5 Bungy-Jumping Locations in New Zealand

The first (and the last) time I tried bungee-jumping was in Singapore, when I was attending a business conference with friends.

We all purchased rather costly tickets to go on two different kinds of bungee jumping experiences: one in which you were strapped to a seat inside a metal globe and then propelled to the height of a mini-skyscraper, and another in which you and four of your friends were seated in yet another metal cage that’s meant to swing like a pendulum from a height of, I dunno, another mini-skyscraper.

I survived the ordeal (obviously), and pretty much vowed never again to go bungee-jumping. (Seriously, guys, I’m all for an adrenaline fix, but that stunt made me cry. Literally.)

If you still want to give bungee-jumping a try, though, I would recommend trying it in New Zealand rather than in Singapore. Why? Well, they do things the old-fashioned way here. There are no fancy steel cages swinging like pendulums. Rather, they tie a large elastic cord around your waist before they send you flying off a gigantic structure. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Also, New Zealand’s scenery is way nicer, and plummeting a couple hundred feet into a grassy field sounds a teeny bit better than free-falling towards solid concrete.

Kidding aside, here are some of the bungy (that’s how they spell it in New Zealand) – jumping activities in the Land of the Kiwis:

1. Kawarau Bungy Centre.

Kawarau Bungy Centre
Image Credit: Expedia.com.au

One of the most famous attractions in Queenstown, New Zealand, “The World Home of Bungy” is the world’s first commercial Bungy Jump. Named after the magnificent Kawarau Gorge upon which the jump-off point is situated, this bungy center is a mere twenty minutes away from the Queenstown City Centre.

From leaping right into the middle of things (quite literally) and going on the new Zipride to simply sitting back with some delicious snacks and drinks while watching other people take the plunge, the Kawarau Bungy Centre has something suitable for every thrill level.

2. Queenstown Ledge Bungy.

Queenstown Ledge Bungy
Image Credit: Adventures in New Zealand

The Ledge is positioned at the top of the Skyline Gondola and affords its visitors some of the most spectacular sweeping views of the enchanting panorama that is Queenstown.

What sets the Ledge apart from other bungy-jumping experiences is that they actually have a “Jump Menu.” Thanks to their specially-designed harnesses, you can do a twist, handstand, or even something called “The Matrix” when you do take the plunge.

If bungy-jumping doesn’t get your adrenaline up, you can also go for a combination of the Ledge Bungy and Swing:

3. Queenstown Ledge Swing.

Queenstown Ledge Swing
Image Credit: profernity

The Ledge Swing provides some of the best sightseeing in Queenstown….if you’re got enough guts, that is.

This rough-as-guts rope-style swing hauls you off into the sky and brings you right back before you’ve even managed to stop screaming (or taking in the sights around you), provided that you pull the release cord.

Yep, this attraction literally puts your destiny in your hands, for better or for worse.

4. Nevis Bungy.

Image Credit: Herb

If the previously-mentioned activities still put you to sleep (seriously????), you may want to try out the Nevis Bungy.

New Zealand’s biggest bungy dangles you on a high wire cable that’s 134 meters over the valley floor and 4×4 buses are required to take you on a scenic, four-hour round-trip drive to the jump-off point. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this particular bungy jump has often been described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience (provided you don’t die during the attempt, I suppose).

And if jumping across a valley somehow manages to give you second wind, they’ve also got the World’s Biggest Swing at Nevis, which propels you about 300 feet across the gorge at about 120 kph.

5. Harbour Bridge Bungy Jump.

Image Credit: Languages International

Fun fact: AJ Hackett, the founder of Auckland Bungy Jumping, was arrested when he did a bungy jump off the Auckland Harbor Bridge. (The activity wasn’t “technically legal” then.)

Back in 2003, however, the same guy was able to incorporate the world’s first Harbour Bridge Bungy Jump into the Auckland Bridge Climb (which he also took over prior). So, going on the Harbour Bridge Bungy Jump is not only good for an adrenaline rush, it also makes you part of this area’s interesting history.

As with any vigorous physical activity, do consult with your doctor first before trying any of the aforementioned activities, okay? We here at iRemit would prefer our clients to stay alive, thanks very much.

Which New Zealand Airport Should You Choose to Arrive At?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, or if you’re part of the #Wanderlust generation, the right airport.

As it happens, New Zealand has not one, not two, but five airports total. Given that, how do you choose which airport to land in when you book your plane ticket?

