So there's been a lot of preparation activities going on since I arrived in Auckland this Thursday. Thought I just post something regarding that. Some may be useful to other NZ hikers.
1. Phone - Since I'll be here for four months, the easiest way is to get a prepaid New Zealand phone number. I got mine from Vodafone including 3,5GB data, unlimited NZ texts and 150 minutes of NZ calls, one month for $40. Didn't find anything cheaper with that much data (which is what I want), so I guess we're spoiled in Sweden when it comes to data rates.
This means that I'll be able to FaceTime and Snapchat as soon as I have service! 😬
2. Maps - So this is a tricky one. Apparently Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) uses 50000:1 and 250000:1 maps. But the 50k ones are small and will not cover more than maximum one day of hiking, meaning I would need to buy about 150 maps before reaching Bluff..
The 250k is not in store at any retailer in Auckland and there were a bit of a struggle to order with the two shops I tried out. One of them could do it but wouldn't receive them until Wednesday and I don't want to wait until then just to get maps.
But then I heard that a common way to do with maps is to download them from the Te Araroa Trust (TAT) website and print them on regular A3/A4. TAT reommends A3 for better topographic overview but I went for A4 since it's cheaper to print, lighter and I have the 'Topo GPS' on my phone and I just bought a killer powerbank of 18000 mAh, so juice won't be an issue. Link below to the downloadable topographic maps of TA
I will evaluate the A4 printed maps concept until I reach Bay of islands. If I like it I'll continue using it.
If interested in knowing where I am or where I'm going, you could also check out the maps!
3. Transfer to Cape Reinga - Easy one, just talk to your hostel/hotel receptionist and they'll help you out with the booking for the first regional bus to Bay of Islands (Paihia). When you arrive you will go book your local small bus all the way to Cape Reinga. You could do the booking by your own as well.
4. Poste Restante - Sounds easy. You just buy a cardboard box in the size you need. NZ post has sizes from 1-5 and will of course charge you differently depending on size. I'll go for a size 5 (500x410x295mm) and hopefully make it below 10kg. There will be three pair of shoes, batteries, flight bag for my backpack and some regular clothes. I brought some regular clothes for my US stay and those weigh a lot!!! Another option is to scrap the clothes, but I'll try to fit them in below 10kg.
So you just pay the regular rate for sending your parcel, first week you get free storage and then you pay (up to) $2,50 a week to store your parcel if it weighs more than 2kg.
Checkout link below to calculate rates for your parcel
Just need to make sure I'll arrive at the post office when it's open. A lot of post offices are closed during the weekends.
5. Remaining gear - Just got a nice Icebreaker 'cool lite t-shirt'. Blend of merino wool and tencel. Really cool and comfy. Will also match great with my OR backcountry boardshorts! And hiking is all about style...
Got some dry bags, 2x64Gb memory card for my camera, NZ charger, Steripen adventurer opti (104 grams!) for water purification and a Swiss mobility 18000 mAh power pack, mad mAh per gram ratio! Now I'm all set in terms of gear. Will post my complete gear list later on.