Review: READ this BEFORE you purchase the Jackery Explorer 500!

We LOVE the outdoors, as you’ve probably guessed. We love hiking, even if our bodies don’t, we love camping and we love van life! The ability and accessibility to explore this world is key for us and being in nature is our passion.

But we do also like our comforts, like snuggling up in bed in our van on a rainy night and watching Netflix on our laptop or capturing incredible birds eye view content on our drone! Or even just having the ability to work remotely from our laptops whilst in nature. But all these things use up quite a lot of power and drain our leisure batteries quickly!

So, we were on the hunt for a solution. How could we have these comforts and keep our leisure batteries for general needs like our lights and water pump? That’s when we came across Jackery and their awesome solar powered products.

We opted for the Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station and the Jackery SolarSaga 100 Solar Panel and so far, we’ve charged our laptops, kept our AppleMac running, charged our phones and even the drone and that was all from 1 charge.

So what exactly is a Jackery Explorer 500?

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a solar-ready power station designed to give you power no matter where you are. Whether you’re in the middle of a forest or parked up at the beach or even just at home during a power outage! The Jackery Explorer 500 gives you the capability to live off grid and powered by the sun!

Specifications

Capacity: 518Wh (24Ah, 21.6V)

1x AC Output: 230V, 500W

Car Port: DC 12v, 10A

3x USB-A Port: 5V, 2.4A

The Explorer 500 can charge your phone 53 times or charge your laptop 7 times or power a mini cooler for 37 hours or even a TV for 7.5 hours.

We highly recommend investing in this set up, as we would be absolutely lost without it. The Jackery Explorer 500 and the SolarSaga 100 Solar Panel have helped us realise our dreams of working remotely and staying off-grid for longer than ever before.

It has also has provided us with yet another way of being more sustainable in this world. Although you can charge the power station up using mains power, we much prefer to use solar energy to re-charge!

If you have any questions about the setup then please do drop us a message below.

And if you’re ready to make a purchase then head to this link

Camper Van Build

Camper Van Build – top tips – easy

Top Tips – DIY Easy Camper Van Build

This is a blog on how to build your own basic campervan. Ideal if you are travelling New Zealand or Australia and have a small van you wish to turn into your mini home-on-wheels! Although this is a really great starting point for any camper van build. We will also be posting a step by step guide on a more complicated camper van build once our current conversion, Bohemia, is complete.

When we arrived in New Zealand, we had no idea that we would end up buying a camper van and renovating it ourselves. As complete novices, we bought a third-generation backpacker van in Auckland with a view to ‘do it up’. Fortunately, we fell on our feet and landed ourselves a job at a holiday park. This meant we would have access to some tools and could empty the van whilst we were living in an on-site cabin.

Before you continue, please note that this is an easy-build guide to a basic non-self-contained camper-van that does not have electricity or running water. 

Introducing Patch – our home on wheels:

  • Our van was a Mitsubishi L300, made in 1997, diesel engine, over 400,000 kms and his name was ‘Patch’.
  • Patch was not self-contained (NSC), although there was the potential size to get certified – we just didn’t see the need!
  • It was a two-berth camper with a kitchen area out of the back, we also purchased a gazebo for those really rainy or really sunny days
Patch the camper van build in the South Island of New Zealand. Vanlife at its best!

Over the years, the laws in New Zealand have become more strict. It is now rather difficult to get a van this size certified as self-contained (SC) and there has also been a reduction in the number of freedom campsites for NSC vans.

If you have no idea (just like us) about the difference between SC and NCS, then here is a brief explanation. If you’re already clued up and want to get to the details of how to build a decent camper on a budget, then skip to ‘How Did We Build It?’.

Self-Contained and Non Self-Contained Explained

There is no need to explain what a non self-contained camper van is really – it is basically a van that lacks in all of the regulatory items required to be self-contained. Although our van, and many others, will contain some of the items. If you are travelling to New Zealand for a long period and you want a cheap car or van to explore with, a NSC vehicle will be your cheapest option. 

To become self-contained you need to have the following, and then have this certified by the correct authorities to receive your little blue sticker:

  1. Fresh water tanks: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum); eg. 24 litres is required for 2 people for 3 days & 48 litres is required for 4 people for 3 days;
  2. A sink: (via a smell trap/water trap connected to a water tight sealed waste water tank;
  3. Grey/black waste water tank: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum, vented and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank);
  4. Evacuation hose: (3 m for fitted tanks) or long enough to connect to a sealed portable tank;
  5. Sealable refuse container (rubbish bin with a lid).
  6. Toilet (portable or fixed): Minimum capacity 1 L per person per day (3 L net holding tank capacity per person minimum);
Self Contained Camper Van
When you become SC, you receive a blue sticker to put on the van and a warrant card that needs to be displayed in the window.

How Did We Build Our NSC Van?

We had a minimal budget and had also never done anything like this before. Our van was originally a tradesman vehicle, it was then purchased to be converted into a backpacker van. It was an ‘okay’ build, but we had better ideas, and by the time that we purchased the van it had already been lived in by three other backpackers – so you can imagine that everything was worn and deteriorating. 

Self Build Camper Van

First things first…

Rip Everything Out

We got straight to it with a drill, taking everything apart and removing from the van – including the old carpet which was pretty grim.

We kept some of the wood that had not been ruined and used it for the new build, and also some of the screws! 

Clean and De-Mould

This van needed a bloody good clean when we first bought it! 

After ripping out the interior we cleaned the inside until it was gleaming and got rid of the mould that had built up around the windows. 

Measure and Design

We didn’t think of any particular design until we had emptied the van, that way we had a better idea of the space we were working with and how best to utilise it. 

Steff was the brains behind the design, I just stood there with my measuring tape shouting numbers every now and then. Do bare in mind though, when you are designing a camper van, you need to be flexible because plans can change during your camper van build. Frustration is inevitable in this case! 

Our design in a nutshell; we knew that we only had a small space, we knew that we wanted a living sofa space that converted into a bed, and we knew that we needed a kitchen. 

Re-Carpet

This was an easy task because our van was so small. We went to Mitre 10 (a DIY store in New Zealand) and got a basic roll of carpet for $20 NZD. Bargain! We used a Stanley knife and Liquid Nails (industrial super glue) to fit the carpet. Easy peezy lemon squeezy! We chose light grey because of the general decor theme we were going for. BONUS TIP: if the floor of your camper van is corrugated then fit a piece of plywood before laying the carpet. This is something we wish we’d thought of! 

Project ‘Get Some Wood

This became a daily task for us, we became quite good at it! With our build we were trying to be as cost-effective as possible, therefore we went on the hunt for free wood.

There are two big DIY companies in New Zealand that have stores all over the country – Bunnings and Mitre10. If you go to either, you can ask if they have any ‘off-cuts’ of wood and they will give these to you for free. This is basically wood left over from customers cuts. Our second option was picking up unused wooden pallets from supermarkets, usually found in car parks. But be quick, there’s always someone else that wants them too! We only purchased one piece of wood and that’s because we couldn’t find a free piece big enough for our kitchen backboard. This was only about $35 NZD so didn’t burn a hole in our pocket! We used a bit of plywood and MDF.

Paint Party

Paint was quite expensive, we went with a basic white because it makes everything look clean and fresh! Luckily, we only needed one pot of paint. When we had cut our wood to measurement, we sanded it down until it was smooth and painted it all white. This is a timely process because there was a lot of wood, and you know – paint has to dry first. 

BONUS TIP: Get yourself a small tester pot of paint to maintain your build, scuffs and stains are inevitable but can soon be fixed up on the road!

Maximising Storage Potential in your Camper Van Build

The original build of the van had limited storage, so during the design process, it was our priority to ensure that we had ample space to store our belongings. 

After all, this is your home on wheels. 

  • The L-shaped sofa area was storage, all you had to do was lift the wooden lids and access your stuff. 
  • In the under-bed storage, we had two long boxes that we kept our clothes in.
  • When the bed was made up, you had more storage in the space under there which was great for things you want super-easy access to. 
  • We also built in a boxed section next to the bed to secure our camp chairs, guitar and other bits and bobs. 
  • Behind the driver and passenger seat, we had four small boxes that stored our toiletries, device chargers, and other miscellaneous stuff. 
  • We built a shelf on the back of the board used between the bedroom and the kitchen, this served as a stand for our laptop so that we could lay in bed and watch Netflix!
  • Our kitchen was designed to also maximise storage, we had two medium size boxes and one large box to store our dry goods and cooking equipment. 

Project Re-Fabric

Fortunately, a foam mattress already came with the van. We cut a standard size double foam mattress into 3 parts so that it could function as part of the sofa and then also be put together to make a double bed. And bought fabric from ‘Spotlight’ – the most costly part of the entire van project. 

We also purchased a hand-held sewing machine for $20 NZD from the same store. Then we wrapped the foam in the fabric, and Steff worked her magic. One tip we would suggest to people that are more advanced with this kind of thing – sow the fabric on to include a zip, so it can be removed for washing purposes. 

In addition to the sofa/bed, we also used fabric to furnish the ceiling as before hand this was an old horrible grey vinyl. This helped to keep insulate the van during cold periods and made it look much nicer! We did this by using a drill to remove the three ceiling panels and fitting the fabric tightly before drilling the panels back on.  

We also purchased cheap car seat covers for the front as the existing fabric had seen better days!

Double bed in basic van build / camper van build

Privacy Is Everything

Curtains are so important. This is your home, you will be getting undressed in here, sleeping in here, and doing… other things perhaps! Also at campsites there are street lights that shine through your window. And the sun that rises way before you may be ready to wake up! Therefore, we bought black curtains and doubled them over, resulting in the ultimate black-out effect.

We also had tinted windows which is awesome because in the daytime you can have the curtains open for natural light and also maintain privacy.

For the curtains, we visited ‘Spotlight’ again and actually got a cheap deal on some off-cuts of fabric they had. Winning!

The Kitchen

Our kitchen was located at the back of the van, and the lid of the boot opened up above your head acting as the roof of the kitchen. This was perfect because we could cook outside in the rain and unless it rained sideways (that’s a thing!), we stayed pretty dry.


The kitchen area served to be our cooking space and our bathroom. Despite not being self-contained we bought several items that served well for us being off the grid in our basic camper van build!

We designed for the kitchen to have several sections, a big food prep space and also cut a hole into this to fit our removable sink. Propped up against the kitchen was also a camp table that could be removed and put out the back of the kitchen – we used this for extra cooking and eating space.

Above the sink, we glued a small mirror, because when you don’t have a mirror and you’re on a constant road trip, you let yourself go!

Alongside the storage boxes, we fitted two basket shelves to the backboard and kept plates, cups and other dry goods in there. We purchased tea/coffee/sugar pots, using two cup hooks and a bit of string we kept these in place by tying a pretty bow. It’s the little things!

External Finishing Touches

Whilst making Patch all-new, shiny and fresh on the inside, we noticed he needed a bit of TLC on the outside too. So we bought black rims/alloys for the tires to cover the old ugly looking ones and also removed the rust from the rain gutter.

Using very very fine sandpaper we removed the rust until it was just smooth steel, then we used ’Rust-Kill’ and painted where the rust was. This is used to treat and prevent. This stuff is naturally brown when it dries so we then spray painted over the top and you would have never know the difference!

Our little home was as good looking on the outside as it was on the inside. 

Campervan Contents

Kitchen:

  • External Camping Lead – (around $99 NZD from Mitre10) we plugged this into an extension lead when we were at Powered Campsites
  • 20L Cool Box – kept cold for 2 days with 4 ice packs
  • Camp Stove (One—Hob Burner) – we wish we had a two-hob burner though.
  • Electric Frying Pan – if you’re staying at a powered campsite and the facilities are crap, this will serve you wonders, but really not a necessity.
  • One large frying pan, two saucepans, two plates, two bowls, two cups, two glasses and two wine glasses. Also numerous cutlery and utensils.
  • Tea, coffee, sugar pots
  • Camp Stove Kettle
  • Chopping Board
  • Mirror
  • Removable silicone sink
  • String lightbulbs and two magnetic LED lights
  • 10L Water Tank
  • Rubbish bin

Bedroom:

  • Double bed sized foam mattress
  • Memory foam mattress topper (easy roll into a small ball)
  • Four pillows and one quilt
  • Thick fluffy blanket for the winter
  • Hot water bottle
  • Fairy lights and various LED lights
  • 2 sleeping bags (we only used these for hiking!)
  • Storage boxes under sofa/bed

Additional:

  • Picnic Table
  • 2 Camp Chairs
  • 1 Gazebo
  • Extension Lead
  • Storage boxes
  • Yoga Mat – great idea to stick between the van and the gazebo
  • Jump Leads 
  • First Aid Kit

Before You Buy

If you buy a van you need to ensure that it has a WOF (Warrant of Fitness) and a REGO (car registration). A WOF determines whether the vehicle is road-worthy and a REGO means it is registered to be on the road. And if your vehicle is a diesel, like Patch, make sure the previous owner has paid their RUC (road user charges), as this is road tax for diesel. 

