Registrations for the 42nd Macromarketing Conference are now closed.

Notes and Suggestions for those planning to travel around New Zealand after the conference.

Driving

In New Zealand we drive on the left hand side of the road (always)

We also drive on main roads that would be considered secondary roads in the rest of the world

Driving on open roads, without breaks, 80km is a normal safe average distance to cover in an hour. Please take this into account when planning routes.

Be aware we may have winter driving conditions-that does not equal Canada/European winter driving conditions! The top of some passes may have a little snow on it briefly, there may be some ice in shaded areas in the morning.

Milford Sound

A beautiful spot and it’s almost compulsory to have a picture of Mitre Peak on every tourist brochure that comes out of NZ. It is NOT a (suitable) day trip from Queenstown, in spite of what the tourism operators may think.

As a day trip you leave around 6am, spend several hours on a bus to spend a couple of (spectacular) hours on a boat, then spend several hours coming back. I would recommend stopping a night in Te Anau and doing it as a day trip from there, by bus or private vehicle. Te Anau is a very pretty lake side town, with a number of attractions; a free native bird aviary, a very nice (commercial) glow worm cave trip, some pleasant cafes, etc. Te Anau is roughly half way between Queenstown and Milford Sound.

North of Queenstown

Tekapo is a bit special. Another lake side town, with views across the lake to our highest mountains. Tekapo is also a night sky reserve. All the lights in the town are down masked and the sky is amazingly full of stars. There is an observatory there if you want a guided tour of the Southern Hemisphere night sky. We have, by most estimates, three times as many stars visible as the Northern Hemisphere.

The West Coast

Haast pass is a nice drive over to the West Coast, where you’ll find two glaciers within view of the sea (Fox Glacier and Franz Joseph Glacier). Either is worth visiting. Further up the West Coast Punakaiki is a beautiful natural rock formation (pancake rocks) that we’ve enjoyed visiting. If proceeding this far North, a drive up the Buller Gorge takes you to Murchison and on to Nelson ­ the sunniest city in NZ and the base from which to visit the Abel Tasman National park (regular boat services run in the park which borders on the sea, including seals, penguins and dolphins).

Heading East from Queenstown

You get to (after four hours) Dunedin, where we live. Here you¹ll find a home cooked meal waiting for you and a good bottle of NZ red wine. We have some very nice places to visit, heavy on nature again; penguins (yellow eyed, a rather rare breed) royal albatross, seals. We also have some significant colonial houses, one labelled a castle by its delusional owner (Larnach Castle).

North from Dunedin

The first city you come to is Oamaru (more of a town by world standards). Oamaru also has penguins (little Blue penguins) that troop across the foreshore each evening. There¹s a, small, Victorian quarter that is nice to visit for a couple of hours. A Whisky store, German master baker, antique shops, etc. Oamaru is also the Steam punk capital of NZ.

After Oamaru there’s nothing particularly noteworthy until you get to Christchurch, though you will pass through several towns. Christchurch is still recovering from the Earthquakes and infrastructure is strained in several places. There are things to see in Christchurch, but the strained nature of the city wouldn¹t make it my first port of call as a tourist.

East of Christchurch

On the Canterbury Peninsula is Akaroa, a historically French settlement, which sits in a beautiful harbour. It is one of the homes to the world¹s rarest dolphin, Hectors Dolphin. It’s also (I believe) the smallest dolphin. It is possible to go swimming with these dolphins, should you wish to dip your body in the sea.

North of Christchurch

Kaikora lies north of Christchurch, which I would have recommended until the recent earthquake when it was cut off from the North, making it a dead end road. Kaikora is most famous for whale watching, which you have plenty of at home. The alternate travel route takes you through Hamner and Springs Junction (both with hot pools) to Nelson.

Wellington

The Southern most city in the North Island and one of my favourites. A walk around the harbour, a ferry across the harbour, a vibrant coffee and restaurant culture. It is the centre of government and on an active earthquake fault (most of the country is).

North of Wellington there is Taupo, a lake created by the biggest volcanic eruption recorded, a sleepy lake side town with some nice activities. Rotorua is the more famous cousin that sits in an active geothermal zone with hot mud pools, geysers, etc. Rotorua is a rather smelly place with all the sulphur that bubbles up, but it is frequently visited by international tourists.

Auckland

NZ’s largest city, a harbour city similar in some ways to Vancouver. It rains less and there are no visible ski fields (four hours minimum drive to ski fields). Our centre of culture(s) and traffic congestion :-) Some lovely places and worth a visit. I can recommend a meal at the Sugar Club in the Sky Tower (floor 57, looking out over the city and harbour).

Everywhere you’ll see many many sheep, cows, etc.