About Us

Welcome to NZ Pocket Guide, your ultimate travel companion for exploring the captivating landscapes and rich culture of New Zealand. Founded by Robin and Laura, NZ Pocket Guide is a labour of love and passion for sharing the hidden gems of this stunning region.

Robin and Laura, alongside a team of dedicated travel writers, spearhead our efforts to provide travellers with a comprehensive and authentic travel guide. Their experience living, working and extensively travelling New Zealand, combined with an honorary journalism background, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to our platform.

 

Our Values

At NZ Pocket Guide, we’re not chasing likes or superficial trends on social media. Instead, our mission is anchored in delivering factual and insightful information derived from rigorous research, firsthand experiences and unwavering journalistic integrity. We’re committed to assisting travellers from all backgrounds in meticulously planning their journey to New Zealand, going beyond the allure of pretty photos to offer practical guidance.

Our core values form the foundation of our work:

  • Empowering Local Tourism Businesses: We strive to uplift and promote local tourism enterprises, advertisers or not, recognising their invaluable contributions to New Zealand.
  • Comprehensive Representation: We present travellers with a comprehensive overview of tourism operators and accommodations, ensuring travellers have access to diverse options that suit their preferences and needs.
  • Inclusivity: Our platform caters to travellers, no matter your nationality and socio-economic background, providing a range of options to facilitate enjoyable experiences for all.
  • Informed Decision-Making: We empower travellers to make informed decisions by offering transparent and unbiased information, enabling them to craft personalised itineraries that align with their interests.
  • Sustainable Travel: We advocate for a positive relationship between travellers and destinations, emphasising the importance of environmental conservation and social responsibility in travel experiences.

More about our editorial standards can be viewed on Our Standards Page.

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About Laura (Editor-in-Chief)

Laura is a distinguished first-class honours journalism graduate whose passion for travel and in-depth knowledge of New Zealand and South Pacific tourism span over a decade. As a seasoned travel journalist, she brings a wealth of expertise and insider insights to NZ Pocket Guide.

In addition to her role as co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide, Laura serves as the editor-in-chief for five other South Pacific countries, further showcasing her breadth of experience and understanding of the region’s diverse landscapes and cultures.

With over 250 episodes co-hosting the acclaimed NZ Travel Show on YouTube, Laura has established herself as a prominent figure in the travel community, offering engaging and informative content that resonates with audiences worldwide. Despite her origins in the UK, Laura has a deep-rooted connection to New Zealand, where she has resided for more than a decade.

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About Robin (Operations Manager)

Robin is the driving force behind the operational excellence of NZ Pocket Guide, serving as the operations manager and orchestrating a seamless collaboration with a team of web developers to create a user-friendly online travel guide experience, as well as liaising with the tourism industry to ensure accurate and up-to-date information across the platform.

As a co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide, Robin’s contributions extend beyond operational tasks; his expertise in New Zealand travel is unmatched, with a track record of personally testing over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country. With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin’s insights into the intricacies of travel logistics, local attractions and hidden gems make him an invaluable asset to the travel guide.

His role in co-founding three influential tourism businesses and developing five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations underscores his commitment to promoting sustainable and enriching travel experiences for both travellers and tourism operators.

The Story of NZ Pocket Guide

Our labour of love began in 2014 with a clear mission: to sustainably guide travellers across New Zealand. Here’s our journey:

  • 2014: Launch of BackpackerGuide.NZ
    • NZ Pocket Guide started as a travel guide for backpackers called BackpackerGuide.NZ
    • We focused on sustainability and low impact from the outset.
    • The site grew rapidly in its first year, reaching over 250,000 travellers in the first year, defying our expectations.

As we navigated through our early years, our vision expanded to embrace a broader audience and deeper content:

  • 2015-2016: Expansion and Engagement
    • We launched “New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year” on YouTube, a challenge where we completed 365 activities in 365 days. This helped us showcase the huge offering that New Zealand has in stock.
    • Then Laura shifted focus from solely creating content to building a flexible travel writing team and a fact-based editorial line.
    • In the meantime, Robin got a web-dev team together.
    • We were now creating content for all types of travellers; not just backpackers.

Our commitment to sustainability and authentic experiences drove us to explore new horizons:

  • 2017-2018: Brand Evolution and Pacific Exploration
    • We introduced Fiji Pocket Guide, expanding our reach to Pacific nations.
    • We launched the NZ Travel Show on YouTube, allowing travellers to ask questions live to New Zealand travel experts to plan their trip with ease.
    • After a lot of preparation work, we transitioned our website from BackpackerGuide.NZ to NZ Pocket Guide with fresh branding.
    • And we celebrated our 500th activity review!

Our journey continued with a focus on partnership and local engagement:

  • 2019-2020: Local Partnerships and COVID Adaptation
    • This was the first year (of many!) we partnered with the SPTO to promote sustainable tourism in the Pacific.
    • We launched Tonga Pocket Guide and Niue Pocket Guide in collaboration with local governments.
    • We ran small-scale sustainable tourism programs which were incredibly fulfilling and held local industry training in Tonga and Niue.
    • COVID-19 hit so we updated our content to reflect the changing landscapes of travel during the pandemic.

Skipping to post-pandemic and looking to the future, we’ve not slowed down, continuing to share the beauty of the Pacific:

  • 2022, 2023, 2024 and beyond: Expansion and Continuous Engagement
    • We launched Cook Islands Pocket Guide and Samoa Pocket Guide, partnering with local governments.
    • We celebrated over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.
    • Some of our team gained international certifications in drone piloting and scuba diving to provide more unique perspectives on our travel coverage.
    • And of course, we are looking forward to more adventures and guides in the coming years.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, a cultural explorer or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, NZ Pocket Guide has been your biggest source of New Zealand trip-planning information for more than 10 years, with more than 2,000 articles. Join us in creating meaningful connections between travellers and this breathtaking destination while fostering a sustainable and enriching travel experience for everyone.

To become a contributor, advertise or provide feedback, please refer to our Contact Page.