… Or What We Consider the Best New Zealand Bloggers!
It is hard to describe how much of an impact a trip to New Zealand will have on your life. From a life-changing gap year to an eye-opening road trip, you will leave New Zealand changed forever. Some keep those souvenirs locked in their brain, others write daily in their travel diary, but many log all their adventures and travel tips in their blog. We have compiled 10 awesome blogs from travellers who came to New Zealand for you to check out. Be inspired by their stories, learn from their tips, or copy their itinerary. There is a lot to learn from reading other travellers stories.
To better introduce those travellers, we’ve asked them: What was your best New Zealand experience? Check out their answers below along with a link to the New Zealand section of their blog. Plus, don’t miss the bonus entry at the bottom of this article.
First Thing’s First…
Travel video blogs don’t come more epic than “New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year” where Robin and Laura from our very own NZPocketGuide.com hit the road for 365 days doing 365 activities in New Zealand! Subscribe to their adventures on YouTube and watch the trailer below!
1. Petra – The Global Couple
New Zealand = home. We are lucky enough to have been born and bred in this beautiful country and have spent many years exploring it by campervan, car, and on foot. One of the best things about New Zealand is that because it is such a small country, it’s so easy to get into the outdoors and embrace the amazing landscapes – from snowy peaks and primaeval forests in the South Island to desert volcanoes and white sand beaches in the North Island. Our favourite New Zealand travel experience (and we’ve had a lot of them!) was one summer when we bought an old campervan, did her up, and travelled around the South Island – camping in some of the most stunning spots you can imagine, cooking dinner beside sublime lakes and beaches, breathing in the fresh air, spotting the Milky Way at night, getting eaten alive by sandflies, having curious native birds come within half a metre, and falling even more in love with our magnificent home.
Petra has 49 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at theglobalcouple.com
2. Lina – Divergent Travelers
It’s simple; New Zealand stole our hearts. The diversity of the country brought us to our knees and ignited a lifelong love affair with the country. When someone asks us what our favourite country is we don’t hesitate to include New Zealand in our top 5. We spent 5 weeks travelling around both the North and South Islands and quickly realized it wasn’t enough time to really enjoy all the beauty and adventure on offer in this dynamic country. Despite everything on offer, it was the Tongariro Crossing that sealed the deal with us and a return to New Zealand is always at the top of our minds.
Lina has 35 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at divergenttravelers.com
3. Hannah – Getting Stamped
New Zealand in one word: Epic! We spent 2 weeks driving a camper van around the entire South Island of New Zealand, and every corner we turned was another epic photograph waiting to be taken. We made the mistake of only spending 2 weeks in New Zealand. Next time we return it’ll be at least 3 months so that we can explore both the South & North Islands. New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world: we had heard this from travellers and we didn’t believe them until we witnessed it for ourselves. After travelling to 65 countries New Zealand is one of a kind and should be on every traveller’s bucket list. There are so many things to do in New Zealand from hiking, bungy jumping, sky diving, skiing, kayaking, you won’t be bored in New Zealand.
Hannah has 26 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at gettingstamped.com.
4. Emma – The Travel Natural
My experience in New Zealand is a personal one. I grew up in Taranaki (West Coast of the North Island), a destination that’s only beginning to see increased international visitors, despite holding all the usual New Zealand power icons; an impressive mountain and stretches of silky black sand beaches. Taranaki is a place I keep returning to again and again, it’s a place to slow down as well as get active. An old school farming region at heart, a little bit out of the way for most tourists and my favourite place in New Zealand. Am I being biased? Come see for yourself.
Emma has 22 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at thetravelnatural.com
5. Lotte – Phenomenal Globe
New Zealand is without a doubt the most beautiful country I have ever been to! It just amazing, the country has it all. Mountains. Volcanos. Lakes (there are so many beautiful lakes in New Zealand!). Sea. Forest. Waterfalls. Beaches. Hills. Cliffs. You name it and its there.
Besides the incredible scenery, the people of New Zealand are so very welcoming and friendly. If you are having a coffee, they’ll have a chat with you and proudly tell you about their amazing country and awesome places you should visit. Which usually are the kind of places you won’t find in the Lonely Planet, so it’s worth keeping your ears open. If you are lost or so much appear to need anything, they’ll help you out.
