Me At Edoras

It’s hard to be in New Zealand and not eventually stumble upon some of the filming locations from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. While most of the scenic areas from the films are on the South Island, there are plenty of opportunities on the North Island to take a visit to Middle Earth, most notable is of course Hobbiton near Matamata. During our two week campervan adventure on New Zealand’s south island, we had an impromptu idea to visit Edoras, which was the primary filming location for the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It’s situated on private property, but the owners don’t seem to have a problem with tour busses and individual tourists making the trek up […]

New Zealand: Beautiful, but hard to stay connected

Unless you are coming from Australia, you’ll likely arrive in New Zealand and be instantly surprised with how hard it is to find usable Internet, or how much money you have to pay to get online. Sure, some coffee shops give you 30 minutes of free time with the purchase of a coffee, but that’s hardly enough time to send a few emails or check in with friends and family on Facebook. If you want to do anything useful, such as upload photos or do a few online chats with people back home, you’re going to find it very difficult all over New Zealand unless you’re willing to shell out $3-$5 an hour whenever you do find it. Even if […]

Back In New Zealand

A little over 24 hours ago we boarded Air New Zealand flight 83 in Vancouver for a 14-hour trip back to Auckland, New Zealand. I spent four weeks in Auckland about two years ago and really enjoyed myself. My original plan at the time was to slowly make my way south to the South Island and spend some time in a CamperVan, but eventually decided against it because I couldn’t find anyone to share the adventure with me. Thankfully now I have a girlfriend, and she was excited to spend a few weeks in a CamperVan in New Zealand. So we booked a three week trip back to New Zealand, and are currently in Auckland getting ready for New Year’s […]

New Zealand Campervan Adventure

Jucy 'Cabana', Our Chariot For Two Weeks

A few years ago I visited New Zealand and fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams. The highlight of the trip for me was undoubtedly my trip to Matamata, New Zealand to visit the actual, real-life set of Hobbiton from the Lord of the Rings movies. Due to time constraints, I only spent one month there and only saw the North Island. I had wanted to head down to the South Island at the time and possibly rent a campervan, but it didn’t really seem like something that would be that fun by myself. So I decided at the time to head back to Canada and enjoy Christmas with my family. A New Trip Luciana and I were recently trying to […]

Three Week Visit To Australia

I recently returned returned about four month’s ago from a three week visit to Australia. I managed to make it as far as New Zealand in 2011, but didn’t have the time to get across to Australia. Despite appearances, most people think Australia and New Zealand are fairly close – but they are actually separated by a distance that would take between 3.5 and 4 hours to fly between them, which is obviously quite far (like going from Calgary to Toronto). I left Vancouver on a Wednesday with the goal of being in Sydney on the Friday (you lose a day crossing the date-line). It was a long flight (14 hours), but I managed to sleep during some of it […]

Australia Bound

While there is still a great deal of world left for me to explore, I have to admit that I’ve managed to see many of the places I was really hoping to over these last few years. In the last 18 months I’ve visited Argentina, Uruguay, New York City, Ireland, Scotland, Oahu (Hawaii), Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), South Africa, England, New Zealand, Brazil, Malta, Italy, France and Serbia. I also did a few trips around Canada, including Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Montreal. This year I really only had two goals in terms of where I wanted to visit. The first one is Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, located near the city of Cusco in Peru. The […]

Almost exactly a year ago I visited Matamata, New Zealand to take part in an official tour of Hobbiton, the actual set where the Hobbits lived in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Prior to the visit my friends and I all had to sign papers saying we wouldn’t publicize any photos prior to the release of the Hobbit (since the newly reconstructed Hobbiton set contained some elements not visible in The Lord of the Rings trilogy). Since the world premiere of The Hobbit is today in Wellington, I figure at this point in time there’s no problem finally publishing the photos from that day. We were actually quite fortunate: had you visited Hobbiton in the 10 years […]

Five Weeks in New Zealand

Now that I’ve had time to reflect on my time in New Zealand, I thought I would post an update with what I thought of the country in general. First, New Zealand is gorgeous. I didn’t get a chance to visit the South Island on this trip, but I made my way from tip to tip of the North Island. One thing that’s pretty amazing there is just how green the grass is. We have green grass in Canada, but it’s more of a florescent green in New Zealand – it’s pretty surreal. It’s like what grass looks like when you bump the saturation up on a typical grass shot in photoshop, except you don’t have to do that in […]

Four Week Visit To Auckland

In less than three days I’ll be vacating my little apartment here in Auckland and hitting the open road again. Most people told me beforehand that Auckland wouldn’t be that interesting, but I quite enjoyed my time here. Here is a summary about my four week visit to Auckland, New Zealand. First, I took two weekends worth of sailing lessons from a pretty famous New Zealander named Penny Whiting. While I still have a ways to go, I now have a Certificate of Sailing Competency, which should allow me to charter a boat on my travels if I want. Penny was a great teacher, and she’s well known for being a commentator during the America’s cup and other sailing events. […]

Auckland, Sailing and Tweetup

I’m only in Auckland until the end of the month, but I have a pretty busy schedule until then. This weekend I start sailing lessons with the Penny Whiting sailing school. It looks like there are about 8 people in our group, so it should be a fun experience. I’ve already received some introductory material, so I’ll spend the next few evenings going over it to get ready for the course on Saturday. One of the items we were told is that we’re not allowed to wear any non-white soles on the sailboat. That gave me a good excuse to go out and buy a new pair of Adidas casual shoes (a nice change from sandals). So I’m doing my […]