15 photos to inspire you to visit the Bay of Islands


There aren’t many pockets of New Zealand I’ve yet to explore, but there was one genuinely iconic spot missing from my list – the Bay of Islands.

While I’ve been to Northland before and loved it, the top of the North Island is pretty huge. From Auckland to Cape Reinga, the tippy top of New Zealand is well over 400 kilometers long and roughly six hours driving.

So over the years, I’ve just taken my time and explored bit by bit. I fell in love with the ancient forests along the Kauri Coast and fell asleep listening to kiwi calling at night. I’ve met one of New Zealand’s grandest trees and spent days hiking the coastlines around Whangarei.

But I held off on visiting the Bay of Islands. Knowing that one day I’d get there and be able to take it in properly, I waited.

bay of islands

And this January was finally the time! Giulio and I headed up to the North Island for a week to see friends, do a bit of work, but mostly have a holiday. Until we arrived, I didn’t know how much I needed a proper holiday.

The end of 2019 did a real toll on me, physically and mentally, that I wasn’t quite aware of until the holidays hit and I became a zombie. Without the impending feeling of constant deadlines and jobs hanging over my head like a guillotine, my body just sagged into a dire state of fatigue.

It turns out; you can only go at full speed ahead for so long before you crash.

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

bay of islands

By New Years, I just slept and slept and slept some more, and luckily in New Zealand, things quiet down over the end of December and January, so I caved in to my body’s demand for peace and just relaxed.

And let me be the first to say, there’s nowhere better to relax than in the Bay of Islands.

There was so much that I wanted to see and do in this magical part of New Zealand. I had a list a page long of bucket list spots and things to check off my travel list. Your girl loves a list.

As we unpacked our bags after arriving in Russell, I put my phone away. We basically did sweet fuck all the whole time, and it was great!

And it was awesome!

bay of islands

We based ourselves in Russell, hiring a car in Auckland and driving up north for three hours. There’s a car ferry that links Russell and Opua that runs every ten minutes or so. This makes it easy to access, though there’s a road a long way around as well.

While Russell isn’t an island, it operates on island time and feels like an island here.

The vibe is most definitely beachy and relaxed. Russell is tiny and exceptionally charming. No one is in a hurry here, and the tropical climate invites you to sit back, relax, and enjoy life.

bay of islands

Russell is historically an important place in New Zealand. It was the first seaport and first European settlement. Russell was also New Zealand’s first capital in the 19th century.

Before Europeans arrived, Russell was called Kororāreka, and it was a lawless and wild, full of prostitution; it was even nicknamed “the hellhole of the Pacific!”

Nowadays it’s charming to the extreme, with lots of traditional historic buildings, beautiful flowers, and warm, inviting beaches. Russell is also home to New Zealand’s first hotel, bar, and restaurant – The Duke of Marlborough. It’s a popular spot, right on the waterfront, and the perfect base for Russell itself. We spent heaps of time here.

bay of islands

After a week in the Bay of Islands, I didn’t take too many photos.

But I did reset my soul, which I desperately needed. From falling asleep on a beach and getting sunburned to fishing and siestas, it was the perfect getaway for a holiday.

Every morning I would wake up, sip coffee, and read a chapter from Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things to begin my day before taking it easy. It was extraordinary.

Even though I didn’t come home with a hard drive of images, I thought I’d go ahead and share a snippet of my favorite shots from the Bay of Island with the hopes it might inspire you to take a break too – enjoy!

bay of islands

The view from Donkey Bay Inn – the beach below is a nudist beach

bay of islands

Our room at the incredible Donkey Bay Inn – quirky boutique accommodation in Russell, and one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed.

bay of islands

Oysters at Terra Restaurant in Paihia, we took a short passenger ferry over for dinner here one night.

bay of islands

bay of islands

bay of islands

My partner Giulio Sturla prepping a fantastic dinner at Donkey Bay, with all ingredients sourced from their garden with the fish we caught the day before.

bay of islands

bay of islands

I caught a massive snapper when we went fishing

bay of islands

bay of islands

The post 15 photos to inspire you to visit the Bay of Islands appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

Am I a real photographer yet?


For the longest time, I really resisted calling myself a photographer, let alone a professional photographer.

Upon reflection, I’m not quite sure why I was hesitant, but I think deep down, maybe I felt like I hadn’t “earned” it. Perhaps I didn’t even believe in myself or my work. 

What is the root of this lack of professional confidence? Instead, I stuck with the familiar title of blogger, writer, or the more generalized “that girl from the internet,” downplaying my success and my work. Just because my preferred method of photo-sharing is Instagram and I type my captions with my thumbs doesn’t make it any less valid, right?

My photography is a massive part of my business and has been for close to a decade. Yet, here we are.

imposter syndrome women

Over the past year, as I’ve done a lot of both personal and professional development, and with that comes a lot of reflection on how I talk about myself. It didn’t take long to have a staggering realization that I intentionally downplay who I am and what I do.

I feel like this is so common, especially with women, we don’t own our achievements or often minimize our successes. So often, we downplay our authority and talent in favor of being seen as approachable, feminine, and compliant. Fuck that! Every hair on my body stands on end in pure objection when I see that, and yet, AND YET, I find myself doing it all the time.