Yes, New Zealand is my favourite country in the whole wide world! I loved the tiny towns we drove through in our campervan, realising there was a town after we had already passed through. I love how there are quirky flightless native birds (some of which are on the brink of extinction because of possums). And I absolutely loved driving around in our campervan, staying on the most beautiful campsites without anyone else around and waking up with breathtaking views of a beautiful lake or the sea. Oh New Zealand, it’s been 2 years since I’ve seen you and I miss you deeply. I hope to see you soon
Lotte has 17 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at phenomenalglobe.com
6. Anita – Anita Hendrieka
The Wairarapa is such an underrated region in New Zealand. Nestled only an hour away from Wellington is home to the only white kiwi in New Zealand, breathtaking hikes and untouched beaches. By far one of the best hikes for all fitness types is Rocky Lookout, which is located in Mount Holdsworth. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with a pretty spectacular view which will really make you feel like you’re in Middle-earth. While walking up you will get the real kiwi nature experience with tui whistling away and many other beautiful animals greeting you. On a summer’s day, this hike is a local favourite so shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!
Anita has 17 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at anitahendrieka.com
7. Jub – Tiki Touring Kiwi
Chatting to my dad on the phone last week summed up New Zealand for me. It’s where I grew up before leaving to explore the world a few years ago. We got talking about the friendliness of Kiwis to strangers which I still experience on my brief returns.When you’re walking down the street you acknowledge most people you walk past. That may mean a verbal hello, a small wave, smile, a simple head nod or a combination of them all.This is a habit that has carried on with people regularly saying it’s cool that I’m always saying hello to randoms in the street (it’s interesting how different cultures react to this around the world).The reason it came up in a phone call? Dad was saying how he feels like Waikanae’s culture is shifting as more city slickers move to Waikanae (they work in Wellington City 50 minutes away) with a new motorway opening in 2017. By nature, they tend to not acknowledge everyone they pass on the street. Keep smiling!
Jub has 15 posts about New Zealand. Find more about his trip in New Zealand at tikitouringkiwi.com
8. Jeremy – Travel Freak
“With stunning landscapes, amazing food, delicious wine, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, New Zealand holds a very special place in my heart. I spent fifteen months living, working, and travelling around New Zealand. In fact, those days are some of the fondest of my six total years of full-time travel. My journey started in Queenstown, where I spent 6 months working at a luxury hotel and partying until 5 or 6 am most weekday nights. My journey ended in Auckland, where I worked in one of the most exclusive whiskey bars in the city. The true gem of New Zealand, though, is Wellington, a place I call my second home. It’s known as The Coolest Little Capital in the World, and boy, are they right. Its windy as hell, but the people and the nightlife are some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world.”
Jeremy has 15 posts about New Zealand. Find more about his trip in New Zealand at travelfreak.net
9. Cory – You Could Travel
I loved New Zealand so very much, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to any other fellow traveller. I enjoyed how incredible, clean and pristine New Zealand was. I spent a month driving around New Zealand’s South Island and that was enough to fall in love with this beautiful, safe and well-organised country. The best parts were trailing the Abel Tasman Coastal Track and cruising through Milford Sound. Never in my life, I enjoyed a more stunning landscape with such postcard-perfect views. The roads in New Zealand are some of the best in the world, perfectly tailored for road trip lovers and driving enthusiasts. For nature photographers, New Zealand is definitely a dream come true, with magnificent topography ranging from snowy mountains, through icy glaciers, to golden beaches. Whenever I think of a natural paradise, New Zealand comes to mind, no question about it.
Cory has 14 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at youcouldtravel.com
10. Brittany – The Sweet Wanderlust
Before moving to New Zealand, I knew nothing about this country. I booked a flight to Queenstown and planned to spend a couple of months in the Adventure Capital of the World before moving north as winter set in. Two months turned to seven, though, as I filled my days with bungy jumps, luging, snowboarding and a ride on the TSS Earnslaw.
I left the city that captured my heart for two weeks on a whirlwind road trip from Queenstown to Auckland. Fueled by pineapple lumps and chocolate fish, I heli-hiked Fox Glacier, was amazed by the unreal blue of the Hokitika Gorge, and got goosebumps watching a Haka in Rotorua. “One does not simply walk into Mordor,” but I hiked the Tongariro Crossing, and that’s about as close as you can get. I searched for Bilbo Baggins at Hobbiton and practised speaking dolphin in Kaikoura.
New Zealand is a place where my adventure-seeking heart found a home, and I’ll forever be grateful for the time I lived in the land of kiwi birds and Kiwi people.
