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.  

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

Zara Family Holiday
Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

We had booked the trip with our children, 8 & 10 years old and were travelling with another family of five, with children aged 7, 10 & 12. Once on board, with cabins found; there are 2 double cabins and 2 rooms which are shared with 3 bunks in each with 1 main shared bathroom – (if its ensuite travel you are used to – leave those comfort expectations back on dry land – as the scenery and experience more than makes up for the close quarters).

Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

Binder Family
Colby Binder
Submitted by
Colby Binder
Are you seeking inspiration for the ultimate New Zealand family holiday? Wouldn't it be great to read a genuine kid's-eye view of what New Zealand is REALLY like, in their own words? 12 year old Colby Binder and his family recently spent 27 days on a New Zealand self-drive adventure we created for them, and he documented the highs (and occasional lows) on his outstanding travel blog. Follow Colby as he hikes, zip-lines, cruises and mountain-bikes around the country with mom, dad and sister Sierra in tow.
Colby Binder
Submitted by
Colby Binder

How Long to spend in NZ
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies
Are you struggling to decide how long your New Zealand dream trip should be? Or how much time your budget will allow? First Light Travel are here to help! Filled to the brim with travel planning tips & tricks and sample itineraries from our Travel Specialists, this definitive guide shows you how to have the very best adventures in the time you have available, whether it's 5 days or 5 weeks. However long you're here for, you're going to love it.
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies

Earnslaw Burn
Ruth Peaden
Submitted by
Ruth Peaden

A planned visit to Queenstown turned into a spontaneous trip to Earnslaw Burn. The glacier has created several waterfalls that cascade over the ridges of the mountains which were featured in the Hobbit movies. The breath-taking views of the Earnslaw glacier and waterfalls make the hike on the Earnslaw track so worth it. 

Ruth Peaden
Submitted by
Ruth Peaden

Fiji Islands Holiday
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies
Why not end your New Zealand adventure with a few lazy days in a remote Pacific Island paradise? Whether your New Zealand Dream Holiday is family road trip, a honeymoon hiking adventure, a golf tour or a ski trip, it can feel like you need another holiday after all the excitement. The Pacific Islands are famous for their welcoming hospitality, warm climate and heavenly natural beauty. From luxury beach huts to renting your own private island, there are accommodation options for every taste and budget.
Maz
Submitted by
Marianne Davies

murchison antique shop
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor
After your unforgettable adventures in the Land of the Long White Cloud, you'll definitely want to bring a small piece of New Zealand home with you. While shopping is unlikely to be the main focus of your trip, it's worth taking time out to browse our stores for treasures you just won't find anywhere else. Our cosy Merino woollens, healing Manuka honey, and world-class wines are worthy and popular choices, all of which can be grabbed last-minute at the airport. But consider making time during your stay to wander our local markets, visit artisanal studios, and chat to friendly local makers. When you immerse yourselves in local life, anything you buy will always remind you of your Kiwi experiences and adventures. You won't regret it.
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

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

Mitch
Inke and Mitch
Submitted by
Inke and Mitch
We are Michelle and Inke, we both are originally from Germany and came to New Zealand to do a five-month internship at First Light Travel for our Tourism management studies at home. After finishing this internship, we wanted to see more of the beautiful country and decided to travel to the South Island of New Zealand together. - The Dalai Lama once said, "Once a year go someplace you´ve never been before". This is our Mantra for this road trip, a trip we will never forget.
Inke and Mitch
Submitted by
Inke and Mitch

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