In late October, Jaro flew to New Zealand, and is staying on the North Island, in the town of Whangarei. Here is his blog:
I was also looking at the South Island because of the famous mountains, but after following their weather on-line for some time, I decided it was too cold there to spend the whole six months. Their max temps in summer were barely in the teens (C), and night time lows close to freezing (for the city of Dunedin). Also, not as many small roads around, like Whangarei.
With a bit of luck (no injuries, etc.) I should be here until mid-April. When I was leaving Montreal, the Air Canada people at the check-in did not want to let me go because I didn't have a return flight ticket. I had to argue with them about having a 6-month visa, and that it made little sense to buy a return ticket that far in advance. They only let me go when I showed them a copy of my apartment lease in Whangarei.
Bike arrived in great shape, but it cost a bundle -- the two fees added come to $200 (one-way).
Nights are fairly chilly here actually - had to buy a little heater (the house has no fixed heaters, other than a radiant light in the bathroom ceiling). Nice modern library in downtown Whangarei, complete with internet.
Photos belong to Jaro Franta.