Comment on The ultimate guide to your next New Zealand South Island road trip! by Kanika Bakshi

Nice post. As I love to adventurous travel I found New Zealand very interesting to explore as I was not knowing it has so much to see over there and now I would love to add it in my bucket list. Keep sharing such useful posts.

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Getting Ready For Baby Girl’s Arrival

This post is sponsored by All thoughts and opinions are my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that keep CWS up and brewing!

New Baby On Board Babbleboxx

It’s no secret that my pregnancy has been one of the greatest highlights of my life so far. I can’t contain the excitement that Mike and I both have as we get to meet our baby girl very soon… just a month to go! During my pregnancy, I have spent countless hours researching everything under the sun for my baby girl. I want to make sure that we’re providing her with only the best of the best. Today, I’m teaming up with my friends at Babbleboxx and some great sponsors to share some baby products that are ready to go in her nursery once baby girl arrives. 🙂

Snuggle Knit Collection from aden + anaisTM

I have been in full-on nesting mode over the past week and truly, I’ve been loving every bit of it. All of the baby girl’s clothes are washed and organized – it feels incredible! This NEW aden + anais™ snuggle knit collection is absolutely dreamy and I can’t wait to get my girl all snuggled up in it. It’s a must-have for all new moms and machine washes really well. This collection includes one knotted gown with an easy-access tie bottom, a one-size-fits-all knotted baby hat, a swaddle blanket, and a bandana bib. All of these essentials are made from a supremely soft fabric that helps to keep baby cozy and snuggled up how they should be. You can find this gift set on Amazon – available in three prints – heather grey, rosettes (shown), and navy stripe.

One thing that I’m already loving about this gift set is the versatility it offers. From bedtime to play to travel, all of the pieces included are perfect for a new baby. The snuggle knit lovely is the perfect comforting piece for any sweet baby to cling to.

Snuggle Knit Collection from aden + anaisSnuggle Knit Lovely from aden + anaisPipette Baby Balm

Not only have I organized all of my baby’s clothing but I’ve also organized all of the essential products we’ll be using often. The Baby Balm and Baby Lotion from Pipette are both stored neatly in one of the top drawers of the changing table. Babies have very delicate skin so it’s important to use nourishing products that help to keep their skin hydrated well.

The Baby Balm from Pipette provides deep, gentle moisture for baby’s sensitive spots like chapped lips, diaper line, elbows, or wherever needed. The Baby Lotion from Pipette provides immediate and long-lasting hydration that can be gently massaged all over baby’s skin. It also helps to increase and retain moisture levels in their skin.

There’s an article all about Pipette in the November 2019 copy of Good Housekeeping (page 49) that shares about how their products are formulated without parabens and fragrance. I love that their ingredients are plant-based.

Pipette Baby LotionLil’ Squish Jellyfish Sensory Rattle + Teething Toy from Baby Banana

Even though my baby girl is still to arrive and teething won’t begin until later this year, we’re already stocking up on teethers! This Lil’ Squish Jellyfish Sensory Rattle + Teething Toy from Baby Banana is seriously too cute and fun! It has a subtle rattle to it and the many textures will one day keep our little girl very busy with much to explore. The tentacle loops are designed to make it easy to hold and also promotes hand-eye coordination. It’s made of 100% silicone that is soft and durable – win, win. You can grab it here on Amazon.

The Butt Paste Maximum Strength Tube from Boudreaux’s was one of the very first products I registered for because I have heard so many other mamas rave about it. It’s tough on diaper rash but gentle on baby’s bottom! It’s free from dyes, preservatives, parabens, and talc and is pediatrician-recommended. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste provides the thickest barrier of protection with 40% zin oxide and visibly improves diaper rash in as little as 3 hours.

You bet Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is tucked away in her changing table drawer!

