Hey! So nice to have you grace my blog with your presence here! My name is Nicola and my main goal here is to make sure that you have all the information you need for planning any kind of adventure in New Zealand. Whether you’re coming in from abroad and need to ‘do it all’, or whether you’ve lived here for a long time but need some inspiration for your next getaway, I’m here for it. One thing that the pandemic made me really grateful for was the travel that I have been privileged to do already, and over the course of a manic couple of years of going into lockdown, coming out of lockdown, and going into lockdown again, I gained a real appreciation for what New Zealand has to offer us in terms of travel. Our borders were shut to the world for nearly two years, so between the lockdowns, we kiwis really made it count and started to appreciate more what we had in our backyard. I was very fortunate that as a child Mum and Dad took my brother and I to a different region each summer, and we would tour around, being quite thorough and visiting all the littlest towns, beaches, bushes, waterfalls, etc, so that now, as an adult, while I find myself with no new ground to cover (what a privilege to be able to say that!), I am enjoying re-visiting places and experiencing them as an adult. I am now very aware of the amazing opportunity it was to grow up like that, and every time I return from abroad I am reminded at how good we have it here, with our mountains and fjords, beaches and bays, and deserts and islands. Now, it’s my joy to let all those experiences spill onto the page, so that I can make it that much easier for you to find what you need about where you need.

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Places I’ve travelled:


📍Bay of Islands (Russell, Hole in the Rock, Paihia, Urupukapuka Island), Mangawhai, Mangawhai Heads (Mangawhai Beach, Moirs Point), Whangarei (Whangarei Falls, Ocean Beach, Hatea River), Whangarei Heads (Mount Manaia), Kerikeri, Mangonui (Coopers Beach), Karikari Peninsula (Maitai Bay), Waipapakauri, Waipoua Forest, Ahipara, Ninety Mile Beach (Parengarenga Harbour), Cape Reinga, Opononi, Hokianga (Hokianga Harbour, Hokianga Heads), Dargaville (Kaihu River), Waipu (Waipu Cove, Waipu River, Waipu Caves), Ruakaka (Tanekaha Falls), Tutukaka, Matapouri Beach


📍 Waiuku (Kariotahi Beach), Clark’s Beach, Manukau Heads, Awhitu, Orewa (Orewa Beach), Pakiri (Pakiri Beach), Motutapu Island, Rangitoto Island, Motuihe Island, Tiritiri Matangi Island, Great Barrier Island (Orama, Tryphena, Claris, Aotea Track, Hirakimata/Mount Hobson, Kaitoke Hot Springs, Medlands Beach), Ararimu, Hunua (Hunua Falls), Clevedon, Ponui Island, Waitakere Ranges (Piha Beach, Kitekite Falls, Mokotahi Falls, Karamatura Falls, Karekare Falls, Karekare Beach), Waiheke Island (Ostend, Surfdale, Oneroa, Little Oneroa Beach, Palm Beach, Sandy Bay, Stony Batter), Leigh (Leigh Harbour/Omaha Cove), Matakana, Warkworth, Wellsford, Goat Island (Goat Island Marine Reserve), Pukekura Island


📍 Coromandel Peninsula (Whitianga (Mercury Bay, Front Beach), Hahei (Cathedral Cove, Stingray Bay), Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Tairua Beach, Tairua Estuary, Mount Paku, Pauanui (Shelly Beach, Matarangi Beach, Whangapoua Beach, Paunaui Beach, Mount Pauanui), Colville, Stony Bay, Fletcher Bay, Point Jackson, Coromandel Township (Oamaru Bay), Whangamata (Whangamata Beach), Long Bay, Little Bay, Kennedy Bay, Waikawau Bay, Little Bay), Kaueranga Valley (The Pinnacles), Tirau, Te Kuiti, Otorohonga, Pirongia (Mount Pirongia), Matamata, Ngaruawahia, Hamilton (Lake Hamilton, Waikato River), Glen Murray, Raglan (Bridal Veil Falls, Ngarunui Beach), Kawhia, Te Aroha (Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park, Wairere Falls), Ngatea, Hauraki District (Miranda, Thames, Karangahake, Karangahakae Gorge (Dickey Flat), Waihi, Waihi Beach), Waitomo District (Waitomo, Waitomo Caves, Te Kuiti), Taupo (Lake Taupo), Te Waihou Blue Spring, Putaruru


📍 Rotorua (Lake Rotoiti, Lake Rotoehu, Whakarewarewa Forest, Hinehopu Scenic Reserve, Lake Tikitapu/Blue Lake, Green Lake, Lake Rotorua, Lake Tarawera, Lake Keswick, Kerosene Creek, Rainbow Mountain, Soda Springs, Kaituna River, Tuhoe Falls), Tauranga (Papamoa, Papamoa Beach, Mount Maunganui, Mount Maunganui Beach), Te Urewera, Waikaremoana (Lake Waikaremoana, Aniwaniwa Falls, Papakarito Falls, Lake Waikareiti, Panekire Bluff, Onepoto Bay, Hopuruahine Landing, Korokoro Falls), Whakatane (Ohope Beach, Whakatane River), Matata, Te Puke, Mamaku, Te Teko, Huka Falls, Otumuheke Stream, Omokoroa


📍 Egmont National Park, Dawson Falls, Pouakai Circuit (Bells Falls, Mount Pouakai, Pouakai Tarns), New Plymouth, Tongaporutu, Stratford, Inglewood


📍 East Cape, Cape Kidnappers, Napier, Hastings, Gisborne (Wainui Beach, Poverty Bay, Waikanae Beach), Mahia (Mahia Beach, Mokotahi Hill), Opotiki (Opotiki Beach), Te Araroa (Hicks Bay), Tolaga Bay (Cook’s Cove), Te Mata Peak (Tukituki River Valley)


