Tag Archives: Wanaka

My Favorite New Zealand Beach Shots

Beauty sits everywhere you turn in New Zealand, which includes of course whenever you are on a beach. From the Tasman Sea and remote West Coast to the beaches lying just outside the hearts of Christchurch and Auckland, I’ve had the chance to enjoy many grains of sand and beaches along the waters of the “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.

Some of my favorite New Zealand beach shots and experiences are below. Part of the adventure and fun was just in getting to some of the more remote spots. I can never seem to put the camera down and there is almost always no one else around. No matter the weather they are all just as beautiful.

I’ve shared some of these before, with some new and alternate photos mixed in. Who is ready to visit New Zealand and hit up the beach?! Well without further ado:

Okanto Beach along the West Coast - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

It doesn’t get much more remote than the village of Okanto and this Tasman Sea beach front along the West Coast.

Piha Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking down at the breathtaking Piha Beach, my favorite Auckland day trip destination.

Sumner Beach in Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Sumner Beach in Christchurch, a popular spot for locals along the east coast. Volcanic rock dots the landscape.

The Pines Beach, Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

You’ll find wide open beach along Pegasus Bay at The Pines Beach. Christchurch lies off in the distance.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Out on the open Shakespear Regional Park beach just outside Auckland.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Get away from the hustle and bustle at Shakespear Regional Park and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Admiring the surf and blue waters of Bethells Beach on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the volcanic sand of Bethells Beach near Auckland. Watch out for that quick sand!

Beachfront in Wanaka - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the early morning Wanaka beachfront along Lake Wanaka.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

No one else around on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula at Opoutere Beach

Queenstown beach, Lake Wakatipu - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Starring out at the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu, along the beach in Downtown Queenstown.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking out into the Pacific Ocean and Hikunui Island from Opoutere Beach.

Where have some of your favorite photos come from in your time on New Zealand beaches?

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?

My Top Travel Memories.

Travel memories! The flood gates have opened, so many great memories flowing out from when I was a kid up until now. Thinking back about solo travel is great, but a lot of my top travel memories are from trips with family, friends and other loved ones.

I’m sharing the travel memories below as a part of team BLUE in the Lowcostholidays.com blogging competition. It’s a Blogging Relay themed after the Olympics where one blogger posts and passes the baton onto another who posts, etc. Follow the hashtags #BloggerRelay and #teamBLUE on Twitter. There are prizes involved too including an iPad 2, a digital SLR camera and walking boots.

Thank you to Dave and Deb from The Planet D for passing the baton on to me and to team captain Christina of Jandal Road for including me on the team. Well here we go!

My Top Travel Memories

Gold: The South Island of New Zealand Road Trip.

The gold medal or favorite travel memory has to go to New Zealand. No words can describe it. It’s just beautiful all around. I had the chance to really see it up close during one week of road tripping around the South Island. Starting and ending in Christchurch, my brother and I stopped at Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Franz Glacier, Lake Hawea and Wanaka just to name a few. Down below is a shot from our time at Lake Wanaka. If you look closely you can notice a faint rainbow. 🙂

Lake Wanaka - Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

We saw the continuous change of the landscape as we drove going through the countryside, mountains, rainforest and prairie. We stayed in hostels, slept in the car, cooked Ramen type noodles on the side of road with a portable burner, devoured Fergburgers and frites with aioli, downed one V Energy after another, stared out into the Tasman Sea, met people from all over the world and helped to get a hitchhiker from A to B. Lot’s of great memories and experiences that I will remember forever, even more so because I experienced it all with my brother.

Fergburger, Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand

Silver: California Beach towning it in Capitola.

Lot’s of family time growing up in the scenic, coastal California beach town of Capitola off the Pacific Coast Highway in-between San Francisco and Monterey. Every stop there brought the same memories: grabbing ice cream at Souza’s, a slice of pizza at Pizza My Heart, hanging out in Mr. Toot’s Coffeehouse and relaxing at the beach and checking out all the miniature Mediterranean houses. I remember building lot’s of sand castles and digging holes in the beach and all of us having fun playing in the ocean waters.

