Tag Archives: New Zealand

Things Learned After Spending Time in New Zealand

Up until 2009 I had traveled a lot, but it was confined to places all over the United States and Canada, with a little time in Mexico. All of this changed that year when I headed abroad for the first time. In fact I was headed to the other side of the world and New Zealand for an extended period of time.

Auckland skyline from afar in New Zealand

Upon arriving at Auckland Airport I immediately started noticing not just the big differences compared to home in the states, but the small. During that trip and my subsequent time in New Zealand here are some of the things that I have learned:

  • Gotta make sure to look to the right first before crossing the street.
  • Hitchhiking is common a way to get around and a pretty safe one. Picked one up, helping them get from A to B, with a lot of great conversation in-between.
  • To do the above, had to experience driving on the other side of the road. That was the biggest transition.
  • I’m not walking into a convenience store to grab some drinks and snacks, but a dairy.
  • A New Zealand Dairy in Auckland

  • Speaking of dairies, them along with gas stations and in every other place it seems you will find a display case of meat pies ready for consumption. The steak and cheese yum!
  • New Zealand meat pies

  • You want to wash that pie down with a V Energy Drink a.k.a. fuel for more road tripping. Why don’t they carry those outside of NZ and Australia haha?! 🙂 🙂
  • When getting a different kind of fuel, Burger Fuel, the fries you are getting are Kumara, not sweet potato.
  • I’m not grabbing a beer at the restaurant/bar, but a pint. To this day even at home when I want a beer I find myself asking for a pint.
  • When at the restaurant/bar there is no tipping, you don’t give payment to the waiter and there is no seating available at the bar.
  • Continuing on with the food, it’s frites not fries. Oh and can I have some aioli with those! What’s ketchup? People call it tomato sauce.
  • When I visit I am not on a vacation, but on holiday.
  • Here a sheep, there a sheep, everywhere a sheep sheep.
  • More mingling with the New Zealand sheep

  • It’s rugby, rugby, rugby over here. I quickly got drawn in to the All Blacks National rugby union team. Was very excited when they won the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London.
  • The further south you go the colder it gets.
  • It’s January and the sun is out until after 9 pm.
  • I quickly Learned not to not close your eyes when road tripping, the terrain changes fast. We’re in the rain forest, wait the mountains, wait the prairie, wait I see a glacier.
  • It is really as pretty and magical as Lord of the Rings depicts it to be. You never know what lies straight ahead.
  • Heading towards the Franz Glacier in New Zealand

  • I discovered for myself what all the chatter was about involving the Queenstown Fergburger. Delicious.
  • Roundabouts you are starting to see here-and-there in the states, in New Zealand they are just a way of life.
  • I’ve already said it a couple of times in this post, people refer to the US as “The States”.
  • Stay at hostel, not a hotel. Who knows who you’ll meet, where they will be from and what kinds of great memories you will make.
  • Most importantly, everyone is so friendly. I don’t recall ever having a bad interaction with anyone.

It was great learning about, experiencing and seeing the differences between home and somewhere outside North America. I look forward to uncovering more in New Zealand and beyond.

Have you ever been to New Zealand? If so, what are some of the differences you noticed from home?

Auckland: A Million Skyline Looks.

Continuing the series of highlighting skylines I’ve captured brings us next to Auckland. New Zealand’s biggest city and skyline offers photographers water shots, a hilly topography and views of the largest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower. You can capture the heart of this city in every place imaginable from up-top dormant volcanoes to peninsulas kilometers away.

I thought I’d share some larger, enhanced versions of photos I took and used in my original Auckland skyline post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. Well without further ado.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline along Tamaki Drive

The Auckland skyline views along Tamaki Drive.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Princes Wharf

Viewing New Zealand’s largest city skyline from Princes Wharf.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - SkyTower

Randomly looking up at the Sky Tower and other tall buildings.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Where would you recommend going around Auckland to capture its skyline?

New Zealand’s Lake Hawea in Pictures.

I’ve written about New Zealand. I’ve talked about my wanderlust. If you were to combine the two, the spot that brings out the wanderlust in me in NZ is Lake Hawea on the South Island.

This glacial lake just outside Wanaka is a deep blue and crystal in color and mountains serve as its backdrop. It makes for a scenic day trip from Wanaka and Queenstown with plenty of outdoor fun options.

I thought I’d share some larger versions of photos I took and used in my original Lake Hawea post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. I took them at the Lookout Point! on State Highway 6 along the western shoreline.

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand

Lake Hawea, South Island, New Zealand, elatlboy selfie, The Adventures of elATLboy

Do you have a spot in New Zealand or anywhere else that takes your wanderlust to the next level?

Out on the Open Kea Point Trail in New Zealand.

Kea Point trail is an hour trek through the countryside from Mount Cook Village on the South Island of New Zealand. It ends at a platform from which you can get great views of Mount Cook (Aoraki), the tallest mountain in the country, and several other mountain peaks.

I wrote about it and my times at Mount Cook Village in a previous post: A Few Hours in Mount Cook Village. Below are some additional photos from my time on the trail, along with some blown up shots from my original post. The hike provided some of the best scenery I’ve seen in New Zealand.

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

Kea Point Trail, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand

What other walking paths and hiking trails would you recommend checking out in New Zealand?

A New Zealand Drive Along the Firth of Thames.

Roadtripping around New Zealand is beautiful no matter where you are at. Driving along the southern and southeastern shores of the Firth of Thames is no exception.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-002

The North Island stretch of road just south and west of the town of Thames, along State Route 25, features picturesque views of the rocky shoreline, mountains sitting off in the distance across the Firth and more.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-005

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand
You will want to get out of your vehicle often to enjoy the water views, just like the sheep do.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Also a part of New Zealand’s Pacific Coast Highway, this part of the country is easily accessible from Auckland. It is about a ninety minute drive, making it great day trip option. As you approach Thames you will be entering the Coromandel Peninsula.

Tip: Continue on along State Route 25 past Thames and you will embark on a 150 km drive around the hilly and forest-covered peninsula, winding up along the Pacific Ocean.

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand

What other New Zealand day trip options would you recommend from Auckland?