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Travel Blog

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My 2016 Travel Adventures in Photos

I’m a bit late to get on a bandwagon with this post about my favourite travel and adventure moments of 2016. In retrospect, it was an amazing year. I explored New Zealand much more than any previous year. I also visited some new places and countries outside of New Zealand, which always makes the journey exciting. 2016 was the year when I started creating this online platform and began writing the blog. It helped me to appreciate all my travel adventures much more. Time surely flies quickly, so I feel it’s good to look back for those extra happy and special moments from time to time, and remind myself how lucky I am to be able to explore this beautiful planet. Auckland’s West Coast – April 2016 Te Henga Walkway was such a great and unique way of experiencing Auckland’s West Coast for me. I gained a new appreciation for this part…

Melbourne Lighthouses

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia On my return from a road trip around Mornington Peninsula and Great Ocean Road I realized that I had made (too) many photos of the lighthouses I came across during my exploration of this beautiful coastal landscape close to Melbourne. I guess I was subconsciously gravitating towards them. I admit, I have a certain love-hate relationship with lighthouses in general and can’t quite explain it. There is something mysterious and dark about them. It seems to me they are keeping many secrets and give me a slight chill whenever I come near them. On the other hand, they look absolutely wonderful in coastal landscapes and are there for a very good reason. They also offer so many great photographic opportunities. Lighthouses were built on specific points along the Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula. A few of these places have…

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…

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…