Undermining my own experience and expertise is something I often do without realizing it. Female confidence in the workplace still feels taboo. Or is it just me?

The Solo Female Traveler’s Manifesto

imposter syndrome women

This is a question I’ve been grappling with my entire life. No matter what I achieve or how far I go, somehow, it just isn’t enough. I could always be better, be doing more, be more perfect.

Why do we think like that? And why are women in particular conditioned to feel inferior? To be inferior? I object! That nagging feeling that you’re just not good enough even has a name – imposter syndrome.

Plaguing creatives for years, I have found that it hits women in particular. If only feminine confidence in the workplace wasn’t considered a bad thing. Assertive and bossy aren’t a good look for us, even though I wish it were. 

Call me cynical, but I reckon it all comes from a world that doesn’t believe in women. Yet.

It’s hard to walk with confidence, especially as a creative female when the world doesn’t have your back. It’s even harder to co-habit a space dominated by confident males. Hello, photography!

imposter syndrome women

Even though women helped pioneer photography from its inception, and some of the greatest photographers we’ve ever had have been women, nowadays it’s a male-dominated industry.

From the photos we see in the news to the ambassadors for the kingpins of camera corporations, gender inequality is very real in the photography world today.

Even the way photography gear is marketed is uber-masculine.

Surround yourself with amazing women who believe in you

imposter syndrome women

Do you think men share the same feelings of imposter syndrome as I do? LOL!

I’ve met more men than I can count who don’t even shoot in manual, take super average photos, or haven’t yet sold an image, and they have no problem calling themselves professional photographers. I’ve been on jobs with photographers with a fraction of my experience who have zero qualms about selling themselves to the moon and back in a way I never could.

Discrimination at the workplace, sexism, and stereotypes have contributed to a general lack of opportunities for women in photography.

And don’t even get me started on the looks and comments I get with my cameras. “That camera looks a bit big for you, missy.”

Really?

imposter syndrome women

I don’t know about you guys, but FUCK THAT.

Let’s start to change things. While it makes me wildly uncomfortable to be proud of my successes and achievements, I’m going to show up and bloody well own it — 10 years down the track to boot.

While this is painful, it’s part of the work. And I’m not doing it just for myself and my mental health; I’m doing it for all my fellow females out there that often struggle with the same feelings as me. It’s exhausting, and I’m over it.

Let’s go!

imposter syndrome women

I want to acknowledge myself and the work I’ve put into becoming a better photographer over the past decade.

I’m always working, always learning, always upskilling, and trying to learn new tricks. I’m privileged in my line of work in that I’ve been able to connect with some of the most talented and creative photographers in the world, many of whom have taken me under their wing and taught me so much.

And I want to fully recognize this happened of my own damn merit. I hustled my way to where I am, and through my ability to build powerful human connections, I’m able to have a real impact with my work. 

imposter syndrome women

Since I picked up my first DSLR in college, my photography had taken me around the globe and earned me over six figures a year.

I’ve licensed images to some of the biggest brands in the world and had photos featured in publications I could have never imagined. Pictures I have taken had appeared on billboards, and I’ve broken so many cameras I can’t even keep track anymore. 

I’ve even managed to dig deep within myself and find the strength to take photos of the most horrific moment of my life, finding 145 beaching whales in New Zealand, knowing that I had the voice and the ability to share their plight with the world.

The New Zealand government even granted me residency for my work as a photographer.

What was I saying about imposter syndrome? Is my newfound confidence making you uncomfortable yet? Because I sure am, haha!

imposter syndrome women

I love the ability to express myself through my photos and to be able to bring viewers along with me on my journeys. And I never stop complaining about how heavy my kit is, the true testament to a real photographer, I imagine. 

As I try to step into my role and be confident in my abilities and work, I hope you do too. Use this as a chance to be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished. We’re all in this together, and imposter syndrome only collectively brings us down. Let’s change that.

So what do you guys reckon, am I photographer yet or still that chick from Instagram?  

imposter syndrome women

The post Am I a real photographer yet? appeared first on Young Adventuress.





Source link

15 photos to inspire you to visit the Bay of Islands


There aren’t many pockets of New Zealand I’ve yet to explore, but there was one genuinely iconic spot missing from my list – the Bay of Islands.

While I’ve been to Northland before and loved it, the top of the North Island is pretty huge. From Auckland to Cape Reinga, the tippy top of New Zealand is well over 400 kilometers long and roughly six hours driving.

So over the years, I’ve just taken my time and explored bit by bit. I fell in love with the ancient forests along the Kauri Coast and fell asleep listening to kiwi calling at night. I’ve met one of New Zealand’s grandest trees and spent days hiking the coastlines around Whangarei.

But I held off on visiting the Bay of Islands. Knowing that one day I’d get there and be able to take it in properly, I waited.

bay of islands

And this January was finally the time! Giulio and I headed up to the North Island for a week to see friends, do a bit of work, but mostly have a holiday. Until we arrived, I didn’t know how much I needed a proper holiday.

The end of 2019 did a real toll on me, physically and mentally, that I wasn’t quite aware of until the holidays hit and I became a zombie. Without the impending feeling of constant deadlines and jobs hanging over my head like a guillotine, my body just sagged into a dire state of fatigue.

