New Zealand Travel Blog

News, Humor, Updates and Inspiring Stories.

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Oct 04, 2022

    New Zealand's Best 2 Day Coastal Walk

    Kaikōura in the South Island of New Zealand is world famous for whale watching, with the rare distinction of being able to see whales up close all year round. But this blog is not about whales. It's about another Kaikōura attraction; the 2-day Kaikōura Coastal Walk, rated by many as the best in the country. It offers stunning scenery, a mix of sea, mountains, forest, wildlife and farmland. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Sep 27, 2022

    For Sale: Lord of The Rings movie location

    This news item was published today on the website of leading New Zealand newspaper Stuff. It describes a property for sale, located just over an hour north of the capital city of Wellington, that was once the home of the US Ambassador and more recently a location for filming scenes from the Lord of The Rings trilogy. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Sep 11, 2022

    Covid-19 Vaccination no longer needed to enter New Zealand

    Effective September 12, visitors from the USA no longer need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before arriving in New Zealand. This is a huge boost for New Zealand tourism and we are already experiencing an increase in enquiries from potential new visitors. In fact, there are already concerns about rental car companies having sufficient vehicles to meet demand in the months January to March. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Sep 08, 2022

    Fly non-stop from New York to New Zealand.

    At 9:55 PM, September 17, Air New Zealand flight 1 departed New York's JFK Airport. 17 hours later this inaugural non-stop flight touched down in Auckland, New Zealand. With tourism from the USA to New Zealand rebounding hugely from the days of Covid-19 lockdowns, this flight now allows visitors from the US eastern states to escape the approaching winter months for a sunny New Zealand vacation. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Sep 02, 2022

    New Amazon TV series 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'

    The new Amazon TV series 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' launched in the US on September 2. This series is set thousands of years before the 'Lord of The Rings' and 'Hobbit' movies that took the world by storm in 2000. Most of the new series was filmed in New Zealand. British news publication (https://inews.co.uk) tells us all we need to know about this hugely anticipated TV series. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Aug 19, 2022

    A New Zealand Wildlife Story

    Imagine popping out to the gym one morning and returning to find a wild young seal has made itself at home in your absence. It happened. Once hunted close to extinction, the species is once again flourishing and causing some problems. A seal recently stopping a kids' soccer match when it ambled onto the field. Another closed a community swimming pool for weeks when it took up residence. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Aug 04, 2022

    The Lupin Flower Displays of New Zealand.

    From around September through to February the beautiful wild lupin flowers of the McKenzie Basin in New Zealand's South Island, are at their peak. In this blog we discuss the future of these magnificent displays, a future that is less than certain. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jul 31, 2022

    New Zealand National Anthem - the unofficial one.

    A highlight of any New Zealand visit is the opportunity to experience the culture of the indigenous Māori people. The video highlighted in this blog, is an example of their music, recorded in 2012 when a New Zealand singing group competed in a music contest in the USA. It took place outside of the actual competition venue, an impromptu and powerful example of how music can bring people together. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 27, 2022

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - East Cape, North Island.

    Jane & Steve from our New Zealand team visited the Mahia Peninsula, and they were in for a surprise! In this incredibly remote peninsula, with it's beautiful beaches and peaceful holiday towns, they came across some 21st century space technology that reminded them of Cape Canaveral or Vandenberg AFB. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 03, 2022

    New Zealand Politics. Of A Kind.

    We encourage our customers to include some off the beaten track experiences on their New Zealand vacation. This is one example - 'The Forgotten World Highway' between the towns of Taumarunui and Stratford in the North Island. We feature a town called Whangamōmona that you'll encounter along the way. It's a great place to take a lunch break and to experience the Whangamōmona story. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jan 14, 2022

    Hidden Gems New Zealand - Ohiwa Harbour & Whirinaki Forest

    A year ago I returned to the USA after a 3-month stay in New Zealand. I look forward to sharing with you some of the hidden gems I discovered during my visit. In this blog, I feature the remote and beautiful Ohiwa Harbour, situated on the east coast of the North Island. We also visit the nearby Whirinaki Loop Walk, one of New Zealand's best one day walks. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jan 01, 2022

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - Erewhon High Country Sheep Station

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the desination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, it's the stunning high country sheep station of Erewhon. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 31, 2021

    New Zealand Manuka Honey.