It all depends on where you’re coming from, it seems:

1. If You Are Arriving from Fiji

If You Are Arriving From Fiji

You can either arrive at either Auckland Airport or Christchurch Airport, but the best option for those flying in from Fiji would be Wellington Airport. Located at the south of the North Island, this airport is situated in the capital city of New Zealand. Air traffic here is mostly comprised of domestic flights, but it also brings in many international flights from both Fiji and Australia.

Plus, Wellington is a great place to kick off your New Zealand journey in as the city is quite vibrant and diverse, and you can take the Cook Strait Ferry to explore other destinations at the top of the South Island.

2. If You Are Arriving from Australia

If You Are Arriving from Australia

Australian visitors can actually land in any of New Zealand’s five airports, but the two most recommended ones are Queenstown Airport and Dunedin Airport.

Queenstown Airport is arguably NZ’s most scenic airport as it is literally nestled in between mountains. It’s certainly an ideal amuse-bouche for the sort of natural beauty lying in wait all over the country for travelers to discover, and adrenaline junkies will find no shortage of things to do in “The Adventure Capital of New Zealand.

Dunedin Airport, on the other hand, is great for visitors flying in from Brisbane. Located on the southeastern coast of South Island, Dunedin is the quietest international airport and since it’s not as crowded as Auckland, certain services like rental cars are much cheaper to avail of here.

3. If You Are Arriving From Anywhere Else in the World

Auckland Airport is the largest and busiest airport in the country. About 15 million visitors pass through its gates every year, and direct flights from Asia, the US, the Pacific Islands, and just about every country in the world typically touch down here. Perched on the northern tip of North Island, this is the usual starting point for many international backpackers or tourists.

The second busiest airport in the country is Christchurch Airport. It also serves as the hub for the southern part of New Zealand and waves through about 5.5 million passengers a year. Because most of the traffic here stems from domestic flights and from Australia, many Asian tourists prefer to make their entry into the country through this airport.

There you have it. Now, go forth and fly!

10 Effortless Steps to Apply for a Tax Refund Online

It is high time again for the dreaded tax monster. After being assessed, you ask yourself, do I really owe this much tax? Luckily, the campaign by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) streamlined an easier way to claim tax refunds (being number 11 in the “Paying Taxes 2017” ease of paying taxes report certainly has its perks).

Getting a representative to do it for you might be quite expensive. To save more money, these are the things you need to know to properly claim your tax refund.

Who are eligible?

First, you need to know if you are eligible for refund. Usually the cases where you get tax refund are the following:

  • If you worked for only part of the year (including recent retirees)
  • If you received a lump sum payment (such as a bonus or redundancy)
  • If you had more than one employer during the year
  • If you have additional expenses to claim
  • If you were entitled to the independent earner tax credit but didn’t claim all of it during the tax year.

Step 1: To check, login to your My IR Account.

Step 1

Step 2: Choose the tax year you are inquiring for.

Choose the tax year you are inquiring for

Step 3: Input in the calculator the required information.

Input in the calculator the required information

Step 4: Answer this questionnaire. The information you provide in this window will not be sent to IRD.

Answer this questionnaire

Afterward, you will be assessed if you are entitled to a tax refund. If the amount shows a total tax payment than a tax refund, STOP. IRD does not need to use this amount as a reassessment of payments.

It is important to note that if you continue whilst knowing that there is additional tax payment, you are required to pay the amount due computed. For the purpose of this article, please don’t. You have been warned.

Step 5: Request for a Personal Tax Summary.

Request for a Personal Tax Summary

Step 6: Review your request and press “Send to Inland Request”.

Review your request and press "Send to Inland Request"

Step 7: Go to “My Income tab” and complete the “continue completing your PTS”

Go to "My Income tab" and complete the "continue completing your PTS"

Step 8: Look for the draft request and complete your PTS details.

Look for the draft request and complete your PTS details

Step 9: Go to the “Calculate tax and review summary” tab to check the run-through of the transaction.

Go to the "Calculate tax and review summary" tab to check the run-through of the transaction.

Also, if you haven’t yet, you can update your bank details in this tab for a faster and more convenient way of receiving the money.

Step 10: Confirm the summary and click “submit to Inland Revenue”

Confirm the summary and click "submit to Inland Revenue"

With that, you will receive your refund within 5 working days (if you have updated your bank accounts). I know. It’s just this easy. You’re welcome.

Satisfy Your Inner Adrenaline Junkie at Wanaka’s “Have A Shot”

Have you ever fantasized about joining Frodo Baggins’ merry band of heroes and going toe-to-toe against the, I dunno, Orcs? (Clearly, I’m part of the 1 percent that didn’t watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Bear with me, please.)