It turns out; you can only go at full speed ahead for so long before you crash.

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

bay of islands

By New Years, I just slept and slept and slept some more, and luckily in New Zealand, things quiet down over the end of December and January, so I caved in to my body’s demand for peace and just relaxed.

And let me be the first to say, there’s nowhere better to relax than in the Bay of Islands.

There was so much that I wanted to see and do in this magical part of New Zealand. I had a list a page long of bucket list spots and things to check off my travel list. Your girl loves a list.

As we unpacked our bags after arriving in Russell, I put my phone away. We basically did sweet fuck all the whole time, and it was great!

And it was awesome!

bay of islands

We based ourselves in Russell, hiring a car in Auckland and driving up north for three hours. There’s a car ferry that links Russell and Opua that runs every ten minutes or so. This makes it easy to access, though there’s a road a long way around as well.

While Russell isn’t an island, it operates on island time and feels like an island here.

The vibe is most definitely beachy and relaxed. Russell is tiny and exceptionally charming. No one is in a hurry here, and the tropical climate invites you to sit back, relax, and enjoy life.

bay of islands

Russell is historically an important place in New Zealand. It was the first seaport and first European settlement. Russell was also New Zealand’s first capital in the 19th century.

Before Europeans arrived, Russell was called Kororāreka, and it was a lawless and wild, full of prostitution; it was even nicknamed “the hellhole of the Pacific!”

Nowadays it’s charming to the extreme, with lots of traditional historic buildings, beautiful flowers, and warm, inviting beaches. Russell is also home to New Zealand’s first hotel, bar, and restaurant – The Duke of Marlborough. It’s a popular spot, right on the waterfront, and the perfect base for Russell itself. We spent heaps of time here.

bay of islands

After a week in the Bay of Islands, I didn’t take too many photos.

But I did reset my soul, which I desperately needed. From falling asleep on a beach and getting sunburned to fishing and siestas, it was the perfect getaway for a holiday.

Every morning I would wake up, sip coffee, and read a chapter from Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things to begin my day before taking it easy. It was extraordinary.

Even though I didn’t come home with a hard drive of images, I thought I’d go ahead and share a snippet of my favorite shots from the Bay of Island with the hopes it might inspire you to take a break too – enjoy!

bay of islands

The view from Donkey Bay Inn – the beach below is a nudist beach

bay of islands

Our room at the incredible Donkey Bay Inn – quirky boutique accommodation in Russell, and one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed.

bay of islands

Oysters at Terra Restaurant in Paihia, we took a short passenger ferry over for dinner here one night.

bay of islands

bay of islands

bay of islands

My partner Giulio Sturla prepping a fantastic dinner at Donkey Bay, with all ingredients sourced from their garden with the fish we caught the day before.

bay of islands

bay of islands

I caught a massive snapper when we went fishing

bay of islands

bay of islands

The post 15 photos to inspire you to visit the Bay of Islands appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

Am I a real photographer yet?


For the longest time, I really resisted calling myself a photographer, let alone a professional photographer.

Upon reflection, I’m not quite sure why I was hesitant, but I think deep down, maybe I felt like I hadn’t “earned” it. Perhaps I didn’t even believe in myself or my work. 

What is the root of this lack of professional confidence? Instead, I stuck with the familiar title of blogger, writer, or the more generalized “that girl from the internet,” downplaying my success and my work. Just because my preferred method of photo-sharing is Instagram and I type my captions with my thumbs doesn’t make it any less valid, right?

My photography is a massive part of my business and has been for close to a decade. Yet, here we are.

imposter syndrome women

Over the past year, as I’ve done a lot of both personal and professional development, and with that comes a lot of reflection on how I talk about myself. It didn’t take long to have a staggering realization that I intentionally downplay who I am and what I do.

I feel like this is so common, especially with women, we don’t own our achievements or often minimize our successes. So often, we downplay our authority and talent in favor of being seen as approachable, feminine, and compliant. Fuck that! Every hair on my body stands on end in pure objection when I see that, and yet, AND YET, I find myself doing it all the time.

Undermining my own experience and expertise is something I often do without realizing it. Female confidence in the workplace still feels taboo. Or is it just me?

The Solo Female Traveler’s Manifesto

imposter syndrome women

This is a question I’ve been grappling with my entire life. No matter what I achieve or how far I go, somehow, it just isn’t enough. I could always be better, be doing more, be more perfect.

Why do we think like that? And why are women in particular conditioned to feel inferior? To be inferior? I object! That nagging feeling that you’re just not good enough even has a name – imposter syndrome.

Plaguing creatives for years, I have found that it hits women in particular. If only feminine confidence in the workplace wasn’t considered a bad thing. Assertive and bossy aren’t a good look for us, even though I wish it were. 

Call me cynical, but I reckon it all comes from a world that doesn’t believe in women. Yet.

It’s hard to walk with confidence, especially as a creative female when the world doesn’t have your back. It’s even harder to co-habit a space dominated by confident males. Hello, photography!

imposter syndrome women

Even though women helped pioneer photography from its inception, and some of the greatest photographers we’ve ever had have been women, nowadays it’s a male-dominated industry.

