Most people travelling do pre pay plans, where you get so many calls and so much data on a month by month pre paid basis. Can pick them up very cheaply, often for less than the credit is worth that it comes with
Hi, Gt barrier island will be very busy at this time of year but I recommend spending your week there as if the wind is in the East you can easy spend a week in the West coastanchorages. Depends how much you like travelling I guess. Fitzroy is the most popular harbour on the barrier, bound to be some of yr countryman there too. Quite like Pt jackson at the top end of coromandel if you dont mind a little roll.
There are many great hikes at GBI, my favorite was to Cooper's Castle, by way of the kauri dams, a long hike. Wineries on Waiheke. The governor's mansion and arboretum on Kawau. You're going to have a great time.
Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while