Hiking in Wanaka, New Zealand

To follow up my Hiking in Queenstown post, I thought I’d include a post about my favorite hikes around Wanaka. Not as many of these are car accessible but many travelers have success finding a ride share or hitchhiking to reach the trailheads. Rob Roy Glacier Rob Roy is one of my favorite hikes I’ve…

Hiking in Queenstown, New Zealand

There are probably tons of blog posts out there about all the fun (and expensive) things there are to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. However, as someone who lived in Queenstown for a few months and was trying to save money, I generally avoided those things and instead looked for free activities, of which my…

Ski Season Life in Queenstown, NZ

Arriving back in Queenstown at the end of June, I planned to stay for two or three months for the ski season. I had pre-booked a few hostels in blocks of one or two weeks each (depending on their maximum length of stay) for the full winter. It sounds tedious, but even though I’d have to…

Day Trip to Milford Sound

Back in April I went on a day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound with the company Real Journeys. The day started early, as I boarded the bus at some yet dark hour in the morning. We left Queenstown just as the sun was coming up and were greeted with a stunning sunrise as we…

NZ Road Trip Part 5: Franz Josef & Wanaka

On day 10, Kelly and I arrived in Franz Josef. That evening we went exploring near town and found a short trail to see some glow worms. The next morning (day 11) we woke up early to go see the Franz Josef glacier. It was short hike to see the glacier, but so beautiful in…

NZ Road Trip Part 4: Picton, Nelson, & the West Coast

Continuing day 8, after boarding the ferry in Wellington, I traveled across the Cook Strait to Picton. Along the way I had a great view of the Marlborough Sounds with some lovely colors around sunset. The next day I left Picton in the morning to drive to Nelson, on the way I picked up two…

NZ Road Trip Part 3: Castlepoint & Wellington

Day 6, after leaving Napier, I started heading South toward Wellington. I had heard about a place called Castlepoint from a friend that is a New Zealand native, and decided to go check it out and maybe spend the night there. On arriving I spotted a lighthouse on a rocky formation at the end of…

NZ Road Trip Part 2: Gisborne & Napier

On day 3 of my road trip, after catching the sunrise at East Cape lighthouse, I continued on to Gisborne. The drive started out gray and rainy but as I continued my way through forest and rolling hills down to the coast line, the sun finally came out, and I stopped at one of the…

NZ Road Trip Part 1: Mount Maunganui & East Cape

Starting out my road trip to Queenstown, I left Auckland (on day 1) and drove to Mount Maunganui, a small town on the East Coast near Tauranga. On the way I briefly stopped at Karangahake Gorge for a lunch break, then continued on to Mount Maunganui. In town I wandered the shops a bit and…

Auckland (Again) & Road Trip Plans

In early June, I returned to Auckland for two main purposes: to work for a few weeks and to buy a car so I could set off on a road trip down to Queenstown. I quickly got back into a routine of working from my boss’s home office during the days and in the evenings…

Whales & Wildlife in Kaikoura, New Zealand

My original plan after Picton was to head to Blenheim, most known as a wine region of New Zealand. However, as I began research hostels and wine tasting tours, I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Then I came across an advertisement for a whale watching tour in Kaikoura, just an hour and half South of Blenheim….

Picton & Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

After a few weeks in Nelson and my weekend away around Golden Bay, I decided to change things up and spend a week in Picton, only two hours away from Nelson and the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds. With a small library in town I was able to continue working during the days and spent…