Pacific Ocean from Capitola Beach in California

Bronze: Winery Hopping in the North Georgia Mountains.

I’ve gone to various wineries several times in North Georgia wine country, but one trip up there sticks out. It was a year ago with my immediate family and my girlfriend. 🙂 The first quality time we really all spent together. We went to my favorite winery, Montaluce Winery & Estates as well as Wolf Mountain Vineyards. They all got a chance to get to know her as well she did them while experiencing great wines, cheeses, breads and scenery. Having great views of the grapes, the end of Appalachia and all the greenery made for a perfect setting and great memories. Photo from the balcony at Wolf Mountain Vineyards.

Wolf Mountain Winery - North Georgia Wine Country

The above are some great travel memories that I will always cherish. It’s time to pass on the baton, the torch if you will, for some more. It’s on to you:

Mark of Migrationology

Go Team Blue!

To follow some great bloggers and their travel memories, checkout the hashtags #BloggerRelay and #teamBLUE on Twitter.

Please reach out to team captain Christina of Jandal Road if your interested in joining team BLUE and sharing your favorite travel memories.

#Blog4NZ – Traveling the South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is the most beautiful place in the world. Great food, great people and amazing scenery that changes on a dime. You can see the rainforest, beaches, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, prairie and more with just a few hours of driving. I’m helping to support #Blog4NZ, an initiative by travel bloggers to help support tourism in New Zealand following the tragic earthquake in Christchurch. I recently went on an adventure around the South Island and here are some of the highlights, places I recommend visiting.

On the trip starting and ending in Christchurch, my sidekick and I drove, hiked, picked up travelers/hitchhikers (very common there), stayed in hostels, heated up instant mac ‘n cheese on a park bench in the rain and just soaked in all the scenery.

Church of the Good Shepherd - Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo. Church of the Good Shepherd. The church is right on the shores of the lake. The Southern Alps and snow-capped mountains make for an amazing back-drop. The church was built-in 1935. People from all over the world come here to get married with the romantic setting.

Aokaki - Mount Cook

Aokaki/Mount Cook. The highest peak in New Zealand, snow-capped of course. This is where Sir Edmund Hillary, a native, trained, prepping to climb Mount Everest. Hiking from the village where the hostel and hotel are, you reach Kea Point where you can get panoramic shots of several peaks simultaneously.


Queenstown. Known to a lot as the adventure (extreme sports) capital of the world. They’re also famous for there never-ending nightlife. Film crews come from all over the world to shoot scenes with the amazing backdrops around the lake. Music plays in the park along the water, along with lots of arts and crafts and people relaxing on the grass during the day. For wine lovers there are a lot of wineries in the region. Oh yeah, you gotta try a Fergburger, the best and biggest burger in New Zealand. I ate a little more than a third of mine. Don’t forget to get aioli when you get fries anywhere!

Lake Hawea

Wanaka, about an hour from Queenstown, is the perfect getaway if your into skiing in the winter months and water sports in the summer. It sits right on Lake Wanaka and is a very relaxing, small town. Lake Hawea, just northeast of Wanaka and shown above, is the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen. The blue water, mountain and cliff backdrop, just amazing. It’s a place you could just sit and look at in awe forever.

Walking to Fox Glacier

Fox/Franz Glacier. Fox and Franz Glacier are two small towns on the West Coast home to glaciers of the same name. We did the walk to the 13km long Fox Glacier. It has advanced some recently, after mainly retreating for a long time. Didn’t get the best shot of it due to the heavy rain, but taking the 45-minute round trip walk made me really think I was in Lord of the Rings. It’s one of the easiest glaciers to get to in the world and it ends in a rainforest slightly above sea level which is rare.

Okanto Beach - Tasman Sea - West Coast

West Coast/Greymouth. Greymouth is the biggest town on the West Coast which is extremely remote. Take the drive between Wanaka and here to see rainforest and dozens of water falls along the way. Lot’s of remote, secluded beaches like Okanto beach along the Tasman Sea as well.

Check out the rest of the photos of my trip around the South Island. So many more great places to see and go to in New Zealand. I’ll be back there very soon. Hope to see you there!