From the photos we see in the news to the ambassadors for the kingpins of camera corporations, gender inequality is very real in the photography world today.

Even the way photography gear is marketed is uber-masculine.

Surround yourself with amazing women who believe in you

imposter syndrome women

Do you think men share the same feelings of imposter syndrome as I do? LOL!

I’ve met more men than I can count who don’t even shoot in manual, take super average photos, or haven’t yet sold an image, and they have no problem calling themselves professional photographers. I’ve been on jobs with photographers with a fraction of my experience who have zero qualms about selling themselves to the moon and back in a way I never could.

Discrimination at the workplace, sexism, and stereotypes have contributed to a general lack of opportunities for women in photography.

And don’t even get me started on the looks and comments I get with my cameras. “That camera looks a bit big for you, missy.”

Really?

imposter syndrome women

I don’t know about you guys, but FUCK THAT.

Let’s start to change things. While it makes me wildly uncomfortable to be proud of my successes and achievements, I’m going to show up and bloody well own it — 10 years down the track to boot.

While this is painful, it’s part of the work. And I’m not doing it just for myself and my mental health; I’m doing it for all my fellow females out there that often struggle with the same feelings as me. It’s exhausting, and I’m over it.

Let’s go!

imposter syndrome women

I want to acknowledge myself and the work I’ve put into becoming a better photographer over the past decade.

I’m always working, always learning, always upskilling, and trying to learn new tricks. I’m privileged in my line of work in that I’ve been able to connect with some of the most talented and creative photographers in the world, many of whom have taken me under their wing and taught me so much.

And I want to fully recognize this happened of my own damn merit. I hustled my way to where I am, and through my ability to build powerful human connections, I’m able to have a real impact with my work. 

imposter syndrome women

Since I picked up my first DSLR in college, my photography had taken me around the globe and earned me over six figures a year.

I’ve licensed images to some of the biggest brands in the world and had photos featured in publications I could have never imagined. Pictures I have taken had appeared on billboards, and I’ve broken so many cameras I can’t even keep track anymore. 

I’ve even managed to dig deep within myself and find the strength to take photos of the most horrific moment of my life, finding 145 beaching whales in New Zealand, knowing that I had the voice and the ability to share their plight with the world.

The New Zealand government even granted me residency for my work as a photographer.

What was I saying about imposter syndrome? Is my newfound confidence making you uncomfortable yet? Because I sure am, haha!

imposter syndrome women

I love the ability to express myself through my photos and to be able to bring viewers along with me on my journeys. And I never stop complaining about how heavy my kit is, the true testament to a real photographer, I imagine. 

As I try to step into my role and be confident in my abilities and work, I hope you do too. Use this as a chance to be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished. We’re all in this together, and imposter syndrome only collectively brings us down. Let’s change that.

So what do you guys reckon, am I photographer yet or still that chick from Instagram?  

imposter syndrome women

The post Am I a real photographer yet? appeared first on Young Adventuress.





Source link

20 wild photos from the Wanaka flood in New Zealand


This spring in New Zealand has been a wild one, bringing on a flood in Wanaka.

Here in Wanaka, where I call home, in the heart of the Southern Alps, it’s been raining, raining and raining some more.

Considering it’s usually hot and dry and cold and dry as a general rule, this is rather unusual. Spring is generally windy but warm, teasing us for a beautiful summer ahead.

For all my fellow northern hemisphere inhabitants, spring in New Zealand runs from September to November.

With the snowmelt that feeds into the rivers, the lake level was already high.

Two weeks ago, the typically white beaches that outline our stunning Lake Wanaka were completely submerged beneath shimmering blue water, with the iconic Clutha River running high and fast.

Our mountains were bright green, lush and verdant, an unusual sight, but one that I love. Usually, a dry part of the country, come springtime our hills and valleys generally turn green with the snowmelt.

And then a week ago it began to rain properly. And I mean torrential rain for days, the likes of which we don’t usually see.

Cue the latest Wanaka flood.

Lake Wanaka has a history of flooding since the town was founded. Everyone was wondering if this year’s flood would top the 1999 flood when the lake came up so far that the New World was a meter underwater.

wanaka flood

Lucky for us, the rain has stopped just in time, as the water was spilling across the main road and lapping at the quickly stacked sandbags across the lakefront shops. Phew!

While the vibe of Wanaka is changing fast as the world catches on to how cool this wee mountain town of New Zealand is, the pride of the locals still runs deep. With everyone rallying together to protect the downtown and prep for the flood, it raised my spirits to see the community passion still alive and kicking.

Anyone who has ever visited Wanaka knows it’s unique.

wanaka flood

As the rain briefly stopped on Wednesday, December 4th, I made my way to the lakefront to have a good look at the state of affairs. The water was lapping over park benches, the jetties were gone, and the lakefront parking lot was covered in driftwood.

The clouds momentarily lifted, revealing snowcapped mountains and thundering waterfalls.

And our iconic Wanaka Tree, the infamous willow tree in the lake, looked like it needed a snorkel.

wanaka flood

Not only were all our beaches gone, but the lake was ever so slowly creeping across the grass towards the town in Wanaka.

