New Zealand Travel Blog

News, Humor, Updates and Inspiring Stories.

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 16, 2021

    Things to Know About New Zealand

    We love this story from the Australian website Traveller.com.au. It's some light hearted advice for Australian's planning a vacation in New Zealand, but we think that our readers in the US will also find some useful tips here. We've added some explanations and "translations" from Australian into normal English and we hope you find the results both informative and amusing. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 15, 2021

    When will New Zealand be open to visitors from the USA?

    I've recently returned from a visit to New Zealand. From the many conversations I had with government and tourism authorities while I was there, I've been able to form some opinions about when New Zealand might reopen their borders to visitors from the USA. In this blog we provide some background to the thinking of the New Zealand government about what will happen over the coming year. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jan 12, 2021

    Prada Cup and Americas Cup Yachting Auckland 2021

    Today, the Prada Cup starts on Auckland Harbour. Whoever wins this series will go on to challenge for the world's oldest sporting trophy, The Americas Cup, currently held by New Zealand. Covid-19 means the only spectators will be New Zealander's, but extensive live coverage is available in the USA. Sheer speed and aggression and spectacular high speed spills, will make for an exciting spectacle. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Dec 24, 2020

    Hidden Gems New Zealand

    A few weeks ago, in December 2020, I returned from an extended stay (3-months) in New Zealand. Now that I'm back home in Santa Barbara CA, I can't wait to share with you some of the hidden gems I discovered during my stay. This week I'll start by describing the beautiful sheltered Ohiwa Harbour, situated on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, not far from the town of Whakatane. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jul 21, 2020

    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 expensive ingredient. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jul 07, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - Erewhon

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. 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 • Jun 08, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The best way to plan a New Zealand vacation?

    When we created our New Zealand Vacations website in 2016, we included 18 suggested self-drive itineraries that we thought would interest potential visitors. Then we sat back and waited for these to 'fly off the shelves'. So, how many of these suggested itineraries have we actually sold? Not a single one; zilch! And we think that's just great. This blog explains why! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 07, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The Alpine Pacific Touring Route, South Island.

    The many visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond iconic favorites like Milford Sound and Rotorua, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, The Alpine Pacific Touring Route. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jun 07, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - 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 29, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The 'Must-Do' Experiences in New Zealand.

    We received the following question from Robert Franklin in North Carolina - "We love nearly all of the places you're promoting in your your series of blogs, "Inspiring Ideas for vacation planning during COVID19". We'd love to do all of them, but obviously that won't be possible in our 2-week stay. So what are your suggestions about the things we should absolutely do?" - Great question Robert! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 29, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - East Cape, North Island. PART 2

    Jane & Steve ended their East Cape visit with a visit to the Mahia Peninsula, and they were in for a surprise! Because on this remote peninsula of beautiful beaches and peaceful holiday villages, a natural playground for people who like to surf, fish, dive, kayak, hike and swim, they found some 21st century technology that they would have expected to find at Cape Canaveral or Vandenberg AFB. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 27, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - East Cape, North Island.

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, East Cape, North Island. Dream, be inspired and plan! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 29, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The Best Hiking Trails in New Zealand, Kahurangi National Park.

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, Kahurangi National Park. Dream, be inspired and plan. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19: The Orongorongo Trail

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, The Orongorongo Trail. Dream, be inspired and plan! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - Bethells Beach.

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, Bethell's Beach. Dream, be inspired and plan! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound Expedition Cruise.

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, Dusky Sound. Dream, be inspired and plan! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 28, 2020

    Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - The Pouakai Crossing

    Visits to our website suggest that many people are still planning to visit New Zealand when COVID-19 has been beaten and the world returned to some semblance of normality. In the coming weeks, our blogs will look beyond the iconic favorites like Milford Sound, to lesser known places that are often the highlight of a New Zealand vacation. Today, The Pouakai Crossing. Dream, be inspired and plan! [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Apr 27, 2020

    Classical Music New Zealand (and COVID-19)

    One of the advantages of writing our blogs, is that from time to time I can "indulge" myself with the blog content. This entry is one such example. I've chosen to feature the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, not only because it's a fine orchestra, but also because I have a personal family connection with two of the orchestra players. We also explain what the orchestra is doing during COVID-19. [...] 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 • Apr 26, 2020

    Rare New Zealand Occurrences: The Floating Mountain UPDATED MAY 12

    This is a new a blog series that will feature rare occurrences in New Zealand. Our first example of a rare occurrence took place a few days ago (May 8) in the capital city of Wellington. It was a nice autumn afternoon and Lilia Alexander drove to the top of Wrights Hill hoping to get some photos of snow that had recently fallen in the hills behind the city. But then she saw something unexpected. [...] 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

    New Zealand National Anthem - the unofficial one.

