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    Posted: 14 May 2019 at 1:20pm
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Hello everyone,

My name is Nate.  I'm in the preliminary process of planning a month long trip Feb/Mar 2020.  Based on what I've learned about NZ waters, they seem to share many similarities with conditions here in California.   

A little about me.  I'm comfortable in the water but I'm middle age now and some of the things I can do are a distant memory now.  I'm not looking to break records or target trophies.  I'd much prefer to get as many different species as possible.  I don't usually shoot more than I can eat (usually the standard is no more than I want to clean)

I've been drawn to NZ for a long time.  I want to rent a car and drive around soaking in as much of the country as possible. Camping and eating what I spear and gather as much as possible.  I would prefer to spend minimal time in crowded places while still meeting locals.  

Some thoughts for which I'd like to get local input::  
 
Rental car.  Should I get 4WD?  I don't intend to off road into the mountains.  Are there enough places along the coast where I'd benefit from having 4WD to access more remote spots?  

Campervan/campercar, worth it?  I've got some backpacking camping gear that I intend to bring and can also stay at hostel type lodging when necessary.  Or are there enough freedom campgrounds in desirable dive spots to warrant a self contained campervan? 

Kayak.
Should I get a kayak?  It makes so much sense as I can access so much more water with a kayak.  But not sure how difficult it would be to buy and sell one. 
How much does a used kayak in decent shape cost?  
Are there places that do long term (weeks) rentals?

Guns.
Should I bring a bigger one in case I get on a charter in the Northland if I have a chance at a big kingy?  I'm deciding between bringing a 110 and a 150 or just settle with a 130 which seems a bit long for general shore dives.  Or maybe just a 110.  

I've got more thoughts but didn't want to write a novel for my first post.  

Lastly, if anyone has suggestions for Facebook groups (with links), please share.  I've done some searches using generic words and have only found national team and tourney pages.  

Thanks in advance,
Nate

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CrayZfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 2:54pm
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Nate.
Good to see some decent planning going on, many come to NZ with next to no idea about our country, customs, rules, rights etc.
 
I'm not a spear fisho so no idea there, but if you are looking at renting a car, no car is insured off road, or on the beaches, so a 4wd one will be a waste of money, and if you damaged it you will liable for the huge replacement costs.
 
There are plenty of places with easy access. However if you are going to hire a car for a month, you'd be better off buying one and selling on, still got a risk of it crapping out, but take it where you're comfortable and you'll probably save a pretty penny too.
 
Note. Insurance is not compulsory here, and petrol is expensive compared to USD.
 
Good luck with your planning, you've come to the right place and you'll get all the info you need in no time.
 
Why choose either diving or fishing when you can do both. Besides crayfish tail is very good bait!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2019 at 6:08pm
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Originally posted by CrayZfish CrayZfish wrote:

...However if you are going to hire a car for a month, you'd be better off buying one and selling on, still got a risk of it crapping out, but take it where you're comfortable and you'll probably save a pretty penny too.
 

 

Is it that easy buying and selling a car in NZ?  Cars often don't sell very fast here unless it's very desirable, but those are usually higher in price.  I don't want to lose days or weeks as I try to buy the right car and then feel the pressure of selling it before flying home. 

 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2019 at 12:01am
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I'm not really a spearo, but have a go occasionally. I advise visitors on longer trips to buy a kayak as it opens up a lot of ocean for relatively little hassle and expense. Rob Fort at https://www.kayakadventures.co.nz/ is the guy to contact. He is an accomplished kayak fisherman and spearo, and might be able to help you with long term rental. 


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CrayZfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2019 at 10:23am
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Originally posted by n8n n8n wrote:

Originally posted by CrayZfish CrayZfish wrote:

...However if you are going to hire a car for a month, you'd be better off buying one and selling on, still got a risk of it crapping out, but take it where you're comfortable and you'll probably save a pretty penny too.
 