Butt Paste Maximum Strength Tube from Boudreaux’sGetting Ready For Baby Girl's Arrival

One thing I’m really looking forward to is playing with fun toys with my little baby girl. The Tinkle Crinkle Activity Ball and Tinkle Crinkle Caterpillar from GUND are both toys that I feel any baby would love. They’re both extremely soft and Baby GUND plush is machine washable for easy cleaning! 😉

The Tinkle Crinkle Caterpillar is full of fun surprises for baby – crinkle, rattle, squeaker, and bright, primary colors and fabric with textures to promote tactile and sensory-stimulating play. The Tinkle Crinkle Activity Ball is also a great baby toy as it features multiple characters, like a bunny and a caterpillar, as well as 3-D cut-outs of different textures.

The toys from GUND make great baby gifts for any new baby. GUND has many award-winning bears and toys and I can totally see why! Michael’s favorite snuggle toy when he was a baby was his very own GUND “bear-bear”. 🙂

Getting Ready For Baby Girl's Arrival

It’s all feeling SO real! My baby girl is going to be in my arms in a month’s time. I can’t wait to meet her but for now, I’m going to continue to enjoy getting ready for her arrival. This time is so sacred to me.

Let’s connect! >> Facebook | Instagram Twitter Pinterest


The post Getting Ready For Baby Girl’s Arrival appeared first on Coffee With Summer.

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Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand

Summer is in full swing here in New Zealand, which means two things: 1) unpredictable weather and 2) unpredictable tourists.

It’s no secret that New Zealand has become a hot spot destination for nature lovers around the world. While Kiwis are generally happy to share their little slice of heaven with the rest of the world. They only ask one small thing: don’t take the piss.

Need a translation? No worries, I gotcha.

Take the piss is a British/NZ/Australian term that does NOT mean go pee on something.

When someone in New Zealand is taking the piss, it means that the person has taken certain liberties at the expense of others — still confused? Let me put it in layman’s terms: If you visit New Zealand, please stop treating it like your own personal garbage can.

freedom camping

For a while, New Zealand was known as a dream destination for “freedom camping.”

In short, freedom camping is a poorly-named activity that allows travelers setting up camp anywhere, even places with no facilities or designated campsites. A classic kiwi pastime, it was all well and good when it was mostly just kiwis out freedom camping around their own country.

But what do you think happened when New Zealand exploded into tourism stardom, and millions of people flocked to this little island for a holiday?

If you guessed heaps of people saw it as a chance to travel for free, then you are correct. If you guessed that freedom camping pisses off a lot of locals and is a massive part of the overtourism conversation today? You are also right.

freedom camping

To be clear, New Zealand does still allow freedom camping but under strict guidelines (which many ignore). However, it’s often misunderstood, and it DEFINITELY does not mean you can pull up your wildly offensive Wicked Campervan and park at the most Instagram-able site you can find.

Don’t worry fam, if you’ve dreamed of renting out an outrageously expensive old VW Combi and camping by a wild, vacant turquoise lake filled with blossoming flowers; you’re not out of luck. I’m going to tell you exactly how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Here’s precisely how you can freedom camp responsibly in New Zealand, be respectful and not take the piss. Read on, dear ones.

freedom camping

1. Go self-contained, do it

There was once a time when freedom camping wasn’t as popular, and local councils didn’t view it as a threat to New Zealand’s pristine environment.

That all changed in 2011 when the Rugby World Cup resulted in entire fleets of campervans being rented out. The public 420 designated free campsites were trashed. People pooped everywhere. It was a mess.

In 2018, regulations got tighter. Now, the national standard says that all camper vans must be self-contained. Self-contained is the word to remember around freedom camping.

This means you need to be able to live in your vehicle for three days without requiring more water or dumping your wast.

freedom camping
No self-contained sticker

Let me put it differently.

This means you need to be able to shit in your van for three days without getting rid of your poo. So don’t come at me with your Toyota Estima telling me it’s self-contained unless you’ve got three days of poo stored up there to prove it, ok?

The regulations also require the vehicle to have freshwater storage, wastewater storage, a lidded bin for your rubbish, and a toilet that can be used inside the car, even when the bed is in place.

Let’s make it clear for the people in the back. If your van does not have a toilet, it isn’t self-contained.

