Christmas in New Zealand Kiwi bird Auckland parade
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Christmas in New Zealand and Australia

Christmas in New Zealand and Australia comes in the summertime so it was a bit different for us, northerners raised with visions of a "White Christmas." In Auckland, we stood on the sidewalk waiting for the Santa Parade and took in the…
Ecco mens travel shoes
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Product review: The best men's travel shoes

The Best Men's Travel Shoes Larissa has written about the best travel shoes for women, but now it's my turn to talk about the best mens travel shoes. I have only two pairs of shoes with me, both by Ecco. I've worn Eccos almost exclusively for…
auckland, bird flying over

Mostly free things to do in Auckland

Guest Post from Kathryn I grew up in New Zealand and was always looking for free things to do in Auckland. From nature hikes to museums to contemporary art, here are a few of my favorites. 1)  Stroll the boardwalk between Mission Bay and St…
Kokorec best sandwich turkey
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The 11 best sandwiches in the world, which one costs only 35 cents?

Sandwiches are one of the universal foods, they're cheap and convenient. We ate way too many of them on our trip and offer up the 11 best sandwiches in the world. 1) Shawarma in Jerusalem A shawarma is a Middle Eastern sandwich made from meats…
New Zealand Road trip man overlooking glacier
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A scenic New Zealand road trip

There’s a reason Peter Jackson selected the South Island of New Zealand to film his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. The landscape with its snow-capped mountains, glaciers, rainforests and sweeping vistas lives up to the dreamland created by…
One Tree Hill Auckland New Zealand

Why there is no tree on One Tree Hill

U2 fans will recognize One Tree Hill as the name of a song off The Joshua Tree album. It refers to One Tree Hill in Auckland, New Zealand also known by its Maori name of Maungakiekie. The song was dedicated to Greg Carroll,…
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Pictures: Seeing the forest and the trees

I'm usually not much of a nature boy, saving the passion of the outdoors for my forester brother. But in the Southern Hemisphere I couldn't help take pictures of trees that are really different from the ones at home. The tree picture above…
Maori Haka performer

Do the Haka

Normally we're not much for folk dance performances. But when we were in New Zealand the All Blacks rugby team had just won the  World Cup. Part of their pre-game warm up is to perform the haka, an indigenous Maori dance. After the championship…
Singapore skyline
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Rooms with a view

We've generally rented apartments with some hotels thrown in. A few of them have had incredible views of either city scenes or country landscapes. The picture above is the view from our flat of the Sky Tower in Auckland. This being New…

Wings over Lord of the Rings

When Peter Jackson chose New Zealand to film his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy it wasn't just because he's a Kiwi. The scenery is truly spectacular. It's the best of America's national parks all crammed into a relatively compact area. Picture…
New Zealand road trip Tuatapere sausage sign
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Video: The good, the bad and the lamb tongues -- a taste of New Zealand

Now that we've recovered from our Vegemite taste test in Australia, we are ready to try some authentic New Zealand foods. The country is known around the word for its lamb so we decided to try a local delicacy we came across, peeled lamb tongue.…
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The world's best gelato is in New Zealand?

Who would have thought that the world's best gelato was being made in Auckland, New Zealand? But the city, which was recently selected as the 3rd best city in the world to live, takes it in stride. The owner of Giapo's is Gianpaolo Grazioli,…

We avoid getting deported from New Zealand

We were at the Brisbane, Australia airport checking in for our overseas flight to Auckland when the gate agent stopped us cold. “You can’t enter New Zealand on a one-way ticket so you can’t check in for this flight,” she said. This…