Win a trip to NZ with Air New Zealand!

From the time I was a child I dreamed about visiting New Zealand- it lived in my mind as a magical, awe-inspiring place.  This was before they filmed Lord of the Rings, but in every photo I saw it looked like an absolute wonderland.  When I started looking into colleges- you can bet that the one at the top of my list was in Auckland. I didn’t go because I was too intimidated to take such a big leap straight out of the nest, but I did make it one of the first vacations I took as an adult.  A girl friend and I rented a camper van and spent two weeks exploring the north island (the south island is still calling my name, I WILL get there!)  It was one of the best vacations of my life- we ran amuck, had grand adventures, saw the prettiest sights,  jumped into cold lakes in the middle of the night, hiked through the most beautiful rain forests, tried sand boarding, made friends (one that would later become my long distance boyfriend for a year!), ate incredible food and generally just had the time of our lives.  I wish I could pass along recs- but we did absolutely no research besides reserving the camper van before we arrived and we just followed our instincts through the entirety of the trip- so I may have not even known where we were while we were there!  I’m very often a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants traveler.  But if any of you have any recs, please leave them in the comments for those planning trips and for my next one!!!

Right now Air New Zealand is running a promotion where some very lucky folks will win their own New Zealand adventure!  Watch the video below, enter the contest, and if you win- bring me, OK?!   PRETTY PLEASE!!!  And for those of you that don’t win, Air New Zealand is offering flights starting at just over $1k round-trip- adventure is calling!!  Below the video are some of our vacation snaps and a few little blurbs- going through the photos was such a treat, it brought me right back to all the fun!  Enjoy and GOOD LUCK!!!!!  xx- Sarah

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CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS IS REAL?!  It is.  I was pinching myself.  I may not remember everything but I do remember that.



Some of the friends we made we animals!  I have never met a goat I didn’t love.  And that beautiful horse grazing while a foggy mist rolled over the mountains- it’s owners saw us taking pictures and offered to let us go for a ride!  So the next day they met us there, saddled up two of their horses and sent us on our way.  MAGICAL I TELL YOU!  If I’m going to generalize, which I am, I’ll tell you that Kiwis are kind hearted, generous folks who will go out of their way to make your vacation amazing should you cross their path. There were quite a few that added to the fun we had, including one that let us stay at his house so we could get out of the van for a night!

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Selfies with sunglasses that were in style circa 2007.  It happened.  And I have naturally curly hair.  So that cat’s out of the bag too!

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We camped at the northern most point of the north island- and it rained the entire afternoon and night.  This is us after surviving it.  We set the camera on auto-timer because there was literally not a soul to be seen anywhere.  We laughed so hard that night in the camper van that I’m actually very happy that the sunny beach time we had envisioned didn’t manifest.

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I believe I took this photo on the way into Wellington, which I remember to be my favorite of city.  Isn’t it amazing how those houses are built into the lush hillside like that?!


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Reader Comments

  1. kristin | W [H] A T C H|

    nz is at the top of my travel list. i’ve spent a lot of time in south east asia, but never made it far enough south to nz! it’s where my grandfather is from, so i’ve always wanted to make a pilgrimage back to his home.

  2. Kelsey|

    So beautiful!! I am a huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit nerd so I obviously have ALWAYS wanted to go to NZ. My husband went to NZ with his Dad and his brother on a boys trip when he was 19 and they had an amazing time. They rented a camper van also and travelled all over both islands. Went Heli skiing. Bungee jumping. etc. It was the trip of a lifetime! I have always thought it’d be an amazing place to live! Great photos. You’ve officially made me want to book a trip!

  3. Dharlia|

    It’s so wonderful seeing your home country through a foreigners eyes and you captured it so beautifully! It looks beyond dreamy and moody (which it is!) and I feel so lucky to call this beautiful country home. The very northernmost tip you talked about is where the Maori (the first people and guardians of Aotearoa) believe the spirits of their ancestors depart from when they are ready to leave this world and move on to another. It’s a deeply spiritual and beautiful place. Thanks for sharing, I love your blog!

  4. Jody Winter|

    So glad you love my homeland so much! I feel so lucky that I was born here. I am a North Islander but the South Island is where it’s at in terms of breathtaking scenery. Come back again – love your blog!

  5. Caitlin|

    you look SO DIFFERENT with curly hair. there is no way i would have recognized you. what a wonderful trip you had. definitely going to enter the contest.

  6. Anna|

    Wow! I can’t even believe you are blogging about New Zealand. Lucky me, that’s where I live. We have beautiful beaches, coasts, mountains, bush land, rivers, lakes and wildlife. You should all totally come and visit … oh but don’t expect to find IKEA here!

  7. Charlotte|

    Yay, this makes me feel so proud to be a New Zealander. I hope that you do come back and travel the South Island, it really is a must. Love your blog x

  8. Isobel|

    I’m a New Zealander too – these pics also make me proud to live here, so beautiful! And you should definitely come back for the South island – you’ll love it

  9. Rachel|

    The old photos of you are adorable. New Zealand really is absolute magic. I’m on a round the world trip and have been in NZ for the past 4 months and absolutely adore it — if anyone is doing an NZ road trip a few travel suggestions that might be handy are here: