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Author: djoan

Joined: 4/11/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

April 14, 2010

Hi, I'm (solo) on May 2nd GCT Aus, NZ and Fiji trip.  With such small restrictions on luggage size; what to pack?  What is a must to take for this time of year?  I've tried to follow the weather forecasts; but, what to expect?   Also any other singles on this trip?   I've  been to Spain (GCT) and Egypt and Thailand (both solo) with OAT and looking forward to May 2 trip.   Although have to admit, I'm a bit intimidated with the large group size - I guess I'm spoiled after the small size groups with OAT.  Any help?  Thanks, Joan

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

April 27, 2010

"With such small restrictions on luggage size; what to pack?"

What are the luggage restrictions? When I took this trip last October we were allowed one large (up to 62" total) suitcase limited to 50 pounds and a carryon limited to 15 pounds. They do weigh the carryons so be careful. Has this changed?

My 25" suitcase weighed about 44 pounds and I had clothes that I never wore. We had to handle our luggage so much that I wish I'd taken less. Some people did very well with less than I had. I would guess 22- and 24-inch suitcases.

The handbook has a suggested packing list which is a good guide.

May will be cooler than Oct but I think layering is still the key. One warm jacket and a lightweight rain jacket, two pairs of comfortable walking shoes. Wear the heaviest shoes and clothing on the flight. One sweater (cashmere is warm and lightweight) and three pairs of comfortable long pants; socks, hat and gloves for N.Z.. Long sleeved T's or shirts and a camisole or some type of undershirt (silk?) for layering when it's cool. Bring a scarf for your neck in N.Z. A bathing suit for Fiji.

No one on our trip ever dressed up; women wore capris or long pants, no skirts. New Zealand's south island will be the coldest but you'll only be there a couple of days. There are great shopping ops there for beautiful sweaters, warm jackets, hats, etc. and yarn if you knit or crochet.  

Go as light as you can and save space and weight for something wonderful from N.Z. Most important , at least o me, --  socks and shoes to keep my feet warm and comfortable.

I've traveled with OAT too and kind of like the larger gct groups, although I'd prefer less than a full bus. You get to know people within a couple of days and will meet other singles or probably female friends traveling together.

Don't fret too much about packing, it's a great trip and you'll have a wonderful time.

One more thing: if you bring food of any kind into Australia be sure to declare it. They will ask what you have and may want to see it. I had packages of peanut crackers and they ok'd that. Get rid of any fruit on the plane. Buy Tim Tams in Australia.

 

Author: djoan

Joined: 4/11/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

April 29, 2010

Luisa,

Many thanks for your great post;  I'm sure it will be a big help.  And yes, the allowable sizes and weights allowed on the domestic flights on this trip are smaller than what  you said were allowed on your trip.  I've had a change of plans; I will now be going on this trip in Oct instead of May.  So I will benefit from your wonderful suggestions - but, just a little later in the year.  I am really looking forward to this trip - I have always had a love affair with anything Australian.

Again, many thanks,

Joan

Author: djoan

Joined: 4/11/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

April 29, 2010

Luisa, forgot to ask: What are Tim Tams?

Joan

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

May 04, 2010

Tim Tams are delicious chocolate covered cookies that you'll find in grocery stores in Australia.

I responded a few days ago but when I pressed "Post" I was sent to a page that read "Web site no found" so I hope this works.

Author: djoan

Joined: 4/11/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

May 05, 2010

Thanks, just received some Tim Tans I ordered on the internet; they are indeed delicious!   

I thought I would get in the mood for my Oct trip.

Joan

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 126
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

May 05, 2010

To:  djoan

There is a great local pub/restaurant in New Zealand that I would recommend to everyone.  It is called "Danny Doolans" and located at the waterfront (where the cruise ships dock).  Head toward the Maritime Museum and "Voyager" boat-you can't miss seeing it-turn left and the block is full of eateries/bars.  A yacht basin will be on your right and had amazing sunsets when we were there in December 2009.  "Danny Doolans"  is just a few doors up and it can be easy to miss to miss their small sign.  However, if you go at night, it just might be the noisiest place & easy to find!  Don't let the noise put you off.  It is styled after an Irish Pub, the food is very good and reasonable, the staff friendly, there was a (small) band playing every night we were there, bouncers that were only needed for crowd control.  We were treated as locals even tho we are in our 50's & it was mostly a younger crowd and we had a fantastic time. They also have 5 mins. free internet in what they call "the confessional", a small curtained area.    I wear two hearing aids & loud places usually put me off, but this was truly a fun place.  Some people danced & others would join in singing with the band.  My husband ordered fish & chips which was served on paper in a tin can.  He loved it.  I highly recommend the garlic bread with cheese.  You don't have to order anything to eat.  We saw alot of people just get a drink...even just a soda.  We just happened upon it & were glad we did.  It's worth a look/see for the music alone. 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

May 05, 2010

Joan,

You are resourceful. Pepperidge Farms offered Tim Tams for a couple of months and I took advantage of that, but was happy to see them disappear from the grocery shelves. They are just too good!

