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New Zealand

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Cape Brett Hike Explained

HIKING DESTINATION: Cape Brett, Bay of Islands, Northland, North Island, New Zealand HIKING DURATION: 6-8 hours (one way) There are certain views and landscapes in our minds that we vividly imagine long before we experience the actual journey. Maybe we all, and not just me, dream and visualize in such way. We ask ourselves how we would feel and what would our eyes see. We wonder about landscapes and cultures and people. Often it’s just a matter of time until such dreams manifest into reality. For me, hiking the Cape Brett (Rakaumangamanga) trail was a dream of its own. I’ve seen it actualizing for a while in my mind. I’ve seen myself hiking and exploring the cliff-tops, and finally reaching the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula in the beautiful Bay of Islands. In January all of that was finally happening. In reality! I love and embrace the usual…

5 Must Do’s in the Coastal Tasman Region

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Coastal Tasman Region, South Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Long Weekend Top of the New Zealand's South Island is a perfect place to visit during the summer months when it becomes quite lively. If you're lucky, you'll be showered with many sunshine hours and at the same time be able to appreciate the soft breeze

East Coast Bays Autumn Mornings in Photos

TRAVEL / PHOTOGRAPHY DESTINATION: East Coast Bays, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand Lately, I’ve spent quite a few of the autumn mornings creating photos around different beaches of the East Coast Bays. I guess I had to go through a jet lag to appreciate mornings and morning photography. I mean, I’ve loved early mornings since forever. That’s usually the time everyone else still sleeps and the world seems to be all mine. I’ve always felt quite privileged when being up super early. To actually wake up, well, that’s the whole other story. Early mornings hardly go hand in hand with late nights. Mornings have most often been sacrificed, as you can’t really be good at doing it all, right? Torbay Campbells Bay So yeah, about that jet lag. Things turned around since my most recent one. I saw it as an opportunity that I wanted to work on. Something good could…

Mount Ngauruhoe vs. Mount Ruapehu

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand Earlier this year I climbed 2 of the volcanoes from my North Island list of mountains that have been inspirational to me ever since I moved to New Zealand. I came to their vicinity a few times before and admired their beauty. It was now time to climb them and experience by foot their amazing energetic pull. So it happened. 2 days and 2 mountains. Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu – back to back. In case you’re trying to decide which volcano mountain of these two here you’d want to climb first, you might find the answer here. I’ll be sharing a few comparisons, as well as my personal experience with climbing both of them. Both mountains are located within Tongariro National Park and are only about 15 km apart. Both of them are active volcanoes. Mount Ruapehu is the…

Muddy Mt Karioi

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mt Karioi, Raglan, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Whole Day Hike Mt Karioi is an extinct volcano that is located in the Waikato Region near Raglan. Even though I visited this area many times before, I’ve never completed any hiking in this part of New Zealand. Today I’m sharing some photos and my thoughts on experiencing the muddy Mt Karioi climb. Tracks There are 2 track options you are able to choose from to reach the summit at 756m. First one is Mt Karioi Track that is steeper of the two. It takes around 3h to 3:30h to reach the top while passing many scenic lookout points on the way. The other one, Wairake Track, will take 2-3h one way. It’s a bit shorter, isn’t as steep and also doesn’t have all the amazing views that the first one offers. For me, the decision was a no-brainer, really.…

The Perfect Long Weekend in Dunedin

TRAVEL DESTINATION Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION Long Weekend Dunedin is beautiful. I was struck by the city, magnificent landscape and the feel of this part of New Zealand. Keep reading for my tips on how to spend the perfect long weekend in Dunedin, so you make the most of what the city has to offer. It’s been more than a month now since I took the trip and spent the long weekend in this area. The memories are still quite fresh. I was able to fill the time with many activities and adventures and almost ran out of days to do and see it all. Being in Dunedin reminded me how beautiful New Zealand’s South Island was. People, nature, wildlife, general vibe. You might also want to check out and read about my encounter with the incredible wildlife that is within the boundaries of the Dunedin…

Animals of Otago Peninsula

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand Today I will be exploring the beautiful animals of Otago Peninsula. This is an amazing part of New Zealand where you can encounter many unique species living in their natural habitat. I felt very much privileged to be around them for a short while when I was visiting Dunedin a month ago. Native animals here are protected, as many species became endangered after the past periods of their near extinction. However, there are still many threats to these animals today, one of them being human activities and incidental entanglement. Therefore, knowing how to share the environment and their mainland habitat with them is important to keep these species alive. So, let’s get exploring! Yellow-Eyed Penguin (Hoiho) Sandfly Bay beach is the most probable place to spot the yellow-eyed penguin on Otago Peninsula. These animals are unique to New Zealand and can be…

Tāwharanui – A Walk in the Park

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Tāwharanui Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Half day hike Tāwharanui Regional Park is a place that I keep visiting during the summer months. Mostly for the swim. It’s just been recently that I realized there’s more to this area on the tip of the Tāwharanui Peninsula. It takes a good hour to reach it from Auckland. The main road leads through Matakana, while the final part of the peninsula drive, around 5 km, is on a gravel road. Caves and Rock Pools One of the great surprises of the Anchor Bay Beach here are the caves of the Flat Rock, that can be explored on the low tide. There is also a rock platform exposed on the low tide where I was able to spot crabs and shrimps. You can watch amazing rock pools forming when the tide goes out. Summers are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. It’s…

3 Must Do Experiences In Far Northland

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Far Northland, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 Day Trip / Weekend Getaway During these winter months, we’re probably all thinking and dreaming about warmer north places. At least here in New Zealand. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to take a long break and travel to those countries and places that are currently under the hot summer weather. Far north part of Northland, New Zealand, is sometimes as crazy as we can go to come close to those exotic islands, Asia or even Europe. I love returning to Far Northland. For me, it’s sort of an escape. It certainly has something to do with being on the edge and also being a bit closer to my family and some of my dear people. Coming to far Northland is mostly a trip to nature and to myself. I discover something new and unexpected every time I visit this area of…