It is also possible to pay for a vehicle to be checked by the AA prior to purchase, this will provide a detailed report on any work that needs to be done. It costs $99 NZD but hypothetically speaking if you did not get a pre-check and buy a vehicle without this knowledge, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on getting it fixed instead.

And one more thing – car insurance is not mandatory in New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need it. We only paid $35 NZD per month through AA for fully comprehensive insurance, it will be worth it if you do end up in an accident!

Now you have your DIY easy camper van build – where do you go?

We lived for one year in New Zealand, so if you are about to do the same, here is a list of some of the best places we explored across the North and South Island.

Want help booking a Camp Site? Drop us a message HERE and we’ll happily help!

DJI Mavic Mini

Why We Chose the DJI Mavic Mini

We’ve recently purchased our first ever drone and as complete novices in this space, we didn’t want to get an all singing all dancing MASSIVELY expensive drone. Especially because we were unsure as to how we would even get on with flying a drone!

Since purchasing our drone, the DJI Mavic Mini, a lot of you have been asking about it and why we chose this one in particular. So here’s our break down on why we chose the Mavic Mini!

What we were looking for

We decided we wanted something small and low cost, but also with decent power and with a camera good enough to post the footage onto our social media platforms @wearewanderingtravel.

The whole idea of being able to gain a different perspective from above or even just a wider angle of the places we visit is what really attracted us to looking into buying a drone in the first place!

Why we chose the DJI Mavic Mini Drone

We chose the Mavic Mini because it was small, low cost and only weighs 249g – meaning we wouldn’t need to purchase a drone license (something to think about if you’re a first time drone flyer!).

The camera isn’t top grade, but the gimbal camera supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K Quad HD videos. So not quite your 4K, but considering its our first ever drone, we were happy with these specs!

Our thoughts after using it for the last 2 months

Definitely well worth the purchase and does exactly what we need it to do. 

The battery has up to 30 minutes fly time which is great, and because we bought the combo it provides 2 extra batteries, meaning we can have up to 90 minutes fly time if we so desired!

It’s quite nippy (fast), nice and small (fits nicely into our backpack) and captures some beautifully crisp shots. Meaning, once we can travel again, it’ll be the perfect travel companion. 

Below are the facts and figures, feel free to click through the links provided – yes we will earn a small commission if you decide to purchase, so thank you very much in advance if you do! 🙂

The facts

DJI Mavic Mini #affilink
Cost: £369 
Ultralight and Portable Drone, Battery Life 30 Minutes, Transmission Distance 2 KM, 3-Axis Gimbal, 12 MP, HD Video 2.7K, Lightweight, Easy to Edit and Share, QuickShots

DJI Mavic Mini Combo #affilink (the option we went for)
Cost: £459
Ultralight and Portable Drone, 30 min. Flight Time, Transmission 2 Km, 3-Axis Gimbal, 12MP, Video HD 2, 7K, 3 Batteries, Remote Controller, Intelligent Flight Battery

The Best Vegan Tapas in Bristol

The best All Vegan Tapas Restaurant in Bristol
No.12 Easton hosts amazing new venture Casa Verde in the evenings for amazing vegan tapas.

It’s been an exciting journey since returning home to Bristol after After fully committing to being Vegan, Bristol is most definitely the best place to be!

And now, we are on a mission to find Bristols BEST vegan food.

Casa Verde – All Vegan Tapas

On our search, we have discovered multiple fast food restaurants serving their best versions of well known take away food. However, Dave at Casa Verde, has really spiced it up with his all vegan tapas menu.

We were invited down to where he is currently situated at No12 Easton – a cosy little cafe that turns into an all Vegan Tapas restaurant on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Even the accompanying drinks menu offers vegan beer and wine.

“This dish was like a sexier version of risotto.”

Below you will find a list of the tapas that we more than willingly devoured.

The Food

Bread + Olive Oil

Warm, golden, freshly baked bread with melt-in-your-mouth olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And yep, we ordered this twice during our visit.

Mushroom & Black Truffle Arancini

The second you break the arancini balls open the black truffle aroma arouses your senses. EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. WAS. MAGICAL.

Mushroom & Black Truffle Arancini - All Vegan Tapas Restaurant - Casa Verde, Bristol

Leek & Romesco

Beautiful charred leeks with a Spanish ramesco sauce, made by combining nuts and roasted red peppers. This punchy tapas dish screamed out spring flavours which was quite comforting on a rainy winter evening!

Leek & Romesco - All Vegan Tapas, Bristol

Cauliflower a la Gallega

We should have begged for the secret ingredients to this incredible dish, because the flavours were phenomenal – we HIGHLY recommend ordering this when you visit!

Cauliflower a la Gallega - All Vegan Tapas, Bristol

Bravas + Aioli

The famous Patatas Bravas is a typical tapas dish, but Daves’ creation had a crispy twist! These twice-cooked Bravas were super seasoned and an absolute delight. And don’t even get us started on the aioli – undeniably delicious.

Patatas Bravas - All Vegan Tapas, Bristol

Tortilla

We have struggled to find a decent vegan tortilla anywhere, so we were apprehensive when ordering this. HA, how naive of us. Just like every single individual tapas dish that stimulated our taste buds, the tortilla at Casa Verde blew us away. What cheese did you use Dave?!

Wild Mushroom Wet Rice

You had me at wild mushroom. This dish was like a sexier version of risotto. I wish we didn’t over-do it on everything else, we would have ordered a second portion of this. Every mouthful brought us great joy.

