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.  

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

Hiking New Zealand
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

The South Island's Top Tourist Attractions

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’...

Location Map

Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

Best New Zealand Itinerary for a Honeymoon
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes
Follow Your Heart To New Zealand and welcome to a country where romance greets you at every turn – on a secluded beach; as the sun sets over the Southern Alps; under the clearest of starry skies – what better place to spend one of the most wonderful times of your life?
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

Elliot’s Bay in Northland
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor
Picture hitting the open roads and beginning a vacation full of freedom, independence and fun. Visiting destinations that are well off the beaten track is part of what makes a self-drive holiday one of the best ways to experience the real New Zealand. With your own rental car and a loose itinerary, you’ve got the ability to soak up New Zealand exactly the way you want to. Part of the attraction of self-driving is the opportunity to take your time and stop in at places that you might not otherwise see on a tour.
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

Lisanne's Wellington Adventure
Lisanne
Submitted by
Lisanne Antenbrink

Lisanne, one of First Light Travel’s interns, travelled down the North Island to visit New Zealand’s capital. Being from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, she loves coffee, craft beer, and great food. In addition to that, she also is a huge the Lord of the Rings fan. As Wellington offers all listed above, it made perfect sense to pay the windy capital a visit.  Because of the limited time I would have in Wellington, I wanted to make most out of it. When looking up the city’s must-do’s, a few things caught my eye which were repeated everywhere.

Lisanne
Submitted by
Lisanne Antenbrink

New Zealand by Rail
Anne Baumscheiper
Submitted by
Anne Baumscheiper

Travelling New Zealand by rail is a bit more than just an efficient way to get around; in fact, because of our challenging landscape we actually don’t have a vast stretch of rail. But thanks to the amazing feats of engineering achieved by some hardy early pioneers, we’ve got some impressive rail journeys that criss-cross the country. In one just one trip, you can traverse snow-dusted mountain ranges, glide around glistening coastlines and sweep lush farmland dotted with bouncing lambs.  Here’s the low-down on exploring New Zealand by rail.

Anne Baumscheiper
Submitted by
Anne Baumscheiper

Where is Milford Sound?
Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

What do you picture when you think of New Zealand? Crystal-clear rivers twisting and turning through untouched forests, mountains dusted with snow and waterfalls cascading into bright blue pools? If so, you’ve definitely got Milford in mind. As one of the most famously beautiful places in New Zealand, “where is Milford Sound?” is a pretty common question that we get asked! Often referred to as “the eighth wonder of the world,” Milford Sound nestles majestically into the Southwest coast of the South Island, in the Fiordland region.   

Kirst Thorp
Submitted by
Kirsten Thorp

Things to do in Wanaka New Zealand
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Wanaka is nestled lakeside, surrounded by huge mountain ranges and protected nature reserves, it is like Queenstown’s charming little sister – a lovely little mix of small town warmth and a slow, relaxed pace in one of the most beautiful settings in New Zealand. If you love nature, adventure, relaxing, wine, or all of the above, you will find countless things to do in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

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