Brittany has 10 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at thesweetwanderlust.com
11. Jen – The Snow Chasers
As self-confessed snow addicts, Queenstown, New Zealand is the top of our list of places to go snowboarding in the Southern Hemisphere. So much so that we’ve mustered up our crew and gone there 7 times in 8 years. Aside from the sensational flight in and the ridiculously stunning scenery that is Queenstown, there is easy access to a number of epic ski resorts. The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski resorts are around 30 minutes away. Then there’s Cardrona ski resort which is a scenic 45-minute drive from Queenstown. There’s something for everyone whether you are into groomed runs, technical terrain, hiking or a bit of park action. The facilities at all resorts are well maintained with loads of food options to choose from. For apres-ski, Cardrona Pub is a must if you are on your way back from Cardrona ski resort. Otherwise, chill out in Queenstown at one of the many awesome pubs and bars.
Jen has 8 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at thesnowchasers.com
12. Hugo – Breathe With Us
Let’s be honest, New Zealand is one of the most amazing countries out there and a personal favourite of ours. Before embarking on a month-long road trip on both the North and South Islands our expectations were high, but nothing compares to the experience of actually setting foot there for the first time and realizing how much there is to explore throughout the country. The beauty of New Zealand and its scenery is unique, and the country offers countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and to have a great time – and this is exactly what we did! Some of the highlights include sea kayaking at Milford Sound among massive fiords, hiking Tongariro’s volcanic landscape, glacier walking on the west coast at Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, admiring the many picture-perfect lakes, witnessing the bubbling colourful geothermal features in Rotorua, or learning about and seeing the country’s flightless birds such as the kiwi. Yet, there’s so much more. Now, we just need to go back.
Hugo has 8 posts about New Zealand. Find more about his trip in New Zealand at breathewithus.com
13. Jean – Traveling Honey Bird
Winter is a wonderful time to visit NZ. There’s a certain serene beauty about winter in the South Island of New Zealand. Not only is winter the best time of the year to spend a month celebrating my birthday it also offers the adventurer a whole new arena to play within. Most people assume that the only reason to go to New Zealand in the winter is for snow sports and post snow sport drinking. We recently discovered the pleasure of road tripping during winter.
The cool morning mist that sits across the paddocks perfectly frame the magnificent mountains. Making it the perfect backdrop to your morning coffee from the back of the campervan. The days turn into bluebird mountains of pure clarity, allowing you to see for miles in every direction as you drive to the next destination. There’s comfort food galore at any caf you stop by. So no more diet of L&P and marshmallow fish! Though these staple NZ road trip road snacks.
Road tripping in the winter months is a wonderful experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Jean has 7 posts about New Zealand. Find more about her trip in New Zealand at travelinghoneybird.com
14. Bailey & Dan – Destinationless Travel
Travelling in New Zealand was perfect for us, we love the outdoors and we love adventure – and that is what New Zealand is all about! The outdoorsy things to do in New Zealand are literally endless. There is something special about being on the top of a mountain or swimming under a waterfall that can’t be matched in any city setting. New Zealand is so diverse in terms of the landscape that one day we were in the snow and the next we were enjoying a sunset on the beach. The scenery is absolutely unimaginable until you see it with your own eyes. Some of our favourite memories of New Zealand include watching the sunset at Milford Sound, learning to snowboard, partying in Queenstown, and hiking everywhere! If you are a nature-lover like we are, then New Zealand is sure to impress.
Bailey & Dan have 23 posts about New Zealand. Find out more about their trip at destinationlesstravel.com.
15. (BONUS) Robin & Laura New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year
New Zealand blew our freaking minds! Right out of the plane we were stunned by the epic scale of the country. It did not take us long to know that this was the place for us. So we settled here and kept the adventure going for much longer than planned. This adventure turned into the very guide that you are reading right now, NZPocketGuide.com, New Zealand’s biggest guide for backpackers.
But we are not done travelling just yet, New Zealand has so much to offer that we challenged ourselves to spend another 365 days on the road to showcase 365 of the best activities that the country has to offer. We call it New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year. Are you ready for it? With blog posts every day and stunning 360? pictures, your mind will be as blown as our was when we landed in New Zealand a few years back!
Robin & Laura have 365posts about New Zealand. Find more about our trip in New Zealand at NZPocketGuide.com/Blog.
More Inspiration for Your New Zealand Trip
Check out these articles to get you pumped about a gap year in New Zealand: