5 reasons why you NEED to travel to new zealand

Why you MUST visit New Zealand some day.

I don’t know if this is just because I’m more aware of New Zealand now (since living there), or if because this is actually true but – I feel like New Zealand is a more “main stream” travel destination now.

Hey, I am not complaining! It is such a charming little country that I believe paying the extra money on flights to get there is 100% worth it! But I do understand it is a money and time commitment to go. My parents tried visiting me while I was living in Dunedin (in the south island) and it took them almost two days to travel, then two days to adjust to the time difference, and then it left them maybe a week to explore.

I’m also thinking of doing my money saving tips when traveling to New Zealand because when you’re there on a college budget, you come up with a lot of ways to save!!

If New Zealand peaks your interest I have LOADS of tips and tricks of all my hot spots that you HAVE to see.

Related:

Top 10 MUST SEE travel destinations in New Zealand

5 Coolest Hidden Beaches in New Zealand: shhh it’s a secret!

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour: is it worth it?

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The Views

Both islands are filled with mountainous landscape, hidden hot springs, beaches, and rolling hills; the country offers a bit of everything.

So much is packed into the small land-mass of New Zealand, it’s quite incredible actually. New Zealand definitely has more perks if you are the outdoorsy type, with incredible hiking trails. But, regardless, it’s easy to find something to love about it.

Personally, I’m a sucker for a good view: whether I hiked, drove or took a tram up to the top to see it (NZ loves their trams)!

*pro tip* a lot more mountains and trails are in the south island, *cough cough* the better island.

Related: Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand: are the hot spots worth it?

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The People

I’ve mentioned it before but the people are so welcoming and judgement free. Coming from the States, that was such an eye opener to me.

When you’re in a taxi or an uber the driver actually shows respect and that they care about your day. The interactions are not forced & so much more genuine. Anytime I visit a cafe or a shop I’m always blown away by the hospitality and how they are so open to start conversations with strangers.

The culture behind New Zealand makes the quality of living so much higher and less stressful. I can’t stress enough how coming from the United States this all means to me. So grateful for my interactions with the local kiwis!!!

Related: Unforgettable places you NEED to visit in New Zealand & Getting adjusted // living in New Zealand

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The Cafe Culture

If you’ve seen any of my other posts you could guess that I sure LOVE cafe culture and a food flat white.

New Zealand offers both: the home of the mighty flat white (hence my blog name) and also a great cafe culture. They just know how to put a good menu together and offer you the freshest ingredients where the food also comes out fast!

Cafes act as a the epicenter for social hour – whether it’s to grab a takeaway coffee before work or a nice bite on the weekends. Because of the competitive cafe culture, they have to be designed with more thought and care as a result – some healthy competition!

But seriously, in places like Wellington if your cafe isn’t amazing in every aspect, then you don’t stand a chance. This also results in better coffee in general, which I can’t complain about! All of the baristas have to be well trained and on point with their milk frothing techniques. It’s a win-win!!

Related: Top coffee spots in Dunedin, New Zealand

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The Unique Wildlife

new zealand birds
taken from a no longer existing website – so I got it from pinterest

Oh yes, the unique New Zealand birds.

New Zealand cracks me up because no land mammals are native and the few they have (ferrets, hedgehogs, rats, etc.) are all considered a danger to these native birds. Of course there’s the kiwi bird – what an icon – but another favorite of mine is the blue one in the center, the “Pukeko”. Look them up they look ancient-like with long wobbly legs and are just hilarious to watch. The “Kea” is also a pretty funny one; they are the only polar parrot.

One of the many things I admire about New Zealand is their sustainability and their efforts to protect their natural wildlife & habitats. All over the country, there are sanctuaries for their native birds which give them a safe environment to live in free from land pests.

Besides the crazy birds, they offer so much more: penguins, whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions, fur seals, and well….. random land mammals that are pests to the native birds. So lots of marine life and sheep pretty much.

gotta love all the sheep!!

Related: First full day exploring Dunedin, New Zealand

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The Isolation

Let’s be real, it’s no secret that New Zealand is an island nation off doing their own thing.

I personally find the isolation aspect really enticing and also relaxing. The location makes it a lot easier to separate yourself from whatever the rest of the world is doing – in the best way!

I’ve never been a tropical island kind of person, so New Zealand gives me that isolation island feel but without all the sand….

ooooh!!! fun fact: New Zealand has both white & black sand beaches – check out post on the prettiest hidden beaches I’ve found in New Zealand here – 5 prettiest hidden beaches in New Zealand

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After living in New Zealand and being able to go back a couple times I feel like I still have so much to say about this lovely country. Any travel questions or post requests in the future please let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for checking this out! I appreciate it so much.

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Most Instagram Worthy Photo Spots in San Francisco

Want location ideas for your instagram feed? or photo spots that are anything but the Golden Gate Bridge? (because trust me, there are a lot)

Then keep reading!!!

Before leaving for the west coast, I can’t lie-

one of my biggest google searches was “instagram spots in San Francisco”

– or searches dedicated to my other upcoming travel destinations. I had no clue before-hand that putting together a list of your ultimate instagram aesthetic spots was a thing, but I’m so happy it is.

The ones I looked at months ago I found so helpful so I hope this helps or sparks some interest in you!

This past February on my west coast travels, I embarked on a 4-day mini trip to San Francisco, California. Being such an odd time in the year to travel, especially in the states, it made going to the touristy spots much easier to get good photos. Also, with me not being a fan of weather above 65-70 degrees F, if I went to California any later in the year I would die of heat exhaustion.

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Related Posts:

The Best Photo Spots in Berlin

Brighton Beach, New Zealand Photo Diary


Palace of Fine Arts

I was blown away by the architecture and how the area itself made me feel like I was off in some distant country. There was so many spots here perfect for photos and a cute little pond and pathways that wrapped around the main dome.

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Alamo Square

gotta love that shadow of my boyfriend haha

Of course when I went here the “famous” colored buildings in the square were under construction but it still was a great view of the city.

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16th Avenue Tiled Steps

To my surprise the city actually has multiple tiled staircases, and as you can guess, they’re all gorgeous. It took some time to get here with public transportation (and lots of uphill walking, but I guess you have to expect that in San Francisco).

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*random fun fact time* the steepest residential street in the WORLD is NOT in San Francisco!! It is in Dunedin, New Zealand. I have a travel guide featuring it here.


After heading to see the mosaic steps I’m sure you’re going to be tired and just want to sit down; this brings me to my next destination.

I have the perfect place for you.

Home Coffee Roasters

Me being the coffee obsessed person that I am of course I had to include a cute cafe in here (full San Francisco coffee guide coming very soon)!

In the mean time check out my past coffee guides for New York City, Berlin & Portland, Oregon.

The baristas here are SO talented and make it easy to get adorable photos. My mind was blown when I saw the latte art on mine and my boyfriend’s. They also have a long list of really unique flavored coffee beverages!

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The Streets – Lombard Street

Sounds simple but the city itself has so many unique streets. There are many hidden steps and alleyways cutting through parks and such.

One specific one I will mention (because it is the most popular one), is Lombard Street. Even if you don’t go to take photos, per say, it’s such an odd street with its unique characteristics. This spot is normally pretty crowded, but I saw so many people taking that to their advantage to take creative photos.


Palace of Fine Arts

Other Location Ideas: Alcatraz, near the cable cars and the many cute spots on the waterfront!

Thanks so much if you’ve read this far. I appreciate the support so much.

Lots of love,

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