    Manuka Honey is made by bees that pollinate the flowers of the New Zealand manuka tree. It contains active compounds that give it natural antibacterial properties and this is what sets it apart from other honeys. Manuka honey is sold throughout the world, and in this blog we discuss what's special about manuka honey and the health claims made about this product. Also note our STOP PRESS below. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 07, 2020

    Lesser Known Places - The Alpine Pacific Touring Route, South Island.

    In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic New Zealand destinations, to lesser known places that many visitors might never have heard of, but have often turned out to be one of the surprises and a highlight of their vacation. This example, The Alpine Pacific Touring Route, starts at Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island, and moves north to the Whale Watching town of Kaikōura [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 07, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - The Port of Lyttelton

    The Christchurch port of Lyttelton is a favorite hang-out for the people of Christchurch, with a tunnel under the Port Hills providing an easy 20-minute connection between the two. On Saturday's it's Farmers Market Day when the town bristles with activity as city dwellers and locals enjoy a coffee, browsing through one of the many quirky gift shops in the town or enjoying a relaxing lunch. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 27, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - East Cape, North Island. PART 1

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the desination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, East Cape, North Island. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 29, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - The Best Hiking Trails in New Zealand, Kahurangi National Park.

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the desination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, The Kahurangi National Park. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - The Orongorongo Trail

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the destination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, The Orongorongo Trail. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - Bethells Beach.

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the destination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation.Today, Bethell's Beach. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - The Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound Expedition Cruise.

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the destination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, Dusky Sound. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for New Zealand vacation planning - The Pouakai Crossing

    Since New Zealand re-opened their borders to US visitors, starting May 2022, interest in the destination has returned to pre-Covid numbers. In this series of blogs, we look beyond the iconic favorite destinations, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation.Today, The Pouakai Crossing. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 27, 2020

    Raglan - the best surf break in New Zealand and much more!

    This week I have to drive from Auckland to Wellington. I'll start with a stop at the coastal town of Raglan, a place that holds many personal memories for me. After that I'll visit the 'Tree Church' at Ohaupo and finally the town of Taumarunui, my last stop before entering the Tongariro National Park. I'd recommend this routing for the scenery and many places of interest along the way. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Mar 01, 2020

    Dangerous Animal Attacks New Zealand Residents.

    Another humorous story from our archives. We first published this story in 2017. In these stressful times of the coronavirus, some humor might help us to get through our day, so we've decided to update the story and to run it again. We suspect that the is an example of Dunedin humor at work, possibly at the expense of people living in a local upscale suburb of their city. But you can decide. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Mar 01, 2020

    Steve - the cat who thinks he's a lamb

    This is the second story from our archives to hopefully bring a smile to the faces of our readers in this time of the coronavirus. It's about a New Zealand cat that goes by the name of Steve. He lives on a farm near the remote town of Ngamatapouri (nah-mat-a-poori) in New Zealand's North Island. Ngamatapouri's main claim to fame is that it's longest "No Exit" road in New Zealand... [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Mar 01, 2020

    Massive Moa Bird Thought Extinct for 500 Years, Discovered in New Zealand

    Our third humorous blog from the archives is a hilarious story, one that's become the stuff of New Zealand legend, based on a true event. It starts with the 1993 sighting in the South Island, of a huge Moa bird, thought extinct for over 500 years. In this blog we've had to rely on some second-hand accounts of what took place, but don't let this detract from your enjoyment of this great tale. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 19, 2020

    Hidden Gem - Akaroa

    The 50 mile drive from Christchurch to the old French settlement at Akaroa on Banks Peninsula presents some excellent sightseeing and photo opportunities. On our last visit, it was a beautiful summers day that encouraged us to spend a day exploring the region. We'd delved into the history of Akaroa and as you'll see in our story, there were some amusing aspects to what happened here in the 1800's! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 18, 2020

    New Zealand Wines

    In 2017, the United States became New Zealand's biggest export wine market in sales and volume. This breakthrough was led by the wines created in the Marlborough region, especially savignon blanc. But there's a lot more to New Zealand wines than Marlborough, as visitors from the US are discovering, especially the world class pinot noir being produced in Central Otago in the South Island. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jan 16, 2020

    The Whanganui River

    This BBC documentary has to be seen for two reasons. Firstly, for the fascinating story of the Whanganui River and how it was given the same legal identity as a person. Secondly, to see some of the magnificent video camera work that brings this beautiful North Island river alive. We've added some ideas of our own about how you can include a hands-on experience of the river for yourself! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jan 08, 2020

    Hiking the Harbour Cone Trail, Dunedin. A spectacular half-day adventure.

