I just finished up a 3 day tramp along the tip of northern New Zealand. It was only 53 km, giving us plenty of time to be lazy on our time away from school.
This was my first trip using my new Gregory 3,150 cu in Z pack I picked up off of REI's fall sale (with shipping to New Zealand, I paid $100 U.S., not bad at all). For the last two years I've been using a 5,000 cu in Kelty bag, thinking that a night in the outdoors required such bulk.
I finally realized that I didn't need half of the crap I've been taking along. I was very comfortable, and every day I am getting closer and closer to mastering the right amount of gear to take.
For someone on a student's budget, I feel that I am doing quite well... :-)
Most people think that when they come to New Zealand, they need to dash straight down to the South Island. Not true. Some of the most spectacular scenery I have seen in all of my world travels have been on the North Island.