Napier, New Zealand: Adventures in Art Deco

Napier is a charming city situated on the shores of Hawkes Bay, located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.  The main attraction in Napier is its impressive collection of Art Deco architecture. On February 3, 1931, a 7.9 on the Richter scale earthquake destroyed the town, killing hundreds. The residents decided to rebuild and did so predominantly in the Art Deco style, … Continue reading Napier, New Zealand: Adventures in Art Deco

North Island NZ Road Trip: Rotorua to Napier

After finishing up my visit in Rotorua, I decided to drive to Napier, a city on the east coast of the North Island known for its wines and art deco architecture, which was part of the city’s reconstruction after the devastating 1931 earthquake which almost completely leveled the city.  I had considered doing the Tongarairo Alpine Crossing, but the weather forecast wasn’t great and I … Continue reading North Island NZ Road Trip: Rotorua to Napier

Two-Day Rotorua Ramble

After an afternoon of adventure in the Waitomo Caves, I drove through the rolling green countryside to Rotorua, the 10th largest urban area in New Zealand: bubbling with fascinating, although sometimes sulphur-stinky, geothermal features.  The city presents lots of opportunities to learn about and experience Maori culture.   With lots of adventure activities to offer, Rotorua is also seeking to become the North Island’s answer … Continue reading Two-Day Rotorua Ramble

Exploring New Zealand’s Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves

“We are all worms.  But I believe that I am a glow-worm.” — Winston Churchill The Waitomo Caves (at least two of them) are home to a special fungus gnat known as Arachnocampa luminosa or the New Zealand Glow-Worm, found only in New Zealand.  The luminescence takes place in the bugs’ larval or imago stage, in which the glow-worms spend the better part of their very short … Continue reading Exploring New Zealand’s Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves

Auckland: Introducing Aotearoa

Auckland was my introduction to the incredible country of New Zealand.  Fortuitously, right before I took off from the Brisbane Airport, a friend of mine in Atlanta Facebook-messaged me and introduced me (via Facebook) to some friends of his, a Kiwi/American couple, who live in Auckland.  They provided me with a ride from the airport to my hotel (Abaco on Jervois), a home cooked meal of … Continue reading Auckland: Introducing Aotearoa