 
Is it that easy buying and selling a car in NZ?  Cars often don't sell very fast here unless it's very desirable, but those are usually higher in price.  I don't want to lose days or weeks as I try to buy the right car and then feel the pressure of selling it before flying home. 
 
 
We live in a rural town south of Auckland, there are always vehicles, nice and not so nice parked up on roadside and in carparks for sale with an asking price. No need to go through a car yard, or agent. Make an offer, change driver details and drive away. This is what WWOOF'ers regularly do to get around the expensive hire age costs and some even convert vans etc into sleeper's and travel around NZ cheap as then on sell to like minded travellers.
Sounds like you may not want the hassle though, just wanted you to be weary about a huge cost if you happened to beach a rental.
 
Why choose either diving or fishing when you can do both. Besides crayfish tail is very good bait!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote e.m.p! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2019 at 10:00pm
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Hi Nate,
Just to chip in – a 110 to 120 rail gun will get you 99% of the fish you encounter, even xl Kingies.
Campervan hire is ridiculous expensive, also stay away from a certain company with graffiti on their fleet. These are rented by backpacker only and are occasionally seen as a target.
You can often negotiate a deal with rental companies and no harm in asking - some may have a kayak available.
Bring your camping gear, there are enough campsites, some of the best are maintained by the department of conservation and will put you right on to good spots.
Selling a car end of march may be a bit tricky since you're competing with a lot of tourists leaving the country after the summer, but not impossible either.
There are a handful of spearo groups on FB and most are happy to help out and offer a spot on a boat.
Chipping in on gas, filleting, washing down the boat or leaving half a dozen cold ones in the chilli bin is rarely asked for but always appreciated.
Have fun
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 4:41am
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I'm leaning towards a small passenger car as I'm traveling solo.  The car will have adequate space.  The consideration for a campervan was the self contained aspect which I thought would allow me to stay at a wider range of campgrounds.  

Another option that sounds attractive on paper is splitting the trip up.  I do 2 weeks on north island, take a side trip to Kiribati for a week, then continue on with two weeks on the south island.  From what I've read it seems the cost of a ferry ride with a car exceeds the cost of a flight from Auckland to Christchurch.  Is that true in summer? 

Any experience or info with travel to kiribati from Auckland?  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 6:27am
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Just to chime in. I use a riffe110 with 3 14mm rubbers as my go to snapper / kingfish rig.
Often leaving the 120riffe in the boat. It only comes out when specifically targeting 30kg+ kingfish.

All my 20lbers+ in the snapper range have been bowled with a 100 beuchat single band 20mm rubber. Think the count is something like 6 or 7 20lbers. Unsure stopped counting and squeezing the trigger on them a while back.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 8:35am
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Just Another Spearo, thanks for your perspective.  Looks like I'll bring the 110 for sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CrayZfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 12:24pm
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Originally posted by n8n n8n wrote:


Another option that sounds attractive on paper is splitting the trip up.  I do 2 weeks on north island, take a side trip to Kiribati for a week, then continue on with two weeks on the south island.  From what I've read it seems the cost of a ferry ride with a car exceeds the cost of a flight from Auckland to Christchurch.  Is that true in summer? 
 
 
Just looked online, your right a ferry with car one way for mid Feb is anywhere between $177 and 260 depending on the flexibility you choose. All flights for the same mid week day are cheaper than that with various flexibility options. Note we have minimal competition for fares here, so tickets quickly ramp up in price especially either side of the weekend, and obviously get darer closer to the booking date.
 
Good luck with the planning
Why choose either diving or fishing when you can do both. Besides crayfish tail is very good bait!!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Phantom Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 1:14pm
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Yeah, my vote is for a 110 or 120 gun.  As has been said that will roll a decent Kingie (just got to get closer ... ).  

Most spearos have a 120 as their go to gun for the upper North Island.  For the lower North Island shorter guns are preferred because of the water clarity (or lack of) and the different species.