Wild Mushroom Wet Rice - All Vegan Tapas, Bristol

After gobbling up the above tapas, we didn’t think we had any room left. However, after Dave (the wizard chef) described the Chocolate Torte to us, we were truly convinced.

Chocolate Torte

NO REGRETS in agreeing to this – the mouth-watering chocolate torte with the ginger nut base and suprising pepper kick was the ultimate finale to our Casa Verde visit.

Chocolate Tore  - All Vegan Tapas, Bristol

A massive thank you to Dave, the mastermind behind these dishes, for welcoming us to Casa Verde. We will be back, there is no doubt in that.

Mount Social Club, Meatless Monday!

When we lived in Te Puke, we were invited to Mount Social Club to try out their new “Meatless Monday” initiative… here is what we thought of this restaurant.

This is the place for everyone, and quite rightly named ‘Social Club’ I can see how it brings everyone together. In our friendship group we have pals that are meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans and even gluten-free. Nowadays you can find restaurants that cater to all of these requirements, but let’s face it, it’s a rarity that ALL of the food is so yummy.

The Mount Social Club has actually been around since the 70’s, however in 2014 it underwent a full makeover using mostly recycled building materials and quirky up-cycled furniture. From the second you arrive, you’ll be in awe of the theme, customer service and general vibe. The menu offers everything from breakfast and tapas to dinner and dessert.

Mount Social Club, Mount Maunganui
Restaurant for everyone. Vegetarian, Vegan, Meat Eater, Gluten Free, Dairy Free. Meatless Monday

What did we eat?!

Pappi’s Bruschetta  – $14.50

Cashew nut cheese and Pappi’s tomato-coriander salsa on a pumpkin flatbread, topped with spicy sprouts. (4 pieces, vegan and gluten free)

Calamari – $16.50

Marinated in kiwifruit & coated in lemon pepper panko served with our delicious homemade aioli.

(sustainably farmed seafood)

Pattaya Salad  – $26

Your choice of chicken breast, halloumi or prawns served on a bed of mung beans, asian slaw, spring onion, capsicum, garnished with cashew nuts, coriander & topped with a lightly spiced thai dressing.

(gluten free, free range & paleo on request)

Stir Fry – $26

Fresh Asian flavours stir fried with fine sliced vegetables, ginger, chilli, coriander, and cashew nuts. Served with choice of: halloumi, chicken or tofu.

Chocolate Fondant – $16

Kapiti Vanilla Ice cream & berry coulis

Take a closer look at the Social Club’s menu HERE

When should you go? – On Meatless Monday?

Seeing as their opening hours are 8am – 1am we can guarantee you, there is no wrong time to visit the Social Club. We dined on a Monday, because we wanted to rave about the amazing initiative that more restaurants need to get involved in – Meatless Monday– 25% off all Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes

Here’s a few more of their great deals:

$15 Social Lunch Menu – Now available 12-3pm Monday – Sunday

Social Jam, Thursday from 9pm– come and join our jam session where local and international musicians create beautiful music on the spot!

Live Music and DJs Friday & Saturday from 6pm– sit down and dine or dance along whilst listening to our amazing live acts.

Super Social Sunday– every Sunday from 9pm we offer drink deals and social vibes.

Winenot Tuesday – Free cheeseboard with every bottle of wine

Wednesday – $10 Cocktails after 9pm

Thursday – $10 Slider, fries & drink

Friday FRYDAY! – Free fries for the first 100!

What did we love about it?

EVERYTHING. If we had more time in the Bay of Plenty region, we would have no doubt pocketed this place as our new hang-out. The food is unforgettable and the décor is mesmerising – look no further than Mount Social Club when you search ‘restaurants near me’ in your internet browser.

Mount Social Club, Mount Maunganui
Restaurant for everyone. Vegetarian, Vegan, Meat Eater, Gluten Free, Dairy Free. Meatless Monday

For more things to do in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand CLICK HERE

Top 10 Things to do in Wellington

Top Things to do in Wellington – Budget or FREE!

Maori Name: Te Whanganui-a-Tara

You will no doubt find yourself in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington during your trip – especially if you’re seeing the country like we have, by campervan! So we have put together a list of some of the top things to do in Wellington.

Windy Wellington, is actually the windiest city in the world with average wind speed being around 16mph. It’s New Zealand’s 2nd largest city and is home to over 400,000 residents.

Despite most backpackers associating cities with being expensive, there’s heaps to do in Wellington for free OR on a budget. Therefore do not bypass this on your way to or back from the South Island. Especially if you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Secret Lookout – Moa Point

One of the many beauties of Instagram, is recommendations from locals and other travellers alike.
When we arrived in Wellington we were sent a message from a local with a map to the exact location of this secret lookout. Well, I mean it’s not mega secret, but it’s not on TripAdvisor – so it’s an off the beaten track kind of place.

Pop Kekerenga St into Google Maps. When you arrive, park on the street and follow the below map to the abandoned war bunker.

Once you arrive at the top you will be rewarded with stunning views of Wellington and the South Island in the far distance. You can also watch the planes take off and land at Wellington Airport.

TIP: Get there in time for one of the best sunsets you’ll see in New Zealand! And wrap up warm in the winter, it’s windier than the city.

Top things to do in Wellington. Moa Point

Lord of the Rings – Filming Locations in Wellington

Why did I come to New Zealand? For all of this, of course. Steff on the other hand has been dragged along on my LOTR/Hobbit expeditions! We are constantly looking for the many filming locations across the country.

Get yourself to Mount Victoria and simply whack ‘LOTR location car park’ into Google Maps. Keep your eyes peeled for the official ‘Lord of the Rings Filming Location’ sign post and follow the path.

Not a hard or long walk at all, you’ll be guided through the beginning of the forest with small signs. Don’t forget to look out for the benches that have many of the famous LOTR quotes on them.

First Location – Hobbits Hideaway

The first location you want to look out for is the scene when Frodo shouts: “Get off the road!” and the four hobbits hide from the ring wraiths. This is the first right turn on the walking track with the LOTR signpost. For this one, you have to really use your imagination as the props are obviously no longer there.

Top things to do in Wellington. Hobbits Hideaway

Second Location – Hobbits Smoke Pipeweed

The second location, my favourite, is more of a difficult find.  If you come back on yourself from the first location take the left at the fork instead.

