November in New Zealand is a great time when the weather is warming up, the breathtaking scenery comes alive, you can jump in the lakes, head to the beach and wear shorts without looking like a freak.
In the UK it's dark by half 4 and people have got their Christmas trees up already, enough said.
So if you're in New Zealand this month, let's look at some awesome stuff you can do.
Image: Max Vadukul, Amy
Winehouse, Miami, May 18, 2007,
gelatin silver print, courtesy of
Pictures you wish you took - Auckland - all month
Nobody leaves the house anymore without at least one camera on them thanks to the ubiquity of the camera phone, you'd think this would mean that our every moment could be documented in all its glory when in reality everyone just takes pictures either of their food or them and their mates looking ridiculous on a night out.
Who Shot Rock & Roll is an exhibition of 173 works from photographers as famous as Annie Leibovitz, Linda McCartney and Dennis Hopper and includes some of the most candid pictures of iconic musicians that have never been published before.
Curated by the Brooklyn Museum, Who Shot Rock & Roll heads out on tour for the first time, displaying to the world some of the coolest moments in music, acknowledging photography's influence on music and putting 1 billion Facebook users and their 2,000 pictures each to shame.
Fab Four - Nationwide - until the 24th
And speaking of the most iconic moments in music history, you don't get much bigger than the Beatles. What more can possibly be said about four scousers, some instruments and lots of drugs? We don't know but the band that's sold more than any other, influenced more than any other and set standards in music that are as inherent now as Mozart are still so popular that tribute bands sell out shows.
The Beatles Experience is a nationwide tour of live shows using all original equipment and clothing as everything from the hairdos to Ringo's Thomas the Tank Engine voice is recreated.
If you're a human being, chances are you're a Beatles fan, so check out the tour dates and head on down there.
We doubt they'll be as many drugs involved.
Get Shorty - Wellington - until the 18th
Short films are dismissed as not really worthy of attention by millions of people, the same millions who then go and sit on YouTube for hours upon hours completely oblivious to the fact that the video they're watching of a cat getting a divorce is a short film, and not a particularly good one either.
To see what the format is truly capable of, head on down to the Paramount Theatre before the 18th for the Show Me Shorts Film Festival when around 40 of the best short films made in New Zealand and the world in the past year will be shown.
Peter Jackson and all his pesky CGI -
what? Oh right.
The Hobbit - Wellington - 28th
Before The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released, New Zealand was Australia's equivalent of Wales, a kooky, hilly cousin with a slightly different accent and not really much to note.
Then the films came out and had everyone disappointed at the extensive use of CGI and green screen to make some ridiculously unrealistic hills and mountains and whatnot.
But then rumours sprang up that they weren't CGI'd, the hills actually look like that.
Since the original trilogy's release, tourism to New Zealand has skyrocketed and the country is deservedly recognised as one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on Earth.
And now we're here again. Peter Jackson's latest instalment in JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth masterpiece: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres this month in Wellington.
While we highly doubt you'll be able to secure tickets to one of the most eagerly awaited film events since Harry Potter's voice dropped, the whole of Waitangi Park will be dressed up Middle Earth style and there will be free public screenings of the first three films.
And then there's the premiere itself when the films' stars and creators will be out in full flow, signing autographs and doing what people do on red carpets: be awesome.
Christmas, say no more - Christchurch - 24th
As a child, Christmas approaches like a wounded walrus crawling up the beach to die. However, once you get past about 19 and the balance between how much you get and how much you have to give shifts, Christmas suddenly loses all its charm and, before you've finished paying for the last one, arrives with an estranged uncle in tow reminding you exactly why you're estranged.
But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself, get into the Christmas spirit a bit. If you're abroad it won't be so tortuous.
And to help you get in the mood, Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park is one of the biggest outdoor concerts of the year featuring plenty of big names as well as dancers, performances, choirs and much more Christmassy stuff to enjoy.
Head on down, ho hum.
Bear's assessment of the situation
It's getting dark, best drink my own... - Wellington - 30th
Millions of TV watchers are incapable of knowing how to cook a meal more sophisticated than weetabix without the use of four friends, an iPhone app and a hissy fit but they know what to do when stranded on the Arctic shelf with only a Sharpie, the Yellow Pages and a bag of miscellaneous screws - thanks to one man.
The amount of suffering Bear Grylls has endured on TV - purportedly to teach us something but really for our own entertainment - can surely only be matched by the combined embarrassment of the early stages of any talent based reality show.
Bear Grylls has eaten scorpions, climbed in carcasses and most frequently of all, drank his own urine at the first sign of danger.
And now you can meet him!
The TSB Bank Arena in Wellington will play host to A Wild Night with Bear Grylls - The Stories, The Danger, The Man on the 30th giving you the chance to ask the man himself all the questions you must be bursting with like "why do you always insist on drinking your own pee" "which animal has the worst smelling bowels to sleep in" and "you think you're well hard you do".
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.
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