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 Post subject: What should I do in New Zealand?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:38 pm 
Huffs Nooch
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Location: Victoria, Canadia
Hey NZ PPKers, I'm visiting you from mid-February to mid-March!

Well, not you specifically, because I've never met you so it would be weird. But I'm flying into Auckland and am going to be wandering around with a backpack and maybe a guitar or banjo and sometimes another friendly Canadian, looking for neat things to see and hear and eat.

Got any scoops on art/music festivals/events, shows, vegan-friendly restaurants, excellent coffee, active Food Not Bombs chapters, nice lakes/hikes/campsites, cheap bikes, particularly commendable hostels (or people with couches who don't mind strange Canadian couchsurfers showing up to give them beer or cook them dinner)?

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 Post subject: Re: What should I do in New Zealand?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:10 pm 
Mispronounces Daiya
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I stayed in one of the modified cabooses at the solscape hostel in Raglan a while back. http://www.solscape.co.nz/

It's a gorgeous area with an enormous (and mostly empty when we were there) beach with decent surf. I seem to remember you can get coffee with soy milk and there were one or two vegan friendly things in town but it's easier to cook your own food.

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 Post subject: Re: What should I do in New Zealand?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:39 am 
Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it
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In Auckland, Cosset is definitely worth the trip out to the 'burbs. The hotcakes are amazing, and it routinely gets excellent reviews from non-veg coffee snobs. They're super friendly as well, and will know what's on in terms of music/events etc.
In the CBD, try Revel on Karangahape Road for coffee - they always have some vegan baked goods and meals as well. Revive on Lorne St is a vegetarian (but not all-vegan) salad bar.
Piha is the best beach around Auckland - I'm pretty sure it has a camp site.

My favourite camping spot in the North Island is at Lake Waikaremoana but it's hard to get to without a car (the last time I went it was anyway, but that was about 8 years ago). The Coromandel is really beautiful as well and much more accessible - you can hike (we say tramp in NZ) The Pinnacles while you're there. Most hikes/tramps are on land managed by the Department of Conservation who also manage a lot of camp sites, and huts on longer tracks. Their website is generally pretty useful: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/.

I don't know if you'll be in Wellington but in terms of food Cafe Deluxe (under The Embassy Theatre), Midnight Espresso and Fidel's on Cuba Street are good for vegan options. As are the kebab shops which abound all over the city. Maranui Surf Cafe in Lyall Bay and Pranah (vegetarian, lots of vegan options) in Newtown are also good for eating, but frequently busy.
The San Francisco Bath House, Bodega Bar and The Adelaide usually have something going on (music-wise) most nights of the week.

I'm in London right now so a little out of the loop with what's going on, and don't have first hand knowledge of hostels so can't help there. If you have any other specific questions, let me know. Have a good trip!

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 Post subject: Re: What should I do in New Zealand?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:43 pm 
Huffs Nooch
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Thanks for the ideas! They are defs helping me plan, and those all look like places I'd like to go.

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