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Travel Blog

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My 2018 travels in retrospect

Looking back to 2018, it’s been a rollercoaster year. From travel dreaming during the long New Zealand winter to all the superlative moments that happened – all in all, 2018 has been filled with some great adventures. There are places I fell in love with and trips that surprised me beyond my imagination. There were also journeys that never happened and turned out to be missed opportunities. At the end of this passing year, I am focusing on the positives and leaving out the bad and the ugly. Travel, in my opinion, needs to be celebrated. It also needs to inspire. Those not-so-fortunate moments, however, deserve a separate post. So here it is – my 2018 travels in retrospect. Best Beach Beaches are something I always look forward to visiting when I explore and travel. Rarotonga has always been my prime refuge from the long NZ winters. Sandy beach at…

11 reasons I fell in love with Western Australia (and so will you)

Western Australia road trip was definitely one of my 2018 travel highlights. I wanted to explore this remote area of Australia for a while and finally made it happen. The road trip took me from Perth to Broome and all the amazing places in between. What was a total surprise for me was how at home I felt immediately. I fell in love with Western Australia real fast! So, today I am sharing my 11 reasons I fell in love with Western Australia. They may totally be unique to me and my perception. I invite you to find out if there’s a place/landscape/feature/detail here that has the potential to connect you with this part of the world as well. 1. Colors of nature Western Australia is visually gorgeous and colorful. And I mean c-o-l-o-r-f-u-l. The colors here are vivid, expressive and striking, and they penetrate into every part of the…

How to explore Stewart Island

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Stewart Island, Southland, New Zealand There are New Zealand’s North Island and South Island. And then there’s also Stewart Island. The smallest of them. So small that it often doesn’t even find its place on world maps. Stewart Island frequently comes last to our attention and many of us put off exploring it. At the beginning of the year, I broke that trend. I wanted to go as south as possible. Right away. I wished to encounter kiwis in the landscape that still manages to be their peaceful playground. I hoped to do lots of hiking and explore the wilderness. Today, however, I hope to inspire you to visit Stewart Island sooner than later. So, this is an invitation: go and explore this beautiful and self-sufficient place with an open mind. Because the land down south is as pristine as it gets. It will become your very own…

The Essential Guide to Whangarei Heads

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Whangarei Heads, Northland, North Island, New Zealand There are places in everyone’s life where things seem more real and special. One of such sites for me here in New Zealand is Whangarei Heads. First time I found myself exploring the peninsula was a couple of years ago when I was in search of a summer beach where I could swim and soak up the sun. I discovered Ocean Beach. On Google Maps, it seemed just right from above. Fast forward a few years and I’m still returning to this place. Mostly on summer days. Whangarei Heads and especially the Ocean Beach have become my ideal weekend getaway. Lazy chill out days, white sandy beaches, sunshine, and simplicity. Things are just right here. Today I am sharing the essential guide to Whangarei Heads with you, so join me in discovering this special area of NZ’s North Island! ABOUT WHANGAREI…

Things that long distance Australian road trips have taught me

Living in New Zealand positions me quite close to the continent down under. I’ve been lucky enough to go on a couple Australian road trips in the past. Those long journeys through unique landscapes are where I truly started to love the open road and countless kilometers. Each of my Australian road trips has been an entirely different adventure, depending on the landscape, the season, the type of vehicle and the place in life I was at the moment. However, all of them convinced me again and again that road-tripping is the best way to explore the land down under. It’s something I’ll continue to do. Today I collected my thoughts around these road trips, hoping to find a silver lining and lessons that can also be applied to everyday life. Here they are: things that long distance Australian road trips have taught me. Let Go. One thing I’ve learned…

Brisbane to Sydney Road Trip in Photos

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Brisbane to Sydney road trip, Australia East Coast of Australia is possibly the first place one wants to explore when initially visiting Australia. This is where my Australia journey started some years ago. As I’ve currently just returned from my Western Australia road trip, exploring the opposite side of the continent, I want to look back and remember those first road kilometres. Although these days I am traveling differently after learning and changing a bit, I don’t want to compare both experiences. This is not my goal here. The Pacific coast road trip is beautifully unique. Brisbane and Sydney are of course amazing cities to visit on their own, but today let’s see in the pictures the coastal landscape that lies in between both of them. So here it is, my Brisbane to Sydney road trip in photos. Fun, fun, fun Visiting one or all Theme Parks and…

Discover Australia’s Kings Canyon

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia Visiting and exploring Kings Canyon was such a rewarding experience during my Australia’s Northern Territory road trip. It’s amazing to look back and realize how the excitement levels went up when approaching the Red Centre. This part of Australia is covered with gorges, but if you decide to only visit one gorge or canyon here, then this is the one: Kings Canyon! The name says it all. You will be absolutely stunned by the vastness and the grandeur of Kings Canyon. The biological richness will surprise you and you will unmistakably feel tiny in this landscape. Today I’m inviting you to Discover Australia’s Kings Canyon with me. So let’s go! About the Kings Canyon Kings Canyon is located in the heart of Watarrka National Park, around 240 km southwest of Alice Springs and about 130 km north of Uluru (air distance). Geologic activities…

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…