Poo in a loo – and be prepared for when there isn’t one

freedom campingThis is what a self-contained van looks like. Does it look like something your grandparents would travel in? Yes, but that’s just how it works. It’s big enough to live in for days.

2. That little blue sticker doesn’t mean shit

If you’ve been in New Zealand, you’ve probably seen the much-coveted blue sticker that is supposed to prove your van is the self-contained meaning you can camp anywhere you damn well, please. Not true.

It’s usually stuck on the back windshield or bumper of a campervan – or shitty converted hatchback or mini-van used by long-term backpackers to bum around in.

If you’re shopping around for a camper van to use during your year-long working holiday, don’t let some slimy salesperson trick you into believing that blue sticker has any meaning whatsoever.

The magical blue sticker means nothing any more!

If you’re confused, refer to the requirements in point #1.

If you can’t poop in the van for three days straight according to the specifications, it’s not self-contained.

Even the van it has 10 of those blue stickers on the back, it’s not self-contained. I could get some of those stickers on the black market and pop them on my Subaru Outback. That doesn’t make it self-contained.

Don’t pay an extra $1,000 for that van you found on Trade Me just for the sticker! The sticker doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s the actual set up inside the camper. This is what they check for.

freedom camping
Do you think they’ve got a toilet and three days of poo in here? NO.

3. Where can you park your self-contained camper van?

Now that you know what your self contained camper van is and is not, you can start looking for designated freedom camping spots.

Just because you have a self-contained vehicle does not mean you can pull up on any quiet road you feel like and conk out for the night.

Chances are people probably live down that road and don’t want to see your ugly ass van when they wake up in the morning. Please respect the people and the land here. New Zealand is the home of many, and it’s not Disney Land. Would you park your car outside someone’s house and live out of it wherever you’re from? Then why would you do it here?

freedom camping

This also means you can’t drive up to the shores of Lake Wanaka for a peaceful night of sleep.

Try it, and you’ll be met with a $400 fine when you wake up in the morning. Trust me, it’s easier to pay for a campsite at that point.

But, if you’re dead set on finding free camp spots, you’re not out of luck.

There are plenty of spots for responsible freedom camping, but the rules and regulations change depending on the region your in, and the specific DOC land around said region. The best bet is to go to the local iSite Visitor Information Center, DOC visitor Center or check with the local council.

Rankers are also an excellent resource for those looking to find a proper freedom camping location.

freedom campingWhile it makes a beautiful photo, it’s unrealistic to think you can pull up to any old beach and park up for the night. Most likely, your free campsite will be an old gravel parking lot in the middle of nowhere.

4. How to be an excellent little freedom camper

Okay, you’ve got the right vehicle, you’ve found the right spot to park up for the night, now what?

Just like any camper, there are a few things you can do to be a responsible visitor. Remember, each location will have it’s own specific rules and regulations. These hot tips will be universal no matter where you are.

  • Generally, No Fires: Fires can be a serious threat to New Zealand’s ecosystem, especially in dry regions such as Central Otago. There are year-round fire restrictions on public conservation lands, and no open fires are permitted during the fire season. You should only light a fire at designated DOC campsites with fire pit amenities. If you’re hoping to roast some s’mores by the fire, you’re probably out of luck. Be prepared to cook all of your food on your gas stovetop.

freedom camping

  • Pack it in Pack it out: It seems ridiculous to have to say this in 2020, but here we go. You must take whatever littler you accumulate while camping out of the campsite with you and dispose of it in the rubbish bins or recycling bins. Chocolate bar wrappers, toilet paper, tea bags, we’ve seen it all. Don’t try to tell me it accidentally fell out of your pocket; we don’t care. When you’re getting ready to leave a site, do a thorough once over to make sure your site is clean.
  • Don’t bathe in the lake: As tempting as it may be to score a free shower in crystal clear lakes, resist all temptation and pay for an actual shower elsewhere. You can find cold and sometimes hot showers at campsites as well as paid showers at gas stations or hostels. Similarly, don’t wash your manky-ass clothes in the lakes or rivers either. Soaps and detergents are harmful to water life, so if you’re going to wash your clothes in a buck, dump the water in the soil to let the dirt filter it before entering the water systems.

