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.  

New Zealand Family Holidays
Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp
New Zealand is the perfect destination for a family holiday. Here are some handy tips from travelling Super Mom Suzie who has holidayed with her kids all over NZ. Suzie points out the best cultural and adventure activities, the best child friendly hot pools and a lot more. Complete with a selection of family holiday itineraries to help with your planning process.
Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

Lizs Trip
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall
Hi my name is Elizabeth and I am the customer services and product manager here at First Light Travel. Every year I get to travel around New Zealand and try out new experiences. If they are up to scratch we will add them into our self-drive or small group tour itineraries. In this blog I have highlighted this years favourites and hope they will inspire you in planning your New Zealand vacation.
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

Mud Bath Rotorua
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies
Nestled by the shore of its namesake lake, Rotorua is a gem of a city in the central North Island, packed with things to see and do. It’s one of our top recommendations to add to your New Zealand North Island itinerary. Rotorua is home to volcanic landscapes, soothing thermal pools and ancient redwood forests. Find out why Rotorua is a Bucket List Destination
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies

Soak in a hot tub during winter
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
We know that for many of you, the Northern Hemisphere summer is the perfect time for your annual getaway: the school year has finished, and many businesses are quieter. Luckily, it's also the perfect time for a magical winter wonderland tour of New Zealand!
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Planning a New Zealand Self-drive Holiday
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes
Planning the perfect New Zealand self-drive holiday isn’t easy, especially if you have never visited before. Sure, there are an overwhelming number of online resources and reviews available to help you, but can you truly be sure that a reviewer’s idea of the perfect trip would be the same as yours? Before you know it, the amount of time you have spent researching online is longer than your annual leave! At First Light Travel we will take the stress out of planning, eliminate the guesswork, and de-sign a trip to surpass your expectations. Better still, our service is absolutely free. Let us help you plan your ultimate New Zealand self-drive tour.
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

Rafting the Landsborough River
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
This is a rare beauty! The Landsborough is possibly one of New Zealand's most scenic and isolated wild rivers. For better or worse I am now signed up for a three-day rafting adventure on the Landsborough River as it flows from Mt Cook National Park to the Haast River in South Westland - on the rugged West Coast of the South Island.
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

A keep left road sign shown on a New Zealand road
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor
It’s essential to know the road rules to keep safe when driving. When visiting New Zealand on holiday or on business, hiring a car or motorhome, you’ll need to be familiar with how our Road Code differs from the driving rules in your country. If you are planning a New Zealand self-drive holiday vacation, we recommend you read this article and partake on the various online 'Test Before You Leave' programme's - It pays to be prepared.
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

Beautiful road to Mount Cook National Park
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall
Many years ago, I bought a car in Christchurch, came up with an itinerary and embarked on a homegrown New Zealand road trip. This epic journey lasted four full months and was easily the best trip of my life. And I’ve been to a lot of places in this world. What made this adventure so good? Well, first of all, New Zealand is an easy place to travel by car thanks to the first-world infrastructure and modern roads. But there’s also an excitement factor thanks to the wild feel of the backroads, tracks and lesser-visited areas. Everywhere you go people are friendly but the less-visited areas, only accessible by people with their own transport, are also the most welcoming. 
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

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

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

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