Written by Michael

6min read

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Copenhagen is nestled in the beautiful Northern islands of the near-utopia that is Denmark.

The country is consistently ranked in the top 3 happiest countries in the world and when you visit Copenhagen, its pretty easy to see why.

The capital has everything you could want for a perfect weekend getaway. The best patisseries, the cutest buildings, tonnes of art, fascinating history, unique activities, and stunning parks for you to laze all day in.

Copenhagen certainly has that big city feel. However, its small enough for you to walk around the whole place in a day.

Read on to find out what to do in the capital of Denmark, the country that pays its students to go to university.

Unexplored alleyways and courtyards

It’s really easy to stick on the main streets when walking through Copenhagen. There’s nothing wrong with this, they’re stunning and full or great eateries.

However, if you slow it down and take a look around, you’re going notice lots of little alleyways. These little alleyways lead you to the cities beautiful and deserted courtyards.

When you’re in one of these courtyards the sound of Copenhagen disappears and you’re free to explore all the little secrets they hold.

In one of these courtyards you’ll find a fountain that runs the whole height of the surrounding buildings. In another you can find a tree made out of wine bottles.

Each one has it’s own little secrets for you to explore and there are countless more!

Famous Danish pastries

Going to Denmark and not stuffing your face with their famous pastries is like going to church and not praying.

You’re not just going to visit the home of mouth watering pastries and ignore them are you?

No? Didn’t think so!

Some of the best patisseries in the world are found in Copenhagen. They all serve the multilayered sweet bundles of joy we know and love.

Some patisseries are more traditional while others have taken a contemporary twist on the food. Try them all to find your favourite!

Boating on the canals

Fancy doing something relaxing and a little different? Then hiring a boat with some friends and exploring the cities water ways is for you!

You can truly experience Copenhagen from the water by hiring a boat from GoBoat. The boats are even silent as they are solar powered.

copenhagen new harbour river
copenhagen-new-harbour-river

You can hire them for up to 3 hours and they even include a little table for you to sit around and drink at!

A great way to relax with some friends while exploring the city.

The parks of Copenhagen

The parks! Oh the parks!

If you have had your fill of beautiful buildings and delicious food then head to one of Copenhagen’s beautiful parks.

These pictures are taking from the Kings Gardens which has so much space for you to relax, explore, and most importantly – activities!

There park is the oldest in the city and was built as private gardens for King christian IV around the rather sumptuous Rosenborg Castle.

The park is split into sections with many having flower gardens and there are even beautiful waters around the castle.

Other parks for you to explore in the city include the Botanical Gardens, Frederiksberg Gardens, and Kalvebod Fælled.

Scoot around Copenhagen

Everywhere you walk in Copenhagen you will see electric scooters propped up in the most random places.

You may think they’ve just been abandoned, but no, they are part of multiple electric scooter schemes in the city!

copenhagen electric scooters

All you have to do is download the app, put in your payment details, and scan the scooters QR code.

Then zooooooom, off you go around the city at up to 20km/hr.

If your scooter runs out of juice then just scan another scooter you find.

These things are such a great and fun way to see the city. I wish we had them in London, but the silly laws are stopping it D:

Tivoli Gardens

An evening spent at Tivoli Gardens is an evening spent well in Copenhagen.

The 19th Century Amusement is the second oldest amusement park in the world (the 1st is also in Denmark), and is both thrilling and stunning at the same time.

Walt Disney even used it for inspiration!

Located in the heart of the city the amusement park is great for all ages.

There are rides for everyone from kiddies to thrill seekers and also lush gardens for you to explore, all within the amazing architecture of the park.

The best time to visit however, is definitely at night as the whole park is illuminated by thousands of beautiful lights.

Nyhavn area

If you have seen any pictures of Copenhagen it’s likely you’ve seen pictures of the New Harbour.

The new harbour is the most touristy part of Copenhagen but it is still exceedingly beautiful.

The buildings along the canals are painted with all the colours you can see on the telletubbies, and the canals are full of traditional boats you just want to sail around the world on.

Outside Copenhagen

If you’ve got a little bit of extra time in Copenhagen then you should definitely head out of the city and delve into the rest of Denmark!

A great little half day or full day trip is to the Louisiana Museum of Modern art 30 minutes outside the capital.

Some of the art at this place is amazing, and some is a admittedly a little whacky. However, the main reason I loved the museum was it’s grounds!

The grounds are huge and have some great sculptures in them. The whole area is a great place to relax and even have a nap.

Being next to the sea you can hear the waves crashing on the shore, and also see Sweden!

Frederiksborg Castle is another stunning day outside of Copenhagen.

The largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia is about a 30 minute train ride from the city and visiting the castle will take you back centuries!

The castle was built in 1621 but then burnt down in 1859! The castle was re built to its former glory and it’s absolutely stunning.

You can explore the ground and lakes for hours on end and the castle is a actually a museum so is full of fancy pants artefacts for you to view.


For a weekend away, Copenhagen is a great destination. The city is small enough for you to explore on foot but packs a punch when it comes to awesome things to see!

