Mount Roy: peak-ture perfect!

roys peak New Zealand

Before you start reading this article, know this: Roys Peak in Wanaka is popular, very popular to say the least. You will hardly be by yourself on this big beautiful mountain, and definitely not in summer.

Are you still here? Not scared away by the previous alinea? Great, you won’t regret it.

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My stay at Europe’s most sustainable hotel

kasteelhoeve

When I was 13 I designed a model house for class – we had to draw and build (in scale) our dream house. I designed a farm estate, one where the house is built in a square and you have an entrance gate, like in the Middle Ages.

I don’t know why, but I just love the view of a house in a square, with an entrance gate and a patio in the middle.  I guess I’ll need a lot of money before I can make that dream come true. But I just love the set up. That’s one of the first reasons why I fell in love with Kasteelhoeve Wange.

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VIDEO: Discover Christchurch

In 2011 almost 80% of the Christchurch’s city center was damaged after an earthquake. Most of it had to be demolished – which left Christchurch empty and a little bit dead.

Five years later there are still many empty spaces (turned into car parks) and abandoned buildings in town, which doesn’t make the city look very attractive in tourists’ eyes.

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No, Christchurch is not dead!

Christchurch The World is a Circus

I’ve been living a year and half in Christchurch and I have to admit that I haven’t spent enough time in it. But that has to change. Christchurch is turning into such a unique and cool city, and this is why:

Christchurch was hit hard by earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. To give you an idea: almost 80% of the city centre was damaged and had to be demolished. Can you imagine? Now, 5 years later there are still many empty spaces (turned into car parks) and abandoned buildings in town, which doesn’t make the city look very attractive in tourists’ eyes.

But – and there is a huge but – Christchurch has taken this rebuild as an opportunity to make the city even better than it was before. They are not just rebuilding the city, they are making it the best version possible. Christchurch has been through a lot of pain and loss, but this rebuild gives hope and is seen as a second and unique chance to start all over again. And they’re doing such a good job.

Every day the city is looking better and cool and quirky places keep popping up. To all the tourists who are just flying in and out of Christchurch: The city is not dead! Have a look yourself and spend an amazing weekend in Christchurch.  Continue reading

VIDEO: Wildlife in Dunedin

pukahe bird

Almost two weeks ago I went down south. No huge mountains this time, but a lot of nature, ocean and wildlife. You might know I have a soft spot for native birds, especially the kiwi bird.  But I shamefully admit that I don’t know much about other New Zealand native birds or animals.

Lucky me when I got invited to a Nature Frother Instameet. I can already see you raising your eyebrows. Nature frothers? What is that? I had the same reaction at first. A nature frother is someone who gets so excited about encountering the wonders of nature that they could start frothing at the mouth any moment. Yep, sounds like me! Sign me up!

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VIDEO: Walking Abel Tasman Coast Track

One of my favourite things about New Zealand is that the scenery is so diverse. You have the impressive mountains, clear blue lakes, lush native forest and golden beaches.

Coming to New Zealand I was a bit surprised about the latter. New Zealand has nice golden beaches? Little did I know that they weren’t just there – but that they were also crazy beautiful. A perfect example is Abel Tasman National Park.

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A day in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman beach

It’s been just over a week now since I’m back in New Zealand and I’ve had no time to give in to that jet lag. My three weeks in Belgium were amazing, but very intense. I had no time to relax, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if that means catching up with my friends and family. Not that being back in New Zealand is less intense. I immediately started working again, jumped on all the writing and editing pieces stored in my head and went on little adventures.

One of those adventures is Abel Tasman National Park, one of New Zealand’s smaller National Parks – it is ‘only’ 225km2 – but such a scenic one.  Think golden beaches, turquoise water and lush native forest. I spent a day exploring this lovely park.

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