Only a few more days ’til liftoff for the southern hemisphere. I realized this will mark my sixth continent. Antarctica here I come! One day.

Until then, I’ve found some great New Zealand sites:

Two Auckland neighborhoods with shopping, walking, dining, etc. have detailed Web sites with links to services and stores, plus directions and maps. The sites are really well done, I was impressed.

http://www.parnell.net.nz/index.html

http://www.newmarket.net.nz

The city of Queenstown has a lovely municipal site (though not quite on par with the other two). The photo alone on the page header makes me drool.

I’ve only downhilled once, but the chance to do so at a mountain named The Remarkables may be too good to pass up. I like their interactive trail map.

The southern edge of the South Islands looks lovely in a lonely, windswept, Oceanic kind of way, but hard to get around on public transportation, I hear. I’m actually thinking of doing a quickie tour for 3 or 4 days.

According to the Lonely Planet discussion boards, this place in Wellington can be a noise party central, but it’s right by the trains and buses. The key, apparently, is to request a room far from the bar.

Here’s a totally cheesy national tourism article, asking local celebs for their favorite places, but there are a few fun suggestions. I like the idea of walking the Auckland beaches.

In the crafty little town of Nelson, an interesting collective offers hands-on experiences from basket weaving to bone carving to cheese lessons. I really want to try the Pavlova cooking lesson, so much so I might book a room in the teacher’s B and B. We’ll see how the money runs.

I’m always looking for new suggestions if anyone has them, or opinions about the stuff listed here. Thanks!

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