freedom camping

  • Dispose of your wastewater at designated areas: Now that you know how to be a responsible freedom camper with a vehicle that can hold wastewater (greywater) for three days, what the hell do you do with it when it’s full? You don’t dump your shit anywhere other than designated waste disposal dump stations. Most official campsites will have dump stations
  • Boil your water for at least 3 minutes: In general, water in New Zealand is much cleaner than a lot of other countries, and often drinking from rivers and streams will be harmless, but it’s best not to gamble if you’re worried about the water quality. Give the water a quick three-minute boil to get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be lurking.

freedom camping

  • Lock your shit up: While it’s rare to find violent crime in New Zealand, theft is relatively common when it comes to visitors and camper vans. Be sure to lock up your camper van when you’re out or when you’re sleeping for the night. There have been a few sporadic cases of violent crime against camper vans; While you generally don’t have to worry about that, it’s always good to think twice before camping in a super remote and isolated area.
  • Lastly, pay for a freaking campsite once in a while: Look, I get it, traveling is expensive, and even $20 campsites can add up over a few weeks. But tough shit. That’s life. That’s traveling. Not everything can come for free. By all means, do your best to seek out one of the 500 open designated freedom camping areas. If you can’t find one close by, bite the bullet and find a local campsite.

freedom camping

5. Just stay in campsites or holiday parks

You can find holiday parks in nearly every town, and DOC campsites dotted all down the country.

New Zealand has an incredible network of cheap campsites and holiday parks galore where you can park up with heaps of facilities. When I am traveling around in a campervan, I often split my nights between holiday park campsites, freedom camping, and DOC campsites. After all, hot showers are fantastic.

If you end up at an unattended DOC campsite, don’t take the piss and try to pay for free. Don’t arrive late at night and leave before dawn all to avoid the $10 fee.

The money you pay for DOC campsites is much needed to maintain our beautiful ecosystems. It provides facilities to visitors so everyone can enjoy this country. Seek out freedom camping if you must, but don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion DOC campsite once in a while.

freedom camping

Now, go forth and be free, you wild ‘lil freedom campers.

Get that shot that will win you at least 20 likes on the gram. Twirl in the field of lupins, New Zealand’s most beautiful weed.

Do what you need to do but do it responsibly. Thanks for visiting this beautiful part of the world. And an even bigger thanks for leaving it better than you found it.

Have any tips for freedom camping responsibly? Have you ever traveled this way before? Spill!

freedom camping

The post Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.

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20 must-visit spots on New Zealand’s North Island

Often when we see images of New Zealand in the news or advertised as the most magical place to visit, for the most part, we see the stunning scenery of the South Island. New Zealand North Island must do – read on.

This, of course, makes sense, as the South Island landscapes are incredibly dramatic and picturesque. But as someone who has been calling New Zealand home for seven years now, I feel duty-bound to stick my hand up in support for the North Island, which also is exceptional and has heaps on offer.

I love the North Island, and there are so many compelling spots there worth exploring.

20 must-visit spots on New Zealand’s South Island

new zealand north island must do

new zealand north island must do

In some ways, the North Island is much more diverse than the South Island and home to hidden little corners waiting to be explored by the intrepid traveler.

From beautiful coastlines to old forests to volcanic landscapes to warm lakes and rivers, the North Island is lush and green and outstanding. With a much larger population, including Māori, often, there are more opportunities for cultural experiences here too.

After seven years in New Zealand, here are some of my favorite experiences and must do’s around New Zealand’s North Island – enjoy!

new zealand north island must do

new zealand north island must do

1. Explore the central North Island volcanic region

With love for the mountains, I can’t help but be drawn to their beauty when I’m traveling. Lucky for me, New Zealand has no shortage of incredible mountains to explore, even on the North Island.

