Big Improvements to this Site Coming Soon (Thanks for Your Feedback!)

Back in June, I released my annual reader survey—with a twist. To elicit more responses, I offered a free round-trip economy ticket. Boy, did I underestimate the number of people who would respond as a result! I figured that since the survey was long and required open-ended answers, not many people would complete it, but […]

Hiking the Tongariro Crossing

The Tongariro Crossing is considered the best one day hike in New Zealand. It is a 19.4km hike that takes you through the area where they filmed Mordor in Lord of the Rings. It’s a mostly easy walk, though there are a few places where the ascent and descent is pretty steep. Moreover, if you […]

Budgeting in New Zealand

When I went to New Zealand, my goal was to live within a budget. After paying $15 for lunch I knew New Zealand was going to be more expensive than I had originally thought. While I work and travel and could afford $15 for lunch, I wanted to live within a budget that would be […]

New Zealand’s Backpacker Buses

One of the biggest ways travelers get across New Zealand is by backpacker bus. These buses offer a hop on/hop off service allowing travelers the flexibility to go at their own pace with the convenience of having travel and activities organized for them. New Zealand has three major hop on/hop off buses: Kiwi Experience, Magic […]

My Favorite Hostels in New Zealand

Traveling around New Zealand, I’ve made it a goal to stay at a variety of different hostels. I didn’t want to just stay at the chains like Base or Nomads. I wanted to see small operations besides just big chains. I quickly found out, though, that most of New Zealand is dominated by chains such […]

Great Reasons to Visit New Zealand

New Zealand’s faraway location ensures that its natural beauty is protected from the hordes of tourists who would overwhelm this place if it was easy to get to. True, New Zealand’s greatness has been exposed to the world by movies like The Lord of the Rings, but surprisingly few people make their way down here. […]