kiwi adventures for up & coming adventurists

New Zealand tested me more than I expected—and I think, more than we planned. It tested my ability to stay awake in the car for hours and hours at a time (failed it), my ability to make gourmet meals from the back of our Spaceship campervan (failed it), and my ability to exert ridiculous amounts of energy on outdoor activities (nailed it). Wait, nailed it? Cha, yeah. Nailed it. Because I might not have any legs to stand on when it comes to bragging about how active I am, I figured I’d let the hubs handle this one. Take it away, hubs: It took some convincing–and maybe some bribing–but the romantic & I were eventually…

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blackwater rafting: the glowworms of waitomo

In between Rotorua and Taupo, we decided to drive just slightly out of the way and hit up Waitomo. Why? Because of these guys: Photo Credit Yeah, glowworms are real. They exist and they light up caves all over New Zealand—most famously, in Waitomo. Though you can go and see the glowworms on your own, we decided to spend the day with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. As soon as we arrived, they gathered our motley crew together and handed us all wet suits. Once we were ready, this happened: Yeah, this was going to be one of those days. To be honest, we weren’t off to the best start. The wet suits were still…

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flashpackers in nz: hotel splurging on the north island

With less than one month left of our RTW, I can safely say that we’ve learned a lot about ourselves on this trip. I’ll probably share more once we’ve had more time to reflect, but one of the earliest and biggest realizations? We are not really budget travelers. We all knew this in advance. We set a budget for our RTW, but with an average of $200/day, it is significantly higher than actual money-saving pros in the travel world. As always, we knew our usual high-low mix would be coming into play. On the North Island of New Zealand, we had booked mostly hostels—always with private rooms, and en suite whenever possible. Still, a hostel is…

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vines & velos & views over napier

When in New Zealand, there is no question: you have to include a few wine regions in your itinerary. It’s, like, Kiwi Law. Which is why, when we were assessing our itinerary, Napier in Hawke’s Bay was an easy addition. From the moment we touched down in Auckland to our departure flight from Christchurch, everyone asked us two things. What was 1.) our biggest adventure thrill and 2.) our favorite glass of wine? Luckily, we had already confirmed that vineyard tours and wine tastings would be a big part of our RTW, so we did some recon regarding which areas of the North and South Islands were most worth visiting. The fact that Napier was…

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