What makes the mountains around the central North Island special is that they are volcanoes. The North Island Volcanic Plateau is impressive. Seemingly emerging out of nothing, suddenly, you’re in another world, marked by three iconic mountains: Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe.

Home to two national parks and ski fields, there is so much to explore in this area, from walks, hot pools, waterfalls, big hikes, and adventures galore, I never get tired of this part of New Zealand.

My favorite walk to a Ruapehu waterfall here is to Tawhai Falls.

new zealand north island must do

2. Fall in love with native birds at Zealandia in Wellington

I can quickly pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with birds in New Zealand – when I first visited Zealandia in Wellington in 2013.

Zealandia is an urban eco-sanctuary in Wellington and conservation project. Massive, Zealandia feels like a giant national park in the heart of the capital city of New Zealand. Enclosed in a predator-free fence that keeps out invasive predators like cats, stoats, and possums, native birds like kaka and kiwi have been allowed to thrive here.

I joined in on one of their nighttime Twilight Tours and saw my very first kiwi.

new zealand north island must do

3. Channel your inner hippy in Raglan

Raglan is a coastal hub on the west coast of the North Island, and a bit of a mecca for surfers. Boasting the longest left-hand break in the world, Raglan has long been a relaxed and chill seaside surf spot.

Funky, relaxed and artsy, with good weather, Raglan is a great spot to escape to and chill out for a while, even if you don’t surf.

Don’t miss out on grabbing a cup of coffee from Raglan Roast while you’re there.

new zealand north island must do

4. Be amazed by Tāne Mahuta on the Kauri Coast

I reckon the Kauri Coast in Northland is one of the North Island’s best-kept secrets. Here I am blowing the lid on it, oh well.

Home to Tāne Mahuta, the largest known living Kauri Tree in New Zealand, the Waipoua Forest is magnificent. Go for a short walk and visit this ancient tree and marvel at this crazy canopy.

One of my favorite places to stay is to go glamping at the Highfield River Retreat.

new zealand north island must do

5. Get well off the beaten track at Tolaga Bay

Hidden away on the wild East Cape, Tolaga Bay is part of the area Captain Cook visited in 1769 on his circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Home to the second-longest wharf in New Zealand, Tolaga Bay is a classic kiwi holiday spot to chill out and relax, especially in the summertime.

Be sure to go for a hike along Cooks Cove Walkway.

new zealand north island must do

6. Hang out in a cafe in Wellington 

Before moving down to the South Island, I called Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, home for half a year. And I loved every minute of it. Except for the wind. I didn’t like that.

And one of my favorite Wellington past times was to go out for a fantastic cup of a coffee in a trendy cafe, and read or write. Wellington has so many amazing spots for coffee, and it’s part of their urban culture worth indulging in.

Egmont Street Eatery is my go-to brunch spot before exploring all around Cuba Street.

Where to wine, dine and caffeinate in Wellington, New Zealand

new zealand north island must do

7. Join in for a feast at Hobbiton

If I had to guess, I would say that Hobbiton is probably the most-visited tourist site on the North Island, if not all of New Zealand, and with good reason – it’s fantastic!

But here’s my pro-tip from a massive Lord of the Rings fan – try and go to their evening banquets, or even better, their International Hobbit Day party. It’s so refreshing to stick around Hobbiton after the sun goes down and take it all in at a big party.

So much fun!

new zealand north island must do

8. Explore around the Bay of Islands

Several hours drive north of Auckland in what seems like the middle of nowhere, and you’ll come across a truly incredible part of New Zealand – the Bay of Islands.

Subtropical and chill AF, the Bay of Islands was the first place Captain Cook landed on his exploration of New Zealand in the 18th century. Packed full of history, the Bay of Islands covers over 140 islands with lots of little towns and beaches worth exploring.

My favorite way to get out on the water is on a fishing charter; that way, I can catch my dinner.

new zealand north island must do

9. Marvel at all of the geothermal wonders around Rotorua 

Lovingly nicknamed “RotoVegas,” Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist towns. You almost always know when you’ve arrived because of the occasional whiff of sulfur you’ll smell in the air from all of the incredible geothermal activity there.

