NZ TRIP ADVICE - FOOD, ETC

Old May 25th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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NZ TRIP ADVICE - FOOD, ETC

Before asking anything, I admit to being picky, acknowledge that what I want/need is not the average and state firmly that I am not advocating that others travel, eat or do anything the way I do it.

Disclaimer aside, I kindly ask for advice or info from anyone willing to give it.

I am thrilled to have my flights booked to NZ. I am going to/from AKL, renting a vehicle, going to both islands and staying for three weeks.

This is a dream holiday for my SO. I am glad to go, too.

This will be a very long holiday for the SO and I. Great, however, to do this, we need to keep costs low on things we are able to economize on (note the picky comment above - I know I am not, nor am I able to be, the most flexible traveller in the world) SO is well aware of this and very kind and tolerant of this, so no relationship advice needed (for the record I am thrilled to have SO and vice versa - SO has a few eccentricities, also).

So, the things I want to know are -

Advice on eating cheap for someone who has lots of food restrictions (SO, not me). SO needs to avoid food additives/preservatives, spices other than salt, food coloring, most fruits/juices and veggies.

It's easier to say SO needs to eat plain meat, potatoes, bread, fish/seafood, cheese, eggs, butter/canola oil, oatmeal, plain (no-corn, corn syrup or coloring/spice) cookies, and potato chips. If anyone recognizes this diet it's the salycilate/sulfate free diet to avoid the endless misery of hives. SO has done the whole allergest thing and this is the advice given.

SO is thrilled this is not a health risk (for SO only - no advice to anyone else given or implied here). However, being covered in welts and itching all the time is not good on holiday or any other time.

SO deals with this at home by eating a very limited diet and taking meals to work. We cook at home almost every meal, so an occasional meal away might bring on limited hives. This is not going to work on holiday where lots of meals are away and cooking is not convenient for almost every meal.

We don't know what is available in NZ. We are looking for low cost food or take away. Since SO has so many food limitations (and I have few of my own), we DO NOT travel to eat or go for fine dining.

Also, we both want to see and do things on holiday, rather than take lots of time for slow meals. No offense of any kind to those who enjoy fine dining or have an itinerary weighted toward wineries, five star eateries, etc.

So, is/are the following things available in NZ at fast or take away or even sit dowm eateries that are reasonably priced. Some where in the $5.00-$15.00 USD per person range - not including drinks, tax, tip. We are talking meals and snacks here.

Plain baked potatoes

Plain baked or roasted chicken sandwiches

Plain fried fish - not cooked in peanut or olive oil or corn oil

Oatmeal or instant oatmeal from groceries - add hot water in a styro type - like the ramen noodle

Plain meat sandwiches - No MSG

We know some hotels have fridges and microwaves. We will try to book those.

However, we need to be able to take snacks/ picnics for day long activities or get something along the way.

By the way, this is a first holiday for SO with the new food restrictions. So we have not gotten the hang of this yet.

We really do need advice.

Thanks for any advice or info.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Hi - we were in NZ for 4 weeks in February 2007 - can't comment too much about availability of your list for takeaway but wanted to add a comment about motels. In virtually every motel we stayed in there was a full kitchen - not just a microwave/frig - usually at least a cooktop and often an oven and always a communal BBQ. So we bought a few basic ingredients (shelf stable) and carried them around with us so when we arrived at a motel we could purchase a few things and make a very satifying "home cooked" meal. That may work for you too - suggest you take a small cooler bag so you can make some sandwiches (from leftovers) and carry them with you (we did and it was very inexpensive and good).

We didn't make many advance bookings - relied on free guides such as Jason's - really good reliable rating system -here's an online link

http://www.jasons.com/

Have a great time!
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Old May 25th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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Elizabeth_S,

Thanks for the advice and the link.

I think the cooler bag is a good idea.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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I agree, try to book into Motels. They all have kitchens. Also, the YHA hostels have private rooms, and also have kitchens. You will find lots and lots of nice cheeses and dairy items in NZ. The large supermarkets like New World are excellent and have good deli and bulk item sections. Stock up in the major towns when you see one.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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I forgot to mention, if you can visit the farmer's markets, you'd probably find some relatively additive-free items. There's often a bakery and dairy or cheese vendor.

Here's the link.

They usually are on the weekends.

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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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http://www.farmersmarket.org.nz/home.htm
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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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mlgb,

Thanks for the info and advice.

Motels it is.

I'm starting to think this will be do-able.

I want to make this a great holiday for SO.

Thanks, again.

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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:30 PM
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I'm an incredibly fussy eater (my dietary restrictions are self-imposed, not health related). I just don't eat like most people. Never have. Having said that, I've
traveled the world and have visited NZ 8 or 9 times and I've certainly not gone hungry.

Motels or cottages are a great idea - not only because you can self cater meals, but because they tend to offer more space than the average hotel. Many also offer a BBQ or grill, which might come in handy for grilling some plain meat for your SO.

Simple food is not hard to find in NZ - don't be afraid ask restaurants - I think you'll find the Kiwis very accomodating.

