Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Google Street View Trikes in NZ [updated]

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Back in January Google announced that the trikes, which shoot footage for Google Street View where the cars can’t go, were about to start roaming the outback in search of interesting off-road places. They started at Taronga Zoo and held a public vote to choose the rest. Well that’s all fantastic if you’re interested in seeing Australia. And thousands millions of people are. But I happen to think that New Zealand has some pretty awesome things to show off too so I’m starting a list of places that the trikes should visit when they come here.

1: Otago Rail Trail


The most obvious starting point. 150kms of trail graded gently enough for the trains of yesteryear. The trail might be a bit rutted and bumpy so I hope they’ve given those trikes some good suspension to protect the equipment as well as the rider.

2: Wai-o-tapu


It’s an amazing “thermal wonderland” not far south of Rotorua and though it looks really good from the sky you really need to get in amongst it to show off some of New Zealand’s famous geothermal features.

3: The Luge


Whilst they’re down in Rotorua they should definitely pay a visit to The Luge. It’s a set of paved downhill tracks each as wide as a single lane road over looking the city. But don’t spend anytime looking down there because you need to pay attention to the corners and other riders as you hurtle down the hill on your three wheeled carts. This is my favourite man-made tourist attraction in NZ by far, and features in any good road trip. There’s one in Auckland too but you can see most of it from the motorway and it doesn’t look half as exciting as the Rotorua one.

4: Rangitoto Island


The jewel of the Hauraki Gulf is a volcano with a few unsealed roads. Right now they are only used by the D.O.C. workers and the pull-along tourist tractor that takes those that can’t walk to the summit. The last 100m or so is on wooden steps that the trike couldn’t traverse so they’ll need to carry it. Which should get them in good practice for…

5: The Tongariro Crossing


One of the world’s best day hikes, and there in lies the problem. If Google can get the Street View equipment down to a size where two people can carry it I’d gladly be one of the sherpas.

6: Viaduct Harbour


Often touted as ‘party’ central for things like The America’s Cup, the Rugby World Cup and really any event that Auckland hosts. I made a Real Place for it a while ago but I think it could do with the Street View treatment, ideally on a day when some really interesting big yachts are in.

7: Rainbow’s End


New Zealand’s biggest theme park may not stack up against the some of the ones in the recent UK update but that doesn’t stop it being the best one we’ve got. As you can see on the map there’s enough space to be worth exploring and I reckon putting the trikes on the race track would be fun too. If only they could make a splash-proof version for the log flume :-) .

Any other suggestions?

Update
GEarthBlog.com has some speculation that StreetView might be heading indoors. If this is true then I’d add Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum to the list of places to document. I think GEarthBlog’s idea is more of documenting the collections in proper posed photo shoots rather than riding a trike down the halls, but I like the idea of riding around the museum late at night when all the other visitors have gone home.

IslandReefJob

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

My video has been up on the site for a little while now but those of us not lucky enough to ever get listed as the most-recent applicants are struggling to get anywhere near the number of views those lucky few are receiving. Two days on the front page can bring in thousands of votes. So, I’m putting out a second post to encourage you to watch my video and give me a vote. I’ve heard that one New Zealander is guaranteed through to the next round and if you’re here to thank me for my software or after follwoing any of my travel blogs, the best thing you can do for me right now is a 5 star rating, and telling your friends about it too.

To try to drum up publicity I’ve created a page here on my site that I’ll keep up to date and voting progresses and a Facebook group that you’re welcome to join.

Here are those links again
Video: http://islandreefjob.com/applicants/watch/dF_InB2rFvY
Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48534483691

The Best Job In The World?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I was pleased to hear from a few friends of mine that I was the first (only?) person they thought of when news of the island reef job broke. It’s a simple gig: Sit on Hamilton Island, which sits above the incredible Great Barrier Reef, for six months and file regular reports on the amazing life you’re living thanks to Quuensland Tourism. Having done a fair bit of travel blogging in my time I think I’m pretty well suited to the job. So please check out my application video and pass it around to your friends.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t enjoy my current desk-job. And nothing else is tempting me away, but those six months would hone my writing/adventuring skills just that bit more while also making a substantial payment towards getting a house. If you’ve been using my software and not donating, consider giving me a favourable review and we’ll call it even :-)