Welcome to our New Zealand Travel Blog DownsideUP

This blog is dedicated to inform and inspire you on all things to do with New Zealand and Australia. Actually we write posts on anything that’s of interest in the South Pacific (our home) DownsideUP was started in 2008, so there is plenty of interesting content to inspire you to visit us Down Under.  

First Light Travel Qualmark Gold
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall
First Light Travel have achieved the highly prized Gold Standard Award for Sustainable Tourism from Qualmark: Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award. A gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism business in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do. A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world-class sustainable visitor destination.
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

Important New Travel Rules for New Zealand
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies
If you're visiting New Zealand from the UK, USA or Europe (or one of 60 other countries) after October 2019, you may need to obtain the new NZeETA before you travel. What's an NZeTA, and will you need one? Our simple guide contains all you need to know.
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies

Mountain Biking from Wanaka
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton
Take a ride on the Queenstown Trail. When I travel overseas, the most common place people say they want to visit in New Zealand is Queenstown. I tell them it’s beautiful and they should go, and that one of the best things to do is go for a bike ride. Queenstown is famous for its mountain biking, but it also has The Queenstown Trails. They are a network of easy off-road cycle trails around the region. When I’m there, I ride these cycle trails every day. They’re that good.
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

Morning Paddle Boarding Auckland
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton
Auckland is a harbour city. It’s called the City of Sails for a reason. To truly know the place means getting out on the water. There are lots of different ways for you to explore Auckland from the water. It could be by ferry, yacht, jet boat, cruise, or kayak. But my favourite is on a stand-up paddleboard or SUP.
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

New Zealand North Island Adventure
The Danielczyk's
Submitted by
The Danielczyk's
Edward & Deborah Danielczyk (USA) recently spent 25 days on a New Zealand self-drive adventure First Light Travel created for them. On their return they painstakingly crafted a journey pictorial, publishing it on Shutterfly. This unedited account of their trip is a must-read for anyone planning a New Zealand self-drive tour and wondering which locations & activities are worthwhile – Here is the North Island Instalment.
The Danielczyk's
Submitted by
The Danielczyk's

The Danielczyk's South Island Holiday - Pictorial
The Danielczyk's
Submitted by
The Danielczyk's
Edward & Deborah Danielczyk (USA) recently spent 25 days on a New Zealand self-drive adventure First Light Travel created for them. On their return they painstakingly crafted a pictorial journal, publishing it on Shutterfly. This unedited account of their trip is a must-read for anyone planning a New Zealand self-drive tour and wondering which locations & activities are worthwhile – Here is the South Island Instalment.
The Danielczyk's
Submitted by
The Danielczyk's

Bay of Islands
Michelle Srzich
Submitted by
Michelle

I love to travel independently and New Zealand is certainly a wonderful place to explore by yourself, but I also like to socialize with like-minded people and have someone else do the driving once in a while. After a week on the road with Grand Pacific Tours, I can certainly see the appeal of the coach touring lifestyle.

Michelle Srzich
Submitted by
Michelle

Lake Kaniere
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

I’d been told the West Coast Wilderness Trail was something really special by a few people who had biked it. But being a mountain biker, it had sounded a bit too tame. Recently I rode it as part of a ride along many of the cycle trails around New Zealand. Turned out the West Coast Wilderness Trail was my favourite of all the trails. It had it all: stunning scenery, a relaxing fun ride, and importantly, well-spaced distances between cafes. 

Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

Jim and Pam Butchart
Jim Butchart
Submitted by
Jim Butchart
Follow Jim and Pam's self-drive adventures on their New Zealand dream vacation, organised by our superstar travel specialist Jo. From Waiheke Island wineries to an unforgettable flight over Milford Sound, discover what they loved about road-tripping around the North & South Island. There's even a guest appearance from Huey Lewis!
Jim Butchart
Submitted by
Jim Butchart

New Zealand Fly Fishing
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

I get a good all-round buzz from fishing. Being a Cantabrian, I am spoilt for choice in our South Island waterways. I’d take a few hours of any fishing method, including spinning, trolling, jigging or surf casting, but my favorite is fly fishing with a light line.  I don’t hunt trophy fish, figuring that the big ones can do without the shock. I catch and release unless I need a feed.

Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

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