Curious, I drove out to Treble Cone towards the Matukituki Valley, and I wasn’t disappointed.

By Glendhu Bay, the water was already spilling over onto the road. The waterfalls were thundering, much bigger than usual. The small wooden bridge in West Wanaka, which straddles the Matukituki River was shaking; brown water rushed down from the mountains into the lake.

It was terrifying, and I quickly returned home. A few hours later, the road was closed off from flooding.

wanaka flood

With the South Island doused in the rain, washing away roads and bridges this spring, it’s put it into a stark reminder that we are at the mercy of mother nature down here, especially in the mountains.

New Zealand is still a wild place, with big mountains, glacial rivers, and waterfalls galore. Hello, that’s why we all want to visit here. But it comes with a price. Mountain weather can be intense, and when it comes knocking, we have to listen.

It’s not all that uncommon for big storms to close roads and impact travel on the South Island. It’s happened a handful of times around Wanaka since I moved here six years ago.

If you’re planning to travel around New Zealand, I recommend checking NZTA’s (New Zealand Transport Agency) website for the most up-to-date maps on road closures.

wanaka flood

Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red

Usually, I’m not the kind of person who goes out to photograph something like this. When I’m home, I am not always inclined to pick up my camera. For the past few years, camera = work.

But I’m hoping to feel more inspired this year. I’m looking to challenge myself to take photos of things I might normally would otherwise. So it was time to drag my lazy bum off the sofa and have a little look at what our lake was up to. Camera in hand and with no agenda, I headed to the lake

Here are some photos from the Wanaka flood this year.

Have you ever experienced a flood on your travels? Have you seen anything like this? Any stories from the Wanaka flood to spill? Share!

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

The post 20 wild photos from the Wanaka flood in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

20 wild photos from the Wanaka flood in New Zealand


This spring in New Zealand has been a wild one, bringing on a flood in Wanaka.

Here in Wanaka, where I call home, in the heart of the Southern Alps, it’s been raining, raining and raining some more.

Considering it’s usually hot and dry and cold and dry as a general rule, this is rather unusual. Spring is generally windy but warm, teasing us for a beautiful summer ahead.

For all my fellow northern hemisphere inhabitants, spring in New Zealand runs from September to November.

With the snowmelt that feeds into the rivers, the lake level was already high.

Two weeks ago, the typically white beaches that outline our stunning Lake Wanaka were completely submerged beneath shimmering blue water, with the iconic Clutha River running high and fast.

Our mountains were bright green, lush and verdant, an unusual sight, but one that I love. Usually, a dry part of the country, come springtime our hills and valleys generally turn green with the snowmelt.

And then a week ago it began to rain properly. And I mean torrential rain for days, the likes of which we don’t usually see.

Cue the latest Wanaka flood.

Lake Wanaka has a history of flooding since the town was founded. Everyone was wondering if this year’s flood would top the 1999 flood when the lake came up so far that the New World was a meter underwater.

wanaka flood

Lucky for us, the rain has stopped just in time, as the water was spilling across the main road and lapping at the quickly stacked sandbags across the lakefront shops. Phew!

While the vibe of Wanaka is changing fast as the world catches on to how cool this wee mountain town of New Zealand is, the pride of the locals still runs deep. With everyone rallying together to protect the downtown and prep for the flood, it raised my spirits to see the community passion still alive and kicking.

Anyone who has ever visited Wanaka knows it’s unique.

wanaka flood

As the rain briefly stopped on Wednesday, December 4th, I made my way to the lakefront to have a good look at the state of affairs. The water was lapping over park benches, the jetties were gone, and the lakefront parking lot was covered in driftwood.

The clouds momentarily lifted, revealing snowcapped mountains and thundering waterfalls.

And our iconic Wanaka Tree, the infamous willow tree in the lake, looked like it needed a snorkel.

wanaka flood

Not only were all our beaches gone, but the lake was ever so slowly creeping across the grass towards the town in Wanaka.

Curious, I drove out to Treble Cone towards the Matukituki Valley, and I wasn’t disappointed.

By Glendhu Bay, the water was already spilling over onto the road. The waterfalls were thundering, much bigger than usual. The small wooden bridge in West Wanaka, which straddles the Matukituki River was shaking; brown water rushed down from the mountains into the lake.

It was terrifying, and I quickly returned home. A few hours later, the road was closed off from flooding.

wanaka flood

With the South Island doused in the rain, washing away roads and bridges this spring, it’s put it into a stark reminder that we are at the mercy of mother nature down here, especially in the mountains.

New Zealand is still a wild place, with big mountains, glacial rivers, and waterfalls galore. Hello, that’s why we all want to visit here. But it comes with a price. Mountain weather can be intense, and when it comes knocking, we have to listen.

It’s not all that uncommon for big storms to close roads and impact travel on the South Island. It’s happened a handful of times around Wanaka since I moved here six years ago.

If you’re planning to travel around New Zealand, I recommend checking NZTA’s (New Zealand Transport Agency) website for the most up-to-date maps on road closures.

wanaka flood

Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red

Usually, I’m not the kind of person who goes out to photograph something like this. When I’m home, I am not always inclined to pick up my camera. For the past few years, camera = work.

