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.  

Mud Bath Rotorua
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall
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
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

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

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
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

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’...

Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

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