10 Step New Zealand Travel Guide- Sleep and travel for cheap

Landing in Auckland and Getting Transportation Fast

When you land in Auckland, take the AirBus to the city.  Walk with your baggage to a cheap hostel where you can immediatly start looking for a vehicle to buy.  

Your second step will be to get yourself a pre-paid cell phone from one of the many shops on Queen St.  Vodafone is good but any company will do.  Remember that cell phone calls are expensive in New Zealand.  Text or e-mail sellers whenever possible.  In order to find sweet deals on cars for sale you can look into the following options.

Option number one is to go around to all the hostels in the area and look at their post boards.  Some places even have books of postings rather than post boards.  These are three ring binders full of car advertisements that other backpackers prepared to sell their cars so they can leave the country.  These posts will give you an idea of the backpacker car market.  

Your other option is to find the best deals using Trade Me (trademe.co.nz) or a local classified newspaper.  Often the locals will have the best deals on cars for sale.

Here is a breif list of important screens to picking a quality vehicle:

You will want to buy something with less than 250,000 kilometers on it.  Check to make sure everything works (lights, parking brake, heater, good quality spare tire, good tires, no wobbles, when breaking the vehicle still goes straight, engine runs withough clanks or clicks, etc.)

You will want to buy something with a current warrant of fitness (WOF) and registration (REGO).  In New Zealand registration includes insurance.  When you buy your vehicle with REGO and WOF you can drive off legally as soon as the title is transfered to your name.

You will want to buy something that will be able to sell.

In order to buy your New Zealand Vehicle, you will need to set up meetings with sellers.  Pay in cash only after the seller goes to the post office with you and transfers the title of the car into your name.  This is a quick process that takes less than 10 minutes.

Then you want to get in the car and drive!  Camp when you get tired of driving or the sun is down.  Drive while the sun is up as every Km in New Zealand is stunning.  Either sleep in the car or pitch a tent next to it.  New Zealand is a safe place to pitch a tent or pull up and sleep in the car.  Go to far away roads that lead to nowhere.  Trace the coast or the mountians.  Many of these isolated towns and roads to nowhere are more scenic than watching Lord of the Rings!  Do things that are free.  Surf, Kayak, Hike, Climb Mountians, Bike, RockClimb and do anything else that keeps you physical and doesn't cost a cent.  Swim in fresh water rivers and lakes to avoid having to shower.  When you need to cook and take showers, you can go to a hostel and pay $5 to borrow their facilities.  Read Walden by Henry David Thoreau and get motivated.

Once your time is up find a place to work for accomodation.  These are avaliable everywhere just look on the backpacker board (www.backpackerboard.co.nz).  Often times New Zealanders call this wwoofing (though it may have nothing to do with organic farming).

Drive your car to a place where someone else can sell it for you.  In Auckland you can use Backpacker Car Market (Backpackerscarmarket.co.nz), they can sell your car for you in exchange.

Leave your car at the market and go out to your accomodation work spot.  This will allow you to enjoy New Zealand and its wonderful people while someone else does the car haggling for you.

Well done: your travel is vast, your car is sold and your staying somewhere for free.  Now you just need to decide to leave the country.  Use Kayak.com to get a ticket somewhere else, take the bus to Auckland, drink a beer and take air bus back to the airport.  Leaving New Zealand will be the hardest thing to do.  New Zealand is fantastic!

Beautiful New Zealand

New Zealand Beach

New Zealand Beach and Flowers
Credit: (Photo: Veronica D'Rozario)