I wrapped up my two month "Travel With a Local" trip in mid March, and I thought I'd start with a few of my Instagram "snapshots" from the trip.

I carry around more than my fair share of camera gear, but sometimes a quick shot with my mobile phone is just what the doctor ordered.

You can follow my travel snapshots on Instagram, and my more artistic work on EyeEm.


Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand.

Our northernmost point on our journey took us to the tip of Cape Reinga.  Typical New Zealand with lush vegetation and rocky coastline.

Back to Nugget Point. The Catlins are awesome.

Nugget Point, near the southern tip of New Zealand's south island.  It shared the same windy conditions as Cape Reinga greeted us with in the north a month earlier.


Greenpeace's "Rainbow Warrior" ship in the Wellington Harbour. Interesting facts: this ship was funded in part by a crowd funding initiative, and is one of the "greenest" ships around. It is newly built, and began sailing just a few months ago.

A Greenpeace ship in the Wellington harbour.  Particularly significant as in 1985, the French foreign intelligence service sunk a Greenpeace ship Auckland harbour.

"Pals" Sculpture at the Rotorua Museum.

A ~100 year old sculpture on display in the quiet Rotorua Museum.  A great place to spend an hour or three if you're sick of the smell in the city.


Yes please. Haven't been wowed by the ice cream in New Zealand, but heading back to Asia, the outlook for good stuff in the near future is looking fairly poor.

Though I felt the local ice cream was underwhelming, it might just be proof that I'm a full-fledged ice cream snob by now.

A New Zealand emergency

Emergency!  As seen through the window of a local fish & chips (fush & chups) shop in small town New Zealand, you can see where the town's priorities lie.


Big sky & cliffs of the Banks Peninsula 

The Banks Peninsula just an hour or so east of Christchurch is one of my favorite spots in all of New Zealand.

The last bit of the sun drops in to Akaroa harbour at sunset.

The suns rays pierce through the dark clouds late in the day onto the waters of the Akaroa harbour.


New Zealand's rocky Kaikoura Coast by rail.

Rail travel is excellent almost everywhere, but the Coastal Pacific route from Picton to Christchurch has views that are matched in few places around the world.

Touchdown. This morning I flew through glacial valleys to the glaciers themselves, waterfalls pouring down the sides of the steep rocky cliffs. All of this just after sunrise. Thanks goes to Ruth at U-Fly Wanaka.

Spending more time in Wanaka was one of the top things on my todo list when I came back to New Zealand.  I made sure I made the most of it, even flying a plane in the area.

Good morning from the Marlborough Sounds

Walking the Queen Charlotte Track, one of New Zealand's "Great Walks" was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  Particularly the third day, with many views like this.

Paradise, New Zealand (really, that's the name)

The aptly named "Paradise, New Zealand" located just an hour from Queenstown has played host to many movie shoots over the past few years.  You'd hardly know from the serene surroundings.


Sunset over Lake Manapouri.

Lake Manapouri situated in the Fiordlands is a quiet and beautiful spot to visit compared to the rather hotel-heavy Te Anau.  It's also the gateway to the unmissable Doubtful Sound.

The haze of Milford Sound

Milford Sound, with it's sheer cliffs leading you out to the Tasman Sea, is one of the most famous New Zealand experiences.



Known as much for sandy beaches beaches as it is for snow-capped mountains, the sheer variety of natural beauty is what keeps me coming back to New Zealand.

Inspiring lines

The "World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum" in Nelson is one of those places that could only be thought up in a place like quirky New Zealand.


Uplifted sidewalk on a bridge in Christchurch. A relatively small reminder of the destructive nature of earthquakes. Buildings in the background in the process of being demolished.

Two years on and the signs of destruction are still everywhere you look.  From lumpy roads, to buildings being torn down, this is a city with years left before its scars are healed.

"Bomb Proof Work Pants" An advertisement has an interesting choice of words for a place where it looks as though a bomb could have literally gone off. Christchurch, New Zealand.

Fences are the norm is what used to be the core of Christchurch.  Now much of the center, the "Red Zone," is still cordoned off with access limited by the military.


Regrowth. The art scene has stepped up in Christchurch and some interesting projects are working to revitalize the area devastated in the earthquakes 2 years ago.

Open areas are far better than fenced off construction areas in Christchurch's CBD.  Interesting art projects and installations have begun to reclaim the space once occupied by the downtown core.

Pacman monitoring the reconstruction efforts in Christchurch CBD

Pacman does his part in monitoring the health and safety at the numerous work sites in and around central Christchurch.


My trip to New Zealand wouldn't have been possible without the support of our "Travel With a Local" partners Tourism New Zealand, Hostelbookers, Nokia, XCOM Mobile, and the many local partnerships we had.

In Auckland, Hostelbookers arranged my stay with Frienz Backpackers.  Located right in the center of the city, it's particularly convenient for walking downtown, and a much better option than the "chain" hostels nearby.  The internet was a pricey $10/day, but we could use it on all of our devices.  If you have a car, or prefer a place a little more mellow, check out Verandahs where I stayed a few years back.