    A highlight of any New Zealand visit is the opportunity to see the Māori people sharing their culture through their music and dance. This video is one such example of their music, recorded in 2012 when a New Zealand group competed in a music contest in the USA. It took place outside of the actual competition venue, an impromptu and powerful example of what bringing people together can do. [...] 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 • Sep 22, 2019

    'Lord of The Ring's TV Series. Avatar 2, Mulan. UPDATE May 20,2020

    Orcs, trolls, and wargs, beware! In 2021 Amazon Studios is bringing audiences back to Middle-earth with a TV series set in The Second Age, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.​ It will be the world's most expensive TV series and filmed entirely in New Zealand. We have an update on the progress of this and other movies currently being shot in New Zealand. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jul 19, 2019

    What to Do In Dunedin

    Guinness World Records has decreed that Dunedin's Baldwin Street no longer has the title of the steepest street in the world. It's now held by a street called Ffordd Pen Llech in Wales. But disappointed Dunedin locals are pointing out that editor in chief Craig Glenday has admitted "Baldwin St is visually much more appealing, dare I say it, than Fford Pen Llech. It looks better & more convincing". [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Jul 01, 2019

    New Zealand In Winter

    So the only time you can get away to enjoy a New Zealand vacation is between June and October. Yes it's winter down there! So here is our experience of a 3-week New Zealand vacation that started on June 7. We knew there was an element of risk in travelling at the start of winter, It turned out well for us and here's what we found. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • May 31, 2019

    Hobbiton; The Inside Story

    Years after the movies were released, interest in Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit remains incredibly high. Max Bonem is a New York writer and editor who "writes about food, travel, and everything in between". He's enjoyed some interesting times in New Zealand and in this excellent article he explains the background to the creation of the multi-award winning Hobbiton Shire Village. [...] 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 • Apr 17, 2019

    New Zealand Parrot on the Comeback Trail

    The kākāpō parrot has enjoyed its most successful breeding season on record. The kākāpō was thought extinct until a colony of just 17 were discovered on remote Stewart Island in 1977. Since then an intensive breeding programs has been in place and today there are 147 of the species alive. Now, a bumper breeding season has created great excitement. Also read our STOP PRESS at the end of this story. [...] 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 • Feb 14, 2019

    New Zealand's Toughest Sporting Event, The 'Coast to Coast'

    This is about a legendary New Zealand sporting event called 'The Coast to Coast' held every February. The nicest thing about the Coast to Coast is that it's not just for athletic elites. Hundreds of amateurs also train hard for months to take on this ultimate challenge, usually as part of a team, and the scenes, two days later at the finish, are some of the most euphoric you will ever see. [...] read more...

  • Lindsay Barron

    Lindsay Barron • Feb 13, 2019

    Christchurch - After The Earthquake. Why visit? What is there to see?

    This is a personal blog, because I lived in Christchurch from 1973 to 1990. It's where I had my home and helped raise my beautiful family. Then on February 21, 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the city, killing 185 people and injuring thousands. The city I knew and loved disappeared forever. But over time I have fallen in love with Christchurch again, and here are some of the reasons why. [...] 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 28, 2018

    Huge Whale Returns to Wellington Harbor.

    For a week in July, residents in the capital city of Wellington, were thrilled to see that a huge whale had taken up temporary residence in their harbor. Today, a whale has once again sighted, but this time there's a difference; now the whale has a calf in tow! Everyone is now anxiously waiting for confirmation from the Department of Conversation that it's the same whale that visited last month. [...] 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 • Aug 08, 2018

    Queenstown's Nevis Catapult - The Ultimate Thrill!

    In our last blog we wrote about the 2017 visit of Tom Cruise to Duffers Saddle near Queenstown where he filmed parts of his new Mission Impossible movie. Today, and close to Duffers Saddle, AJ Hackett, the company that introduced commercial bungy jumping to the world, revealed a new adventure experience that must be the ultimate in dare-devil experiences. If you're into adrenaline rushes, read on. [...] 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 • May 16, 2018

    Map of New Zealand: Not

    If you are looking at a map of the world, take a closer look. You should see New Zealand there on the map, but surprisingly, we often get left off. So a fun campaign that includes prime Minister Jacinda Adern has been created to get us back where we belong. We think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup, but we enjoyed the video featuring Rhys Darby (Flight of The Conchords) and we hope you do too. [...] read more...