But I’m hoping to feel more inspired this year. I’m looking to challenge myself to take photos of things I might normally would otherwise. So it was time to drag my lazy bum off the sofa and have a little look at what our lake was up to. Camera in hand and with no agenda, I headed to the lake

Here are some photos from the Wanaka flood this year.

Have you ever experienced a flood on your travels? Have you seen anything like this? Any stories from the Wanaka flood to spill? Share!

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

wanaka flood

The post 20 wild photos from the Wanaka flood in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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20 photos that will inspire you to visit the Waikato, New Zealand


I’m so excited for springtime and warmer days here in New Zealand, and there’s nowhere better to experience it than up in the Waikato region of the North Island. Waikato travel will blow you away.

Lush and bucolic, with rolling green hills dotted with lambs and cows, beneath a bright blue sky, it’s no wonder this is the heart of New Zealand’s farm culture. I love watching everything bloom and finally being warm after months of frosts and snow down south where I call home.

Before we even land at the tiny Hamilton Airport, I’m struck by how green and fresh it seems here. Just south of Auckland lies the Waikato, an area I’ve visited many times but was excited to come back to again. A land of lush pastures, it’s not really surprising to any that Peter Jackson chose this area for the hobbits to call home in the Lord of the Rings films.

Spring here is as impressive as you can imagine, and I want to begin my story by sharing some of my favorite photos from a recent trip up north with you all before digging a little deeper. Enjoy!

waikato travel

waikato travel

waikato travel

Get to know Hamilton

The city of Hamilton is nestled on the banks of the mighty Waikato River on New Zealand’s North Island, and it is known for its walks, gardens, cafes, and nightlife. It’s also known as the Tron. Please, someone, tell me why. I have to know.

One thing I really loved about Hamilton on my Waikato travel was walking along the river, which seems to be the beating heart of the city. I can tell a lot of work has gone into making the riverfront epic, a fun spot to chill downtown. With lots of fun places to eat and explore, I couldn’t get enough.

And then as I was wandering, wearing my first short-sleeve dress this spring (yay it’s so warm!), I stumbled across this incredible mural of a kārearea (native NZ falcon) ❤️ , and I squealed with delight! And unabashed #birdnerd with a penchant for street art that decorates the walls of understated spots, all of my boxes were ticked as I spent a few days exploring Hamilton.

This mural “A Love Story” is based on a local, oral whakataukī (proverb) of a kārearea carrying two twins, Reipae and Reitu, from the Waikato to Whangarei for marriage. Painted by two renowned Auckland artists, Charlie and Janine Williams, it’s an exceptional price sharing a bit of local Māori narratives to the world. Have you seen it?

waikato travel

waikato travel

Dinner at the Chilli House is a must – a local Hamilton institution

Nothing beats spring at the Hamilton Gardens, especially in the early morning before the world wakes up. These gardens are pretty famous in New Zealand – and for a good reason – they’re fantastic!

Not just any old gardens, the Hamilton Gardens are more of a museum of gardens, dedicated to sharing examples of exquisite gardens around the world. As a new student of plant growing and mildly obsessed with historical botany, I was in heaven. Also, plants make me so happy, and nothing is better than a botanical garden in the spring, am I right?

While in Hamilton, we couldn’t resist a visit to New Zealand’s only tea plantation, Zealong Tea Estate.

As a neurotic lifelong coffee addict, I’ve begun drinking tea more and more in recent years, and I loved learning more and more about the process and careful cultivation of tea. And the intricacy of the tea pouring ritual is beautiful 😊

waikato travel

Me and my merino Allbirds loungers in the gardens – still the best travel shoe I reckon!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Surf’s up in Raglan

Nothing beats a sunset watching the surf in the sleeping seaside town of Raglan in the Waikato! Waikato’s travel here is incredible.

There’s just something special about this place that keeps bringing me back again and again and again. I love watching the sets roll in as locals jostle for the waves. It’s really mesmerizing. Laidback and chill, unpretentious and captivating, warm and lush, Raglan is a place that gets under your skin and stays a while.

You only have to spend a few hours here before you want to kick off your shoes and never leave. Literally. No one wears shoes here, even in winter. And why would you?

Must-dos on any North Island road trip

waikato travel

waikato travel

Bridal Veil Falls outside of Raglan is worth a visit!

waikato travel

Marvel at the glowworm caves in Waitomo

The first time I saw glowworms in New Zealand was over six years ago on an action-packed trip blackwater rafting in the Waitomo Caves.

Gazing up, it felt like I was looking at a universe of blue stars! But as it turns out, I was looking at a ceiling of bright shiny maggots! I love Mother Nature.

Māori call glowworms titiwai, which refers to lights reflected in water, and they are carnivorous glowing larvae that drip down a long sticky thread in dark, damp environments that entangle insects they attract with their bright lights! Too cool!

The best and most comfortable place to see them in New Zealand is at the Waitomo Caves, where there are various ways of taking them in from a chill walk or boat to an adventurous day floating through underground rivers!

waikato travel

Get your party on at Hobbiton

I can’t talk about exploring the Waikato travel region and not mention that it’s home to the real-life Hobbiton, where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films were shot. Guy, the Shire, is real and open for visitors. And it’s DELIGHTFUL.

