Auckland, New Zealand, North Island, Rotorua, South Island 14

Top 12 experiences from one year of travel in New Zealand

We arrived in New Zealand March 24th, 2015 and a year later today, we start travelling in Australia and two months later onwards to Bali and Bangladesh! We are a little nervous, mostly excited, super happy and grateful to have had such amazing travel experiences in New Zealand.  We are also a little bit sad to be leaving our home by the sea, our very own ‘paradise bubble.’

St Heliers Beach

First time we saw St Heliers Beach March 25th 2015! loved living opposite this past one year 🙂

Last swim at St Heliers Beach

Last swim at St Heliers Beach March 21st 2016


If you have been following our blog for a while, you will have seen our many posts of all the travels we did around North and South Island. We did three campervan trips, several road trips, one flight (just me, guilty of doing that) and several ferry crossings. We have lived like locals in Auckland and can recommend several great place for good food, where to get the best coffee and which local sightseeing are fun for families. We have become quite the expert on planning road trips lasting 4 days to 2 weeks. We have a lot of local information and knowledge on accommodations, attractions, restaurants and where to go. Drop us a line if you need help planning your New Zealand trip, we would love to help and have much knowledge on how to plan a the perfect vacation – for all kinds of travel style – budget, outdoor based, adventure, and luxury.

The four of us have sat down the last couple of days, reminiscing our year of travel in New Zealand and what were our highlights – which ones were those unique experiences that we have not encountered anywhere else in the world, many that were a first for all of us. We went from our top 5, to top 10 and finally settled at top 12 🙂 For further details on why these magical spots and adventures were the most memorable, you can click the link and have a read, perhaps you might want to do many of them yourself when you visit New Zealand!

  1. Swimming in the steamy waterfalls of Kerosene Creek, Rotorua
Steamy Waterfalls of Kerosene Creek

Steamy Waterfalls of Kerosene Creek

2. Skiing for the first time at Mt Ruapehu

skiing at Mt Ruapehu

skiing at Mt Ruapehu

3. Jumping off the rocks at Pelorus bridge, Havelock

4. Foraging for our food from the Sea – Tua picking along the Karikari Peninsula, Northlands

5. Scenic Flight over glaciers, mountains and lakes with Air Safari, Lake Tekapo



Aoraki/Mt Cook at 3754m

Aoraki/Mt Cook at 3754m

6. Hiking to Mt Doom – Our epic 20k hike  at Tongariro Alpine Crossing

7. Living by the sea, St Heliers Beach – have swam, kayaked, boogie boarded and chilled by the beach more times this year than all times before this one year!

8. Wild Camping and our favourite campsite, Kaikoura

9. Seeing dolphins, whales, seals and wide variety of birds


10. Doing slow travel – making friends, being able to visit same place in different seasons, visiting lesser known places, many perks to travelling as locals!

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Visiting Cathedral Cove Off Season

Visiting Cathedral Cove Off Season

Local Bush Walks around Auckland

Local Bush Walks around Auckland

11. Pristine beaches of Northland region

Matauri Beach

Matauri Beach


Karikari Peninsula

12. Milford Sounds, Fiordland National Park


Milford Sounds

Milford Sounds


All these were just a glimpse of all that we experienced in this one year of life and travels in New Zealand. By the time this post comes out, we will be in Melbourne from where we start our 2 month epic road trip around Australia. We hope you continue to follow us on our travel adventures around Australia and continuing onwards to Asia!

Goodbye New Zealand, thank you for the amazing one year of travel, adventure, laughter, family bonding and countless memories, it’s been magical 🙂

Most recent shot of us, farewell dinner in Auckland

Most recent shot of us, farewell dinner in Auckland

12 top highlights of New Zealand

12 top highlights of New Zealand

The Selim Family Raasta

Linked to #MondayEscapes


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  • Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields says: March 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    It looks like you had a great time. I love the idea of ‘travelling as a local’ especially being able to visit the same place in different seasons. Welcome to Australia – I hope you enjoy it as much as you did NZ.

  • Brenda Tolentino says: March 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

    WOW, New Zealand has never looked so incredibly enticing! I especially love that you foraged for food by the sea. Those photos of the glaciers were also so amazing! What a year of travel for your family, fantastic journey!

  • Jim says: March 27, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I loved seeing your journeys in New Zealand and can’t wait for more from the road in Australia. Have a great time!

  • Clare Thomson (Suitcases and Sandcastles) says: March 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    A year in New Zealand, oh you’re so lucky! What a great idea to look back and make a list of all your highlights. It will be so useful to people planning a big trip there. It all looks amazing. I’m a big fan of slow travel too, when you can do it. Visiting from #TheWeeklyPostcard

  • Bethaney - Flashpacker Family says: March 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    That scenic flight over Lake Tekapo looks amazing!

  • Ruth - Tanama Tales says: March 29, 2016 at 12:51 am

    This is awesome guys. All of you rock! Keep traveling, learning and having a good time. Love to follow your adventures.

    • says: March 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks Ruth 🙂 Enjoying all of it!

  • Sarah Hirsch says: March 30, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Wow! What an amazing year you have had! Your photos are absolutely breathtaking! Looking forward to follow your future travels!

  • Jody Robbins says: March 30, 2016 at 4:46 am

    I like the concept of slow travel. Glad you were able to embrace that with your family

  • My Alwar says: April 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Love to see your pictures, especially the attraction no.5. The view of the lake is really very awesome due to the reflection of light in water. I wish somehow I can be there in future…

  • Linda Bibb says: April 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    What a neat collection of experiences! You were truly blessed to have such an opportunity and I’ve been blessed by your stories.

    Not to detract from your epic Australian road trip, but I’m excited for you guys, going to Bali and all. We lived there a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. How long do you plan to be there?

  • Ting at My Travel Monkey says: April 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Just amazing. I am so jealous and I am keeping these for myself. Because we MIGHT go next year whoop. Everything from the camper vanning to the scenery just sings to me and such a fantastic family adventure. I am not jealous one bit… Thanks for sharing on #MondayEscapes

  • bevchen says: April 11, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Absolutely stunning photos! I’ve just come back from 2 weeks in New Zealand and I’m sooo jealous that you got to spend an entire year there! Your post shows me all the things we missed out on! We did make it to Kerosene Creek and Milford Sound though 🙂

    • says: April 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

      That’s great you made it to those two, loved them both!

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