Home to geysers, bubbling mud pools, boiling lakes, natural hot springs, and lots and lots of steam, Rotorua is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been.

With heaps of geothermal parks and wonders you can visit, it’s worth spending a few days around here taking it all in – Waimangu is my favorite. Venture further afield to the nearby lakes and have a lovely holiday where the water is always warm and cozy.

new zealand north island must do

10. Get your ass kicked on Mt. Taranaki

Some of the best surf breaks in New Zealand are around Taranaki on the west coast of the North Island.

Somewhat off the beaten tourist track, this side of New Zealand is pretty impressive. Overshadowed by the mighty volcano Mt. Taranaki, the area beckons all who love mountains and sea.

Over 2,500 meters high and a perfect conical volcano often shrouded in cloud, Taranaki juts out from the flat landscape. If you’re fit and healthy, you can climb Taranaki in a day in good weather in summer, though be warned; it’s a deadly mountain. There are plenty of more comfortable and more relaxed tracks around the mountain worth exploring too.

new zealand north island must do

11. Spend a summer’s weekend at the Coromandel

The Coromandel Peninsula beckons many who visit the North Island.

With beautiful beaches, small quirky towns, lush forests, and a bit of mountain, it has something for everyone up here. Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve and a popular spot to visit, and I loved visiting here on a kayak trip from Hahei.

Digging your spa in the sand for a natural hot spring at Hot Water Beach is another must-do in the Coromandel for first-time visitors.

new zealand north island must do

12. Go underground at the famous Waitomo Caves to see glowworms

Visiting the iconic glowworm caves in Waitomo tops the bucket list of many, making it a super popular attraction on any kiwi travel itinerary.

Seeing glowworms is genuinely spectacular, and not something you can experience anywhere else in the world. With heaps of adventures on offer in Waitomo, it’s the perfect spot to take them all in for the first time.

Go Black Water Rafting for a truly adventurous way to experience the caves.

new zealand north island must do

13. Visit the Gannet Colony at Muriwai at sunset

I only just visited the Muriwai Gannet Colony last year, and it completely blew my mind.

Home to over a thousand nesting gannets, a large white seabird with stunning blue eyes, the colony of these birds is impressive. A short walk will lead you up to the colony, tucked seemingly precariously along wild cliffs, as hundreds of birds go to and fro.

It’s like watching a small city in action.

new zealand north island must do

14. Go wine tasting in Martinborough

One of my favorite boutique wine-growing regions in the world is undoubtedly Martinborough in the Wairarapa, just north of Wellington.

A small, boutique wine-growing region just north of Wellington, there are over 20 cellar doors in Martinborough, all of which are relatively close together. It’s fun to bike between them.

If you find yourself in the area come November, grab tickets to Toast Martinborough, their annual food and wine festival.

new zealand north island must do

15. Road trip around the East Cape

If you want to get well off the beaten path and take in classic New Zealand, plan a road trip around the East Cape.

From Napier up through Gisborne and around the easternmost part of New Zealand, the East Cape is likely the least visited region by tourists, leaving it unique and open.

Warm and quiet, I fell in love with the East Cape on my first trip around the area. Watch the sunrise from the iconic East Cape lighthouse and be one of the first people in the world to see the morning.

new zealand north island must do

16. Get sore legs on the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing


The Tongariro Crossing is consistently ranked as one of the best day-hikes in the world. While this means it’s incredibly busy, especially on good weather days, it shouldn’t deter you from tackling it. Almost 20 kilometers long, alpine and unpredictable, and logistically somewhat complicated to start and finish the track, Tongariro is consistently underestimated by those taking it on.

Be sure to be fit and do your research on what to bring and how to prepare safely for it.

new zealand north island must do

17. Drink wine on Waiheke and snooze the day away

Waiheke Island is magic!

Less than an hour ferry ride from downtown Auckland through the Hauraki Gulf will bring you to magical Waiheke – an island paradise home to beautiful beaches, a charming town, and heaps of wineries.

