New Zealand: Why We’ll Always Return

As travelers, we’ve begun to rate our backpacking experience in each country by answering the question, “Do we want to come back?”
To answer this question, we seem to use an algorithm involving access of sites, balance of nature and culture, attitude of locals and cost
of travel.

This was our second trip to New Zealand, which speaks loudly for a country that is just the size of Colorado. Even after a month of packing in all of the adventures we could, we ultimately stated, “We will STILL return.” If you plan to visit NZ, you may find some useful tips among our experiences. Here’s what we did differently the second time around, what we loved, and why we’ll always return to New Zealand.

Continue reading “New Zealand: Why We’ll Always Return”

New Zealand Arrival

Kia Ora!

I have arrived in New Zealand but have been delayed a few days because of hassles with lost baggage. I have a sneaking suspicion that the luggage is still in L.A.’s airport, but no one and no computer seems to know the exact location. Hey, at least not many clothes are needed in this beautiful paradise.

So far, we have visited with friends (Katha and Daniel) who recently moved to Hamilton, NZ. They were gracious enough to let us crash at their place and show us a bit of “kiwi style.” Katha gave us the tour of the sulphuric craters of Roturua and a river that ran through the city that was hotter than bath water. Bubbling mud and a “rotten egg” stench are all common in this city, but the natural orange and green colors of the water and gases look as though someone washed out a paintbrush in the lake. Here are some photos below:





Next we will visit the “Hot Water Beach” and the Coromandel Peninsula in the north. From there, we will be camping, provided the tent comes, or staying in “backpackers,” known to most Americans as youth hostels. We are very much looking forward to the wine tours on the southern island that we have heard much about and Fox Glacier on the western side of the southern island.


The people have been so kind that it is almost funny. For example, Katha and Daniel’s neighbor met us, and within the next hour, before even knowing IF we were going to be visiting Perth, Australia, she emailed her police offer friend there saying she would much appreciate it if he would host us! Then she confirmed with us that we would be going there!

We tried some new New Zealand recipes last night at Katha and Daniel’s house and they will be posted on here under the recipe tab as well.

Thanks for all of the notes and comments so far. Stay tuned. Til next time, mate!