20 sleeps until XMAS...wooohooo!
Kia Ora and welcome to our pre-Christmas edition. Summer has arrived in NZ and our buses are out exploring some of New Zealand's finest spots by bike, foot, motor, bungy rope, parachute, zorb and more!
As Santa starts warming up for the Xmas rush, we thought we'd treat you to a few goodies of our own. This edition is stocked full of ideas and tips to help plan your next trips and get you in the mood for adventure. So take a swig of your egg nog, steal a cheeky choc from the Christmas calendar and enjoy
Courier flights - not just a fantasy!
Just as New Zealand brought Narnia and Hobbiton to life we have been weaving our own magic to open the lid on another mythical phenomenon – courier flights.
How does it work?
Companies use air couriers most frequently to deliver documents or items when time is a critical issue (not the top secret suitcase you might be expecting) or because its usually cheaper to have a person check freight through as luggage than it is for them to ship freight as air cargo. An air courier (what you will be if you use this system) is someone who carries shipping documents on international flights for a courier company in exchange for a discounted air ticket.
There are a few pre-requisites to qualify for these flights and they include:
- Have a valid passport
- Must be over 18 years of age
- Arrange your own visa's (if required)
- Dress smartly
- Arrive 2 hours before your flight to pick up the paperwork for the cargo
- You are NOT responsible for the cargo.
- Usually allowed normal baggage allowance, some may restrict you to cabin baggage only or 1 piece of luggage.
- Most flights operate on a 2 week return basis.
How much will it cost?
Unfortunately, they aren’t free as many people suspect but it is possible to save up to 85 percent of the regular airline ticket price. The costs range hugely, depending on the season and demand, but the discount is usually substantial. Most firms aim for at least 50 percent of the cost of the ticket when possible. Most tickets are round-trip and in some cases you will find a limit on the luggage you can carry.
Adventure in: Tanzania and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
This article focuses on those looking for adventure in the area and the biggest and best attraction of this region deserves all our attention - Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located on the north/eastern tip of Tanzania and is the highest mountain in Africa. Kilimanjaro is one of the largest extinct volcanos in the World. It towers 15,000 feet above the surrounding arid plains, and 2.5 square miles of its surface are over 18,500 feet. Beneath its ice dome, snow extends down long gullies that have been eroded in the mountain sides. For the adventurous, a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro is a must, taking you through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit. The demanding track winds through forests that vary constantly reaching considerable altitude and finally opens out into open moorland below rocky, snow covered Kibo plateau. It has 3 volcanic centres, Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. Shira and Mawenzi both have suffered considerable erosion and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central, youngest and highest peak has survived as an almost perfect cone. There are a range of hiking options and most range from 5-8 days ad are easily arranged with a variety of operators. It can be climbed at any time during the year. However, Christmas and New Year are usually fully booked and April, May and November is the rainy season. For more information check out any of these sites:
Lonely planet Tanzania guide - great source of information and chat forum about the region
Facts about Kilimanjaro - History and links for Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro - Info and links about the great mountain
Thought about: Zorbing
What is Zorbing? Zorbing is the sport of rolling down a hill at speed inside a giant inflatable sphere of course! It’s the next crazy adventure activity from New Zealand, the nation that developed bungy jumping and a host of ever-more-outrageous thrill pursuits.
Zorbing is available in about ten locations worldwide, there are permanent Zorb sites in Europe, Asia, Australia and of course New Zealand. Zorb Rotorua “The home of the Zorb” is the original site, and has a downhill course of about 200m, where you can reach speeds of up to 50km/hr. “Zorbonauts” can enjoy Hydro Zorb and Harness Zorb rides.
In the Hydro Zorb or “wash cycle”, 30-40 litres of water is added and Zorbonauts are free to run, tumble, flip or slide inside as the Zorb hurtles downhill. It’s a blast on your own, even better with up to two friends! Dry clothes and towels are available, cool water is used in summer and nice warm water in winter. The new Zig-Zag Hydro Zorb ride is described as a cross between a waterfall and a rollercoaster! In the Harness Zorb, you are safely secured inside before being sent rolling head over heels downhill, no water required.
"No one takes it seriously" says Zorb inventor Andrew Akers. “The thing about the Zorb is that it's funny. Should you be fearful? Excited? Adrenaline-rushed? It's a really bizarre experience. But people emerge laughing.”
See more about Zorbing at www.zorb.com
- Gobble, gooble gobble. Need to fatten up that christmas turkey before the in laws come round, well this game won't help but the sounds are very funny Play here.
- Phone home. If your looking for a cheap way to make international calls then you can't do any better than Skype. It's free to sign up and you just need a PC and a microphone to call over the world.
- That's it for this month. We are off to browse for Christmas goodies and get stocks in for the Christmas BBQs! Wherever you are at Christmas have a fantastic time, eat plenty and be very very merry.
Safe Travels and Happy XMAS,
The Flying Kiwi Team
( +64 3 547 0171 (International)
( 0800 693 296 (NZ Free Phone)
( 1800 143 515 (AUS Free Phone)
PO Box 680. Nelson, New Zealand