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.  

Top Tourist Attractions in the North Island New Zealand
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes
Our little country packs quite a punch for its size -­ around every corner you’ll find diverse culture, unbelievable landscapes and colorful history – so we’ve handpicked the top tourist attractions in the North Island to give you a hand planning the most unforgettable New Zealand adventure.  
Alex
Submitted by
Alex Bayes

Jasmijn and Julia explore Hobbiton Middle Earth
Julia Schlichting
Submitted by
Julia Schlichting

Jasmijn and Julia two of First Light Travel's latest interns venture into the Waikato to explore Hobbiton Middle Earth the now famous movie set to see what all the fuss is about. Jasmijn is from Elst in the Eastern part of Holland near the German boarder and Julia is from Munich in Germany so both like the hobbits are no strangers to the delights of beer - but will the Hobbit village and especially the Green Dragon Inn meet their high expectations?  

Julia Schlichting
Submitted by
Julia Schlichting

Best Day Hikes in the South Island
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

The South Island is the ‘crown jewel’ when it comes to hiking, offering an overwhelming amount of the best New Zealand day hikes set amongst an untouched wilderness. We’ve put in the miles for you and come up with six world-­class day walks to consider conquering on your South Island New Zealand vacation.

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Travelling Safely in New Zealand
Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

It’s fair to say New Zealand’s a pretty safe place to travel, we have no poisonous snakes or dangerous animals and are populated by a small group of pretty laid back, genuinely friendly people. Hell, our police don’t even carry guns! – We have nothing to worry about! But 'Keeping it Real' there are few things you do need to be aware of, especially if you are planning to get out into the great outdoors.

Elizabeth Marshall
Submitted by
Elizabeth Marshall

New Zealand Wine Regions
Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

 Love delicious, high-quality wine? Down under in New Zealand, so do we – and kiwi wine is known to be some of the best in the world! From the lightest of whites to the richest of reds, New Zealand’s mild climate, contrasting, fertile landscapes and innovative spirit create delicious vintages every single year. We reckon incorporating a couple of the best New Zealand wine regions into your self-drive vacation is a must. From Auckland to the Hawke’s Bay and the Gibbston Valley, here’s an overview of New Zealand wine regions and tours to help you get a feel for our finest drops.

Suzie
Submitted by
Suzie Thorp

Ashley & Jordi Dive the Poor Knights
Stephanie Kellenberger
Submitted by
Stephanie Kellenberger

We are Ashley & Jordi, Canadian & Dutch Tourism Management students in Amsterdam. As part of our studies we needed to complete a five month internship which we chose to do at First Light Travel in New Zealand. During our time there we were able to explore much of the beautiful country and one of our most unforgettable experiences was to dive the Knights Islands. A protected nature reserve with a rich Maori history, these uninhabited islands off the East coast of New Zealand’s North Island have now been labeled ‘tapu’ or sacred.

Stephanie Kellenberger
Submitted by
Stephanie Kellenberger

Rosa and Juuso Hike the Tongariro Northern Circuit
Rosa
Submitted by
Rosa Repo

We are Rosa and Juuso, Tourism Management students from Finland. As a part of our studies we need to complete five months of internship, and we decided to do that at First Light Travel in New Zealand.  During our stay we have explored the country, and one of our trips was to take 3-days and Hike the Tongariro Northern Circuit in the beautiful Tongariro National Park. For us it was something very special as we don’t have anything like that in Finland...

Rosa
Submitted by
Rosa Repo

Best New Zealand Day Hikes – North Island
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

What first comes to mind when you think of New Zealand? Our soaring Southern Alps? Windswept coastlines? Glistening lakes? Our country was made to be explored on foot – it’s the only way to experience the full extent of NZ’s striking wilderness. To show you how to incorporate a little hiking into your New Zealand itinerary, we’ve put together a couple of posts about our favourite day hikes. Here’s the Best New Zealand Day Hikes - The North Island instalment.    

Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey

Best Small group tours of North Island New Zealand
Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

For most, travelling ‘down-under’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and that is why it is so important to get it right the first time. On a small group tour is one of our most popular holiday options; a Kiwi expert will do all the hard yards for you. Visit world-famous destinations as well as New Zealand’s best-kept secrets and share stories of the country’s compelling past while you only have one job… to enjoy our beautiful country! We’ve put together some of the Best Small group tours of North Island New Zealand – see what you think.

Steve Taylor
Submitted by
Steve Taylor

Interns Enjoying New Zealand
Stephanie Kellenberger
Submitted by
Stephanie Kellenberger

We are Stephanie and Martina, tourism students from Germany and Switzerland, who were lucky enough to have the opportunity to live and work in Auckland for a few months. We love to travel and explore so were on the road every other weekend exploring the rest of New Zealand. The circumstances for this little trip could not have been better: the weather forecast was amazing and thanks to Queens Birthday it was a long weekend.  In order to explore the Central North Island we left Auckland after work on Friday, arriving in Taupo around 11pm.

Stephanie Kellenberger
Submitted by
Stephanie Kellenberger

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