Book with confidence
Our COVID-19 flexibility promise

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.  

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

 The Routeburn Track - The Must Do Day Walk
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Routeburn Track: The Flats and up to the Routeburn Falls

Last month, accompanied by Andrew Wells, aka 'The Hiking Guy", and I took the opportunity to hike the eastern end (the Glenorchy side) of the Routeburn Track. Hiking along the Flats and up to the spectacular Routeburn Falls. Considering the day had started out with torrential rain with no real chance of it getting any better,  the day turned out to be memorable, regardless - but that's Mount Aspiring National Park for you, awe-inspiring in all conditions.

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Lake Kaniere
Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

I’d been told the West Coast Wilderness Trail was something really special by a few people who had biked it. But being a mountain biker, it had sounded a bit too tame. Recently I rode it as part of a ride along many of the cycle trails around New Zealand. Turned out the West Coast Wilderness Trail was my favourite of all the trails. It had it all: stunning scenery, a relaxing fun ride, and importantly, well-spaced distances between cafes. 

Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton

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

Subscribe to our blog

Sign up to our blog newsletter to get the latest updates.

*We will not spam your email, this newletter is sent once a month or so.

Recent Posts

Blog Categories

Blog archives