Friday, March 21, 2008

Contact lenses for New Zealand residents

Here is an interesting Contact Lenses online merchant for New Zealanders, especially those who need contact lenses. Why interesting? Because I found a 110% Guarantee on their website for New Zealanders purchase their contact lens from them! Where did that extra 10% came from? Perhaps from the fact that purchasers can "Buy now, pay later" (pay nothing until you receive your receive your lenses which is completely different from other online merchants which require payment upfront before they initiate shipment of goods to you), perhaps from "Fast and Free shipping" (on every order above NZ$149. Wonder if that applies to their purchasers who are not residing in New Zealand), or perhaps from their claim to be the largest supplier of contact lenses in New Zealand). Whatever it is I am going to find out and hope to update this if I receive any response from them to my email after I publish this post.

What else do I see in this contacts (contacts as in contact lenses, not how many contacts you or they have) online merchant website? Other conveniences I see is that you can easily refill your last order by just typing in your email address or phone number in a box and click "GO" or opt for "Autorefill" which I suppose to mean that for certain purchases, they have a record of how long your last purchase will likely last and send you the next shipment without you doing anything. Great for forgetful New Zealanders. That online merchant also provide for their purchasers to tract their order, something which normally only those shipping via large courier companies can do.

On another page, I found that their purchasers can save up to 70% on brand name contact lenses and have them delivered to your home or office, quickly and easily, pay online with ePay, by phone or by mail using your credit card or a cheque. They also guarantee the lowest price. How exactly this guarantee works I do not know. Hope to update you on this.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Zealand and Spain: Similarities and Differences

Similarities between New Zealand and Spain

Both Spain and New Zealand have a Monarchy, both are parliamentary democracies, both have numerous island. In both countries, the majority of its population are of European descent. Both have been ruled over by others, in the case of New Zealand, it was ruled from United Kingdom and part of the British Empire, the empire on which the sun once never set. In the case of Spain, it came under Roman, then Germanic, then Muslim rulers.

Difference between New Zealand and Spain

Spain has its own king, currently King Juan Carlos I while the nominal Head of New Zealand is the Queen of New Zealand, Elizabeth II of United Kingdom. However, it is said that the Queen 'reigns but does not rule' as she do not have any political influence, her position being mainly symbolic. New Zealand is very much isolated from the rest of the world, so isolated that it has very unique flora and fauna from the rest of the world, including Spain. Examples are it is said that there are no man-eating animals or snakes in New Zealand, but am wondering about the rats, if they exist in New Zealand.

The climate of Spain is extremely diverse, but can be roughly divided in three areas:

  1. The inland areas of the Peninsula (mainland) has moderate Continental climate

  2. The region along the southern and eastern coasts starting from the Andalusian plain up to the Pyrenees on the seaward side of the mountain ranges has a Mediterranean climate

  3. The region often referred to as Green Spain comprising Galicia and the coastal strip by the Bay of Biscay has an Oceanic climate

New Zealand's climate is mild and temperate, mainly maritime, with temperatures rarely falling below 0 °C or rising above 30 °C.

Architecture of New Zealand and Spain

The architecture of New Zealand is difficult to classify but I think it should mainly be influenced by its previous connection with the United Kingdom and perhaps to some extend, the Maori culture.

Buildings in Spain has been influenced by its previous conquest by the Romans, the Moorish (Muslim) invasion in 711 A.D, and later, Christian influences. Spain have had Renaissance architecture, Spanish Baroque, the Colonial style and Neoclassicism. The 19th century saw more uses of iron and glass as the main building materials.

Spanish Villas

Spanish villaWhat New Zealand do not have is the distinctive Spanish villas. If New Zealanders want to experience what it is like living in a Spanish Villa, they will have to visit Spain. You can find nice Spanish villas for rent from Villas in Spain, and all this can be done conveniently online from the comfort of your home.


Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain located on the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is a major economic center, a major Mediterranean port with Spain's second largest airport, the Barcelona International Airport and an important cultural center plus a major tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage. You can see the architectural works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Antoni Gaudí which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

You can get great deals on apartment and villas in Barcelona

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands comprises seven islands of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean located off the north-western coast of mainland Africa (Morocco and the Western Sahara). The Canary Islands are an autonomous region of Spain which is disputed by the Morocco. But this dispute should not worry tourists who can visit and enjoy the many wonders of the Canary Islands without interference.