Continue down the path and look vigilantly on your left hand side for the tree where Frodo sat with Sam-wise smoking a pipe.

When we found the tree, I made Steff be my Sam-wise, hopped on to the tree with a stick that looked like a pipe and used my vape to recreate that moment.

Top things to do in Wellington. Hobbits Smoke Pipeweed

Mount Victoria Lookout

Feast your eyes on 360° panoramic views of Wellington. You can drive right to the top, 195 metres above sea level, or get the bus there on weekdays.

At the lookout, you can also see the Byrd Memorial, in memory of Richard Byrd – an American polar explorer and aviator. He used New Zealand as a base for his Antarctic expeditions for 27 years.  

Weta Cave Workshop Tour

Wellington (also known as Wellywood) is New Zealand’s movie-production hub, and home to Weta Workshop and Weta Cave.

Although we did not do the 2 hour tour ($28 NZD per adult), you can still get up close and personal with the doormen of the studio. You may recognise them from The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey. After you’ve grabbed yourself a selfie with Tom, Bert and William (the trolls), you can still check out the Weta Cave Shop for FREE. In the shop you can wander through the mini-museum, admire the props and replica’s and get face to face with their life-sized sculptures.

Top things to do in Wellington. Weta Caves Workshop

Te Papa Museum

FREE entry and open every day 10am – 6pm, this place is a MUST DO when you’re visiting Wellington. You could quite literally spend the whole day there, but if you’re only looking to kill a couple of hours we suggest the following exhibitions:

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War (60+ minutes)

An exhibition that truly captured us, for many reasons. As you move through the exhibition you will be told the stories through the eyes and words of eight phenomenal New Zealanders who found themselves in the toughest of situations.

Each moment frozen and captured on a monumental scale. Teaming up with Weta Workshop, Te Papa Museum have truly excelled with this, keeping your constant attention with interactive experiences, 3-D maps and projects and giant sculptures 2.4 times human size.

Top things to do in Wellington. Te Papa Museum. War Exhibition
Photo Credit: Te Papa Museum and Weta Workshop

Active Land (30+ minutes)

“Enter the realm of Rūaumoko, god of volcanoes and earthquakes, and explore the geological forces that shape our shaky land.” Hopefully you will know by this point into your visit that New Zealand is prone to earthquakes and less often, volcano eruptions. This is because New Zealand sits on the edges of two tectonic plates – the Australian and Pacific plates.

During this exhibition you will learn all about earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters – both historically and futuristic. Our favourite part – the earthquake simulator. Hold on tight though!

Mana Whenua (30+ minutes)

Learn all about the Māori – the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, through treasures handed down the generations, pounamu pendants, and powerful stories. If you have had the opportunity to participate in a cultural experience (probably in Rotorua!) then you may recognise some of these traditions already.

In the exhibition you are able to enter Te Hau ki Tūranga, an amazing meeting house, and see a waka taua (war canoe) from the Whanganui region used in battle during 1800s.

Wellington Cable Car

You can either drive directly to Wellington Botanic Gardens or the Space Place Observatory, or, you can get a return ticket for $9 NZD (adult) from Lambton Quay to Kelburn and enjoy the stunning views of Wellington on the cable car. Or – park in Kelburn and catch a ride down to the city like we did!

Just a 5-minute ride either way, the old-school yet well maintained cable car a pretty cool way to get from A to B in the city. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, check out the Wellington Cable Car Museum and make a tit of yourself by getting dressed up to pose in front of one of the original cable cars. RETRO AF.

Top things to do in Wellington. Wellington Cable Car

Oriental Bay, Wellington

The closest beach to the city, this place is pumping in the summer! This is a cool place to come and have a drink or a bite to eat.

A Council project to enlarge and enhance both Freyberg and Oriental Bay beaches was completed in 2004 using sand from Golden Bay, Nelson. The beach’s sand area is now four times larger than before, and the Freyberg Beach grass area is twice as large.

Space Place at Carter Observatory

Space Place put on a live presentation of the night sky over New Zealand, and if you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that the skies at night can be pretty spectacular. For just $12.50 NZD (adult) you can explore the exhibition and take a look at the night sky through the historic Thomas Cooke telescope.

A super interactive experience, you’ll travel through Space Places very own black hole, handle a space rocket, and watch heaps of educational video stories. Bear in mind their opening times though:

Tuesday & Friday: 4pm to 11pm

Saturday: 10am to 11pm

Sunday: 10am to 5.30pm

Open daily during school holidays

Top things to do in Wellington. Wellington night sky

Wellington Botanic Gardens

If you’ve taken the cable car to Kelburn then you might as well check out the Wellington Botanic Gardens! With over 26 hectares of incredible views, exotic forests, native bush and colourful floral displays, you’ll have heaps of beautiful photo opportunities!

If you have the chance, check out the Lady Norwood Rose Garden – with over 3,000 roses in 110 beds, see the roses in full blood between mid-November to December.

Top things to do in Wellington. Wellington Botanical Gardens
Photo credit:

Breaker Bay (and all the rest of ‘em!)

We drove along the south east coast of Wellington City and found many beautiful bays and coves. We stopped off at Breaker Bay, and despite the wind, we were greeted with glorious weather. This beach is actually well known for being the location of Wellingtons only ‘clothing optional’ beach. It was a bit nippy for us though ay!

Top things to do in Wellington. Breakers Bay

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The Ultimate Canopy Tour Rotorua, New Zealand

What a way to finalise our Rotorua chapter after working and living there for 6 months! Rotorua Canopy Tours collaborated with us sending us on THE ULTIMATE adventure, zip lining through an ancient forest, and learning all about the impact this phenomenal company has made on the environment.

The best thing to do in Rotorua? Canopy Tours Rotorua is THE best activity you will ever do!

What to expect?

If we weren’t staring up at the trees saying ‘WOW’ as the guides filled our brains with information about the forest. We were stepping off a platform screaming ‘WOW’ as we flew 400 metres above the trees. It’s an experience that offers an incredible balance of both adrenaline and peace.

“But keep your eyes open, because there are views that you will not want to miss.”

Our guides, Emily and David, immediately made us feel like we were in safe hands, which is reassuring when you’ve been strapped into a harness and helmet (two things that predominately mean ‘this might be dangerous’).

