Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest and most popular park. Encompassing a cluster of active volcanoes on the North Island, this area is sacred to the Maori people in New Zealand. But, per usual, European conquistadors and early settlers gave little regard to native people’s customs and beliefs. In 1887, in an attempt to protect their…

Mount Taranaki Summit

New Zealand’s North Island is divided by a chain of volcanoes running north to south, with the exception of one: Mount Taranaki. According to Maori legend, Taranaki used to reside in the center of the country with the rest of the volcanoes, but after a feud with his brother, the great Mount Ruapehu, over the…

The Pinnacles & Coromandel Peninsula

So far, the most difficult part of traveling has been making decisions. How can 10 weeks feel like forever and nothing at the same time? At the last minute we decided to rent a car from Auckland and drive it to Wellington, before flying to the South Island. We had two weeks free to explore–minus…

Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera 

Every time we told a Kiwi we were headed to Rotorua, the response was unanimously, “yea, that’s a bit smelly, isn’t it.” So I rolled my car window down as we approached this little town built around the sulfur pools, just to confirm. It was smelly alright. After spending a day exploring the Geothermal Wonderland…

Rangitoto Island Loop

Having flown into Auckland, we scheduled a few days to adjust to the local time zone and explore the country’s capital city. But cities are boring so we spent our day in NZ doing a warm-up trek on the Rangitoto Island Scenic Reserve.From Auckland’s main ferry terminal we took the 30-minute boat ride to a…