Aurora lights at the Oreti Beach

The Oreti Beach was crowded with photographers last weekend while the southern lights were playing on the beautiful starry sky. Ever since we moved to the far south I was impatiently waiting to see this very special nature phenomenon. And I got it.

Oreti Beach is one of the best places to see southern lights and I’m lucky to be living just ten minutes from there so I made it on time to capture this moment!

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Must see picturesque New Zealand lakes

Did you know there is more than 4000 lakes in this amazing country?

These are the most stunning lakes in New Zealand and there are some truly fascinating facts about them…

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Lake Te Anau, South Island

Lake Te Anau is second largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and it’s more than 4oom deep. Most of this lake is situated within Fiordland National Park and it is a must see place while traveling around Southland especially if you are planning to visit Milford Sound or you are going to walk New Zealand Great Walks.

Lake Taupo, North Island

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. It sits in the caldera of Taupo Volcano created by a supervolcanic eruption. Every year more than 2 million people come here to admire to this gem of the North Island.

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Lake Wanaka, South Island

Home of the probably most famous tree in the world is Lake Wanaka situated at the lower South Island in Otago region. This lake lies in valley formed by glacial erosion during the last ice age. It is a great place for adventure tourism all year around.

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Lake Pukaki, South Island

Glacial sediments fed this lake by the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, there’s the reason for beautiful blue colour of the water. With the massive Mt Cook in the background it is not strange that Lake Pukaki found its place in the Hobbit Trilogy.

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Lake Tekapo, South Island

It doesn’t matter if you visit this lake during the day or night, it’s amazing! It gets turquoise colour from glacial dust suspended in the water.  Lake Tekapo is part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. I can’t describe you how tranquil this place is…

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Lake Wakatipu, South Island

Famous adventure capital Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake. Because of its unusual shape Lake Wakatipu has a so called ‘tide’ which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 cm every 25 minutes. Perfect scenery for the postcard, isn’t it?

Fascinating Redwoods

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Amazing place just five minutes from downtown Rotorua is Whakarewarewa Forest known by the locals as Redwoods. People come here to ride a mountain bike, enjoy horse riding and a walk along great walking tracks. For me the most fascinating thing was Treewalk. It consists of 23 suspension bridges between 22 Californian coastal redwoods. The view of 100 years old dense native bush, from 12 meters above the ground, is stunning!

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Wai – O – Tapu: Real power of the earth!

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When you will be planning your trip to New Zealand I’m sure that geothermal city Rotorua will be the part of your itinerary. This small town in the Bay of Plenty region is part of the Volcanic Zone and it is something that you can’t see very often. That’s why we went there again – to make sure that we didn’t miss something last time when we visited Rotorua during our first road trip around New Zealand.

What you will find here is everything about Maori culture, hot natural pools, geysers and mud pools – real beauty of the nature. While walking around the lake Rotorua or through the steam of the Kuirau Park you will definitely see and feel the power of the earth. In this post I’ll take you to the Wai – O – Tapu Thermal Wonderland, place of the enchanting geothermal activity and unique volcanic features, just the show you how alive the earth really is…

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The best of Auckland – cheap or free!

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New Zealand is expensive country and if there’s no Working Holiday, for some people, it would be very hard to travel around for a longer time.

The great thing is that you can always find something cool to do – cheap or free – so as I promised in one of my previous posts here are a few more great things to do around the Auckland area!

1. Stroll around the Wynyard quarter and enjoy in the free movie nights in the Silo Park

Best place to enjoy on the waterfront, especially during the summer, is Wynyard quarter where you can find lots of restaurants and bars. On the Friday nights this is the spot where the night market is taking place so you know where to go to bite something delicious. After a good meal relax on the grass in the Silo Park while you are watching the movie under the stars for free!

2. For a bit of culture stop at the Auckland Art Gallery

Entry to Auckland Art Gallery is free and here you will have the chance to see more than 15000 artworks. In the gallery you will meet the volunteer guides who are ready to tell you the story about the history of art. Free tours are available every day at 11.30 am and 1.30 pm so while you are wandering around the city centre don’t forget to come here too.

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3. Choose one of the walking tracks near the city and enjoy in the unique nature

Around Auckland you can find many beautiful walking tracks through the unique rainforests. Few of them can easily be reached in Waitakere Ranges, only 20 km from the city centre. Walking through the bush of Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is something that you have to do. On your way you will have the chance to discover magnificent nature, beautiful beaches and hidden falls!

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4. Spend a day on the beach – surf, windsurf, kitesurf or just be lazy!

Milford and Takapuna beach on the east or Piha and Betthels beach on the west – it doesn’t matter which one you will choose because the day spent there is something that you will remember. Money can’t buy the long sand beaches and the beautiful view over the ocean  so consider visiting this places and spend a wonderful day with your friends. If you would like to enjoy in the water activities then these beaches are definitely here for you!

5. You can enjoy in the free festivals and events all year around!

Free events and festivals are held in Auckland throughout the year. Few of the most popular among visitors are Lantern Festival, Pasifika Festival and Matariki Festival. During the summer months you can enjoy in the great event called Music in Parks. It doesn’t really matter what kind of music is you favourite because there’s always something for rock, pop, blues, electronic or jazz lovers!

As you can see there’s always something going on in the biggest city of New Zealand and it definitely doesn’t have to be an expensive experience.

Just put the smile on your face and enjoy!