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[pct-l] OT: Australia and New Zealand info sought

Hi all,

I'll 99% sure I'll be spending the (northern hemisphere) winter in Australia
and New Zealand (summer).  Woohoo!!!

I don't have any solid plans as of yet, but need to start soon.  I'm
wondering if anyone who's been there, especially the locals on the list,
could point me to good guide books for your respective areas.  Around here,
I've seen the Lonely Planet "Tramping in New Zealand" book, and the typical
Lonely Planet or Rough Guides for "travel" in OZ or NZ.  At this point, I'm
hoping to buy a book to start with here, probably for OZ and I'll buy the NZ
book or books once I get there.

If anyone is going to be there when I'm there (either visiting or living)
and you want to get together, let me know.  I would love a hiking partner
here and there or even just meeting for lunch or dinner somewhere.  I'll
probably have some of my lightweight gear with me and would be interested in
seeing some of the options available outside the US.

I certainly expect to be all over the eastern part of OZ including Tasmania
but it would be nice to make it out to Alice Springs and Perth.  In NZ, I
expect to spend time on both islands.

I'll probably end my trip in NZ and want to hike there enough to get in
shape for my PCT hike.

Hmm, got a question...  In NZ, hiking is "tramping".  What term is used in
Australia?  Bushwalking?  Tramping?  Walkabout (for long trips)?

Hmm, I'm hoping to aqua blaze a bit along the Great Berrier Reef, too.  :-)

What are some of your other favorite things to do/see in this part of the
world?  Restaurants to try?  Foodstuffs?  Not sure if I can tolerate
Vegemite.  ;-)

Thanks everyone,

Stitches, AT99

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