Hootie,

The restaurant sounds interesting, what city in N.Z. is it in?

 

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 126
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

May 05, 2010

'DANNY DOOLANS' is in AUCKLAND.  Sorry.  I remembered after I turned off the computer that I didn't think I had put in the city.  It would be easier to find with an exact location, but I don't know the street address. 

Another place to visit is Kelly Tarleton's Antartic Encounter and Underwater World.  They have a FREE bus (you can't miss it...it is in the shape of a shark...BIG FIN on top of bus) that picks up/returns at convenient locations.  It is kind of a hokey place, but if you like PENGUINS, (sea creatures, etc.) it's worth a look.  Some hotels & brochures have coupons...it all helps! 

New Zealand also has great tasting ice cream.  They may have restocked the "chocolate" flavor by now...I was there in December!

Author: deboba

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2004

May 25, 2010

Luisa,

Your info on this subject is great. I have additional questions, pls.  My husband & I are going on this trip in Oct. with the Outback extension.  I just can't imagine packing enough clothes for 26 days without having to do laundry. Did you have to wash clothes, or have a hotel wash for you?  I can easily wear pants & shorts multiple times, but shirts and undies? How did you, or anyone else, handle this?

And, did the domestic flights have the same luggage allowances as the international flights? That's what a GCT representative told me; the allowances of the flight from home (Los Angeles) are adhered to on all flights. Any info on this?

Thanks for any answers from previous travelers.

Debra O.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

June 20, 2010

Hi Debra,

I just saw your question today.

Regarding the luggage: On my trip, I believe the limit for the one bag allowed by GCT was 44 or 50 pounds. I kept mine at 44 because I was flying from LAX to Atlanta the day after our return.. They were strict on the carryon weight, the limit was 15 pounds and they did weigh them on the domestic flights.

I did wash underwear and socks and maybe some shirts. I brought along a few "throwaways," a couple of faded turtle necks to use as layers in N.Z. and a couple of shirts that I was tired of.

New Zealand was the biggest problem for packing because of cold weather in the south. We went to Milford Sound, which was beautiful, but chilly and rainy, so needed the hat and gloves and waterproof jacket.

All the flights were good, especially those on Qantas. I had dreaded the long flight from LAX but the plane was comfortable, lots of entertainment choices and the service was the best I'd had on any airline.

It's a great trip, I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

Author: dgpeterson

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 1

July 27, 2010

I have a question about communications back to the states.  What was the best and cheapest method?  Did you use wi-fi and internet to do email?  What is the availablilty?  How about phone cards or cell phone?

 

What did you do for travel money - credit card, pre-paid debit card, cash or traveler's checks?

Author: terrythetraveler

Joined: 6/29/2010
Posts: 3

July 31, 2010

I realize the need to pack light and will be "mixing & matching", but are there any items we should bring that would be considered absolutley necessary & things we should definetly leave at home? Will we still encounter very cold weather in September in New Zealand?

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 959
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 01, 2010

You have to remember that September in New Zealand equals March in the U.S.  And depending on where in New Zealand you are, the weather can be very changeable.  The North Island is more temperate.  The South Island has a more mountainous terrain, which can affect the climate.  And there is nothing between Stewart Island off the south coast and The South Pole.  I've never been there in September, but I have been in October (once) and my memory says "dress in layers."  It can be warm enough to swim in the Auckland area and cold enough to ski in Queenstown.

 

PS.  You can buy sweaters, hats, whatever if you do find you need them.  Also, the weather this year, and for the last couple of years, has been completely different everywhere.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

August 02, 2010

"What did you do for travel money - credit card, pre-paid debit card, cash or traveler's checks?"

I got cash from ATMs in all three countries and used my credit card for a couple of purchases. I haven't used traveler's checks for years because so many places will not accept them.

Re packing: Layer for New Zealand's South Island. You'll only be there for a few days so don't need much more than you'll need for Australia and the north island -- a silk undershirt, a turtle neck or two.

Queenstown wasn't too cold but if you're taking the optional to Milford Sound, you'll need a sweater and rain jacket or an all weather jacket. I bought a knit hat somewhere in N.Z. and wore it on the boat tour of M.S. when I went to the top deck, which was windy and a bit rainy but a lot of fun with spectacular scenery. My trip was in April.

There are wonderful shops for jackets, sweaters, gloves, socks and hats in N.Z. so you could wait until you get there if you want, but you should have a waterproof jacket for both Aus. and N.Z.

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