Info about North Island?

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I`m coming to Auckland 10th October and going to spend in NZ over 2 months. I have some questions, and I`ll be very pleased, if someone could help me.

a.) Do you know any cheap hotels or hostels in Auckland? I`ll perhaps stay there for some days before heading to the rivers.

b.) Where can I find the cheapest and best car-deals? I have thought to buy a pretty cheap car, which I perhaps can sell back when I leave. I think buying will be cheaper than renting?

c.) Is anyone willing to rent me a playboat for some weeks? I`ll take only my creekboat with me from Finland, but I`d like do do some playboating also before travelling to South Island .

d.) Do you have any other special hints for travelling in North Island? Rivers on October? I`m a solid class 4 (+) boater, and have done creeking quite a lot in Norway. I`ll be travelling alone in North Island before meeting my friend in Christchurch.

e.) Is there any paddling competitions or other happenings during October or November in New Zealand?

Kai Heltola