For a pleasant vacation minus the budget breaking expensive hotel rentals, save money with a holiday villa in the Canary Islands

Tenerife Island

Tenerife Island, is the largest of the seven Canary Islands with Santa Cruz de Tenerife as it capital. The southern part of Tenerife Island which has a hotter and drier climate has many resorts such as the Los Cristianos and the Playa de las Americas. Rent a holiday villa in Tenerife for a great vacation in the sun.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Polynesia, New Zealand and Hawaii

Polynesia comprises over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean and New Zealand and Hawaii lies at the eastern and western end of the triangle. The two places are connected by their Polynesian culture although both have now large population of Caucasians. New Zealand's North Island contains a number of active and potentially active volcanoes, just like Hawaii. The difference between them is New Zealand can boast of geysers while Hawaii don't have any. New Zealand is a country by itself while Hawaii is a state of the United States of America.

If you are from New Zealand or have visited New Zealand before, it should be interesting to visit Hawaii as well to observe the similarities and differences. If you own properties suitable to serve as vacation rentals, you can list them for free at Relocation Rentals for free. Currently, I see only Hawaiian vacation rentals listed there. I think they should include New Zealand vacation rentals as well. I just commented to make that suggestion and wonder if we would see New Zealand vacation rentals being listed on that site in the future.

Anyway, Hawaii is a paradise to visit. Oahu, the third largest island of Hawaii and the most populous, with approximately 75% of the resident population of the Hawaii, is also home to Honolulu, the capital of the State of Hawaii. Oahu's most popular beach is Waikiki Beach.

Hawaii has 8 major islands, all with their different attractions, and at Hawaii Vacation Rentals, you can find links to vacation rentals on Maui, Big Island Vacation Rentals as well as to specific places like Waikiki, Kihei, Wailea, Kanaapali, etc.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Zealand, Australia and others

Online Hotel Search and Booking is a website that lists hotels of countries all over the world, but unfortunately, New Zealand has not been added to their list yet. However, New Zealand and Australia is close to each other and I believe it is not uncommon to hold dual citizenship of both countries. Plus while you will need a passport, I think New Zealand citizen do not need a visa to visit Australia. And if you are a visitor to New Zealand, since you have come so far, you might just as well visit another country. Australia is not that far away plus you have a much bigger area to chose to visit than New Zealand. For accommodations in Australia, look at Australia Hotels and Other Lodging. You will see a loooong list of hotels there, plus there is a map of Australia with a few names of Australian cities which is clickable.

However, if you are travelling as a family with small children, you may want to look for family-friendly hotels. Australian states and cities are included in the list of places for family-friendly hotels, but unfortunately, at the time of publishing of this post, search for family-friendly hotels in various places in Australia produced this message: "Error !! There is a problem with your request. There are no Family Friendly Hotels registered with us at this time in City." However, since they are listed, I am sure they are working hard to find family-friendly hotels to list in those cities. But there should be plenty in cities in the United States of America, which New Zealanders would feel comfortable visiting as they are also an English speaking country with similar culture.

New Zealanders are environmentally conscious, and may want to seek eco green lodging, but unfortunately, I don't see either New Zealand or Australia listed. But there is a promising message there: "More coming soon".

Or perhaps you are a yoga enthusiast. At yoga retreats, I found Australia Yoga Retreats which listed one Australian yoga retreat at Byron Bay, New South Wales. This showed that they are actually working hard to get more listing and have found some success.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Vacation rentals for New Zealand and the rest of the world

If you are seeking accommodation for your holidays in New Zealand, try New Zealand Vacation Rentals. There I can see 2 categories - North Island and South Island. However, this site is only one small section of vacation rentals where you can seek holiday accommodations in any part of the world.

New Zealand is part of Polynesia, consisting of many islands spread over a huge triangle in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is unique in that it has a temperate maritime climate compared with the rest of Polynesia which mainly have a tropical climate. Hawaii shares in the Polynesian roots with New Zealand, but differs in that it has a warm tropical climate and probably more conducive to tourism. If Polynesian culture is what you seek to experience, but you prefer a warmer climate, you should opt for Hawaii and for holiday accommodation, that can be arranged easily by Hawaii vacation rentals. Hawaii consists of hundreds of islands and atolls, but there are only eight main populated island, and one of them is Maui. This is the second largest of the island, the largest of which is Hawaii Big Island.

Maui is a pleasant island and in fact its population is reported to be growing because those who have visited the island before found it so conducive for living that they decided to settle down there. Wailea on Maui is a high class area with many luxurious hotels and resorts plus exclusive golf and tennis clubs and is a magnet for celebrities. I heard Wailea is a favourite destination of Paris Hilton, but she is not alone. There are lots more other celebrities who frequent Wailea. It seems Wailea is a great place for celebrities watching. Wailea is expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives on Maui, like the nearby and more affordable Kihei or Makena, where your pocket is spared, but you still get to enjoy all that the beautiful Maui have to offer.