    The South Island university city of Dunedin lies adjacent to the stunning Otago Peninsula where yellow eyed penguin, albatross, seals, sea-lion and other wildlife make their homes. It also offers some of New Zealand's best walking trails, a feature of the city often overlooked by visitors. In this blog we focus on one of our favorites, called the Harbour Cone Trail. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 27, 2019

    Saving The Birds of New Zealand

    Large, plump and nocturnal, the Kakapo is the only parrot in the world that like so many other New Zealand birds, lives on the ground and cannot fly. There are only 211 in existence, confined to four small islands off the New Zealand coast. This CNN story explores the incredible efforts being made to bring the much loved Kakapo back from the verge of extinction. It's a fascinating story. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 26, 2019

    Wallabies, Kangaroos in New Zealand

    It's not widely known, even by many New Zealanders, that over the past 140-years, many species of wallaby have been introduced into New Zealand, all from Australia. Some for zoos and others for private collections. Unfortunately, many have escaped and they have bred in the wild, in such large numbers, they are now regarded as a pest, especially to those in the farming community. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 21, 2019

    New Zealand - the sexiest accent in the world.

    Because I write our blogs and because I'm a Kiwi, modesty has prevented me from posting this item earlier. Here's why. BigSeven Travel recently commissioned a survey to identify the "sexiest accent in the world". While surveys of this type shouldn't be taken too seriously, much to the surprise of BigSeven Travel (and probably more of a surprise to New Zealanders), the winner was - New Zealand. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 19, 2019

    Solo Female Travelers Choose New Zealand as Safest Country

    New Zealand consistently rates in the Top 10 of the world's safest countries to visit. In this blog we examine how the female solo traveler can best enjoy New Zealand in a way that will have them feeling both secure and able to make the most of their visit. There are more single people in the U.S. than ever before and a growing number are opting to travel on their own. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 17, 2018

    Why use a specialist Travel Advisor when planning a New Zealand vacation?

    We like this article by travel agent Peter Cobb. It explains why travel agents and particularly online destination specialists are enjoying such a resurgence in popularity with travelers. We've added some thoughts of our own at the end and we'd like to hear about your experiences when using a travel adviser or bricks & mortar travel agency to plan your travel, compared to trying to go it alone. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 15, 2018

    Moutukiekie Beach

    Moutukiekie Beach is one of those places that visitors drive by, without realizing it's one of the most scenic spots on West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. But like many good things, a visit comes with a warning. Once you've taken these on-board [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 03, 2018

    The Hokitika Gorge

    One of our favorite stopover recommendations is the Hokitika Gorge on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. ​The main attraction here is the stunning blue glacial waters, created by rocks high in the mountains being ground into a fine powder by the movement of glaciers. The suspension of the resulting white powder in the blue water creates an intense and beautiful turquoise coloring. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Aug 22, 2018

    Hump Ridge Track

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Aug 17, 2018

    The Welcome Rock Trail

    It's no secret that New Zealand has become a popular destination for vacation visitors. This means that one of the most loved aspects of a New Zealand vacation, the isolation and tranquility of some tourist attractions can no longer be guaranteed. The good news is that the true New Zealand specialist can still guide you to amazing places that the social media "followers" have not yet discovered. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Aug 16, 2018

    Amazing New Luxury Accommodation Concept.

    Every now and then, the launch of a new vacation product in New Zealand grabs our attention. This is one of them. It's a new luxury accommodation concept that would be a wonderful part of any New Zealand vacation package. If you want to return home with a special story to tell, read here about 'PurePod' and their unique selling point - realtors call it 'location, location, location' [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 25, 2018

    Driving In New Zealand - Facts and Advice.

    This guide will teach you everything you need to know about travelling in New Zealand. New Zealand is a place of incredible scenic diversity and without doubt, touring by vehicle is the best way to enjoy everything on offer. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 27, 2016

    New Zealand Wildlife - The Miranda Shorebird Centre

    The Miranda Shorebird Centre is located alongside the waters of the Firth of Thames, just over an hour south of Auckland. On our visit we were captivated by the story of one bird in particular, the story of the Bar-tailed Godwit. Thousands of these beautiful birds arrive in New Zealand at the same time each year and the journey they undertake to get to New Zealand is nothing short of incredible. [...] read more...