I’ve been many a time to Hobbiton, even when I first moved to New Zealand in 2013. This time, however, I was so excited to return for their annual Hobbit Day, an epic feast and evening party at Hobbiton celebrating International Hobbit Day and Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday. It was actually the most fun!

Hobbiton sure knows how to throw a party, and it’s worth keeping an eye out on their events to try and time your visit when they’ve got something extra special happening.

Even if you don’t love the films as much as me, it’s still a pretty epic place to visit on a trip to New Zealand. The highlight for many, it doesn’t disappoint. Have you been?

An evening feast fit for a queen at Hobbiton

waikato travel

waikato travel

Relax and unwind at Villa Walton in Matamata

If you find yourself exploring on my Waikato travel, you have to stay at a B & B or farm stay at one point or another.

After visiting Hobbiton, try and grab a room at Villa Walton, the most elegant historic homestead in picturesque Matamata, overlooking the Kaimai Ranges.

Established in 1904, the rural boutique accommodation of Villa Walton oozes comfort and charm. With amazing homemade brekkie, great company, beautiful style, and a garden to die for, I was gutted only to spend one night here. I’ll be back for longer next time!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Go for a sunset glowworm paddle at Lake Karapiro

After a big day of exploring, we headed out for a perfect sunset guided kayak tour on the pristine Lake Karapiro, a place I’ve never been to before. What a beautiful part of the country the south Waikato is, idyllic, lush, and peaceful.

As the sun set behind the hills, we made our way towards the Pokaiwhenua Stream, a verdant green canyon straight from a storybook with Lake District Adventures.

After waiting for darkness to fall, we floated back through the narrow, steep canyon, in complete darkness, with nothing but millions of blue glowworms twinkling along the canyon walls and the Milky Way shining above our head!

This was definitely not a moment I will ever forget!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Visit the birds at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

The lovely native forest around Maungatautari never ceases to blow me away.

A massive predator-free fenced-in eco-sanctuary in the heart of the Waikato travel – the work they’re doing here to bring back our precious native creatures, like kiwi, is both inspiring and powerful.

Maungatautari is a true ecological ‘island,’ an eco-sanctuary inside one of the world’s longest predator-proof fences that allows beautiful New Zealand birdlife to thrive. Here you can find native wildlife, plants, and great walking trails, and I could easily spend hours and hours wandering in this incredible forest. What a place!

I really enjoyed getting up close and personal with kākā, a native New Zealand parrot, found chattering in the forests. They are lovely, and I always try and listen out for them when I know they are in the area.

waikato travel

waikato travel

waikato travel

Many thanks to the Mighty Waikato for hosting me on the North Island – like always, I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own – like you can expect less from me.

The post 20 photos that will inspire you to visit the Waikato, New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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20 photos that will inspire you to visit the Waikato, New Zealand


I’m so excited for springtime and warmer days here in New Zealand, and there’s nowhere better to experience it than up in the Waikato region of the North Island. Waikato travel will blow you away.

Lush and bucolic, with rolling green hills dotted with lambs and cows, beneath a bright blue sky, it’s no wonder this is the heart of New Zealand’s farm culture. I love watching everything bloom and finally being warm after months of frosts and snow down south where I call home.

Before we even land at the tiny Hamilton Airport, I’m struck by how green and fresh it seems here. Just south of Auckland lies the Waikato, an area I’ve visited many times but was excited to come back to again. A land of lush pastures, it’s not really surprising to any that Peter Jackson chose this area for the hobbits to call home in the Lord of the Rings films.

Spring here is as impressive as you can imagine, and I want to begin my story by sharing some of my favorite photos from a recent trip up north with you all before digging a little deeper. Enjoy!

waikato travel

waikato travel

waikato travel

Get to know Hamilton

The city of Hamilton is nestled on the banks of the mighty Waikato River on New Zealand’s North Island, and it is known for its walks, gardens, cafes, and nightlife. It’s also known as the Tron. Please, someone, tell me why. I have to know.

One thing I really loved about Hamilton on my Waikato travel was walking along the river, which seems to be the beating heart of the city. I can tell a lot of work has gone into making the riverfront epic, a fun spot to chill downtown. With lots of fun places to eat and explore, I couldn’t get enough.

And then as I was wandering, wearing my first short-sleeve dress this spring (yay it’s so warm!), I stumbled across this incredible mural of a kārearea (native NZ falcon) ❤️ , and I squealed with delight! And unabashed #birdnerd with a penchant for street art that decorates the walls of understated spots, all of my boxes were ticked as I spent a few days exploring Hamilton.

This mural “A Love Story” is based on a local, oral whakataukī (proverb) of a kārearea carrying two twins, Reipae and Reitu, from the Waikato to Whangarei for marriage. Painted by two renowned Auckland artists, Charlie and Janine Williams, it’s an exceptional price sharing a bit of local Māori narratives to the world. Have you seen it?

waikato travel

waikato travel

Dinner at the Chilli House is a must – a local Hamilton institution

Nothing beats spring at the Hamilton Gardens, especially in the early morning before the world wakes up. These gardens are pretty famous in New Zealand – and for a good reason – they’re fantastic!

