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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

Cape Foulwind
 Jessica Verme
Submitted by
Jessica Verme
Be inspired by Jessica's South Island self-drive holiday highlights: these well-known wonders and hidden gems are worthy additions to your NZ bucket list.
 Jessica Verme
Submitted by
Jessica Verme

Jessica's North Island Adventure
 Jessica Verme
Submitted by
Jessica Verme
Jessica Verme's account of her 28 day New Zealand road trip is brimming with inspiration for your own Kiwi adventure. From ziplining over Rotorua's redwoods to tackling the epic Tongariro Crossing, here are her North Island highlights.
 Jessica Verme
Submitted by
Jessica Verme

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

Five Day Milford Track (Amazing) –  Options if dont have the time but still want the Experience?
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Behold the Milford Track!

This is the view that confronts you walking down to Sandfly point toward Milford Sound. All the superlatives in the world have been used to describe the majesty that is Milford. If you cant sacrifice the five days required to walk the world famous track, then we have combined a guided walk and cruise on the sound that will give you great insight into this very special place. Last month I walked a section of the track to gain a better understanding of the experience on offer - I was pleasantly surprised.

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

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