New Zealand

4.9 million
Languages: English, Maori
Independence: 26 September, 1907
GDP per Capita: $39,000
Area: 268,838 sq. km
Highlights: Road tripping all around the islands
Cost: It’s an island, so everything is expensive.
*Facts taken from CIA World Factbook

New Zealand Vlogs

Part 1: Our Honeymoon – Auckland, Great Barrier Island

Part 2: Road Trip – Mount Cook, Stewart Island, Milford Sound

Part 3: Milford Track – Hiking the Milford Track

Part 4: Bike, Hike & Paddle – Gibbston Valley, Fox Glacier, Abel Tasman

Part 5: The North Island – Wellington, Tongariro, and Taupo

Part 6: Many Partings – Rotorua, Hobbiton, Cathedral Cove, and Auckland

New Zealand BlogRoll

Our Latest Great Adventure – I feel like I’ve had a lot of adventures in the last year, but our latest adventure is going to be a whirlwind 5-week trip around New Zealand for our honeymoon! New Zealand has been on my bucket list for a long time (pretty much since the first time I watched Fellowship of the Ring), but it’s never been the right time to go – either too far or… read more

Arrival in Auckland – It’s been a whirlwind first few days in New Zealand. It was our second time crossing the dateline, but I still can’t get used to losing a day as soon as you take off from Vancouver. Our first flight was 15.5 hours to Sydney, then we had a short stopover before another 2.5 hour flight to Auckland. We arrived at 6pm, but it still took us about 2 hours to get out of… read more

Great Barrier Island – We spent 3 days on Great Barrier Island and had the best time! Like I said in my last post, the island doesn’t have electricity or a lot of services, so our idea was that it would be a relaxing start to the trip. We didn’t plan much in advance and ended up having a great time exploring around the island. We stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast, Mulberry Grove… read more

Road Trippin’ the South Island – We’ve been exploring around the South Island for the past few days and its been quite the adventure. We landed in Queenstown long enough to stock up on groceries and pick up some camping equipment and then hit the road. We have a new rental, a compact SUV that were planning to drive all the way back to Auckland over the next month. Our first stop… read more

Birdwatching on Stewart Island – We’ve always gone birdwatching when we travel because it’s Seth’s favourite hobby, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten quite so into it as on this trip. There were tons of birds when we travelled to Vietnam, but nobody really seemed to care about them so we struggled to find any bird watching related tours. New Zealand is the complete opposite… read more

Exploring Milford Sound – After we left Stewart Island we drove back up towards Manapouri and Te Anau, with the goal of visiting Milford Sound and doing the Milford Track. All are located in Fiordland National Park, which is the largest park in New Zealand at 12,600 km2, and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The park is named for the many fjords located in the park. Some are… read more

Hiking the Milford Track – One of the first things that I added to my list when I started researching New Zealand is that I wanted to hike one of the Great Walks. New Zealand has 10 ” Great Walks” that are located all over the country and range in distance, difficulty of terrain, and campsite options. I think whoever did the marketing on the walks is brilliant because the idea of…. read more

Queenstown and Beyond – Well done if you made it through my last post! Apparently I had a lot to say about the Milford Track, so I’ll try and be less wordy on this post. After our 4 day adventure on the track, we decided it was time for some well earned lazy days in Queenstown. We decided to shell out for a nice hotel in Queenstown (though it was still cheaper… read more

Happy New Year Fox Glacier – Our plan was to heli hike Fox Glacier on New Years Eve. There’s two glaciers open for tourism along the West Coast of the South Island: Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. Both are only accessible by helicopter and offer a wide range of tourist activities on the glacier. So we signed up for a half day hike on Fox Glacier. We had pretty mixed weather… read more

Kayaking the Abel Tasman – It was a long drive to Abel Tasman after our stressful day on the glacier, but we split the driving between us and finally pulled into our accommodations around 9pm. We did some rearranging of our packs to make sure all our gear was in waterproof bags and then hit the sack to catch up on sleep for the next busy day ahead of us. Abel Tasman National Park is… read more

Welcome to the North Island – Abel Tasman had a bit of a weird feel to it because it was our last major stop on the South Island and after more than 3 weeks on vacation already, it kind of felt like it should have been the end of the trip. But we still had almost 2 weeks to go to explore the North Island, so it was far from over! We stopped in Nelson for 1 night and stayed at this really… read more

Hiking Mount Doom – I was so nervous about hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. After the disaster that was Fox Glacier, I was really weary about hiking in less than ideal weather and I really wanted to enjoy the hike. The shuttles said they would be going ahead for our second attempt, but it was calling for a cloudy day with rain in the afternoon and temperatures as…. read more

Rotorua’s Geothermal Wonders – After hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, we finally took some time to chill. We’d already burned up one of our days in Taupo white water rafting and we decided to explore all around the area on our way from Taupo to Rotorua. There are so many geothermal parks and wonders in the area, and none of it’s cheap, so it’s hard to know where to spend… read more

An Adventure in the Shire – As you might have guessed, I’m a bit of a Lord of the Rings fan. I read the books for the first time when I was 10 years old and before we went on the trip, I re-read the series and re-watched all the movies. Growing up my friends and I were totally obsessed with the Fellowship of the Ring movie, which came out when I was 11. A bit odd for a group of girls… read more

Cathderal Cove and Waiheke Island – After Hobbiton, it really felt like our trip was starting to come to a close, but we still had a few fun activities left. One that I was really looking forward to was a day at the beach at Cathedral Cove and had my fingers crossed for nice weather. We stayed in a small town called Hahei at this lovely backpackers lodge and spent the afternoon….. read more

Saying Goodbye – The last stop on our 5 week tour of New Zealand was a little trip to the north of Auckland. Sadly we never made it up to the Bay of Islands, which was the one thing I had to drop from the itinerary. It’s hard to believe that even with 5 weeks, it still wasn’t enough time. I would have loved to have 1 more week, but had I gone for 6 weeks I probably still would…. read more