North Island over the Christmas New Year period. In fact don’t do it between mid December and mid January. Not only is this prime tourist season the locals are also on holiday and everyone heads North. Our suggestion is, this is the time of year to house and pet sit, get off the roads and just do day trips.
In fact we found summer to be a great time to visit the North Island. There is an increase in the availability of house and pet sits because the locals are taking their holidays, and as we talk about later we found travelling this island is totally different to the south.
In travel, house and pet sitting we have found there are four main costs so let’s deal with them separately:-
Food – In New Zealand food is about 20% more than OZ and the common European countries, and on a par with London, yea yikes right! That was a shock for us as well! The locals put it down to having a 15% GST on all food stuffs, me I feel it has a lot to do with no serious competition in many areas. We would suggest buying from the locals with roadside stalls in many of the towns that have them.
Transport – Public transport is on a par with OZ and the common European countries as is hiring a car or camper. Fuel costs on the other hand are between 50% and 85% more. We were prepared for this after doing research, as we hired a campervan to travel the South Island. So we suggest making use of the various fuel discount cards that are available, such as the “AA” card.
Accommodation Between Sits – Depending on the time of year and place’s, the cost is on a par with OZ and the common European countries. If you go to the popular places at popular times then yes it will get expensive fast.
Activities – The cost of activities in New Zealand are on a par with OZ and the common European countries and there is plenty to do. The thing about New Zealand that we found was it could be enjoyed and appreciated without spending a lot on the paid activities. However in saying that some (in our opinion) are must do’s. (See “Things to do and see” in part 2)
Note:- We saved a significant amount on activities in NZ by booking through bookme.co.nz.
In part 2 we explore:
• House & Pet Sitting and Getting Around
• Things to do and see
• What and What NOT to expect
Read part two here ...
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