However, if you’re staying for a bit longer than a weekend, there are also plenty of day trips for you to explore outside of the city!

Enjoy you beautiful bunch x

Written by Michael

7min read

1 Comment

It’s a mystery to me why Zadar is often overlooked as a destination in Croatia. Especially as there are so many things to do in Zadar, Croatia

When planning a trip to Croatia, the destinations that most likely to pop into your mind are Split, Dubrovnik, or Zagreb. 

Zadar croatia old town drone shot

These destinations are stunning. However they are slightly over run by tourists and are only scrape the surface of what Croatia really has to offer. 

If your looking for a destination in Croatia just as beautiful and intriguing as Dubrovnik, has an ancient city to explore, and is packed full of stunning day trips into the heart of Croatia…

Then Zadar is a destination you have to consider!

Zadar Old Town

The old town in Zadar is is one of the most intriguing and stunning that you will visit in Europe.

A lot of European cities have old towns, and many of them are beautiful; Krakow, Ljubiana, and Vilnius spring to mind. 

Zadar Croatia St Donatus Church
Church of St Donatus from the air.

Now I’m not always up for walking around old towns – “Once you’ve seen a church, you’ve seen them all” I say to myself.

However, Croatian old towns are unique in their medievil-ness. You will feel like you’re walking through an Assassins Creed game or the set of GOT when you visit. 

Croatia Zadar Cathedral things to do
The Church of St Donatus with Zadar Cathedral in the background.

The old town in Zadar is famous for the Church of St Donatus and its an absolute must visit. Once your inside you will feel like you’ve been transported to another century.

Walking up Zadars Cathedral Tower, which is the old towns highest point, will provide 360 views across Zadars stunning rooftops. 

Next to the church is the main square which has tonnes of old building remains for you to explore and pose in front of. 

Sea Organ/Monument to the Sun

The area on the north western tip of Zadars old town island is a lovely, yet somewhat surreal place to relax and spend some time, especially at night. 

monument to the sun zadar drone
That big blue circle is ‘The Monument to the Sun’

When you start to approach the shore you’ll start to hear strange alien noises.

This is the Sea Organ, an installation built into the coast that produces sounds through the action of the waves pushing air through it. You can sit along its steps and listen to them for hours. 

zadar old town drone
Zadar you beauty.

You’ll also notice a huge blue circle dominating the ground in this part of town. This is the ‘Monument to the Sun’.

Don’t worry, no sacrifices are made here.

The monument is made out of solar panels that light up at night. When dark descends these panels produce a mesmerising light display for you to walk over. 

Zadar monument to the sun at night
Those lights <3

This part of town is great to relax at night after your evening meal.

You have the sound of the waves crashing, the sound of the sea organ, and the mesmerising light display beneath your feet. 

Zadar Diving boards. 

Just outside the old town of Zadar, on Kolovare beach, is a swimming pool and diving boards complex.

Zadar Croatia diving boards into sea
An awesome place to relax just outside of Zadars Old Town.

The diving boards don’t hang over the pool, they hang over the sea! You can spend hours relaxing in the beautiful waters. 

This is a great place to spend a couple of hours soaking up the sun without leaving Zadar. Head here in the evening to dive into the ocean withe Zadars stunning sunsets as your back drop!

Zrmanja Canyon 

A short drive from Zadar is Zrmanja Canyon. This 70km long snaking river cuts through the Croatian landscape and has some stunningly steep cliffs and warm flowing turquoise waters.

Zrmanja River Canyon zadar croatia
Kayaking along Zrmanja river Canyon

The area is a great place to trek along and there are some stunning viewpoints.

During certain months of the year there are also kayaking and rafting tours available!

Dugi Otok – full day trip

Dugi Otok Island is a 90 minute ferry ride from Zadars main port and a fantastic day trip from Zadar. 

The island has its own National Park and is an adventurers paradise.

However, it can also be a wonderful destination if you’re looking to relax. 

Dugi Otok national park mike treks
Dugi Otok and it’s National Park from the air.

The island is 45km long and has countless quaint beaches and traditional towns dotted along its coast. The biggest of which Is Sari, where you can find some nice restaurants, but the town is still tiny. 

One of the big attractions on Dugi Otok is Telascica National Park to the south of the island. The park has stunning turquoise lakes to swim in and breathtaking vantage points for you to gawk at.

Along the coast you will also find 3 abandoned Soviet submarine bases that you can explore from land or sea. Their history is quite interesting!

dugi otok sunken ship wreck
Dugi Otok’s famous ship wreck.

The islands northern tip holds the islands biggest secret though. A short kayak or boat ride to two small islands will reveal a large sunken cargo ship just begging you to explore it. This is one fo the more adventurous things to do in Zadar, Croatia.

The ship is in the shallows so get your snorkel out! Swim down and explore the ship with the countless fish that have made it their home. 

dugi otok car rental mike treks
Renting a car is a great way to explore Dugi Otok.

To explore the island for the day you can rent a car and take the car ferry. You can also join kayaking tours that will take care of your whole day. Check out Kayak Tours Croatia who are the most reputable. 