Not just any old gardens, the Hamilton Gardens are more of a museum of gardens, dedicated to sharing examples of exquisite gardens around the world. As a new student of plant growing and mildly obsessed with historical botany, I was in heaven. Also, plants make me so happy, and nothing is better than a botanical garden in the spring, am I right?

While in Hamilton, we couldn’t resist a visit to New Zealand’s only tea plantation, Zealong Tea Estate.

As a neurotic lifelong coffee addict, I’ve begun drinking tea more and more in recent years, and I loved learning more and more about the process and careful cultivation of tea. And the intricacy of the tea pouring ritual is beautiful 😊

waikato travel

Me and my merino Allbirds loungers in the gardens – still the best travel shoe I reckon!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Surf’s up in Raglan

Nothing beats a sunset watching the surf in the sleeping seaside town of Raglan in the Waikato! Waikato’s travel here is incredible.

There’s just something special about this place that keeps bringing me back again and again and again. I love watching the sets roll in as locals jostle for the waves. It’s really mesmerizing. Laidback and chill, unpretentious and captivating, warm and lush, Raglan is a place that gets under your skin and stays a while.

You only have to spend a few hours here before you want to kick off your shoes and never leave. Literally. No one wears shoes here, even in winter. And why would you?

Must-dos on any North Island road trip

waikato travel

waikato travel

Bridal Veil Falls outside of Raglan is worth a visit!

waikato travel

Marvel at the glowworm caves in Waitomo

The first time I saw glowworms in New Zealand was over six years ago on an action-packed trip blackwater rafting in the Waitomo Caves.

Gazing up, it felt like I was looking at a universe of blue stars! But as it turns out, I was looking at a ceiling of bright shiny maggots! I love Mother Nature.

Māori call glowworms titiwai, which refers to lights reflected in water, and they are carnivorous glowing larvae that drip down a long sticky thread in dark, damp environments that entangle insects they attract with their bright lights! Too cool!

The best and most comfortable place to see them in New Zealand is at the Waitomo Caves, where there are various ways of taking them in from a chill walk or boat to an adventurous day floating through underground rivers!

waikato travel

Get your party on at Hobbiton

I can’t talk about exploring the Waikato travel region and not mention that it’s home to the real-life Hobbiton, where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films were shot. Guy, the Shire, is real and open for visitors. And it’s DELIGHTFUL.

I’ve been many a time to Hobbiton, even when I first moved to New Zealand in 2013. This time, however, I was so excited to return for their annual Hobbit Day, an epic feast and evening party at Hobbiton celebrating International Hobbit Day and Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday. It was actually the most fun!

Hobbiton sure knows how to throw a party, and it’s worth keeping an eye out on their events to try and time your visit when they’ve got something extra special happening.

Even if you don’t love the films as much as me, it’s still a pretty epic place to visit on a trip to New Zealand. The highlight for many, it doesn’t disappoint. Have you been?

An evening feast fit for a queen at Hobbiton

waikato travel

waikato travel

Relax and unwind at Villa Walton in Matamata

If you find yourself exploring on my Waikato travel, you have to stay at a B & B or farm stay at one point or another.

After visiting Hobbiton, try and grab a room at Villa Walton, the most elegant historic homestead in picturesque Matamata, overlooking the Kaimai Ranges.

Established in 1904, the rural boutique accommodation of Villa Walton oozes comfort and charm. With amazing homemade brekkie, great company, beautiful style, and a garden to die for, I was gutted only to spend one night here. I’ll be back for longer next time!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Go for a sunset glowworm paddle at Lake Karapiro

After a big day of exploring, we headed out for a perfect sunset guided kayak tour on the pristine Lake Karapiro, a place I’ve never been to before. What a beautiful part of the country the south Waikato is, idyllic, lush, and peaceful.

As the sun set behind the hills, we made our way towards the Pokaiwhenua Stream, a verdant green canyon straight from a storybook with Lake District Adventures.

After waiting for darkness to fall, we floated back through the narrow, steep canyon, in complete darkness, with nothing but millions of blue glowworms twinkling along the canyon walls and the Milky Way shining above our head!

This was definitely not a moment I will ever forget!

waikato travel

waikato travel

Visit the birds at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

The lovely native forest around Maungatautari never ceases to blow me away.

A massive predator-free fenced-in eco-sanctuary in the heart of the Waikato travel – the work they’re doing here to bring back our precious native creatures, like kiwi, is both inspiring and powerful.

Maungatautari is a true ecological ‘island,’ an eco-sanctuary inside one of the world’s longest predator-proof fences that allows beautiful New Zealand birdlife to thrive. Here you can find native wildlife, plants, and great walking trails, and I could easily spend hours and hours wandering in this incredible forest. What a place!

I really enjoyed getting up close and personal with kākā, a native New Zealand parrot, found chattering in the forests. They are lovely, and I always try and listen out for them when I know they are in the area.

waikato travel

waikato travel

waikato travel

Many thanks to the Mighty Waikato for hosting me on the North Island – like always, I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own – like you can expect less from me.

The post 20 photos that will inspire you to visit the Waikato, New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link