Postcard-perfect weekend in Tutukaka

Middle Earth, alpine valleys and geothermal landscapes are always hogging the attention when it comes to New Zealand 'must-do's', but how often do we get to see New Zealand's tropical side? Just a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Auckland lies Tutukaka, Middle Earth's exotic older sister with a few postcard-perfect views up her sleeve.

Return to Mordor

One does not simply walk into Mordor – she hikes, hobbles, trips, slips, gets back up and continues forward. In the end, it’s all worth it.

Somehow what was supposed to be a long relaxing holiday weekend in Lake Taupo turned into 7 hours of hiking nearly 18km across an active volcano. But I have no regrets!

The Chronicles of Coromandel

The day my parents arrived in New Zealand was the first time I’d seen sun in weeks. We’d had an unusual series of ongoing storms that had left me feeling a little anxious about what their New Zealand experience would be. Let’s just say I’d been building up with blue water and sunny weather for months.