The Missing Year: 2015

As we draw the year to a close, I’d like to give a tribute not to 2016, but to 2015. It’s in the events of 2015 that made this year possible and why my 2016 now makes sense. (Besides, I also wasn’t able to document this special year in my blog. I was also in…

Labour Day weekend exploration

Trivia: Did you know that Kiwis were among the first in the world to claim the right to work 8-hour days? (Historically, an 8-hour day was not a legal entitlement. Other workers still worked much longer hours). This is marked by Labour Day in New Zealand – and a 3-day weekend for most. Meaning more…

Snow is overrated—NOT!

I wasn’t that excited when we set off for the traditional Kiwi winter weekend getaway to Mt. Ruapehu with my Filipino community. Days before the weekend trip, I already checked the forecast and it wasn’t looking good. Below zero, with gale southerlies. Ugh!!! But it’s already been decided that we will still push through. Good…

Paekakariki’s “Stairway to Heaven” hiking track

The Paekakariki Escarpment track has been recently opened to the public last April 9, 2016. Though I wasn’t able to go to opening, I was thrilled that I’d finally get to try this hiking track in Wellington this weekend–thanks to the invite of Kuya Mike and my sister, and thanks to the wonderful weekend weather…

Another Lord of the Rings film location: Putangirua Pinnacles

The top 3 Lord of the Rings film locations I wouldn’t want to miss in New Zealand would be: 1) The Hobbiton – check!, 2) Putangirua Pinnacles (The Paths of the Dead) – check!, and 3) Tongariro (Mordor) – still in my bucketlist. Putangirua Pinnacles The second on my list was accomplished just recently. It’s an…

Embrace autumn in Hawke’s Bay region

I was getting bummed out since summer’s officially over and I won’t be able to stop autumn from happening. Good thing there was this ANZAC long weekend so I could get to enjoy the changing colours of this season. I’ve read that Hawke’s Bay is stunning at this time of the year. And it’s true! From its golden scenery, wineries and…

Hobbiton movie set the second time around

“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down or to eat : It was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”     -J.R.R. Tolkien…

New Zealand may have the clearest waters I’ve ever seen

Part of the Easter break agenda is to find a hidden gem in NZ that’s tucked away in North Island. Like with all good things in life–you have to work for it. To reach one of NZ’s best kept secrets, it took hours to drive here, an hour and a half to hike, and a…

Festivals in New Zealand this March 2016

Apparently, March is festival month in New Zealand, having more than 50 festivals around the country. Here are just some of the festivals that you can go to this month and we have been to in the past several weekends: Wairarapa Balloon Festival – Trust House Night Glow Saturday, 27th February 2016 Solway Showgrounds, Masterton Hot air balloons…

Day-adventure in Patuna Chasm, Martinborough

Last weekend, we drove through the winding Rimutakas to get to our hiking destination: Patuna Chasm. It’s a one hour and half road trip from Lower Hutt to the jump off point in Patuna Farm in Martinborough, which provides the access to the ‘Patuna Chasm Walkway.’ We arrived at the farm before 12 midday where we paid an…

Rotorua and Tauranga: The coolest hotspots

Part 2 of 3 series. I never thought I would also enjoy Rotorua in our Christmas-New Year roadtrip as much as I did the first time I was here in 2012. It’s an adventure playground with heaps of activities to enjoy along with nature’s attractions. Rotorua Eco-tours. Rotorua is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone,…