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Travel

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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…

I want to travel, but…

So, I want to travel. It’s something I am drawn to, something I feel I need and want to do. Traveling makes my life fuller, it gives me the freedom. It brings an enormous amount and sense of joy into my life and puts me in motion. All that and more. Why is it that so many times we get stopped (mostly by ourselves and our way of thinking) by the seemingly unimportant word: BUT? Seemingly, because we’re mostly unaware that it can (if said often enough) sabotage the slightest chance of actually searching for solutions and taking necessary steps or decisions to change the way of seeing things. I’ve been a ‘can do’ person most of my life, which often got me into trouble. Surely, not playing by the widely-accepted-rules or making my own rules doesn’t always get me the approval I sometimes still wish to get. Finding those endless…

The Needle Hike (Te Rua Manga) in Rarotonga

TRAVEL DESTINATION: The Needle (Te Rua Manga), Rarotonga, Cook Islands TRAVEL DURATION: Half day hike Wherever I go and travel to, I always try to scout out some hills or mountains to climb. There sure is something about that 360 degrees top view. I love to see the place I am visiting from a bird’s-eye perspective. Maybe for some, the airplane view would do, but for me, the hiking and climbing are much more rewarding. There is a challenge involved as well as the experience and, without the exception, the numerous surprises by the end of the hike. This was my third visit to Rarotonga in Cook Islands, and about the time to put on the hiking shoes. Sharing the experience with my brother and sister just made it all the more special. Hike Anticipation When I think about it, this was my first hike in the tropics, I guess. I started without…

10 Things I Love about Rarotonga

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Rarotonga, Cook Islands Rarotonga is the biggest and most visited island out of the 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands. It’s become my favourite go-to getaway place whenever family comes to visit New Zealand. With a warm climate all year round, it’s just the perfect and also the obvious travel choice for making some happy memories. For me, it’s quite easy to unwind here. Time slows down quite a bit in Raro, but days spent on the island are far from being boring or uneventful. New things and experiences pop up every time I find myself near these clear blue waters. There’s obviously a lot I love about Raro, so I gathered my 10 top reasons why I keep returning to this beautiful island. Small Island Although the biggest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga is still a small island, where everybody knows everybody. The circumference of the…

Flowers and Plants of French Polynesia

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Islands of French Polynesia Once in a while, it’s just the right time to slow down and smell the roses. Literally. When I traveled to French Polynesia a month ago I was forced to take it a notch down because of my unplanned running injury. None of those are planned, I guess, and especially not the ones that happen while traveling. Time to slow down After overdoing the whole thing on a treadmill for two consequent days in the resort’s gym, my toe was hurting so bad I almost wasn’t able to walk or even step on my left foot. So I turned to Google for some answers and gave myself a laic diagnosis of ‘Metatarsalgia’. That’s a condition that can basically be treated by resting, slowing down and potentially getting new running shoes for the future runs. All in all, nothing too serious. The rest of my…

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…

Exploring Auckland’s West Coast Beaches (Part 2)

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Auckland’s West Coast Beaches, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 Day Activity Continuing with exploring Auckland’s West Coast Beaches further north from Piha, I put together all the interesting facts and activity ideas for the remaining beaches. Anawhata Beach Anawhata Beach sits just north of Piha Beach. On Piha Road take a right turn to Anawhata Road and continue for another 10 kilometers on a gravel road through the lush forest, until you reach the car park. A quick workout downhill from the car park (partially gravel road and partially the bush) is needed to reach the seashore. It will take no more than 15-30 minutes. You’ll most often have the beach for yourself, so do head down from the car park if you’re seeking some quiet time and solitude. So worth it! Because of the slight remoteness, this beach doesn’t have a surf patrol, so be extra careful…

Exploring Auckland’s West Coast Beaches (Part 1)

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Auckland’s West Coast Beaches, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 Day Activity Think black sand. Think rugged landscape, vast ocean, rough winds, endlessness. Imagine the most beautiful sunsets, long walks, sense of freedom and belonging all at once. Beaches can evoke many feelings in people. They can bring back memories or give birth to daydreaming thoughts. Auckland’s West Coast beaches are the synonym for rugged and unspoiled part of the biggest New Zealand city. The first thing I notice when coming to any West Coast Beach is the almost black sand that easily warms up and becomes quite hot during summer months. It’s hard to walk on it barefoot without getting burnt. The other thing is the constant, steady wind and a background noise buzzing in your ears. The ocean is loud here. West Coast Beaches are very much exposed, naked and raw. This is where the Tasman Sea…

Coromandel Coastal Walkway

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Coromandel Coastal Walkway, Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Weekend Getaway The Coromandel Peninsula offers some amazing activities. There’s a reason it’s packed during summer days when many Aucklanders take a long break and switch to vacation mode. The Coromandel Peninsula is located just far and remote enough to make you feel special when you want to change the scenery. The landscape is versatile and time slows down for a notch there. This area sort of holds a special place in my life as well. Hot Water Beach was the first beach I visited outside the Auckland area when I first came to New Zealand. One of my earliest explorations of beautiful New Zealand landscape happened right here. Returning to Coromandel was never in question. Since that first time, I’ve always been in for a new surprise as I’ve kept discovering numerous special spots like The Pinnacles summit, a warm…