With white sandy beaches, warm weather and bright blue water, it’s the perfect place to head first on a trip to New Zealand to recover from jetlag and get a taste for this incredible Pacific island.

Man O’ War Vineyard was such a nice off the beaten path vineyard to while away an afternoon on Waiheke.

new zealand north island must do

18. Go for an early morning stroll at the Hamilton Gardens

Now now now, I hear what you’re saying. Gardens as a must-do? But trust me on this one, the Hamilton Gardens are not to be missed, especially if you’re a plant lover like me.

More than just another urban garden, the Hamilton Gardens are a museum of gardens, and it’s pretty epic. I can spend more than a day wandering amongst the greenhouses and lawns there, hanging out, napping in the grass, and being inspired by the plants.

It’s a rad little spot.

new zealand north island must do

19. Hang out in Mount Maunganui

Nicknamed the Mount, just outside of Tauranga, is this historic seaside town with one of the best beaches in the world. White, sandy and warm, the vibe is Bali meets California meets the Gold Coast, with a bit of classic kiwi charm thrown in for good measure.

Climb up Mauao overlooking the town and sea for epic views.

new zealand north island must do

20. Stay in a bach near Piha

Piha is a laid-back surf town west of Auckland. With black sandy beaches and a dramatic, rugged coastline, it’s a pretty epic seaside spot to get away to on the North Island.

With a classic kiwi holiday vibe, Piha is the spot to rent a bach and get away from it all. Go for a bushwalk and check out some of the local waterfalls while you’re there.

new zealand north island must do

New Zealand is a special place; we all know that. When you’re planning your next holiday here, be sure not to overlook the North Island.

From waterfalls to geothermal marvels to volcanos to heaps or cute surf beaches, the North Island has so much to offer. Hopefully, this guide is a good start of where to begin with your New Zealand North Island must do.

What did I miss? Have you been to New Zealand? What are your must-visit spots on the North Island? Spill in the comments!

20 must-visit spots on New Zealand’s South Island

new zealand north island must do

The post 20 must-visit spots on New Zealand’s North Island appeared first on Young Adventuress.

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A Blush Pink And Gold Baby Shower Brunch

Pink Baby Shower Dress

Hello, beautiful friends! I’m so happy to finally be spilling all of the details about our baby shower that we had in Rochester, NY the other weekend. Growing up, I always pictured myself having a baby girl first so you could imagine my excitement when that came true. Along with that, of course, I had a very specific vision in mind for a baby shower to celebrate my little girl. My mother-in-law is an incredible party planner and did an amazing job of creating the perfect day for the entire family. I also loved that she let me be a part of the planning process! It was so much fun. 🙂

For those looking for links to specific items found here, don’t worry – I’ll be linking everything at the bottom of the post for you!

When we were looking at venues online, I found Rochester Brainery and immediately fell in love with their space. The Rochester Brainery is located in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts and offers all kinds of art and lifestyle classes during the weekend and on the weekend, the space is available for rentals. The main room where we had our shower is called the Green Room and it was the perfect bright and airy dream! This space matched the vision I had for the shower and I’m so glad we decided to book with them. I highly recommend them to host your Rochester, NY event!

Floral Baby Shower Welcome Sign

I had shared photos of the shower on Facebook already and some people have commented that our baby shower was one of the classiest baby showers that they’ve ever seen. That made me SO happy to hear! I wanted to have a dreamy baby shower… so much so that it almost looked like a bridal shower, haha. We stuck to a pretty palette of blush pink, gold, greenery, and whites for the colors. The fact that the Rochester Brainery already had a ton of gorgeous greenery in the room helped bring the shower decor to the next level. We also incorporated a lot of floral design features into the mix, from the invites all the way to the welcome sign, because flowers are just what a baby girl baby shower needs.

Click HERE to see the invites we went with. Gorgeous design, great price, amazing quality!