If you like the look of Dugi Otok that much you can even book accommodation on the island and make it your base for exploration and use Zadar as a day trip! 

Krka National Park  – 1/2 day – full day trip

Krka National park is one of Croatias 8 stunning National Parks and is about an hours drive from Zadar. It’s definitely one fo the top things to do in when visiting Zadar in Croatia

You can drive there yourself or join one of the many tour groups that go daily. 

krka national park zadar croatia mike treks
Overlooking the stunning waterfalls

The park is vast and its main attraction is a series of stunning waterfalls that are straight out of Avatar. Your even allowed to swim in their waters from June – Sept, unlike Plitvice National Park! 

Other attractions include Vosavic Island in the middle of a vast lake, as well as Rosksi Slap which is series of gentle waterfalls. 

Due to its beauty however, the park becomes extremely busy so I would recommend hiring a car and arriving when it opens at 8am as the tour buses start arriving at about 10am. 

krka national park waterfalls mike treks
Acting cool in front of the waterfalls.

Like the sound of Krka? Read my full guide on how to get the most out of your trip to the park. 


When leaving for Zadar, people will ask the same thing; “Split or Dubrovnik?”. When you tell them Zadar, all you will have is blank faces. 

This little known City along the beautiful Croatian coast is packed full of surprises and is a great base from which to explore the heart of Croatia.

The varied sights in the city and the great day trips that are within easy reach make this region an adventurers paradise. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Zadar, Croatia

Get out there an explore it!

Written by Michael

5min read

5 Comments

Flying is a wondrous past time.

Most people flying are jetting off on holiday to experience a new country and culture, see friends and family, or in a lot of cases these days, get absolutely off their trolley.

What you get up to between your outbound and return journey will likely be pretty special and form memories that will stay with you forever, or you’ll form some infections if you’re off to Ayia Napa.

The flying experience to and from your destination can be also be great, and hopefully infection free.

Flying is so exciting!

However, when you cram so many people into a small metal tube for multiple hours then it’s inevitable that frustrations can occasionally rise.

These frustrations could easily get someones holiday off to a salty start and we don’t want that to happen to anyone, including you!

So, heres some tongue in cheek tips on how to make yours and everyones flying experience a good one, and how not to be a dick.


“We’d like to board people in zone 1 only please”

*everyone gets up and rushes to board*

People have an assigned seat, and their group will be called, everyone will get on board before the plane leaves.

All these people do is slow everyone else down and annoy the stewards who will calmly tell you them to piss off.

My top tip is to wait till the end, no queuing!


Please, stand in the aisle when everyone is trying to get past. 

Here’s the process: walk to your isle, bag in overhead bin, and swooosh, down you go into your seat to let the next people past.

Get the stuff you need out your bags before you’re even on the plane.

None of this rummaging around in bags and pockets while you stand in the middle of the isle, otherwise my suitcase might accidentally run over your foot.


Oh of course, you want to sit in my seat, that I specifically booked.

Now this has never happened to me before but I have plenty of friends who it has happened to.

You get on your plane where you have a specific seat reserved, only to board and find someone sitting in it pleading the 5th.

If it’s a genuine reason then I don’t blame someone for asking, but let the person sit in their seat first then ask them, don’t just automatically sit in it!


Yes, please help yourself to my arm rest.

Some people are just all elbows aren’t they?

If someone only has one arm rest, don’t hog it or elbow there arm off it.


Use the long arm of the law on your kids.

No, I don’t mean beat them with your long ass arm. I mean instil some discipline in them.

Flying can be tiring and uncomfortable for many, so if your kid is kicking the chair in front them, tell them to stop.

If your kid is yelling the plane down because they didn’t get the window seat, calmly sedate them.

If you your child is constantly asking, “are we there yet?”, tell them that every time they ask that again, they’ll get one less present at Christmas.

And anyway, families with small children, we all secretly give you the evils when you get to board first.


I don’t want your phone to make us crash.

I know the chance of it happening is like 0.00001%.

BUTTTTTT,

When the flight attendants ask you to turn off your electronic devices, just do it.

I’m sure twitter can wait for your latest hilarious anecdote.


I just love it when my meals finally come, then you shove your chair back.

I really did want to wear my food today instead of eat it.

At meal times simply bring your chair up. If you want to recline, just a little check behind you to see if the person behind is still eating wouldn’t hurt.


Dude, keep your socks on

Do I need to say more…?

And if you’re behind me, definitely don’t pout your feet on the back of my arm rest.


The wheels have touched the runway…goooo!

You always have a couple of eager beavers who try to get a head start as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac.

Let’s gooooo….

You hear those seat-buckles unclip, theres a sense of rush in the air, and you hear people rummaging around in those over head bins.

It’s a great feeling when the attendant calls over the tannoy for them to sit back in their seat that they’ve probably reclined so far back they think they’re already on the beach.


People in front of you Leave first…

This is a universal system, and the quickest one!

The rows of people in front of you leave then you leave.

