A kiwi traffic jam.  East coast, New Zealand


Climbing volcanoes, jumping off of stuff attached attached only by a cord, spotting dolphins, caving, abseiling, eating cheese... for the next two months.

Yep, that's the plan.

I'm happy to announce that my newest project has just hit the ground running.  And by that, I mean I have just arrived in New Zealand for "Travel With a Local."


Caving near Waitomo with glowworms.  New Zealand


"Travel With a Local" is a new project launched with fellow bloggers and travelers Dave from What's Dave Doing, and Lauren of Never Ending Footsteps.  The idea is that each of us will lead a 1-2 month journey across our respective countries serving as guide for the other two sometime in the next 12-18 months.  While England (to be lead by Lauren) and Canada (myself) are to come, we are starting off with a 2 month trip across beautiful New Zealand.

Now, this isn't my first New Zealand rodeo, and those who have been following me from the beginning (I'm looking at you Mom) would know that I first set foot in New Zealand over three years ago.  You might also know that it is one of my favorite countries in the world.  So yeah, I'm pretty excited.


Kawarau Bridge Bungy.  Queenstown, NZ


 Zip lining in Akaroa, NZ 

Abseil near Waitomo, NZ

Shadowing on the beached of the east coast.  Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand.


And I'm getting a little help from my friends...

New Zealand is far from inexpensive, but a few of my favorite companies have stepped in to help along the way.  


I've used Hostelbookers for years to book hostels and guesthouses all around the world thanks to their no-fee booking, great selection of accommodation, and reviews from fellow travelers so I know what is best.

So, I'm very happy to say that they will be providing the three of us with accommodation through much of our New Zealand trip, from big city hostels to laid back, beach-front guesthouses.

Thanks to their partnership, I'll be able to tell you where to find the best places to stay, access WiFi, and enjoy kiwi hospitality.


Kepler Track, Fiordlands, New Zealand



XCOM Global

During my first trip to New Zealand, internet access was a big problem.  Between my web-based projects and my work back in Canada, internet access plays a huge factor in how well I can do my work, and how much I can focus on travel.  In the past, I've even explained the slow, expensive internet access in New Zealand as "First world country, third world internet."  This was a big worry for me while planning this trip.  

Fortunately XCOM Global, who provides mobile hotspot rentals all around the world, has stepped up and provided us with their MiFi devices to use for "Travel With a Local: New Zealand."  And I'll need that since I'm carrying two smartphones, a tablet, and my laptop!  That means blog posts, social media updates, and plenty of photos without a worry about how to get them online.

So yes, there will be photos.  I'll also tell you how it works for us both here and on Too Many Adapters.


Exploring New Zealand's South Island

Nugget Point in the Catlins, New Zealand's rugged south coast.



I've been a big fan of Nokia for years, but their push for great cameras in their smartphones recently has had me particularly excited.  You may recall that they sent me the "world's best camera phone" called the Nokia 808 Pureview earlier this summer for my "Hike It in a Dress" campaign.  You can see some of the photos I shot with it on Nokia Conversations and on our Do It in a Dress site.

Now, I carry around plenty of camera gear as it is, but I don't have anything for the snapshots along the way that I would miss with my DSLRs stuck in my backpack.  I also want something to share quickly and that I don't need to baby.

So Nokia has once again stepped up by sending me their flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 smartphone to capture beautiful New Zealand.  The phone has an impressive Carl Zeiss lens, top of class low-light ability, and a solid build, so I'm excited to share how it performs for you.  You'll find some of my images on Instagram, Facebook, and here on Skinny Backpacker.


New Zealand's Southern Tip


Tourism New Zealand

Last but not least, I'll be working with Tourism New Zealand as a member of the media to help show off this beautiful country.  This also means you will be able to find my work (writing and photography) on a host of websites and publications in the next six months.  Looking forward to expanding my reach, and showing off my stuff.

And that's that.  Thanks to Hostelbookers, XCOM Global, Nokia & Tourism New Zealand for the support.  It's going to be an incredible two months in New Zealand.