Rochester BraineryBaby Girl Baby Shower DecorBlush Pink And Gold Baby ShowerBlush Pink And Gold Baby ShowerBlush Pink And Gold Baby Shower

Another perk of hosting the shower at the Rochester Brainery was that all tables and chairs were included… and guess what’s even better? They are just my style. The tables are natural wood and white and the chairs are clean and modern. We kept things simple for the tablescape but almost always, simple is best. 😉

My mother-in-law found these white table runners at the Dollar Tree (crazy right?!) but I linked some other similar ones here. The faux eucalyptus used on the tables is from Hobby Lobby and they’re actually hanging bushes that we draped across instead. I found some very similar pieces (pack of 2) on Amazon here. After talking to a local florist, my mother-in-law thought it’d be neat to lightly spray paint the white baby’s breath flowers pink. Such a cool idea, right? We did just that and intertwined the baby’s breath into the faux eucalyptus on the tables. It was JUST the added flare that the tables needed.

Baby Shower Tablescape

We went with gold plates and cutlery and blush pink napkins. To make everything look more put together, the cutlery was wrapped nicely inside the napkins tied up with this gorgeous linen and gold twine. So, so pretty! The baby shower favors were these adorable tutu onesie cookies. I grew up a dancer and it’s my hope that my baby girl will love to dance, too. So, naturally, I had to have dance incorporated into the baby shower some way! 😉 They were too cute and delicious, too!

Of course, there were multiple baby shower games that we played. To keep things low-key and comfortable for everyone, we stuck to simple paper games and they ended up being a hit! I wish I snapped a shot of all of the games because they were perfectly aligned with the gold and floral theme that we had going. Sneak a peek here! The one game that wasn’t timed, we snuck underneath the place settings so that guests could fill it out after they were finished eating brunch. There was a little pencil at each place setting, too.

Rochester Brainery Baby ShowerBaby Shower Brunch Food

For drinks, we had cucumber water, iced tea with mint & lemon, and coffee. For brunch, we had an amazing spread catered by a family friend who is an incredible chef! If you’re in Rochester, NY and are in need of delicious catering, let me know and I can pass on his information to you. Everything was absolutely delicious!


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Blush Pink And Gold Baby ShowerBlush Pink And Gold Balloon Garland

The cake table was definitely my favorite part of the decor for our baby shower! I’m so glad that we added this gorgeous balloon garland last-minute. I grabbed it from this small shop and it was really affordable compared to other balloon garlands out there. The colors of the balloons are a mix of blush, clear, gold, and white. I ordered the 7 ft long garland and it was the perfect fit. I highly recommend this shop if you need balloon garland!

The large white balloons were 24-inch balloons and we used this greenery twine to hold them. LOVED how they came out! We were originally going to do 36-inch balloons but after realizing the amount of helium it’d take to blow up on our own, we opted for the 24-inch instead. We were very happy with the 24-inch in the end. We also had some standard-size light pink balloons scattered around the tablescapes. Gotta love all of the balloons!

Baby Shower Cake TableOh Baby Cake Topper Baby Shower

I grabbed this sparkly gold “oh baby” cake topper to place on top of the cake. I highly recommend the shop I ordered it from – affordable, fast shipping, and great quality! To add a simple finishing touch, we added some faux eucalyptus and a blush pink flower on top of the cake.

Keeping with the greenery theme, we used this string of faux eucalyptus to intertwine on the cake table. The tiered trays used to hold the cupcakes were these ones that were white with a gold confetti print – super cute and practical! We also used an apothecary jar to hold some chocolates and pink gumballs for added color on the cake table.

Blush Pink And Gold Baby ShowerBlush Pink And Gold Baby Shower

Above is a picture of my mother-in-law and me and then us with Michael’s grandmother. We had to grab the picture of the three of us women… because really, there are 4 generations in this photo. 😉 I can’t wait to snag this photo again once my baby girl is here. 🙂



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Blush Pink And Gold Baby Shower


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Our shower was absolutely beautiful and everything I had ever hoped it would be! Such a special way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby T! Michael and I are both over the moon, so excited to meet our sweet baby girl next month! 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions about the details of our shower! Would be happy to answer them for you.

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