I mean, look at the guy on the right!

If this system falls apart, then civilisations will fall, and the end of the world will be nigh.

You don’t want that on your shoulders do you?


Most importantly… be in a great mood, you’re on holiday!

The things listed above are bound to happen time to time on flights.

Its inevitable when you cram so many people into a small space that people will occasionally become annoyed with each other.

However, you’re going on holiday so these small things should be dwarfed by how excited you are about your trip!

Flying should be and is a enjoyable experience!

If you do find someone annoying you in the any of the ways listed above, or others, and its making your flight uncomfortable, with a smile just politely ask them if they could not do it anymore.

Happy flying people!

Written by Michael

4min read

2 Comments

A couple of months back I was visiting my mum in Liverpool for the weekend. Whenever I visit we like to head out into the countryside and go exploring. Neither of us had ever been to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales before, so that was where we were heading this time.

The Dales are about an hours drive from the outskirts of Liverpool and it was our luck that it had snowed there the night before. As we found out, a winter wonderland was awaiting us!

We only had the day so we decided to head to the village of Malham which is in the south of the Dales. We chose Malham as it has a large concentration of the parks main attractions dotted around it. Malham itself is a very cute and traditional English village that is worth a visit on its own!

It took us the whole day to do everything here so if you’re looking for a great day our in the Dales, here’s what you can do;

Malham Village:

As traditional an english pub as you can get
No parking machines or wardens here!

The village of Malham was the base for our exploration and it is your quint essential British village.  

Red phone boxes, milk churns to pay for your parking, ducks wandering about, and a cosy pub where you can have a drink and relax by the fire.

The ListerArms Pub and Hotel is a great place to relax. Here you can order traditional food and drink which includes your roasts, fish and chips, English scones (that are massive), as well as a gingerbread hot chocolate. The pub is dog friendly so there plenty of doggos around to ‘awwww’ at.

The village itself is so picturesque that you’ll find yourself dragging yourself away to head to the other attractions!

Gordale Scar:

Gordale scar is the Yorkshire dales Grand Canyon, just a little bit smaller, but still immensely impressive. 

Formed 100’s of years ago by water running through limestone, the ravine is flanked by cliffs over 100m high. Once you walk through the main field and enter the scar then you gain a full appreciation of its size and will feel tiny!

Deeper into the Scars you will find 2 large waterfalls that show you how this stunning feature was created. The Ravine is a great walk and will leave you in awe at the overhanging cliffs. 

Malham Cove:

By Nphotoltd – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Malham cove is another stunning limestone formation that almost appears and as half of an amphitheatre (hence the name cove). It was formed 12,000 years ago by running glacial water.

The coves cliffs tower 80m above you provide a challenging ascent to climbers who visit the feature. The cliffs are also home to peregrine falcons that you can see darting about int he summer months. 

When there is enough water running over the top of these cliffs a huge waterfall cascades down the face of  Malham cove and when running is the tallest single drop waterfall in England!

Janets Foss:

Image by Tim Hill from Pixabay

Janet was actually the queen of the fairies and supposedly lived in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend must be partly true as the waterfall and its surrounding features sure do give the impressions of a fairy tale. 

Janets foss is a great place to relax by the sound of water. The small waterfall is just a short walk from Malham and will transport you to a world of peace and serenity.

A great place to have a picnic and relax in the waters surrounding the waterfall. 

Ribblehead Viaduct:

This stunning viaduct is still regularly used by trains today that zoom over its 24 huge stone arches 100ft above the marshes below. It is a little further from Malham than the previous attractions but if you have time, and a car, you should definitely visit it.

Unfortunately when we visited it was so foggy we couldn’t see it! We drove for a while to try and find it but we found a smaller viaduct that was just as impressive!


This list of activities for you in the Yorkshire Dales will make for a great day out. Take it leisurely and visit a couple of them, all go all out and try and visit them all in like we did!

Written by Michael

8min read

1 Comment

One of the most popular regions in the world to travel to is Southeast Asia. And there are plenty of reasons why. You get the experience of immersing yourself in an entirely different culture that feels a world away from what we are used to in the west. You can enjoy some magical natural scenery including the karst limestone cliffs of Halong Bay and the pristine white beaches of the Thai islands. You can enjoy plenty of delicious food and drink in the knowledge that it all costs a fraction of what it does back home. And since it is a place that attracts so many backpackers from around the world, you have the peace of mind that it is a very easy and safe place to travel around.

Continue reading “Plan Your First Trip to Southeast Asia”

Written by Michael

6min read

9 Comments

We all know that every country in the world is different. Different traditions, customs, and social norms are a wonderful new experience, but can often take a unsuspecting visitor by surprise. Britain is no different, with such a rich history certain things have evolved that may want to take note of before you visit.

Continue reading “15 Things Worth Knowing About Britain Before you Visit.”