If so, you’re in luck. There happens to be a place in New Zealand where you can do just that, sans the prosthetic feet that Elijah Woods donned as the legendary hobbit.

It’s called “Have a Shot,” and it’s in Wanaka.

This thrill-seeker’s paradise is basically one big complex where you can do all sorts of adrenaline-pumping activities. Here, you can learn how to wield a bow like Katniss, fight in a battlefield alongside a dozen other people, and even try your hand at clay bird shooting, all within a safe environment and under the supervision of Have a Shot’s friendly, expert staff.

Another thing that’s great about this place is that they are open even on rainy days, so weather conditions won’t put a damper on your plans. The prices are quite reasonable too, with the most expensive activity on offer setting you back by NZ$38 (unlimited arrows at the archery range for 3 pax, about 30 mins. per alley).

Those who aren’t too keen on doing fantasy action movie stunts won’t run out of things to do either. For starters, there’s the golf-range where NZ$8 gets you 50 balls and NZ$2 allows you to rent a club. They’ve got a mini-putt over there too, so small children can also play for only NZ$5 per head.

Golf and Cropool

One other activity worth looking into at “Have a Shot” is Cropool. The name is basically a combination of the words “croquet” and “pool,” and that’s exactly how the game is played. Imagine playing on a giant pool table, but using a croquet mallet to hit croquet balls. NZ$6 per head for singles and NZ$5 per head for doubles gives you 30-40 minutes to play as many games as you like.

Have a Shot is located at 87 Mount Barker Road, Wanaka 9382. They are open everyday from 9 AM to 5 PM during winter and from 9 AM to 5:30 PM in the summer.

You Shall Not Miss These 5 Wineries in New Zealand

Some of you may not know that wine is one of New Zealand’s top tier exports. The popularity of its 11 wine regions continues to grow. So, be sure to include these wineries as you visit or reside in this wonderful country.

Rippon Vineyard

Rippon Vineyard

A viable candidate for the most picturesque vineyard in the world, the Rippon Vineyard is situated in Central Otago. This region is renowned for its Pinot Noir.

Rippon boasts its own twist of Pinot Noir, along with the bright Riesling and the interesting Osteiner. There is a limited production of the latter worldwide. You see, Osteiner is a hybrid of two German grapes. The rarity of their products make Rippon standout!

Rarity pours throughout the wine process as the owners rejects chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Simply, Rippon’s wines are organic.

Website: http://rippon.co.nz

Greywacke

Greywacke
Image Credit: Dumol

Greywacke’s namesake is New Zealand’s most common sandstone. Owners Kimberly and Kevin Judd found an abundance of this rock in the soils of the vineyards where they source their grapes. To their surprise, the Marlborough’s stony soil produced quality fruits.

Greywacke creates some of the best Sauvignon Blanc as well as their very own “Wild Sauvignon”. It uses wild yeast, which tastes like toasted sesame and thyme. Are you up for that?

Website: http://greywacke.com

Neudorf Vineyards

Neudorf Vineyards

Who knew that an attractive gem is hidden inside one of New Zealand’s smallest wine regions? This tucked beauty is none other than Neudorf Vineyards. Thriving in the sunny Nelson hills is Neudorf’s subtle Chardonnay and the timeless Pinot Noir.

The brains that brought this vineyard to life was Judy and Tim Finn. Their elegant shed was built by hand in 1980. A lot has changed since then. Today, they use their backyard as a venue for concerts.

Website: http://www.neudorf.co.nz

Osawa Wines

Osawa Wines

Taizo Osawa’s passion for wines took him into a whirlwind search to find the best place for his own vineyard. This Japanese civil engineer travelled from America to New Zealand. Finally, he found haven at a a sheep farm in Hawke’s Bay (North Island). He planted his pioneering vines 11 years ago with the help of the famous winemaker Rod McDonald.

Osawa Wines has established premier varieties such as in the Pinot Noir (i.e., cherry, strawberry, and brown spices) and Chardonnay (i.e., bright and creamy).

Website: http://www.osawawines.co.nz

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill winery is quite an icon in Hawkes Bay. Enter the rustic cellar door to experience the friendly service of their personnel. You will frequently find the owner John Hancock behind the counter or hosting some guests.

When you are there, you must try Trinity Hills’ Tempranillo and Homage Syrah. You will find magic in these two bottles.

Website: http://www.trinityhill.com

As a Filipino tourist, have you ever been to any New Zealand wineries? If so, you may leave your favorite spots in the comment section below.