year boating trip to NZ



Im looking at heading over to NZ for a year in early November, buying a van and hanging out on the west coast until my money runs out. Then moving to Christchurch to try and pick up some work (web/graphic design).

Got a couple of questions...

-Ill be on my own so is there enough of a boating scene on the west coast for me to hook up with other paddlers, or might i be struggling to find people to paddle with mid week etc?

-Are there any other areas I should consider, that are better for meeting up with other boaters?

-Is Christchurch the best city to base from, for both getting freelance design work (or @!#$ shovelling if im unlucky!) and access to decent 4/5 rivers, or would I be better heading to somewhere in the north island?

-Is it possible to drive to the west coast and back from Christchurch for a weekend? or is this way to far???

any info would be great,

Cheers in advance


mr.b's picture

Work in Auckland is easy enough to get but it is a bit of a paddling dry spot. You have a few other options. Starting up north, Rotorua, Taupo area is good. Down south Hokitika, Queenstown/Wanaka. We don't have seasons really. Sure the winter is cold but there is water all year round. Our summer is good for most places. Get hold of Graham Charles' book and read it with a NZ road atlas.
Simple plan:
1. Fly down
2. Buy a van
3. Kit it out with stuff from the Wharehouse or second hand store
4. Go boating
5. Work so you can pay for helli trips.
Happy planning

andy6's picture


Thinking of doing the same thing myself. Currently in the UK at the end of a rather dissappointing season. Still off to the French Alps soon. I just wondered how easy it is to pick up work in Auckland etc.



richard1's picture

Sounds like you've got it sorted- heaps of paddlers on the West Coast all through our summer... pretty easy trip to and from C'church. Then once you've had your fill of 'extreme' boating in the South, you could get work in Auckland (or, better still, Tauranga or Rotorua), for better playboating spots.
If there's a lack of boaters in Hoki mid week (unlikely) just drive 2 hours to Murchison where there are loads of paddlers, playspots and scenic grade 3-4s. Go hard...