Into the shuttle bus we hopped, to the magical native forest at Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.

Canopy Tours Rotorua top thing to do in New Zealand

The route through the forest

Gradually warmed into the experience, we enjoyed a walk through the forest, on route to our first zip line. Emily and David pointed out thriving types of ferns, trees and coloured fungi in this nearly pest-free environment. Before we knew it, we were being informed of the Do’s and Don’t’s of zip lining and climbing the stairs to our first platform.

Canopy Tours Rotorua top things to do in New Zealand

And – BAM – just like that, with only your heels on the platform and your toes peeping over the edge, you are above ancient trees over 500 years old.
Inevitably, you’ll feel your heart rate increase. All you need to do though is crouch, lift your knees and fly. Keep your eyes open, because there are views that you will not want to miss.

Not only did we fly across 6 zip lines, we crossed 50 metre long swing bridges, walked along a boardwalk attached to a cliff over 20 metres above ground, and abseiled up-side-down (picture SpiderMan).

Canopy Tours Rotorua top things to do in New Zealand

Why Rotorua Canopy Tours?

Opening to the public in August 2012, conservation efforts started soon after to bring life back to the forest. Not only will you be paying for a personal and unforgettable adventure, you’ll be contributing towards restoring centuries of neglect. So, if you’re a nature-lover AND an adrenaline-junkie, these two things go hand in hand with Canopy Tours.

CLICK HERE to read in full about their journey.

I’m keen, how do I book?

Simple as, if you know when you’ll be in Rotorua, head to THIS PAGE and get your adventure locked in. Our suggestion – go for The Ultimate Canopy Tours. Described as ‘Higher, longer, and more spectacular’ than the award-winning Original Canopy Tours. But both, an equally unforgettable experience.

A big thank you to Rotorua Canopy Tours for collaborating with us for this mind-blowing experience.

For more ideas on what to do in Rotorua CLICK HERE

Top 10 Things To Do in Rotorua, NZ

Having lived in Rotorua over the past 6 months working at Holdens Bay Holiday Park it’s fair to say we’ve turned Rotorua inside out when it comes to things to do! Taking every chance we’ve had to explore what Rotorua, or as the locals call it RotoVegas has to offer, we’ve come up with our Top 10 Things To Do in Rotorua.

We’ve included FREE options in the list as well as fairly CHEAP options too – all about sticking to that backpacker budget!

We’ve given each activity a rating out of 10 and the things we considered when deciding on the ratings were;
– how much value for money the activity was
– our overall experience of the activity which include the activity itself and the staff.


Rainbow Springs
Best time to visit: As this is more of a kids attraction you are better off avoiding any type of school holidays! Early mornings is usually best
Cost: $40 per adult/$20 per child for standard day pass
Rating: 6/10

If you’re looking to get your kiwi experience fix and get close to the iconic long beaked bird, this is the place to come! We were told everything there is to know about these cute little fluff balls by our excellent tour guide, and then given the opportunity to see the Kiwi bird. What a day! Rainbow Springs is perfect if you’re looking to fill some time with the kids, there’s heaps of birds, reptiles and a big splash log ride (which is actually quite frightening, as we found out!)

Things to do in Rotorua. Rainbow springs Rotorua


Agrodome
Best time to visit: Anytime as you book yourself onto a specific time slot!
Cost: Farm show & Farm tour is $69 per adult
Rating: 7/10

By far, one of the funniest days we’ve had so far. Neither of us were particularly keen on llamas or alpacas before this experience – but how can you not fall in love with these fluffy-long-knecked-teddy-bear-horse-like mammals. Being introduced to the various types of sheep was also a massive eye-opener… usually, we drive past a field and say “Ah, look. Sheep.” … now we can say… “Ah, look. A Merino, Leicester Longwool, and Romney Sheep.”

Things to do in Rotorua. Agrodome Rotorua


Hamurana Springs
Best time to visit:
It’s generally pretty quiet. We headed here around lunch time and there were only two other couples there.
Cost: $18 per person
Rating: 8/10

 Hamurana Springs is the deepest natural fresh water spring on the North Island. Its crystal clear water is stunning and the path is an easy 30 minute walk alongside the river and through a redwoods forest. Plenty of photo opportunities along the way and stunning blues, greens and turquoises amongst the water. Steff even tried her hand at feeding the scary black swans along the way…
The Springs are also located on the opposite side of the lake to Central Rotorua and provides beautiful views of Rotorua across the lake.

Things to do in Rotorua. Hamurana Springs


Te Puia
Best time to visit:
Early morning or just before they close (opening times 8am – 5pm)
Cost: In peak season (Summer) a day pass starts from $56 per adult
Rating: 8/10

 Te Puia is a mix of everything! You can watch traditional Maori cultural performances, walk round the geothermal pools, watch geysers erupt and gorge on the yummy Hangi buffet! The food was definitely our favourite part – the buffet is massive and the food is delicious!

Things to do in Rotorua. Te Puia Rotorua


Wai-O-Tapu
Best time to visit:
Lady Know Geyser goes off at 10.15am so you should aim to get to Wai-O-Tapu around 9:30-9:45am
Cost: $32.50 per adult
Rating: 9/10

 Definitely one to tick off the MUST DO in Rotorua list! Watching the Lady Knox Geyser erupt in the morning, followed by a beautiful walk around this geothermal wonderland, was truly an unforgettable experience. We were particularly impressed with the Champagne Pool – a beautiful yellow, orange and green smoking thermal pool.

Things to do in Rotorua. Wai-O-Tapu Rotorua


Okere Falls
Best time to visit:
Anytime
Cost: FREE
Rating: 9/10

Another easy but beautiful walk, just outside of Rotorua. Okere Falls is actually the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, so if that’s your kind of thing then this is the place for you. However if you prefer to stay on the dryer side of life, head on the short trek to the view point of Okere Falls and watch the nutcases raft down the waterfall, it really is an awesome sight!

Edit: we are now a part of this nutcase crew as we tried our hand at rafting down this waterfall!

Things to do in Rotorua. Okere Falls Rotorua


Lake Tarawera
Best time to visit:
Anytime
Cost: FREE
Rating: 9/10

There are a number of viewpoints over Lake Tarawera but our favourite was down by the jetty at the very start of the lake. From there you can view Mount Tarawera in the background. When you drive up round further there are a number of view points, the second best, in our opinion, being the Lake Tarawera Lookout.