Written by Michael

4min read

No Comments

Everybody loves holidays, that goes without saying. The change in surroundings, the very idea of breaking away from your daily routine and leaving it all behind is often enough to make a holiday good enough without even doing anything on it. That said, why settle for less? If you’re already on holiday, you might as well go the extra mile and actually enjoy your time somewhere in a country which you paid a hefty sum for plane tickets to get to. Holidays are nowhere near as common as we would like, whether it’s because you can’t get time off work, or maybe due to budgeting reasons, not everyone can go on holidays as much as they hoped, meaning we have to make do with the little time we do have. When you do actually finally make it to your holiday destination of choice, you’ve already committed, spent a decent amount of money to get there and probably already paid for a hotel or an Airbnb. For some, it might feel like spending on anything else would be suicide. Don’t let that feeling drag you and your holiday spirits down, people spend money on holiday, that’s just the nature of the beast, and at the end of the day, would you rather dip a little bit into your savings or have a mediocre holiday? Without any further ado, let’s look at things which you could splash some cash on during your vacation to whatever part of the world you decide to explore this time, and know that it will be worth it. Continue reading “When On Holidays, Go The Extra Mile: Make It Count.”

Written by Michael

3min read

2 Comments

Taking your family on holiday can craft memories that will last forever. However, the responsibility that comes with taking your family on holiday can be daunting, and the potential problems that can arise are numerous. The thoughts are probably going through your head — what if my little one becomes ill while we’re away? What if there is a natural disaster? With the recent collapse of Monarch Airlines, which stranded thousands of customers across the globe, you could also be wondering if you could become stranded as well.

These are all natural worries to have. However, they are all easily manageable if you take small and easy steps before and on your holiday to mitigate the potential pitfalls.

Continue reading “The Essentials for Peace of Mind On A Family Holiday.”

Written by Michael

3min read

20 Comments

As you probably already know, travelling can be a life changing experience.

It gives you the opportunity to see sights around the world that you’ve never seen before. You can join other cultures that you’d never normally experience, and be able to appreciate other climates than what you’re used to at home.

There are also many benefits of travel that can also bring many other things into your life that can make you a better person. Want to know more?

Here’s the benefits of travel and how travelling can make you a better person.

Continue reading “Benefits of travel, How it Makes You A Better Person”

Written by Michael

7min read

30 Comments

There are beautiful places to visit in Morocco everywhere you go in the country. Geographically this country is only about the size of California however, this dainty country has a population of about 34 million, and it is incredibly rich and complex in its history.

Moroccans have stayed one of the friendliest and most hospitable individuals within the world. You can virtually speak to anyone that has ventured through Morocco and they’ll all say a similar thing, that Moroccan kindness and cordial reception is one of the finest around. 

places to visit in morocco collage
Morocco collage

The country is full of colours, It’s beauty sparks from mountain ranges elongating throughout the country, to the glistening azure ocean, and the yellow sand dunes of the desert.

The country is additionally home to uncountable lovely cities, everyone adding to Morocco’s distinctive landscape and culture.

Here are ten of the loveliest places for you to go to.

Your Moroccon Holiday could be the best and most memorable holiday in a long time. 


Essaouira

Continue reading “The Best Places To Visit In Morocco.”

Written by Michael

4min read

8 Comments

Theres a special green oasis in London, and its called Richmond Park.

It’s always special transporting yourself to one of these places in the middle of one of the worlds busiest cities.

Getting away from all the people who cant drive, shutting out the other annoying people in the world, and not having someone say sorry a million times after they’ve trodden on both your feet.

The park is situated south of the River Thames in west London and covers 2500 acres. The park is one of 8 Royal Parks in the city and is a National Nature reserve.

Richmond Park in London contains a unique environment that resembles much of what England used to look like hundreds of years ago (and I wish it did now). Thick forests with overarching trees, ponds dotted around the park, and hundreds of deer roaming freely.

Continue reading “A Winters Stroll Through Richmond Park in London.”

Written by Michael

3min read

23 Comments

Phoenix, Arizona, is renowned for being one of the top cities in the USA for scenic hikes that will take your breath away. The city sits in the middle of the desert but is punctuated and surrounded by many hills and mountains that offer great views of the area. If you’re visiting the city and staying with friends, family, or in a great IHG hotel in Phoenix, then you have to take in at least one of these trails. These rocky outcrops are just waiting to be explored!

Continue reading “The Coolest Scenic Hikes in and Around Phoenix, AZ”

Written by Michael

4min read

No Comments

 You might have been thinking about going to the US for a holiday – and why not? Whether it’s a road trip, a jolly around New York, or a crazy-exciting holiday to Orlando’s theme parks, they’re all guaranteed to be super fun. It’s just there’s one big headache that comes about when you’re planning these trips…actually getting there. There’s the hassle of packing your luggage, dealing with the paperwork, wondering exactly how many coffees you’ll need to deal with the jetlag (or for the adventurous among us, finding out what is the absolute maximum amount of caffeine a human body can tolerate before, presumably, it just implodes).

Continue reading “Holidays to the US, the easy way”

Written by Michael

4min read

15 Comments

I’m going to be honest with you;

In my 26 years on this planet, I’ve had 2, maybe 3, new years eve celebrations that have come close to living up to the expectations that come with the night.

