Posts in New Zealand

Are Hostels Safe? And Should New Travelers Stay in Hostels?

When you first start to travel, so many fears can pop into your head from getting robbed to missing flights to running out of money. And thanks to Hollywood horror films, hostels have been added to a list of things encouraged to fear, and for some, evoke images of kidnapping and torture. In general, most news you see on TV around the world is bad news, and most western governments use scare tactics to keep people at home. The world is a dangerous place. That’s a silly generalization, and after hitting my 4 year travel anniversary it’s… Read More

Battling Hundreds of Emotions When You First Start Traveling

Excitement. Fear. Elation. Anxiety. Euphoria. Hesitation. There are many words that can be used to describe the millions of emotions one experiences when traveling abroad for the first time, and when I first stepped foot into New Zealand — my first country ever, I experienced all of these and more.[x_custom_headline type=”center” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”true”][icon type=”angle-double-down”] [/x_custom_headline]I’ve already stated that stepping onto my Air New Zealand plane and flying to the other side of the world was the scariest moment of my life (not because of the Richard Simmons intro they… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Doubtless Bay, New Zealand – My own private Paradise.

  Coopers Beach in Doubtless Bay, New Zealand is a small coastal area in the Northland that holds a very significant part of my travel memories. For the first time in my life I was traveling in another country, and for the first time in my life I jumped in a car full of strangers on a whim. A german couple, a Canadian, and I all ended up stopping in the Doubtless Bay area where we happened across a private cove hidden by a treacherous hike. Over a rocky crag… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: A Hammock and a Sunrise from New Zealand.

Molten gold poured across a black sky, setting the dark afire. The hottest whites and blues roared out and across the view, consuming all of the black with the bright dawn. This was a sight from the woods where I had hung my hammock for the night. Peeking over my sleeping bag, I enjoyed a sunrise money couldn’t pay for, and sleeping for free with nature in the wild north of New Zealand vindicated that.

Weekly Photo Mojo: A Hammock and a Sunrise in New Zealand.

Molten gold poured over the darkness, setting the sky afire. Past the silhouettes of scrawny trees, flames of the hottest white and blue fanned outward, conquering all blackness with a bright dawn. This was the sight just beyond the tips of my toes cocooned within the sleeping bag. A did not move a muscle as the light of the morning danced across my eyes, a sunrise money couldn’t pay for. I was in my beloved hammock, slung up in a random wood in the wilds of New Zealand’s north. There… Read More

What to do in Auckland – Escape from Queen Street!

“I can’t wait to leave Auckland!“ This is a phrase often heard from other backpackers during the numerous times I was in Auckland. At first, they would be head-over-heels for the City of Sails, but after a week of two partying their faces off on Queen Street, they were “over it“. The City of Sails seems to always get a bad reputation for being all sorts of things except delightful. I know exactly why this is — and I’ll even admit that I thought Auckland was kinda crappy after just a… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Pier out into the Sea from the Island of Waiheke.

Like a path into the unknown, this pier that dipped into the glass green open waters of Waiheke Island in New Zealand is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. I look at it from time to time, and each time I do, it always inspires that wanderlust again. While traveling through New Zealand, places like these always made me stop and think of where I was, and how I would have never believed I would be here. And over all, you may not be able to see where… Read More

Swimming with Sharks in New Zealand (with video)

“Eeeeerrrrrrrbrrrrrblublublub” That, my friends, is what a scream underwater sounds like, and it is exactly the noise I made when I saw a 10ft shark swimming right at me. Luckily, nobody can hear you scream underwater. Of course it was a manly scream no doubt, and of course I didn’t pee myself a little as it got closer, staring into my soul with those black glossy eyes. I wasn’t afraid at all. Okay, that is a small lie… I was terrified. My stomach tightened up and I felt like I… Read More

Best Ways to Get Around New Zealand for Backpackers

New Zealand is known for a lot of things; Sheep lovin’ (according to Aussies), adrenaline sports, Lord of the Rings locations, an exciting warrior culture, and its diverse and ravishing natural beauty. But deep down at its heart, New Zealand has become a country made for travelers. The country boasts a wildly transient population, with 25% of the 4 million people in New Zealand being travelers, backpackers, and individuals on working holidays. And with THAT many travelers in the country, it has evolved itself to cater to this, making it… Read More

St. John’s: Stunning Sights From Signal Hill.

