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.  

Abel Tasman Beach
Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

My home town Nelson is the gateway city to many tourist gems, amongst them the best day hike in the South Island. The 12.4 kilometer (7.5 mile) walk from Marahau to Anchorage is the start of the Abel Tasman National Park, which is one of the more popular Great Walks of New Zealand (completed in 3-4 days). Described as an easy four-hour walk on a gentle coastal trail, our merry band (a school trip of 11 and 12-year-old girls) set a cracking pace and easily took an hour off that estimate. 

Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

Guide to Canyoning in New Zealand's South Island
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Are you interested in true adventure and wanting to get into a wilderness environment? If you are planning a holiday to New Zealand then you should seriously consider canyoning. The nature of this sport gets you into area’s very few get the privilege to visit.  Think crystal blue pools, waterfalls and truly untouched virgin forests – and if you are fit and love adventure this could be perfect for you.

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

new zealand pool
Alex
Submitted by
Alexandra Suter

I am Alexandra, one of First Light Travel’s interns,. We decided to explore the beautiful Northland area just North of Auckland. Coming from Switzerland, I know all about majestic mountains and glaciers. therefore I wanted to experience something else New Zealand has to offer. Our weekend trip took us North to Whangarei and Matapouri where we discovered some amazing coastline, beaches and even a hidden mermaid pool.

Alex
Submitted by
Alexandra Suter

St James Track
Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

Brent, Suzie and Kirsten embark on a three-day self-drive adventure from sunny Nelson, along State Highway 5 to the Alpine and Spa Village of Hanmer Springs. A long weekend full of unexpected treasures, interesting excursions amongst some really remarkable scenery - so all in all thats more than a thumbs up!   

Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

Top Tourist Attractions in the South Island of New Zealand
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

The South Island is the jewel of New Zealand, showcasing some of the most contrasting natural environments you’ll ever see. There’s everything from ancient glaciers to vast golden beaches, majestic sounds carving through sky-­scraping mountains to lush rolling farmland. Below, Top Tourist Attractions in the South Island of New Zealand to help you plan the best itinerary for your journey ‘down under’...

Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

Best New Zealand Itinerary for a Honeymoon
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

In New Zealand romance greets you at every turn – on a secluded beach; as the sun sets on the alps; under the clearest of starry nights – so what better place to spend one of the most wonderful times of your life? Here are some of the most romantic places that together make up the...

Best New Zealand Itinerary for a Honeymoon...

Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

Great Walks in New Zealand
Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

If you want to truly experience our vast wilderness down here in New Zealand then there is only one thing you can do… get amongst it! Lucky we have a great network of hiking tracks, each offering a different perspective of our epic landscapes. Great walks in New Zealand are the elite of the elite. In New Zealand’s most iconic, untouched and beautiful places, these nine walks have something to delight around every turn – native wildlife popping up to say “kia ora,”indescribably magic views and landscapes so contrasting it’s like you’re visiting many different countries all at once.

Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

Lisanne's Wellington Adventure
Lisanne
Submitted by
Lisanne Antenbrink

Lisanne, one of First Light Travel’s interns, travelled down the North Island to visit New Zealand’s capital. Being from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, she loves coffee, craft beer, and great food. In addition to that, she also is a huge the Lord of the Rings fan. As Wellington offers all listed above, it made perfect sense to pay the windy capital a visit.  Because of the limited time I would have in Wellington, I wanted to make most out of it. When looking up the city’s must-do’s, a few things caught my eye which were repeated everywhere.

Lisanne
Submitted by
Lisanne Antenbrink

New Zealand by Rail
Anne Baumscheiper
Submitted by
Anne Baumscheiper

Travelling New Zealand by rail is a bit more than just an efficient way to get around; in fact, because of our challenging landscape we actually don’t have a vast stretch of rail. But thanks to the amazing feats of engineering achieved by some hardy early pioneers, we’ve got some impressive rail journeys that criss-cross the country. In one just one trip, you can traverse snow-dusted mountain ranges, glide around glistening coastlines and sweep lush farmland dotted with bouncing lambs.  Here’s the low-down on exploring New Zealand by rail.

Anne Baumscheiper
Submitted by
Anne Baumscheiper

Where is Milford Sound?
Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

What do you picture when you think of New Zealand? Crystal-clear rivers twisting and turning through untouched forests, mountains dusted with snow and waterfalls cascading into bright blue pools? If so, you’ve definitely got Milford in mind. As one of the most famously beautiful places in New Zealand, “where is Milford Sound?” is a pretty common question that we get asked! Often referred to as “the eighth wonder of the world,” Milford Sound nestles majestically into the Southwest coast of the South Island, in the Fiordland region.   

Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

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