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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…

Do’s and Don’ts of Hawai’i

Hawai’i might be the destination you’ve been dreaming about for a while, especially if you’ve been contemplating an escape from long winter blues in the Southern Hemisphere. Direct flights from Auckland to O’ahu make this tropical paradise easily accessible. While exploring O’ahu and Maui Islands, I gathered some definite do’s and don’ts of Hawai’i that I now want to share with you. DO: Koko head Crater Trail (O’ahu Island) Best sweat with a view you can get on O’ahu in my opinion. You can never be too fit not to feel the burn when conquering those 1048 steps of the Koko Head Crater. The hike is straightforward, with railroad ties set as stairs. There are the railway bridge tracks with no bottom at about half way up that require a fair amount of caution. You might find it a bit challenging if you’re afraid of heights, especially when descending. Also,…

7 Travel Tips for Bad Weather

We all know that feeling when our travel or vacation plans seem to go downhill. Pouring rain. Cold. Thunderstorm. Snow. Hail. Blizzard. It’s finally our turn to take that time off work and responsibilities, and now it gets all ruined because of bad weather. It can happen whether you’re planning your trip half a year upfront or traveling on a whim. Sure, there are parts of the world, where the weather forecast is on point every single day due to the stable and predictable conditions. But there are also destinations where it’s more or less a guessing game. Think tropics, Oceania, far North or South,… Bottom line, we can’t control the weather. It just is. You can certainly do your homework and plan ahead to travel at the most convenient season, but as we all know, even that can’t always turn out as it should. I collected tips and ideas…

White Island Eruption

TRAVEL DESTINATION: White Island (Whakaari), Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: One day trip 2:30 AM. The alarm on my phone goes off. Getting to bed by 8 didn’t happen, as it almost never does in spite of my good intentions. With practically no sleep and a mug of decaf, I find myself on an empty highway driving towards my new adventure for the day. An isolated nasty car crash I pass bye reminds me that I need to concentrate and keep my eyes wide open. I start questioning whether it was a smart decision to just go and do it. Other than making a reservation, there was absolutely no planning at all. And no trace of a White Island eruption in my thoughts whatsoever! Whakatane Four hour drive to Whakatane went smoothly. With music on high I was able to keep myself engaged on the road right to…

Scenic Te Henga Walkway

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Te Henga (Bethells Beach) Walkway, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 day activity Auckland’s West Coast is known for some of the most amazing scenery in this part of New Zealand. Firstly, Waitakere Ranges transports you to a luscious rainforest reality, where you can get lost on numerous walking trails. In addition to that, West Coast beaches won’t leave you ambivalent either. Surfers love them and many swimmers find them thrilling and exciting on those hot summer days. The landscape here is rougher compared to the one on the Auckland’s East Coast. Two different Oceans provide distinct experiences and big contrasts in natural features within short 40 km distance. I’ve been frequently visiting the Waitakere rainforest and West Coast beaches, but have never really taken any longer walks or hikes that spread along this coastal area. I recently read about the 80 km long Hillary Trail that really got…

Exploring Rotorua and Hobbiton

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Rotorua and Hobbiton, Bay of Plenty/Waikato, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: Overnight stay Rotorua has gone through a serious transformation and changes. At least I remember it differently from some years back. Recently I rediscovered this place that many call ‘Rotovegas of New Zealand’. This past weekend was again just the right time to return but without any specific plans. Going with the flow was the theme, with the only goal to change a scenery. I imagined it would be easy to fill the time of this overnight stay. Here in New Zealand, I’ve learned to be more flexible and ready to adjust to the circumstances. Mostly because of the ever-changing and unpredictable weather. I’ve also learned to make backup plans. Just in case. It helped me live my life less stressful. ‘It’s all good’ sort of mentality. The late summer climbing season has already been overstretched,…

Mt Te Aroha Climb

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Mt Te Aroha, Waikato region, North Island, New Zealand TRAVEL DURATION: 1 day trip Time for a new challenge Daily challenges that I create for myself are sometimes the only thing that gets me outdoors and moving. It becomes even easier when there is another mountain or peak in question. One day trips to such places have pluses and minuses. A definite plus is a sense of accomplishment when you realize how full your day was and that in addition you were able to sleep in your own bed at the end of a day. On the other hand, you might miss the absolutely amazing sunrises and sunsets that you can witness from the top of a mountain early or late in the day. Living on South Island would be an ideal solution if the hills and mountains are your preferred choice of a playground. For us in Auckland…

Melbourne Weekend Getaway

TRAVEL DESTINATION: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia TRAVEL DURATION: Weekend getaway My birthday weekend is here and lately I prefer celebrating it with new experiences to anything else. I’ve been needing a short escape from the late winter vibes for a few months now. Melbourne it is. When there isn’t a reason to pinpoint, I usually say to myself: “Why not”. Maybe it’s the European vibes that I’ve been missing, maybe it’s good food choices that Melbourne is known for, or maybe it’s just a need for me to explore and experience some new place. St Kilda Staying in St Kilda turned out to be a smart choice. Sometimes you have to go by your instincts. I loved the relaxed vibe of the area, located close to the CBD but still remote enough to escape from a busy central area. Even though I was mostly active and on the move during the days, it was nice to…

Cruising the South Pacific

TRAVEL DESTINATION: South Pacific (Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia) TRAVEL DURATION: 2 weeks During the Uni time, my thoughts often escaped towards the life and work on a cruise ship. Growing up in the continental part of Slovenia I desperately yearned for freedom that the ocean gives a person. I somehow attuned to this unexplained deeper connection of the cruise ship image and idea in me, without ever reading or hearing anything about it. It was just there. While trying to figure it out at the time, I even went to a couple of cruise ship job interviews that in the end didn’t go as I hoped for. That was a clear sign for me. I accepted that it wasn’t my calling neither my near future reality. It’s all happening! Things definitely felt aligned later when I realized it was my time to experience the cruising life from a tourist point of…