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North Island

A Little Guide to Winter in Queenstown, New Zealand

Winter in Queenstown: Activites to Do and Things to Know
Photo by Holger Link

If you’re spending a winter in New Zealand, chances are, one or 500 people have already told you to head to Queenstown and the Southern Lakes.

Located in the Otago region of the South Island, this area is incredibly popular during both summer and winter; but as much as I prefer summer in almost every place on earth, there’s something downright magical about Queenstown during the months of June, July, and August. CONTINUE READING

Why I Skipped the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand

Photo by Daniel Chen

The Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand is widely considered to be one of the best day hikes in the country, and maybe even anywhere in the world.

Well, I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of that claim. Though I spent nearly three years living, working, and traveling in New Zealand, I never actually did the Tongariro Crossing — and it wasn’t because I never got the chance. CONTINUE READING

Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

I realize it’s highly unlikely you’re looking for another reason to visit New Zealand. You’ve probably already got a “pro” list longer than your arm — and if you ask me, it’s not too hard to see why. The last thing you need is another blogger to come along and rub your face in the fact that you’re not there right now. (Unless you are there right now, in which case: lucky you!) CONTINUE READING

Exploring Northland, New Zealand: Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

I’m not gonna lie: some parts of my visit to the Northland in New Zealand are a bit fuzzy.

I mean, this was my very first weekend in NZ — in other words, my very first weekend as a solo traveler in a foreign country. I probably still had jet-lag, not to mention I’d left a blizzard in Minnesota and arrived to incoming summer. Everything was kind of a mess. CONTINUE READING