I'd say there is no point getting a 4x4 for your trip.  There are some good public (paid) campgrounds round the upper north island and Coromandel with reasonable shore dives.

In terms of connecting with local spearos on Facebook the best place would be NZ Spearo Community.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/296618953778684/ 

if you post there and make some connections before your trip you are likely to get offered rides in boats etc. for trips. (contribute to expenses and they will be happy).

Flick me a message closer to your trip dates and I'll give you my perspective on North Island camping spots for spearfishing etc.  (I live in Auckland and have done many family camping holidays round Northland and the Coromandel with my boat and speargun along for the ride)


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 2:41pm
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Phantom,

Thanks.  I sent a request to that FB group.  

I'll be sure to hit you up for specific campground suggestions.

Nate
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 5:38pm
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So I considered posting in more appropriate sub-forums but I interests that don't quite fit.  

Over the years I've come to like collecting shellfish/invertebrate harvesting as much (and sometimes more) than shooting fish.  I'm excited by the idea of gathering some of your famous green lip mussels.  I'd like to get some scallops too.  We have rock scallops here as well as the spiny lobster and abalone (your crays and paua).  I've seen youtube videos of octopus but have yet to see any taken by divers.  One of my favorites to eat.  

The number one thing I'd like to catch is those big eels.  You call them tuna?  

I'll stop rambling, but would appreciate any pointers to catching and gathering those species mentioned above.  

I want to reiterate that I'm after an experience.  I have no desire to take more than I can consume.  I may share with camp neighbors or try a few recipes, but that's about it.  So if anyone shares a spot, however well known, I will treat it as a secret.  

Oooh, just remember about those unnaturally large trout in the Twizel canals...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 6:45pm
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Loads of great advice so far, I'd also recommend our doc campsite, particularly coromandel and far north. Your after experience's you're going to get them here, such as great time of year to be here, my only other recommendation is if at all possible, plan to be here longer, you'll regret it the day you leave untill you can get back.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2019 at 7:23pm
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Scallops in harbours, or areas close to harbour entrance. The big beds aren’t a secret and purchasing the Spot X diving book will give you some pointers.

Crayfish and paua are obviously a big thing as you’ve worked out. Not always easy to find due to fishing pressure. Some people like sea urchins/kina which aren’t hard to find in rocky areas.

I take octopus, it’s also one of my favourites. They can often be found in holes in the scallop areas, or in the rocks.

As for eels. I’ve never seen one in the sea. They aren’t hard to find in streams and rivers though. They are crazy voracious, so not hard to tempt out of holes with bait. I don’t think they are a diving proposition, but you could certainly get them by wading and spearing. Large eels can be found in small waterways, so don’t dismiss streams and even ditches.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2019 at 6:55am
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Originally posted by Mono Mono wrote:

...my only other recommendation is if at all possible, plan to be here longer, you'll regret it the day you leave untill you can get back.

I would love to stay 3 months.  That way I could buy a campervan and a small boat and do it proper.  As it stands now I consider myself lucky that my wife and kids are planning their lives so I could do this for 4-6 weeks.  I think the next trip to NZ will be with them in tow.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2019 at 6:58am
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Originally posted by MightyBoosh MightyBoosh wrote:

Scallops in harbours, or areas close to harbour entrance. The big beds aren’t a secret and purchasing the Spot X diving book will give you some pointers.


I didn't know Spot X offered books.  I have the Spot X app for hunting here in Callifornia.  Well, my hunting is more accurately characterized as an armed hike.  Most places have few shootable animals or the hunters seem to outnumber the game by 10 to 1.  


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2019 at 11:16am
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World's most boring jetski "pilot".
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote n8n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 5:01am
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Originally posted by MightyBoosh MightyBoosh wrote:

https://www.spotx.com/diving

It doesn't look like they ship internationally.  Bummer
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 11:53am
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World's most boring jetski "pilot".
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