The rest have been a complete an utter let down.

Continue reading “How To Not Have a Shit New Years.”

Written by Michael

7min read

52 Comments

This New Zealand Travel Itinerary has been and will be our holy grail holiday for as long as we shall live and every bit of this Middle Earth quest has been special.

New Zealand is all about 30 million sheep, unbelievable panoramas and a warm, welcoming culture.

The Adventure Starts in the North…

Our adventure begins on the North Island in Auckland, the City of Sails, where we spend a better part of the first day learning the ropes of driving and navigating on the city’s busy roads.

The city is home to 1.7 million people but public transport isn’t the best, so hire a car! A visit to the cities iconic SkyTower, which is open till 10:30pm, shows amazing 360 degree views of the city from its observation deck.

Our exploits kick into high gear the next morning when the 3-hour ride to Paihia, Bay of Islands, becomes a 6-hour one when we ignore our GPS and stop at Orewa, Northland’s luxurious setting on the South Pacific that inspires the good life. We then finally arrive at the perfect seaside town of Paihia which has an illustrious history.

Our hotel, The Copthorne, is located right next to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the first accord was signed between the Māori people and the British crown.

The next morning we’re at the pier at 9 AM sharp to hop on to a freezing ocean cruise looking for whales, but alas, it wasn’t our day. Hungry from the high tides of the South Pacific, we land in the afternoon at the island town of Russel, the once-infamous, lawless whaling station known as the ‘Hellhole of the Pacific’.

After a satiating lunch overlooking the picture-perfect wharf, I’m seriously questioning the so-called ‘hellhole’ nature of this town.

A walk around the reformed Russell is eye-opening – not only does it possess an innately romantic feel, but it also houses the country’s oldest church, the Christ Church, complete with the original altar.

I stand in the cemetery beside the statue of the great Māori chief Tāmati Wāka Nene, who fought against colonial rule in Russell, and I cannot help but revere the stories of bravery and the musket holes in the walls.

Māori Culture at its finest

Pohutu Geyser New Zealand travel guide
Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley

Which brings us to the Māori culture, a ubiquitous, fascinating spirit that all New Zealanders, natives and otherwise, take great pride in. Rotorua, our next sojourn, is the polestar of this culture and part of the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley.

We feast our eyes on the near-threatened Kiwi bird and the 100-ft. tall Pohutugeyser, and get a taste of Māori dance, art and craft forms, and community spirit at Te Puia, the Māori village.

What better a way to wash down a busy day than unwind with natural geothermal bathing? That’s what we did at the Polynesian Spa on the sulphur-ridden banks of Lake Rotorua – a highlight of our New Zealand travel itinerary

As the sun sets, we land up, thoroughly refreshed and incredibly hungry, at Eat Streat, Rotorua’s best worst-kept secret where you’ll find all the food in the world under one roof. Need I say more?

The land of the Hobbit..

Hobbiton set New Zealand travel guide
Hobbiton set

Our excitement spins out of control the next day when we watch fantasy come to life at the Hobbiton set in Matamata in the verdant Kaimai ranges.

44 hobbit holes, including the famous Bag End, pale in comparison to what we feel when we actually get to stand inside one of them and say ‘Hey, we are hobbits of the Shire!’.

After listening to astounding details from our friendly guide-turned-barman, we grab drinks at the Green Dragon Inn and snap pictures with a life-size statue of Gandalf before reluctantly heading out.

The South Island Travel Itinerary

After a week of touring North Island, the action moves to South Island when we land at Christchurch one windy afternoon.

An after-hours-walk in Central Christchurch reveals to us the city’s resilience and spirit of rebuilding its life after having been torn apart by earthquakes. Heading out of Christchurch we move towards wilder alpine vistas as we take the road to the small town of Franz Josef on the islands West Coast.

On the way we are taken in by Castle Hill, New Zealand’s stunning answer to Stonehenge and cannot help but stare at the brilliant blue waters of the Haast River.

Our greatest find is the site of the former Aylesbury Train Station outside Christchurch which was completely blown away in a storm in 1976.

As well as a great history spot, you can experience sweeping, vantage-point views of the great Southern Alps from the site of the station .

Arriving at Franz Josef you see remnants of a gold rush past and citizens who cycle to work.

After a laidback two-day stay in Franz Josef where we do nothing but eat, cook and walk around, we are pleasantly surprised when our friendly waitress tells us we’re already 1/15th locals!

The journey to Queenstown is an enthralling ride through Mount Aspiring National Park. We scribble a message on Bruce Bay’s Pile of Rocks, elated to leave behind a little of us in Kiwi country.

We fill our bottles up from the river at Fantail Falls, another great off-the-road find, and even build our own rock cairn, sitting pretty amongst hundreds of others.

We swat at sandflies while reading about New Zealand’s history at Knight’s Point, where the azure waters of the Tasman Sea are almost unbelievable. Just before we hit Queenstown, we catch the views of a lifetime of the summer Otago countryside from Cardrona Pass.

