Sunset by Robert Simpson (

New Zealand here we come!

Sunset over the Tasman Sea, from NewPlymouth by Robert Simpson (

Sunset over the Tasman Sea by Robert Simpson

So just under 8 weeks from now we’re off on the trip of a lifetime!

We’re taking over 5 weeks off work in total to travel around the world and will spend 4 weeks touring New Zealand. It’s something that we’ve been planning on and off for years and finally last July we took the plunge and booked our flights. There are several main reasons to go – to visit relatives that we haven’t seen for 50 years, to visit relatives and friends that we’ve never met except on Facebook, and to tour what looks like a great country.

This blog is here to act as a journal of our trip as we’re travelling but also to provide some useful information if you’re also thinking of travelling to New Zealand yourself. We’ve spent a lot of time researching the holiday and there are some great resources out there.

Photo of Napier, New Zealand by Robert Simpson

Napier by Robert Simpson (

The first thing we discovered was the huge amount of great photographs of New Zealand online. It really gives you a feel for the place before you go. There are some great photographers out there like the well known Trey Ratcliff who hails from New Zealand and has a great travel photo site called

I also really like the photos of Robert Simpson who lives in Hawkes Bay. Rob has a great site called that’s well worth a visit. He’s exceptional at getting great shots of people going about their normal lives in NZ. He also takes some great photos of the great New Zealand scenery and a few of his scenery photos illustrate this post as well as the site header. Click on any photo for a closer look. As I said it’s well worth looking out for his photos.

Mount (Doom) Erin by Robert Simpson (

“Mount Doom” by Robert Simpson (

Have a look at the site’s “Useful Links” page for sites and resources that we’ve found online that have helped us with deciding where to go and what to do in New Zealand. One useful site is Travelbug, a great site to find and book hotel and other accommodation. He appears to be the site to use in NZ for hotel booking.

So we’re well into our planning but we’ve still a lot to sort out. Look out for future posts to see how we’re getting on.