📍 Whanganui (Whanganui National Park, Whanganui, Virginia Lake, Whanganui River), Manawatu (Palmerston North, Feilding, Foxton, Bulls, Apiti, Manawatu Gorge), Tongariro National Park (Whakapapa Village (Tawhai Falls, Taranaki Falls), Ohakune, National Park, Raurimu, Turoa Skifield, Turangi (Tongariro River), Tokaanu, Mount Ruapehu (Crater Lake), Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Tongariro (Tongariro Crossing, Northern Circuit, Tama Lakes, Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake, Red Crater, Whakapapa Skifield), Waiouru, Taumarunui), Levin


📍 Wellington City (Mount Victoria, Days Bay, Clyde Quay, Oriental Bay), Waikanae, Castle Point, Masterton, Lower Hutt, The Wairarapa, the Rimutakas


📍 Cape Farewell, Takaka (Labyrinth Caves), Takaka Hills, Collingwood, Motueka, Nelson, Karamea, Kahurangi National Park (Heaphy Track), Abel Tasman National Park (Wainui Bay, Anchorage, Totaranui Beach, Awaroa Estuary, Bark Bay, Torrent’s Bay, Marahau, Kaiteriteri Beach, Golden Bay, Abel Tasman Coastal Walk), Nelson Lakes National Park (Saint Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti), Wharanaki Beach


📍 Havelock, Picton, Anakiwa, Blenheim (Wither Hills, Taylor’s Dam Track), Woodbourne, Marlborough Sounds (Pelorus Sound, Queen Charlotte Sound, Queen Charlotte Track, Motuara Island), Wairau River Valley


📍 Haast (Blue Pools, Makarora River, Haast Gates), Fox Glacier, Franz Joseph Glacier, Hokitika, Westport, Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), Greymouth (Point Elizabeth), Moana (Lake Brunner), Reefton, Murchison (Buller Gorge, Buller River), Ross, Hokitika Gorge, Ship Creek, Lake Matheson, Grey River, Brunner Mine, Paparoa National Park (Paparoa Track, Punakaiki River, Pororari River)


📍 Hanmer Springs (Conical Hill), Christchurch City (Avon River, Port Hills, South Brighton Beach), Kaikoura, Clarence (Clarence River), Geraldine (Waihi River), Peel Forest (Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve), Ashburton (Lake Hood, Waianakarua River, Washpen Falls), Lyttelton (Governors Bay), Darfield, Methven, Craigieburn, Waimakariri Basin (Castle Hill), Lake Lyndon, Lake Coleridge, Cave Stream, Akaroa (Akaroa Harbour), Springs Junction


📍 Moeraki (Moeraki Boulders, Katiki Point), Kurow, Central Otago (Cromwell, Central Otago Rail Trail, Ranfurly, Hyde, Waipiata, Tiroiti, Middlemarch, Sutton Salt Lake, Galloway, Omakau, Wedderburn, Clyde, Kokonga, Lake Dunstan, Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail), Herbert, Naseby, Timaru, Oamaru, Herbert, Omarama, Alexandra, Roxburgh, Dunedin City (Saint Clair Beach, Mount Cargill, Saint Kilda Beach, Signal Hill, Karitane Beach, Waikouaiti Beach, Smaills Beach, Otago Peninsula), Taieri Gorge, Mosgiel, Outram, MacKenzie District (Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, Twizel, Alps to Ocean cycle trail, Lake Ohau), Queenstown Lakes District (Queenstown Hill, Bob’s Peak, Lindis Pass, Walter Peak, Coronet Peak, Arrowtown (Arrow River), Wanaka (Lake Wanaka, Mount Iron), The Crown Range, Cardrona, Glenorchy, Kinloch, Kingston, Paradise, Gibbston Valley, Jack’s Point, Walter Peak, Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Beach, Kawerau River, Shotover River, Rees River, Greenstone River, Lake Johnson, Frankton, Greenstone-Caples Track, Mt Isthmus, Lake Hawea, Roy’s Peak, The Remarkables), Benmore Dam, Waitaki River, Manuherikia River) 


📍 The Catlins (Papatowai, Purakaunui Falls, Matai Falls, McLean Falls, Curio Bay, Nugget Point, Tautuku Bay, Florence Hill, Slope Point, Waipapa Point), Fiordland National Park (Manapouri, Lake Manapouri, The Milford Track, Milford Sound, Mitre Peak, Clinton River, Arthur River, Mackinnon Saddle, Sandfly Point, Sutherland Falls, Lake Quill, The Divide, Bowen Falls, Lake Gunn, Mirror Lakes, Darren Mountains (Lake Marian), Te Anau, Te Anau Downs, Lake Te Anau, Waiau River, The Kepler Track (Iris Burn River, Mount Luxmore, The Routeburn Track (Routeburn Falls, Lake Mackenzie, Lake Harris), Gore, Balclutha (Clutha River), Bluff, Invercargill (Monkey Island, Gemstone Beach, Oreti Beach), Stewart Island (Rakiura National Park, Oban, Ackers Point, Paterson Inlet, Half Moon Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Port William, North Arm), Foveaux Strait


📍 Mount Cook National Park, Cook Strait, Mount Aspiring National Park (Matikituki Valley, Fantail Falls), Arthur’s Pass (Arthur’s Pass National Park, Bealey Spur, Bealey River, Otira Viaduct, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls), Lewis Pass

Photo courtesy of Kendra Roberts Photography (@kendrarobertsphotography) | Piha Beach