Two trains, two planes, and a combined 20hrs of traveling (not counting local buses and shuttles) I finally reached St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada! Rest? Rest is for the dead it seems, because the moment I arrived, it was already time to go exploring. Though I did feel quite dead from lack of sleep. Before embarking on an epic upcoming road-trip with three other travel bloggers(Candice, Seattle, and Zak) to the Travel Blog Expo in Toronto, Candice has been showing us around much of her hometown of St. John’s. First thing… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Auckland City from a Ferry in Freemans Bay

Auckland, New Zealand every year celebrates itself in all it’s glory on the Monday that falls closest on January 29th. Known as the City of Sails, the city is surrounded by emerald waters and countless bays. While heading to the wine island of Weiheke, I took this photo from the ferry looking out over Freemans Bay at Auckland. The city holds New Zealand’s largest density of people at 1 million+ and is actually one-third of the entire country’s population of 4 million. Piercing the fluffy white clouds is Auckland’s famous… Read More

Wellington’s Wicked, Wild, and Wonderful Street Art

I love street art and graffiti. I’m not talking about that rubbish amateur tagging, I mean the really good stuff. And in the Capital city of New Zealand, there was an endless buffet of gnarly street art to indulge in. Wellington was already on my list as one of my favorite cities in New Zealand for it’s history, architecture, liveliness. But there was a reason I would spend hours wandering aimlessly about the city; through alleyways, backstreets, to the tops of buildings (if I could gain access). It was for… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Woah, a Dragon Statue! Shit, BIG Mistake.

It’s Monday again, and I felt you needed a chuckle from a pretty funny travel instance I had in New Zealand. When I say instance, I actually mean a REALLY big blonde travel moment. I happened to be wandering around Wellington aimlessly as I would most days, examining all of the interesting modern art and unique buildings that make up the wonderful capital. As I was wandering the harbor for the first time, I suddenly found myself face to face with a dragon. Yes, I say “dragon” because that is… Read More

My 5 Biggest Travel Regrets of 2012.

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets” -Arthur Miller In life, I try to live with as little regrets as possible. My motto Live Gnarly stems directly from this practice — To wake each day and embrace the possibilities, to take every opportunity presented to do something epic, and to overall lead an awesome existence. But it doesn’t always pan out that way; especially with travel, and especially when you are a complete travel noob. Trust me, mis-adventures made up the majority of… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Swing Life Away in Doubtless Bay, New Zealand.

This week’s injection of worldly beauty comes from Doubtless Bay. In the Northland of New Zealand where the wi-fi is scarce and beauty is rampant, there is a small town called Cooper’s Beach which many might pass by without a glance. Sure, the beach might catch your eye, but there is a hidden gem that many don’t know about. For two weeks, A two German backpackers, a Canadian, and I slept in this hidden cove with no electronics or communication; just this gorgeous sight every morning. To get here, you… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: New Zealand Stole my Travel Virginity

Everyone is nervous their first time, right? I know I was. That “butterflies in the stomach” feeling you get as you wonder if it’ll be easy, if it’ll be magical. Well, let me tell you — upon entry, though it was a little rocky, it was quite glorious. Don’t feel the need to cue the Barry White music, I’m talking about losing my travel virginity people! Peer down from the tiny window of my seat on Air New Zealand as we descended through the silky white clouds, anticipation building as… Read More

A Chrismas Story: First Holiday Abroad.

A golden sun beamed down from the bright blue sky, warming my face as I looked up smiling. It was Christmas day, and I was standing on a black sand beach basking in this delight, soaking in the fact that I was only in swim trunks and sunglasses. Why? Because it was my first time celebrating the Holidays abroad, and it was a stark contrast to how Christmas is normally spent for me. This year Christmas will be spent with friends and family in the U.S. for the first time… Read More

Weekly Photo Mojo: Merry Christmas on a Black Sand Beach!

Raglan, New Zealand; The first place I EVER celebrated a holiday abroad, and what a way to spend a holiday that is normally spent shivering on the east coast of the USA. A black sand beach that glimmers under the golden sun (and scolds your feet), rolling waves in a bath-water warm ocean, and a group of wild adventure tour travelers: is there any better way to spend Christmas? Weekly Photo Mojo is about assaulting your cortex with retina rupturing and awe-inspiring photos from around the world to help you… Read More