Its amazing how such a big lake stays so clear! The water is sparkling. The views are great at any point on a clear day, but if like us you are sunrise fanatics, the view from the jetty is even more spectacular!

Things to do in Rotorua. Lake Tarawera Rotorua


Tamaki Maori Village
Best time to visit:
Tours generally pick up from your accommodation or from the main office in the centre of Rotorua between 5pm-6pm. This varies slightly depending on the season.
Cost: In peak season (Summer) it costs $130 per person
Rating: 10/10

A perfect introduction to New Zealand if you want to indulge in the Maori culture and gain a good understanding through interactive learning, heaps of hakas, and bloody good food! Steff got involved with learning how to use poi’s and did a little wrist dance which was super entertaining!

Things to do in Rotorua. Tamaki Maori Village Rotorua


Kuirau Park
Best time to visit:
Anytime, but especially for sunrise.
Cost: FREE
Rating: 10/10

 This beautiful park in the heart of Rotorua is a perfect place to start your adventures and have your first glances at the geothermal delights Rotorua has to offer!
The highlight being a wooden walkway that disappears into the steam coming off of the geothermal lake that the walkway crosses. You’ll even spot a few bubbling mud pools… just go careful though as new thermal activity can appear at any moment and send a few rocks flying in the air!

Things to do in Rotorua. Kuirau Park Rotorua


The Redwoods
Best time to visit:
Anytime
Cost: FREE
Rating: 10/10

As it says on the label, these really are RED woods. Great towering trees that go on for miles and miles decorating the forest red. Probably our favourite forest walk, EVER. There are multiple paths you can take, ranging from 10 minute walks all the way up to 4/5 hour walks! When we visited the first time we took the green path which was the Quarry Walk. It took around 1.5 hours and was absolutely magical! We are planning on heading back to explore more. Not only are there beautiful red trees but crystallised branches in turquoise waters and big old trees fallen across paths to give it a real magical feel!

Things to do in Rotorua. Redwoods Rotorua

These are just a selection of the best things to do in Rotorua, there are many, many more activities and thrilling adventures to be had here in the cultural centre of New Zealand! If you have something else in mind, we’ve probably done it so feel free to drop us a message or visit our Instagram account We Are Wandering Travel for more inspiration!

Why Working at a Holiday Park in New Zealand is the Best Idea EVER!

So you’ve landed in New Zealand, your working holiday visa is in hand and you’re eager to explore and earn some money to continue your travels but you have no idea where to start?

Here’s where we tell you that you should head straight for Holiday Parks and/or Campsites…

If you have been following us on our journey through New Zealand then you’ll know that we’ve been busy at work earning $$$ and experiencing everything that New Zealand has to offer at the same time!

When we first landed, we didn’t expect to start working so quickly but we soon found out that New Zealand is expensive… extremely expensive! But don’t let that put you off! If you’re clever about it, you can enjoy all of the attractions whilst making money.

So, here our are top reasons to get a job working on a Holiday Park in New Zealand;

1. Working Hours are SWEET AS.

9 times out of 10 the hours are pretty sweet. We cleaned in the mornings 9:30am-1pm, had a 3 hour break in between where we had lunch, worked on the campervan or even headed out to explore.

Then we’d head back to the office for a 4pm-6pm shift.

2. Days off are during the week

Now this may not seem appealing to you at first… but try having your days off during the weekend and going out to explore to find every other person is doing exactly the same as you.

Having days off during the week are an absolute dream, as all the kids are in school and the adults are at work. Attractions are 10 times more quiet during the week!

3. Accommodation on site at a reduced cost

Yes I know, most farms/vineyards/orchards offer accommodation but you’ll more than likely find that this will be a camp spot where you live in your van… if you have one.

Or if it is actual accommodation its nearly as much as your weekly wage! At the campsite you’ll be looking at $100 per person to live in a cabin. And if you’re lucky like us, it’ll be a self contained cabin. So no need to be using the shared facilities!

4. Everyone who works at the park becomes your family

With everyone working and living on the park you come together like a little family.

When it’s a rainy evening, you’ve just finished work and want to have fun you all can head off to bowling or out for a meal.

And because the other staff will most likely be travellers like you, they’ll appreciate you need your alone time too.

So you’ll have every opportunity to go and explore. Its the perfect balance!

5. Opportunities to talk with fellow travellers

This is one of my favourite ones… as you’re checking guests in you get the opportunity to find out where they have been and where they are going.

They can offer you advice and you can offer them advice! It’s amazing what recommendations you can get that are not in any Lonely Planet or general travel guides!

6. You get to go on Famils

Now i’ve definitely saved the best for last. If you don’t know what a famil is… then we’re about to let you in on a secret.

It’s a fantastic little secret that the parks don’t tend to shout about! It’s a way of rewarding their employees.

Basically once you’ve worked hard and shown you’re there to stay for the long run, they will start sending you out on Famils.

They will send you to all of the activities and attractions in the surrounding areas for FREE. Yes ladies and gentleman…. you get to experience all of those crazy adventures for FREE!

Here is just a small list of what we’ve been able to experience working at the campsite (for free);

Traditional Maori Village experience (we’ve actually done this twice as there are two different ones!)
Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland
White Water Rafting
OGO (zorbing)
Skyline Rotorua

So, there you have it! If that hasn’t convinced you that working on a holiday park is the the way forward, then are you even sane!?

What are you waiting for!? If you haven’t already, get applying for that Working Holiday VISA and get yourself a camp life job!

Why you should work on a campsite during your working holiday visa in New Zealand

If you’re heading to Rotorua anytime soon, make sure you check out our Top 10 Things To Do in Rotorua!

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Northwest of Mordor)

So you’ve decided you want to trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing? But first, you need to know how to survive it right? Well keep on reading…

Mount Doom – ‘a fictional object destruction method from Lord of the Rings trilogy’

or

Mount Ngauruhoe – ‘an active stratovolcano in New Zealand’

Whatever you want to call it, it’s beautiful. And one of the many breath-taking views you’ll get to experience if you decide to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s many ‘Great Walks’. In addition to Mount Ngauruhoe, you’ll also see Mt Ruapehu peeking over and Mount Tongariro. Despite it being a long time since any of these active volcanos erupted, it still gives the extra edge to the walk when you realise that if, IF, they were to go off – you would be well and truly f****d.