As far as take away meals, you might consider items like kebabs
(you can choose what you put on them), fish and chips (if that's allowed), omelettes, or even cheese platters from wineries.

Supermarkets are well stocked and you'll have no trouble finding picnic items. We always take a chiller bag with us on our OZ nd NZ picnics and for transporting cold food items from cottage to cottage.

Don't fret - go and have yourself a grand time.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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Melnq8,

Thanks for the great info. And for getting the picky eater thing.

SO has to limit foods. I am a picky eater for both a few food sensitivities that are easy to avoid and likes and dislikes.

We both love fish n' chips. Do you have any favorite eateries to get it? Is it whatever fish they have - like in the US - or pick a fish - like - cod and chips - like in Britain? Sorry for the terrible grammer there.

I will try not to fret. I know we will like NZ. I want to be organized for when we get there, so I am asking for all the details now.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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First, let me apologize for the typos in my previous post. I was in the Narita airport using a keyboard with Japanese letters and it was a challenge to say the least.

As luck would have it, fish/seafood is one of those food groups I can't seem to stomach, so I can't make any personal recommendations, but you'll find fish and chips shops even in the smallest NZ towns.

NZ is also full of tea houses - unassuming establishments that offer basic food such as coffee, tea, cakes, cheese sandwiches, meat pies, fried this and that. On our first trip to NZ in the early 90's my spouse and I couldn't seem to avoid these tea houses, and we still joke about that trip. Seems to me that if you're looking for plain, simple food a teahouse might do the trick.

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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Meant to say tea rooms, not tea houses.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:21 AM
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Melnq8,

Thanks for the tea room idea.

Cake, ah, cake. I want some right now. Real layer cake with that sickeningly sweet frosting between the layers and on top.

It's a joke in my family that I am the only one anyone knows who likes that traditional, white cake with white frosting wedding cake that almost no one does anymore. I love it.

How do you find the food in Japan?

I was amazed that it all seemed bland to me - as in very little seasoning or herbs, etc. If I go to Japan again, I am going to take a shaker of mixed salt and pepper and add it to everything I eat when no one is looking. I salt things very little when cooking at home, never add salt at the table anywhere and avoid extremely salty snacks. However, my SO who has been many times, also feels the food is really bland there. We were thrilled to get some McDonald's fries with a little salt on them there. At home, we don't even eat there except when on road trips and then it's a once a year fish sandwich when desperate.

What do you think?
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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I second the motel, cottage advice (or is that third!)

I don't have the food sensitivities, but to reduce costs we used the kitchens we found a fair bit.

One important thing - in NZ, a cooler bag is known as a chilly bin - pronounced chully bn.

Have a great time.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 07:57 PM
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margo_oz,

Thanks for the advice and info.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:29 PM
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you shouldn't get stressed out about the diet thing. If you can get by in USA it will be easier in NZ. Traveling in NZ is much, much easier than traveling in America. It is very "do it yourself" friendly. The biggest mistake I can see from your letter is that you are going to get stiffed a large fee for changing your return ticket. Three weeks isn't enough to experience the country!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:24 PM
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Chocolate -

Regarding Japan - didn't eat there, unless you consider the little rice crackers they serve in the Red Carpet Lounge food (ha!). Have been through Narita a few times on my way from Singapore to the US, but never stayed long enough to visit, let alone eat.

Currently in Changi Airport in Singapore awaiting my delayed Garuda flight (no surprise there) to Indonesia.

No shortage of cake in NZ - tea/coffee and cake in the late afternoon is one of those British/Australian/Kiwi traditions that I've grown rather fond of.

Now, let me know if you want to discuss chocolate, a topic near and dear to my heart...
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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dcw,

I feel better regarding eating in NZ now. Thanks for the advice. I believe three weeks will not cover all or even some of NZ well. However, I don't think I will be able to afford longer.

Melnq8,

I imagine the flight has finally left by now. I have wanted to go to Indonesia for a long time. What takes you there?

Chocolate, now that's a favorite of mine, too. I don't love the dark chocolate or really expensive chocolate that sophisticated chocoholics are meant to crave. However, hardly a day goes by that I don't have at least a bite of chocolate or two or more. Even on a diet, I make room for a few nibbles. Heaven, isn't it?
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:22 PM
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Yes, I'm back in Indonesia now. The oil business brought us here and fortunately, it's now taking us away (moving to Perth this summer!).

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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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CWI we are currently in New Zealand for a couple of months as part of our round the world trip.

The food here is excellent and you really should not encounter too many problems here. The shops and supermarkets are excellent and stock just about everything you could want (although the range is not as extensive as at home in teh UK, is is a lot better than neighbouring Australia (and much cheaper!).

The takeaway such as MCD & KFC is, unfortunately IMO, readily available in the main towns but the local fast food is really good and the sandwiches are excellent.

I would echo the previous posters' suggestion of going for Hostel or Motel accomodation which is where we are at the moment although we are just about to pick up a campervan, which will be our home for the next 7 weeks and this is something you may want to consider. We did this in Australia for a couple of weeks and loved it.

PS The fish and chips are the best in the world and the variety of fish is so much better than we get back home in London
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