Tag Archives: New Zealand

First List Of Lists: New Zealand

I first made this for each city of NZ, but we went to so many it seems too late/boring to post them all, so here is the overall.
Should You Go To New Zealand?
  • Do you like nature/scenery/etc?
  • Are you a tramper (hiker) type?
  • Do you like driving in beautiful places?
  • Do you like wine?
  • Do you like sheep?
  • Do you like BBQ sauce  & Mayo on everything?
  • Do you like meat pies?
  • Do you like being cold?
  • Do you like to say the word bro?
  • Do you like glow worms?
  • Do you like down-to-earth people?
  • Do you like taking things slogfw?

(If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should definitely go)

Some Things I Learned About New Zealand Random Observations:

    • The South Island is insanely beautiful, someone told us it’s as if they took all the most beautiful natural landmarks of the US and squeezed them into one small island. I found this to be very true, although the beauty is so untouched it doesn’t feel the same as the US.
    • NZ is full of sheep, 40 MM sheep to 4 MM people (at least that’s what some dude told us), which means in the summer it’s full of baby lambs- who are joyous and when they get older delicious.
    • It’s cold! Many of you have heard me complain, but seriously it’s cold, most homes don’t have installation and made me miss our old BK radiation heat. (Note, now being somewhere warm, I’ve forgotten how bad the cold felt but I remember it was hard to bone chilling).
    • Auckland is way cooler then people give credit to, the bloggers say skip it, but I liked it. It’s like a mix of San Fran/Seattle mixed together.
  • Everyone says we should have gone to Wellington, it’s the hipster capital of the north island, but we missed it.
  • My favorite places were based on the people we met not the actual places. We even met this cool chick from Idaho, Katie who we met up with a couple of times, and was super awesome. Her plain, similar to ours, was just take a pause from work and explore the world, although she gets extra kudos for going at it alone.
  • Gluten Free is big there, bigger than menus in LA.
  • A glowworm tour given to us by a 5 year old, named Tui (the name of a famous bird in NZ ). This was during our one night stay in Moana, where Rosa, her cool ass mom, welcomed us with homemade sushi, wine and great conversations. And after having a wonderful meal she offered  Tui to take us down to the river in pitch black, headlamps and all, to show us were the worms were (pretty sure we saw them).


  • Taking a breathtaking tramp (hike) every morning from our place in Queenstown, the Moonlight trek was right behind our apartment, and it was absolutely beautiful. Although the wind would get so strong, I was advised to turn around otherwise be faced with potentially blowing off the mountain, and the local Kiwi told me not to go, I went anyways got scared and turned around. 🙂


    • Cooking dinner with a family from Fairlie, with their two cats and dog. It was just a home full of life and conversation. Oh  it had an espresso machine, which after living on instant coffee for weeks and I jumped on the opportunity having a couple too many a day.
  • Petting A Baby Lamb: Nothing can express the weird joy I got from this. If the owner wasn’t looking I would have tackled and cuddled the baby lambs.
  • Taking in the magical Fjords and hiking to the glaciers, these are those beautiful things in nature that no matter how skeptical you are about doing the tourist thing, it’s worth it. They are magical, beautiful and so awe inspiring.


    • Sharing Carrot Cake Wine & Beer With Hippies: I loved Nelson, it’s the in the middle of wine/craft beer country and we stayed with a bunch of free spirited people. One night over wine/beer we shared versions of carrot cake. Rob’s crack sugar version (from the grocery store) and our hosts hippie version, GF,DF, VG, + Fiber (something I can eat!) Everyone decided the best version was mixing the crack sugar cake with the health cake to get the ultimate guilt free indulgence, I stuck to hippie cake and it was delish.
    • A Wine Tour, with the guy who looked like he was from The Killing: Seriously, super cool dude, but he looked so much like Stephen from the Killing, I was waiting for some sketchy stuff to happen. Instead we just had awesome wines. The best wine by far was at the smallest winery in New Zealand run by two ex-consultant types who gave up their high paying/all work gigs in London to start a family winery.
  •  Indian food: I’m convinced this is the best food in New Zealand based on our experiences, every time we had Indian it was good, everything else was ok. We ended up cooking a lot, which is also good.
  • Almost Running Out Of Gas: In NZ you can go 2 hours without seeing a gas station, it was a bet Rob and I had with less then a quarter tank as we went up and down mountains on the coast. We almost ran out of gas, a very scary situation, but everything turn out fine, as at the very last moment we made it to a station. I got a free pass to veto anything Robert did, and while the  past lasted only 1 day, it was worth it.

Warning About Christchurch


It’s crazy late. We hustle and barely make it onto the bus to head over to our spot. A group of of 5 kids in their mid teens look at us up and down. Massive backpacks on our rears,we’re clearly not-from-round-here.

Kid: Hey mate. Can I ask you something?
Me: Sure
Kid: Are you from the States?
Me: Yeah.
Kid: Why did you come to Christchurch? I don’t get why you are here?
Me: We’re on vacation.
Kid: Don’t stay here. There is absolutely nothing to do. You should go to Queenstown!

The kid was kind of right. Thirty six hours later, we’re out.

We out.

Disclaimer: To be fair, the city is still recovering from a major earthquake which, pardon my french, royally fucked their shit up. On the upside though,  it seems great things are on the horizon as urban developers have ambitious plan on rebuilding projects.

Touchdown In Auckland


Fours weeks into this thing and I figure it’s due time I jot something down about what’s happened thus far. I’ll be pre-dating the posts for all the New Zealand entries, cuz I like order and I control this blog so I can pretty much do what I want (internet 101).

We’re currently in Brisbane airport (10/30/15) for a two hour layover before we head over to Cairns, Australia. I’ll start from the beginning and see how far I get before we need to hop on this plane…


We received a lot of flack for setting aside as much time as we did to explore the city. Heading into New Zealand, the South Island gets all the love (bloggers, forums and past visitors). Well we didn’t listen to any of that junk and it was 5 days well spent- keep in mind those first 24 hours are a wash after 20+ odd hours of travel time.

We stayed in Ponsonby with a young Airbnb couple (German guy and French chick). Area was the perfect spring board to venture out and explore a different area each day. City is spread out (think LA) with little to no nightlife. Nope, none, at least, that we saw. Don’t get me wrong. We didn’t leave NYC, travel half way across the world to New Zealand to hit up the clubs and party till the wee hours of the morning. But, the energy that comes from being in close proximity to such a setting would have been nice. Auckland social scene is heavily skewed after-work vibe that tapers down around 8~9 pm.

All About Nature

Mt Eden walk up

People here genuinely share a love of nature and everything outdoors. Interesting side note… City was built around a volcano now called Mt Even. Hope it’s inactive since we went up there for a stroll.

Little did we know then, though, that “scenic drive” would become the most clichéd soundbites of our stay in land of the Kiwi. Spoiler alert: we opt out of longer drives for more direct routes after day 21. Oh and did I mention that October in New Zealand is pretty darn cold?

Speaking of the weather. It is the most schizophrenic element of this place. One can literally experience all four seasons in a day. Wake up to 33 degrees, warm up to 77, get poured on, have the sun come out to finally see a sunset blanketed in cool temperature with 40 mph winds. Yeah oceanic climate apparently is the label.