By Katherine Huynh from Destination Manawatu
Anytime you arevisiting a new town or city in New Zealand, the best place to stop in at is an i-SITE. This is not an optometrist to treat your tired travel eyes. Would be nice, though...
An i-SITE is a visitor information centre with a team of local people who are experts in everything there is to see and do in their hometown.
So, here are six reasons to visit an i-SITE when you travel.
1.Free parking for cars and campervans in the CBD*
2.Public toilets and showers**
3.Current event information
4.Great tips on what to see and do based on your interests, including insider tips
5.Nationwide travel information and contacts for your onward travel
* i-SITE Palmerston North has free parking for cars visiting the centre and all-day free parking for
campervans. Not all i-SITES have free parking, but it's worthwhile asking.
**i-SITE Palmerston North has nice showers, which you can pay a small fee to use, and hire a towel if you need one.
*** Many town and city centres in New Zealand now offer free wi-fi access. The CBDs of Palmerston North City, Feilding, Kimbolton all have free wi-fi access.
Locals are great tour guides. They know the best baristas, what's on in the region, and great insider information, that you're not likely to find in a visitor guide. One of the best places to find such a handy local is via your smart phone. Here are three of the most popular sources:
EveryTrail(both smart phone and web based trails created by the public)
TripAdvisor(both smart phone and web based accommodation, restaurant and visitor attraction reviews)
Instagram(smart phone only photography app with easy search based on hashtags and real life meet ups called, Instawalks.)
Of all of these options, the social network, Instagram offers the most opportunity for discovery. The app's built-in camera filters give average photographers super powers. It's all about fast, beautiful photo sharing and finding like-minded people via both location and photographic subject matter.
Another point of difference is that Igers (Instagramers) hold 'meet ups' in towns and cities all over the world. Information about most of these can be found by searching onMeet Upwhere there are over 1100 Instagram communities, includingInstawalkPNCfor Instagram gatherings in Palmerston North City Manawatu. Alternatively, search location names within Instagram using a hashtag (# symbol) to find instawalks in places you are right now, or are planning to visit.