Sleeping In A Smurf House! Exploring Solscape In Raglan, Waikato

I always loved the Smurfs. I was even such a Smurf-geek as a kid that I’d set my weekday alarm early enough to watch the 6:30am episodes on TV2 before getting ready for school. The pre-pubescent version of myself often thought how cool it would be to have my own human-sized Smurf house. Well, fast-forward 25…

New Zealand’s Slice Of Jurassic Park

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took up an invitation to return to a guesthouse that sits on the edge of a forest some people say is the healthiest in all of New Zealand. Maungatautari is the name of a mountain in Waikato that most North Islanders would’ve driven past without probably…

Waikato’s Stunning Blue Spring – 12 Photos From 1 Of NZ’s Hidden Gems

The Blue Spring, Waikato Said smugly, I’ve been raving on about The Blue Spring in the Waikato for months now. Not like these Johny-Come-Blue-Spring-Latelys at Stuff.co.nz who’ve today asked the question: “Is it NZ’s best kept secret?” Months! Four to be exact. But still, months! Truth be told, like most Kiwis I’d never heard of…

My Top 50 Favourite Photos Of 2015 – A Travel Writer’s Year In Review Including Fiji, Australia, Malaysia & New Zealand

Monkey Bay, Tioman Island, Malaysia. 2015 had me swashbuckling / cramping up embarrassingly through Malaysian jungles, spearfish snorkeling / ripping my swim-shorts in the butt-crack region in Fiji and hiking the lush and rocky landscapes of Victoria’s Grampians National Park. While getting chased by a kangaroo. For every premature self back-pat, something unexpected or awkward…

Hobbiton Top 40 Photos + The Thigh-busting Wairere Falls

Outside Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole, Hobbiton. I’d held off visiting the preserved movie set of Hobbiton for two main reasons. One, at $79 for an adult it’s not exactly cheap. And two, New Zealand’s full of pleasant – let’s be honest, sometimes pleasantly dull – rolling farm country. Why pay for it when you can…

Waikato – Wai Not? Maungatautari & Hamilton Zoo 2014

An inquisitive chap / meerkat, Hamilton Zoo. This time a week ago I was relaxing in the living room of my B&B in Cambridge, New Zealand after a big day’s driving and walking. Cambridge is an affluent, extremely photogenic little town in New Zealand’s Waikato region. While it was primarily a visit to the hilly forest…