By Kate Blalock, contributor Our visit to New Zealand started off with a road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown. We got up pretty early that morning (we were still feeling some jet-lag from the 11 hour flight) and hopped in our rental car. There really wasn't much in the way of breakfast places open, and we hadn't feel like grocery shopping after our long flight. So, we stopped at McDonald's. I hate McDonald's, and I am really not a fan of fast food, but this was the best fast food breakfast I have even had. You can read more about dining in New Zealand here and in my follow up article on New Zealand food. Anyway, we started driving south towards Queenstown; it's about a 6 hour trip, and we wanted to have time for some shopping once we got there. I took the first shift as driver, [Read more...]
A day trip from Christchurch to Queenstown Our adventure in New Zealand began with a day trip down to Queenstown. We rented our car and set out early that morning; it took a little bit to get used to driving on the opposite side of the road, and reading speed limit signs in km! Photos by Kate Blalock
A Guide for Americans By Kate Blalock, contributor In 2015, my husband and I went to New Zealand for a belated honeymoon. We are both reasonably well-traveled, and considered ourselves quite worldly. We prepared for our trip in the usual fashion-pouring over websites and reading travel guides to ensure that we knew how to act like a proper "Kiwi". Imagine our surprise when we arrived in country and could barely order at a restaurant. I did not come across one single pointer that alluded to the major differences between American and New Zealand restaurants. My husband and I are foodies, and our first few meals in New Zealand would have been a lot more enjoyable if we had known these few tips. So, for my fellow foodies out there, here are a few tips that might make [Read more...]
By Kate Blalock, contributor Aotearoa--the land of the long white cloud. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand; a culture that is rich in history and tradition. It was refreshing to see a country that respects and honors its indigenous culture, and I wanted to learn more about the Maori during my travels throughout New Zealand. It is a Maori myth that they came to Aotearoa from Hawaiki, their homeland, about 1000 years ago. As the legend goes, the Maori left their homeland in a mass migration of canoes and traveled from Polynesia to New Zealand, perhaps blown off course by a storm. The Maori traditionally subsisted as hunter-gatherers, with fishing as their main industry. Their stories were passed orally through the generations through song and dance.
In April of 2014, contributor Kate Blalock visited New Zealand with her husband for a belated honeymoon. I couldn't believe that we had finally made it to New Zealand! Spending a week touring the South Island was a dream come true for us; we had been planning this trip for over 3 years. My husband and I had both traveled abroad before, but never to a country so removed from Americanism. I loved the British influence and history of this proud island nation, so rich in history and custom. We picked up our rental car in Christchurch and spent the next 4 days touring the countryside, visiting Queenstown, Te Anau, and Milford Sound. Along the way, we discovered L&P soda (delicious!), Merano sheep, and how hard it truly is for Americans to drive on the "wrong" side of the road. We [Read more...]
The Routeburn Track is one of the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand. Located on the South Island, this 32km hike takes about 2-4 days to complete. I hiked this trail in 2014 with my husband, and it was an adventure I'll never forget! Photos courtesy of Kate Blalock Visit the Routeburn Track and see the other Great Walks of New Zealand