I have been on a rather major hiatis from blogging, but I am (apparently) back!
This blog post is a very exciting one as it is my first ever blogger collab!!
I will be collabing with the wonderful Kseniia from The Style Jungle blog, I have been admiring her instagram for quite a long time now, and her amazing aesthitically pleasing insta feed lead me to her blog, she reached out to me after I sent her a message telling her just how aesthetically pleasing her instagram was, and asked if I wanted to collab, of course I said yes. What an opportunity!
The Style Jungle blog mostly focuses on style and travel, and Kseniia writes like an absolute dream. You must go check her out if you are looking for amazing photos of New Zealands beautiful scenery and some lifestyle bits and pieces as well. Currently making my way through her information loaded blog myself, I keep finding things I want to read as I'm writing this blog post. I'll link her instagram and blog throughout this blog post!
Below is Kseniia's favourite places in the North Island, a blog post I felt was very fitting for the way my blog seems to be going, and would give you guys as well as myself some adventure inspiration for the last of the summer days.
6 places on the North Island I love the most:
I have a strong feeling that North Island of New Zealand is being highly underrated in terms of traveling. Whenever I discuss bucket list destinations with friends, I would most probably hear iconic South Island locations: Queenstown, Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo, etc. On a rare occasion, someone might also mention Hobbiton. But wait, don’t we have ENDLESS spectacular places within arm’s reach? Here are some of the destinations on the North Island, that never disappoint and can be easily accessed by car.
6. Auckland’s West Coast. These black-sand beaches are so mesmerizingly beautiful in their wilderness! Located next to each other they make a perfect one-day trip. Start with admiring a gannet colony of Muriwai beach, proceed to Piha beach for a lunch at local café that offers yummy food and awesome views, and round up the trip at West Coast’s best kept secret (and my personal fav!) – Anawhata beach. Getting here is a bit of a challenge: you’ll have to take gravel road for a good 10 km first and then walk another kilometer or so on a steep track. These obstacles prevent Anawhata beach from becoming another overcrowded touristy attraction, so chances to find yourself all alone in the middle of the out of this world scenery are quite high!
5. Rotorua. It’s just crazy, how many things there are to see and do in this small town! Living in Tauranga, we travel there every other weekend and never fail to choose new exciting activity. Whether it’s walking through one of many volcanic valleys, exploring wonderful Redwoods forest, feeding cute animals at Paradise Valley Springs, soaking in the warm and healing waters of Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – you will definitely have a time of your life!
4. Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. While for many Karangahake Gorge is just a challenging part of the route between Auckland and Tauranga, curious people know – incredibly informative and gorgeous walkway are hiding behind those hills. Make sure to have your torch with you! A short walk along the old railway line will bring you to the remains of the old tunnel, or so called Windows Walk, and it can be REALLY dark in there! Dark and exciting. To say nothing about the breathtaking views you’ll spot from the “windows”.
3. The Coromandel. A little piece of haven tucked in between busy Auckland and Tauranga - the fastest growing city in New Zealand. Coromandel is a perfect North Island getaway, if you need to take your mind off big city life for a while. It’s main sights are all about nature. For example, fantastic Cathedral Cove, that is so out of the world, it was even featured in Chronicles of Narnia as, well… an actual portal out of this world! There are also dreamy Pinnacles revealing their beauty at sunrises and sunsets. Don’t forget about scenic Hot Water beach, Cooks beach (you got it right – James Cook anchored here in 1769) and, of course, the legendary The Lost Spring Spa in Whitianga, that makes you feel like you are being steamed in a real volcano! Surrealistic experience.
2. White Island. No words to describe this destination! After an hour-long boat ride, you land on a steamy, smelly, boiling, loud, colourful surface of New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. Imagine yourself exploring new planet – nothing bad has happened yet, but you have no idea what to expect and have a feeling it might explode at any time. That is exactly how you feel here! You have to wear a helmet and a gas mask, which definitely adds to a uniqueness of the whole experience.
1. Hawkes’ Bay. This is hands down our favourite destination on the North Island! Glorious region of wineries and art-deco. We always start a trip there with a visit to Te Mata Peak – nothing beats the views from there! Other “must do’s” are tractors tour to Cape Kidnappers, lunch at Mission Estate (the oldest winery in New Zealand), riding vintage car around Napier, exploring Pekapeka wetlands and, of course, spending a night (or two) at Art Deco Masonic Hotel. Weekend in Hawke’s Bay is what the doctor ordered: always full of inspiring activities, breathtaking views and emotions. Perfect for recharging your batteries and getting creative juices flow!
I hope you all enjoyed reading Kseniia's take on her favourite places in New Zealand, it was such a pleasure collabing with her and hearing about all her fave places, I will definitely be checking out these places in the very near future!
Lots of love,