First Impressions: New Zealand

It smells sweet and warm. It is 5:30am and only 15°C but it is humid enough that the wind is pleasant.

It’s too dark to see how green it is.

The sun slowly comes up and my first real view is Orewa Beach with the tide out 100 meters, with giant pohutukawa “Christmas” trees, and those ragged Railey-esque cliffs jutting out to form bays at every corner.

Two hour nap. It feels so good to be horizontal.

Next Adventure: New Zealand

New year, new continent, and this year, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take in two weeks  in New Zealand to visit one of my best girlfriends.

Because I’ll be based out of Auckland and don’t want to rush through the whole country, I’ll be sticking to the north island. I’ve barely touched on what I want to do, but here’s a taster of what I’m definitely going to need to check out:


Auckland will be my landing and departure city, and it looks like I could easily spend my whole trip there.  The country’s biggest city seems to be all culinary culture, adrenaline activities,  islands  and volcanoes. And you can’t go wrong staying in a city where the beach is right outside your door almost anywhere you are.

Auckland – by picale

Bay of Islands

I have no words other than to ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ at the photographs of the Bay of Islands. A money grab, sure, but the waters! And the beaches! And look at those views!

bay of islands
Coromandel to Fletcher’s Bay – by Graeme Churchard


Waitomo has giant caves you can tube, raft, or boat through, so deep and dark they’re alight with glow worms.  Apparently you can go so deep that you wade through crevasses barely wide enough to step through with water up to your chest…but I’m not promising anything.

Black Water Rafting - wiredforlego
Black Water Rafting – by wiredforlego


Actually situated in Matamata, all that’s left of Hobbiton is a few doorless structures in the hills (at least in the photos – maybe there’ll be doors when I visit?). Nonetheless, a trip to New Zealand wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Shire for a Hobbit fan.

Hobbiton – by Tom Hall


Windy Welly is New Zealand’s capital right on the south coast of the north island. It’ll be the furthest south I get when I take a quick trip down to stroll the cities, take in some cafes, and visit what’s apparently a fantastic museum.

Night Boat to Wellington
Night Boat to Wellington – by Lisa.Ng

And that’s just the beginning! Stay tuned!