Travel Tuesday to New Zealand with #Blog4NZ

Hobitton New Zealand

Photo Credit: alexindigo

Today’s post is dedicated to #Blog4NZ, a grassroots blogging and social media effort to support New Zealand travel in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake.

It’s devastating to hear about natural disaster of many parts of the world especially in New Zealand and most recently Japan. I as a travel blogger feel that we have a platform to help promote the awareness and support them.

I have never been to New Zealand but it’s on the top of my bucket list. Today I want to take you on the virtual tour of many posts I have saved up for my future trip to New Zealand.


Photo Credit: The Road Forks

Dreaming of LOTR Trilogy Epic Tour – It will start of from my own post about our dream trip to visit New Zealand – the vast landscape with beauty and mystic mountain.

New Zealand Visit with the Road Forks – One of my favorite travel couple visited New Zealand last year and I truly enjoyed following their posts. Akila wrote up a detail wrap up post with great suggestion (Hobbit hunting anyone? and Patrick’s pictures make me want to book my flight right there and then.

Adventures in New Zealand with The Planet D – The adventurous couple, the Planet D, arrived in New Zealand right after the Earthquake. I have been following their posts on their trip for awhile. This trip in New Zealand, Dave & Deb definitely put New Zealand to test on their adventurous skills. They have been enjoying their Flying Kiwi Experiences ranging from white water rafting, flying, sky diving and bungy jumping. Whew!!! That’s a LOT of adventure fun in one country.

New Zealand with Kids – Mara at Mother of All Trips has a great post on New Zealand with kids from her research. We are all dreaming about making this trip.

These are just a small set of posts about traveling to New Zealand. To find out more posts about traveling to New Zealand from bloggers around the world check out #Blog4NZ site.

Dreaming of: New Zealand: The LOTR Trilogy Epic Tour


Today’s dream is for Mr. Rojo. He is a well-traveled guy. When he was a kid, his parents took him all around the world from Saudi Arabia, Europe and Asia. So he thinks his adventure day is over. Too bad he is married to me because I will be dragging him all around the world with the kids again. :) Recently, I asked him.. where do you want to go the most? It took him a good long 10 minutes to come up with the answer – New Zealand.

Why New Zealand you ask? Why not? It’s one of the most beautiful place in the world. It’s the setting of the epic movies – Lord of the Ring Trilogy. And you can guess, we are a big fan of the books and the movies.

I don’t know much about New Zealand but I know we can’t possibly see the whole country in 2 weeks (our typical long vacation time). So today dream trip will be all about LOTR tour.


Where to Stay in New Zealand:

OH.. We can’t fly across the pacific ocean and not stay at the Hobbit Motel. How cool will that be to stay in this cute hotel. The hotel is in the Woodlyn Park near Waitomo about 2 hours from Auckland and actually there are other off-the-wall accommodation like Train Motel (which Mr. Z might try to convince us to stay there) and Plane Motel. What a cool place!

I also dream about renting a camper van and drive around the North Island. But with limited time, we will see if that’s doable.

By Rengber

By Rengber

What to Do in New Zealand with Kids:

When travel with kids, we have to find attractions that also kid-friendly and nothing will scream kid-friendly other than the Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World where they can enjoy the underwater world of the Southern sea marine lifes and the Antarctic’s encounter of the penguin colony.

We are dreaming of a visit to Waikato where we begin the journey to the Middle Earth. Ok.. I feel a bit geeky now.. First stop will be Matamata home of the Hobbiton and a tour of the remaining actual set from LOTR movies. We will check out Waitomo Glowworm Caves taking the journey underground to this unique deep limestone shaft illuminated by thousand of tiny creatures that glow.

Then we will spend a day on a hot water beach at Kawhia Harbour in our own newly digged spa pool. Next stop 2 hours to the East is Rotorua – home of the active volcano and Maori village. Kids will enjoy the sight of geyser shooting up the sky and we hope for a Polynesia Spa experience.

Next up, the capital city of New Zealand – Wellington. We are dreaming of visiting several filming sites from the movie and sightseeing around the city.

And if we have more time, we dream even bigger of heading to the South Island and visit Queenstown. The Nomad Safaris seems to be a good choice for the adventure tour for the LOTR fan like us. A half day tour on the jeep to see the magnificent location from the movie set. What else can we dream for!

Now that’s my dream. Check out other travelers’ dreams at Mother of All Trips.

50 Places of a Lifetime By Intelligent Travel

Today I read the blog on Intelligent Travel on this post – ’50 Places of a Lifetime’.

What a great post. It has inspired me to look at what is my own list so far. I was amazed at how many places I have seen and how many more places I have yet to see.

The list includes the link to National Geographic site for each city with detail ranging from hotel, restaurant, entertainments, must-do lists and photo gallery. This will be my must-check before we plan any big vacation. I’m a sucker of completing a list. So I will have to try my best to check this one of mine!

Here is my list. I have managed to see 20 out of 50 places. I guess it helps that I lived or live in 3 of the cities.

Atlanta – My current hang out. A great city of the South.

Bangkok – My birth country. There is no place like home and there is no food like Thai food.

Beijing – Oh.. Beijing.. I would love to go back there to shop on Silk street.

Boston – Bean town. I went there over a decade ago. So a lot might have changed.

Chicago – The Windy City. And they are not joking about that. I went there during Winter.. Duh.. What was I thinking about!

Dublin – A quick side trip on one of my business trip. Lovely country.. Really…

Florence – I don’t think you can go wrong with any city in Italy. Just the history alone will make you feel smarter already.

Hong Kong – With our recent trip to Hong Kong, I still want to go back there again. The food along will be so worth it.

Las Vegas – The Sin City. Do they provide daycare in the hotel? :)

London – It seems like a lifetime ago when I visit the Big Ben. It’s about time to revisit.

Los Angeles – With the biggest Thai population in the US, I can get my Thai food fix from here. If only I live closer!
Miami – Our old playground. Ironically, we went there only a few times whenever we have guests. So recently, we just had to become tourists ourselves.
New York – I was there in 1997 for the countdown in Time Square. I did!!! And I don’t think I will ever do it again. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Let’s just say I have a very small blader.
Paris – City of Romance.. No I didn’t go there with Mr. Rojo. It would be nice.

Philadelphia – It was Mr. Rojo playground when he was young(er).

Rome – I had such a wonderful time there with my mom and my little wanderlust brother.
San Diego – My favorite city in California. Ok.. maybe after San Francisco.
San Francisco – I think San Francisco is the most romantic city. And I went there when I didn’t even have a boyfriend!
Singapore – Hmm.. Orchard street.. shopping.. food.. clean..
Washington D.C – I can’t wait to go back. That’s all I can say.

Most of my conquer on this list was done before kids and family and marriage and housework and mortgage.. Needless to say, I really want to go back again with Miss J and Mr. Z. I want them to see the world and learn about different cultures, to open their mind and their eyes to all kind of possibilities.

And here is the rest of the list that will be on my to-do now.

Buenos Aires
Cape Town
Mexico City
Rio de Janeiro
St. Petersburg

I have to say I like this list much better than the famous 1000 Places to See Before You Die book. It’s nice to have a huge goal in your life. But come on.. 1000 places? I’m tired just to read it and I didn’t even start my trip yet.

50 places are more manageable. Maybe.. just maybe after I’m done with my list of 50 places then I will move on to the bigger list like 1000 places.

So tell me.. what cities you have been? And what would you like to add to your list?

Happy traveling!