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I was first in your country March for 2008 for just 1 week. I landed in Auckland with a friend and we rented a car and drove south around the bottom half of the North Island. I fell in love with New Zealand and didn't want to leave. I had no choice though. We were scheduled to fly to Sydney, Australia and spend the rest of our trip in Australia. While walking around a shopping mall in Sydney, we came across a travel agency that was having a special that included flight to Christchurch and return to Sydney, 2 nights hotel and 10 days with a caravan. Well, we couldn't get back to New Zealand fast enough. We drove north from Christchurch, mostly up the coast but with some inland jaunts. We went to hot springs, saw seals galore, hiked (tramped as you call it) and just plain explored as much as we could. In due time we went back to Australia and finished our vacation there. I went back to work as a bus driver for the city of Ottawa, Canada. The nation's capital, I might add. I swore I would get back to visit New Zealand again someday, though heavens know I didn't really believe it would happen. Over the years I dreamed and entered every contest that had a trip to New Zealand. Time passed, I early retired from my job as a bus driver on a very reduced pension. Thoughts of going to New Zealand were relegated to that store house of forgotten dreams. Till one day................I got an email from a travel agency. Seems that I had filled out a survey on their services and sent it in to them. The prize was airfare to Auckland, New Zealand and return to San Franscico, U.S.A. Which isn't even close to where I live. I didn't believe it. I thought it was a scam. I didn't even remember sending in the survey. You know on the internet we all receive emails telling us we have won the lottery, inheritance, etc, etc. Why would it be true. I phoned up the company in Toronto, Canada and left a message basically telling them that it was cruel to send out emails about things like that to people. Anyways, long story shortened, I am coming to New Zealand in February 2012. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be in New Zealand for a whole month. If you can help me plan my trip around your wonderful country that would be truly awesome. Some caveats though, I don't have much money and must stay in hostels, no expensive tours, just hands on do it yourself stuff, local transportation must be used. The best places to see and eat on a budget of course. Also I love, love, love tramping and I want to do as much of it as I can fit in. So, your comments are very much appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you the people. Thank you again