You can check all this out at Maui vacation rentals.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Renting A Motor Home To Travel New Zealand

Renting A Motor Home To Travel New Zealand

Whether you crave a holiday full of outdoor adventure or a relaxing vacation sampling gourmet cuisine and award winning wines, New Zealand has something for everyone. And, there is no better way to explore this highly diverse country than to rent a New Zealand motor home. With many tourist destinations within a few hours of each other and a well-maintained network of roads and highways, renting a motor home or camper van in New Zealand provides travelers the freedom and flexibility to experience all of the sites and attractions while enjoying all of the comforts of a home on wheels.

With many companies specialising in renting motor homes in New Zealand, it's helpful to compare prices and availability on the internet. Rates tend to be higher during the summer months of December through February, and the best deals are to be had from May through September. Reputable rental companies will offer comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance, and 24-hour customer service. Other features that are also frequently offered when renting a camper van in New Zealand include itinerary planning, kitchen utensils, linens, unlimited mileage, ferry booking assistance, airport pickup, and luggage storage.

Camp ground facilities throughout New Zealand are generally very well maintained and in convenient, and often times, scenic locations. Along with BBQs, kitchen facilities, restrooms and showers, most campgrounds have laundry rooms and playgrounds. It's always a good idea to reserve space at a campground prior to arrival, especially during the peak season of summer. Although most New Zealand motor homes and camper vans have a shower and toilet on board, it is illegal to discharge this waste into anything other than an approved dump station. Keep New Zealand clean and green. Should you dump the waste elsewhere it will end up in out pristine waterways. The main pick up and drop off cities for a New Zealand motor home or a New Zealand camper van are Auckland and Christchurch, although some companies have an office in Wellington, Picton or Queenstown. One way hires have a minimum hire period. It is also legal to park motor homes in New Zealand on national park land as long as there is not a "Parking Prohibited" sign posted.

Most first time visitors of New Zealand visit both the North and South islands to experience the vastly different landscapes. Camper vans and motor homes can be conveniently driven onto the Interislander ferry for the three hour journey between the islands. Most rental companies will gladly book reservations for the ferry and provide you with all of the information that you will need prior to setting sail.

When touring the stunning beauty of the South Island, it's especially important to be aware of the weather. Snow frequently falls in the winter months, and chains are required on some roads. The speed limit on New Zealand open roads is 100 km or about 62 miles per hour. To have a safe motoring holiday, it's essential to stay within the speed limit and to obey all of the traffic signs. Many of the roads, while well paved and signed, are somewhat narrow and often slick from rain or ice. Photo radar is used throughout the country to enforce the speed limits, and there are strict laws forbidding drinking and driving.

New Zealand is an amazing country with plenty to offer every traveler, and motor homes and camper vans allow the convenience, comfort, and flexibility to make the most of your holiday. Without wasting time checking into hotels or unpacking and packing up cars and suitcases, you can spend your time enjoying the sites and relaxing in your home on wheels. Happy Motoring!

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Mike O'Brien offers advice and information about new zealand car rental This is a quality web site with a choice of New Zealand car rental, motor home hire and general New Zealand information at your fingertips!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Zealand's South Island

New Zealand's South Island
by: Ramnish Gupta

Natural, untouched beauty! That's what New Zealand's South Island is all about. The South Island is home to the Southern Alps and some great skiing and snow boarding opportunities.

Christchurch is the busiest city in the South Island and also offers an international airport, with flights connecting directly to a lot of overseas destinations. The Sumner Beach, Gondola, Avon river and Cashmere hills are the main attractions in Chistchurch. The city centre is always busy with trams running frequently making it a great place to hang out!

Dunedin with it's Cadbury's factory and Queenstown with it's adventure attractions are the other two cities that can't be missed in the South Island. Queenstown also has bungee jumping opportunities, jet boats and ski dive opportunities. Milford sound tours also leave from Queenstown, and are highly recommended. Stewart island can also be visited by ferries leaving Invercargill.

Most cities in the South Island are well connected by Trans Rail and that's perhaps the most convenient way to travel. Alternately, rental cars can also be booked and a drive along the West Coast is highly recommended. Getting to the South Island from the North Island is possible by either catching the Interislander ferry from Wellington or a Sounds Air flight from Wellington airport. Domestic flights run by Air New Zealand and other airlines also connect most other cities in the South Island to Wellington.

About The Author

Ramnish Gupta is based in New Zealand and has a keen interest in travel and photography. His website New Zealand Photography has travel information and photographs from all over New Zealand.