We did our research for this trek and we ensured we were prepared for all eventualities, so when it came to hopping off the shuttle bus at the very start of the trek – we were feeling pretty confident. Now, if you’re reading this blog in hopes of gaining some insight before you do the crossing – just know that each day on that track is different. So, if the weather is forecast to be clear and sunny then keep reading. If not, then… well… do some further research.

Mangatepopo Carpark   >   Soda Springs          1 – 1.5 hours

The easy part, a nice little warm up. The track is fairly flat with a lot of it being board walked.

Though, knowing that we had 19.4km ahead of us I wasn’t too keen on Steff celebrating every kilometre sign.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The start!

Soda Springs   >    South Crater                     45 mins – 1 hour

This part of the track, known as the Devil’s Staircase is very steep. It’s the part that everyone had warned us about. Permitting that you stop little and often for water and to re-fill your lungs – you’ll be grand. I feared this part and pictured it to be like the staircase in Covent Garden tube station but worse. It’s not as bad as you imagine – and much prettier than Covent Garden tube station. Winner. Steff has already climbed part of the Great Wall of China so it was an absolute breeze for her!

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The long drop!
The reality of any long hike. Long drop toilets. HOLD YOUR BREATH.

South Crater    >     Red Crater                                       1 hour 

Starting out flat, once you have passed the South Crater and your legs have recovered from the devils staircase there is another climb on an exposed ridge, leading to the Red Crater. Despite it being a clear and sunny day, the wind was fierce. You can see why this is a ‘turning-back point’ for a lot of people during the days with bad weather.

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Red Crater
Red Crater. Although, it kind of looked vagina.
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Enjoying that flat walk…

Red Crater > via Emerald Lakes > Blue Lake    30 – 45 mins

HA! This part is hilarious. If you’re someone that’s guilty of enjoying the viral videos of people falling over then you’re in for a treat. A steep descent from the Red Crater, I was very proud of Steff for not falling over, considering her track record during hikes. Until the last moment when the ground was flat and she tripped. LOL. When you’re slowly descending and your shoes are deep in volcanic sand, you tend not to look up ahead of you. But try to, at least once or twice, because the Emerald Lakes are bloody glorious.

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The steep descent…
Emerald Lakes of Tongariro Alpine Crossing. How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Look at those happy faces!
Emerald Lakes of Tongariro Alpine Crossing. How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Before Steff tripped…

Blue Lake   >   Ketetahi Shelter                                       1 hour

A relatively short and easy climb to the edge of North Crater and you are greeted with truly spectacular views when the weather is good. You’re feeling it though at this point. I mean, mentally we were fine, we had a lot of ‘ooomph’. Our feet and legs however, just did not feel the same. A gondola ride back down to the car park at this point would have been fantastic, no matter what the price was. We ate the last of our snacks, fuelled up on water and tried to shake the life back into our legs after a short break at the shelter.

Pit stop for some snacks during the Tongariro Crossing. How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Fuelling up for those last K’s…
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
LEGS. HAVE. STOPPED. WORKING.

Ketetahi Shelter    >      Victory. (car park)                 2 hours

Now, from what part of our memory recalls – this part is a beautiful walk. Shaded through the forest, a stream towards the end, birds are tweeting, and cicadas are clicking. However, neither of us are as fit as we used to be – so we blurred this bit out a bit. A majority of the walk was downhill, and because our toes were hurting so much they were just sinking into the tops of our shoes which is incredibly painful. Our knees were throbbing, hips were aching, and at any given moment we were just hoping that Samwise Gamgee would come along and carry US the rest of the way.

When we got to the 19 km sign, it felt just how people describe what holding their first born is like. I know, a little dramatic. But upon seeing the shuttles sitting there in the car park waiting for hundreds of hikers and their sore legs, Steff couldn’t help but cry a bit. Which was a hilarious ending to a perfect, challenging and beautiful hike.

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Couldn’t be happier.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

  • The Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek in total is 19.4 KM (12.1 miles) across various terrain.
  • The highest point of the trek is at the Red Crater – 1,886 metres
  • There is no guaranteed fresh water supplies on the walk
  • If the weather is forecast to rain or snow then you must be appropriately dressed for the conditions and ensure you have enough supplies and even shelter in case you get caught up there – consider paying for a guide too!

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE US?

We hopped on the 5:45am shuttle, started the trek around 6:30am and returned to the car park for the 3:30am shuttle. According to my Apple Watch, we walked for 7.5 hours and the rest of the time we had short breaks, toilet stops and seized all of the photography opportunities we could.

BEST PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

There are so many! Our favourite shots were taken at the foot of Mount Ngauruhoe, overlooking the Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes and then towards the end when you have stunning views of Lake Taupo. We had our Canon EOS 1300D, tripod and Go Pro Hero 5 with us. Not too bad to carry!

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Mount Doom
How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Mount Doom

HOW DID WE GET THERE?

We booked with Summit Shuttles. As we live in Rotorua, we left on the Monday evening and stayed in a cabin at Turangi Holiday Park. We left the cabin around 4:30am to drive to the meeting place for the shuttle.

WHAT DID WE TAKE?

  • Backpack
  • 3 litres of water in a camel pack each
  • 1 bottle of Gatorade each
  • 2 sandwiches
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • Snack pack of protein balls
  • 1 bag of nuts and raisins
  • Raincoat
  • 1 banana
  • First Aid Kit
  • 1 apple
  • Torch – extra batteries
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Power Bank (to charge phones)
  • Woolly hats and baseball caps
  • Sun cream (this is extremely important!)

WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

I think we would have stayed somewhere closer to where the shuttle left from, that way we would have got some more shut-eye and wouldn’t have had to brunt the 45 minute drive back to the cabin.

What we also realised, is that we need better hiking boots. Our current ones are great for 3-4 hour hikes… not 7-9 hour hikes. And for those that we saw on the crossing with a small bottle of water and wearing trainers… we’d be really intrigued to know how the rest of your journey went. HA!

How to survive the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Mount Doom
Mount Doom, in all its glory.

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