Fantail Falls Otago New Zealand
Rock cairns, Fantail Falls, Otago

Queenstown throbs with energy and the promise of thrill is in the air. Adventure activities in the city are like a rite of passage for those visiting New Zealand.

Despite being acrophobic and in denial, I skydived from 15,000 ft. over Lake Wakatipu with a hunky instructor strapped to my back and experienced the thrill of jumping over the Kawarau river, the site of the world’s first bungy.

Another exhilarating encounter on your New Zealand travel itinerary is the Shotover Jet – one boat, 10-cm shallow river waters, narrow, twisted canyons, great speeds, 360-degree turns and a tagline that reads ‘Can you handle the canyons?’.

Things mellow down the next day as we set out to encounter what legend says is a god’s creation – Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.

The moody, rain-obsessed Fiordland National Park envelops our senses entirely with its mirror lakes, cloudy realms, glacier-carved mountains and discerning perpetuity.

We fight off sandflies with gusto, encountering fur seals taking a siesta and bottlenose dolphins squealing joyously. On our way out, we even come upon a pair of the impish Kea, the only alpine parrots in the world.

Lake Pukaki, Canterbury New Zealand travel guide
Clouds over Lake Pukaki, Canterbury

On the way to Mount Cook village, our last leg of the journey, the shadows of the clouds on the turquoise waters of Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo is a sight my senses will never let me forget.

Later that rainy night, as I stare at the great Aoraki summit, I feel the natural and the mystical spirit of New Zealand come together. This New Zealand travel itinerary, which is certainly not our last one in this country, has indeed been a privilege.

Malavika Madgula is a freelance writer and coffee-lover well-versed in the art of Kopfkino. Sings non-stop praises about New Zealand, believes in domino theory and is always up to discuss Harry Potter. Her blog can be found here malavika24.wordpress.com.

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There’s plenty of fun things to do in the hippy city of Flagstaff. The city is nestled in the stunning red rock scenery of northern Arizona and offers activities through both summer and winter.

Flagstaff is at a much higher elevation than Phoenix and Tucson, so has a much greener environment with lots of forests and grasslands.

The area is considerably colder than its fellow Arizonan cities, so you should pack some long sleeves and trousers!

The city is around a 4-hour drive north from Tucson and a 2.5-hour drive North of the state capital, Phoenix.

There’s also plenty of fun things to do in Flagstaff, you just need someone to write about them for you…

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If you like your holidays to be full of adventure, Iceland is the ideal trip for you. It isn’t your average sunbathing, sand and sea, and you’re more likely to have a hot chocolate in your hand than a cocktail, but it will certainly be an experience to remember. Iceland is one of those places you absolutely have to see at least once in a lifetime, and with so much to do there, it’s difficult to narrow down your sightseeing list. So, if you’ve got a short time frame in Iceland, here’s what you need to prioritise.

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Everyone yearns to visit certain bucket list holidays more than others. There’s a certain allure that places a destination in your mind and it never leaves.

You always have that urge to visit those places and dream of the time you will spend exploring the sights. These destinations can be on our minds for years, it’s just down to us to visit them!

Here are my top 5 bucket list destinations, one may raise a few eyebrows!

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Looking for the best places to Visit in Istanbul?

Of course you are, its a stunning city just waiting to be explored!

Istanbul is located in the perfect place to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures and all the attractions that these cultures provide.

Situated right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the country is a melting pot of huge civilisations.

Imagine being on one continent, and then in an instant, you are transported to another one via a short boat or taxi ride. Its location makes Istanbul a very unique place to visit that very few other destinations can rival.

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When you think of festivals, Milwaukee may not instantly spring to mind. Yet it should, since Milwaukee is the City of Festivals! In addition to playing host to the largest festival in the world, the city puts on a dazzling variety of events that you probably didn’t even know existed. Here’s a list of the top five festivals you must attend in 2018. Bear in mind, this popular festival city runs out of accommodations quickly, so book your Milwaukee hotel in advance!

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We all love knowing that we’re visiting somewhere that not many people know about. You want to head off the beaten track, find a hidden gem, and go where the locals go. What’s better than doing this while also being immersed in some of America’s Prohibition-era history? Well, if you want to achieve this, then you need to head to one of a number of hidden speakeasy-inspired bars dotted around Chicago. Check out these five speakeasy bars in some of my favorite Chicago neighborhoods that offer that hidden gem feeling along with some of the best cocktails around.

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If you’re like me – cheap and don’t want to pay for flights – then this article will suit you down to the ground. We all want to fly for free or even discounted prices. We’ve all heard of these people who get all their flights for free through Airmiles by having 10 credit cards, but we don’t really believe it. We know in the back of our heads that there are ways to ‘hack’ the system – we’re just not quite sure how – there has to be another way than collecting a bunch of plastic money cards. Many people aren’t in the situation to take out all these credit cards and credit cards just don’t sit right with some people – including me. Well, there is another way, there are many ways to be smart about Airmiles and maximise the amount you receive, if only you do a little research. Even if you fly once or twice a year, investing in Airmiles is still worth your time!

