In March 2008 we flew from Brisbane to Auckland for a trip of one month through New-Zealand. We partly payed for this trip by reclaiming our paid taxes in Australia. In Australia we had chosen to pay the highest tax rate of 32%. This is the rate for nonresidents working in Australia, but after six months you become a (tax) resident and you only have to pay 15% tax. It also matters where you work, for example I worked in the outback which gave me more tax return at the end. In Brisbane we decided to reclaim the 17% we paid to much on tax and this was enough to do a one month trip in New-Zealand.
We arrived in Auckland airport and rented a car in which you could sleep and cook, unfortunately we decided not to take a insurance, because what could happen to us experienced travelers? We just survived ten months thru the harsh Australian outback.
We explored the Northern Island for one week, maybe one week is to short for the Northern Island, I wish I would have seen more of it. Starting from Auckland we drove via Hamilton to Matamata (here you can see a original set of Hobbit Town of the film Lord of The Rings), from there we went on to Rotorua (lots of geysers and volcanic activity) via the city of Taupo (which lays next to the biggest fresh water lake of southern Asia) to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. From Wellington we took the jetty to Pickton on the Southern Island.
From Pickton we followed the shoreline to Abel Tasman National Park (most famous for its beautiful trekking routes alongside the coast). We then crossed the island to the west side and followed the coast line till the Franz Josef Glacier (this is a glacier of 12 kilometers long) and followed our trip thru Mount Aspiring National Park to the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, Queenstown (this is the city where you can bungyjump, raft etc).
We decided to drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound, unfortunately our foreign bankcard did not work and we did not have enough cash with us, so we could not take the beautiful boat trip through the fjords.
From Milford Sound we drove on to one of the most southern cities in the world called Invercargill and followed the road the the student city of Dunedin. This city had one of the steepest roads of the world and is a good place to spot the Yellow Eyed Pinguin. We followed our trip to the Mouraki Boulders to Pukaki, this is the place where you can have the best view on Mount Cook. In Pukaki we accidentally let our gas station open and we burned the car down. The car was total loss and we could not continue our trip. From there we could get a lift to Christchurch which would be our final destination. My advise, never save on insurance!