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New Zealand

I fell in love with New Zealand through the Lord of the Rings movies and even more so when I actually visited for the first time in 2005. My dream holiday came true when I spent three months tramping around the South Island in 2008, and I constantly dream up itineraries for my next big visit.


“Going Missing” on the Copland Track


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I sat in a Wanaka internet cafe, waiting as the infernally slow internet attempted to load my email inbox. It was 2008 and I only had a $30 brick of a phone and no laptop, so this was the only way I could connect to the rest of the world (and I was fine with…

How the Hooker Valley Track Nearly Killed My Dad


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New Zealand is a country that inspires you to go hiking out into the wilderness.  Rugged mountains, picturesque shorelines, and golden tussock-covered rolling hills represent but a small portion of the amazing landscapes you can see if you just lace up a pair of boots, slip on a backpack, and head out onto the trail. For…

Stargazing in One of the Darkest Skies in the World


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One of the main reasons I am a photographer today is the night sky. I remember spending countless nights sitting outside the backcountry huts of New Zealand just taking in the stars, which were often framed by 360º of rugged mountain silhouettes. As wonderful as those memories are, I also remember being frustrated that I…

Being Immersed in Maori Culture in Kaikoura


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When someone mentions a Maori tour, it usually brings to mind thoughts of mass tours in Rotorua that consist of a performance following a hangi. Maurice’s Maori Tour in Kaikoura, on NZ’s South Island, was completely different from these tours. Rather than being performed for, we were brought into the culture. Rather than being treated…

Searching For Middle Earth on the South Island


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With The Hobbit premiering today, there will be plenty of renewed interest in Lord of the Rings-related sites around New Zealand — and with good reason! New Zealand is a stunning country and Peter Jackson did a great job of choosing his filming locations for The Lord of the Rings, so I have no doubt…

Swimming with the Dusky Dolphins of Kaikoura


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I stood in my flippers, looking out at the calm sea beyond. Dorsal fins cut through the surface in every direction, but instead of being scared, I couldn’t wait to get into the water. As our boat had motored out into the Pacific Ocean, we’d watched two pods of dusky dolphins come together in front…

5 Life Lessons Learned From Hiking


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I’ve been thinking a lot about hiking recently, mainly because I’m intent on putting together the best possible entry for Air New Zealand and the DOC’s ‘Great Walker’ competition. The prize? Doing the nine Great Walks of New Zealand in nine weeks while blogging about it. To me, this is pretty much the Holy Grail…

The Queen Charlotte Track: Endeavour Inlet to Camp Bay


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I woke up with a bang — literally. Groggy and feeling a bit stiff from the day before, I’d managed to turn off my alarm, which had been set to give me the perfect amount of time to get ready and get my pack out to the dock for the 9am bag pickup. When I…

The Queen Charlotte Track: Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge


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The day of my departure for the Queen Charlotte Track brought with it anticipation and a touch of nerves. I was excited to start the first walk on a very tramping-heavy itinerary around the South Island, but at the same time, a little voice at the back of my head was wondering if I was…

Photo Essay: Queen Charlotte Sound’s Historic Ship Cove


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The Queen Charlotte Track, which winds its way between Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds in Marlborough, starts its journey at Ship Cove (Meretoto). When I arrived there on a ferry from Picton, I knew that I had plenty of time before dusk (and no tent to set up at my first stop in the Endeavour…
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