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If you are aware of current world events right now, the chances are that Turkey isn’t likely to be on your current ‘must-see’ list. Because of its closeness to the Middle East – in geographical and political terms – a lot of people are thinking twice about visiting.

But while there is an element of risk, the reality is that it is in the same security state as virtually everywhere else in Europe and the western world. And missing out on such a beautiful and welcoming country would be such a shame. With this in mind, here are a few awesome reasons why you should rip up your current travel plans and book a visit to Turkey instead.

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 It’s hard not to have heard of Yellowstone National Park. Some may know it for its feared super volcano, others because of its diverse wildlife or perhaps its renowned geothermal features.  We recently went on a camping adventure in the park and want to share with you 5 unmissable sights you must add to your itinerary when visiting.

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Summer might be in full swing, but we’ve still got some time left before the holiday season is over. And this especially the case in Spain. When it comes to travelling and visiting different countries, Spain has it all. This stunning European country offers an incredible slice of culture, delicious food, breathtaking views and an interesting history. Although the coasts can get packed at this time of year, the cities often come alive. So if you’re looking to fit in a last minute trip before the sun dies down, here are five Spanish cities to consider seeing.

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If you only had enough money to travel to one place this year then it should be Canada. This country has sights for everyone from the adventurous explorer to the chilled-out vacationer. Beautiful cities and wild, stunning scenery. It’s picturesque but it’s by no means a sleepy place. There are lots of things to see and do in this incredible place if you know where to travel and which routes to take. Here are some a few of the greatest things about Canada. You shouldn’t stop at our list, of course; this is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep exploring beyond the things suggested in this article.

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Many people like the idea of booking a life-changing safari holiday with their families or as a solo traveller. However, lots of folks don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the perfect destination. With that in mind, there is a list of suitable locations mentioned in this article. They are some of the most popular countries in which anyone can take part in a safari experience. Those who want to do that just need to perform some extra research before making their bookings. Also, it should come as no surprise that travellers will have to make their way over to the African continent.

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Travelling is undoubtedly extremely exciting and very rewarding, but it can be a bit of a nightmare at times too. Planning, packing, navigating your way through international airports – they can all cause you a major headache at times. The goods news is I’ve put together some Seasoned Traveller approved travel tips to make your next adventure a bit easier:

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Travelling, in all forms, is a journey of discovery. No matter where you go or how you travel, you’ll be discovering new ways of living, even if you’re not fully conscious at the time. When you’re trying to mumble through your broken French, or seeing whole cities pull down the blinds during siesta hours, you’re adding another layer to your education. If you thrive on this type of learning, then the world is your oyster. If you throw yourself into the deep end, at the end of your comfort zone no less, then you’ll be rewarded by awesome experience after awesome experience. Below, we take a look at five ways you can find the adventure you seek.

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Sometimes the lure of wanderlust is so powerful that you just want to take off and go on a whim. After all, isn’t that the ethos of travelling? It’s about freedom and following your passions, and wandering wherever your heart takes you. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way of this dream. However, it is still possible to jet off and follow those dreams (for a while) if you solve a few everyday problems first:

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Planning a visit to China sometime soon? If you have never been before, you might find that planning your trip can be a little overwhelming. It’s such a vast country, that there is so much for you to see and do, there is just no way you will be able to fit everything into one trip no matter how long you are visiting for. To help you decide what you need to see on your first ever time in China, here are some of the country’s highlights.

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Any travel is fun, but for experiences, it’s hard to beat the thrill-a-minute rollercoaster that is adventure travel. This pushes people out of their comfort zone, helps them grow as individuals, and opens up the beauty of the world – and the people who live on it – in ways that conventional travel just can’t replicate. Of course, all these benefits to come with a drawback: it’s challenging and really hard work at times. Below, we’ve put together five tips to help you get the most our of your adventure travel trip.

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Europe offers so many cultures, culinary delights, and climates. No wonder it is such a holiday favourite, no matter where you’re from. There are plenty of choices, and the ease of travel from country to country on the mainland makes it a traveller’s delight too. Best of all, it’s still pretty easy to hop over for a spur-of-the-moment long weekend. Here’s where to head to for each season of the year:

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When people visit South East Asia, most travellers decide to check out Thailand or Vietnam. For whatever reason, many people overlook the idea of going to Cambodia. Maybe it’s because they heard terrible stories about the government during the early 1980s? Who knows? Cambodia is a nation of people who have recently experienced a great tragedy. More than half of the country’s population was killed during the reign of a communist government under the instruction of Pol Pot. You can research him yourself.  However the country is seeing somewhat of a resurgence and today, we’re taking a look at why Cambodia is set to become the next big backpacking destination.

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If you are thinking of heading to the beautiful and scenic nation of Canada, then there is one place that you need to visit. That is Calgary! Often overlooked for some of the more famous Canadian cities such as Vancouver or Toronto, Calgary isn’t perhaps at the top of everyone’s wish list. But that is where you are missing out! This city In the Province of Alberta has plenty to keep you interested and entertained. Read on to find out more.

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