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Taupō (toe-paw)

Taupo is a tourist town on the shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Lake Taupo fills the caldera of an active volcano. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but the volcano is one of the most violent in the world. Its wikipedia page is sobering. While researching, I learned that volcano […]

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Windy Wellington

After our train ride across the South Island, we opted to fly from Christchurch up to Wellington rather than renting a car and retracing that part of our route. The world has drastically changed since our last flight 4 months ago, and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. The Christchurch airport was quiet, and […]

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TranzAlpine

The TranzAlpine is billed as “one of the world’s great train rides,” and the “most scenic train in New Zealand.” As a train buff, I had to try it! When we learned that the TranzAlpine train would reopen in July, we replanned our trip so that we could take it before hopping over to the […]

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Westport & Greymouth

Upon arrival in Nelson we booked ferry tickets to Wellington, which lies across the Cook Strait on the North Island. The act of booking nonrefundable ferry tickets caused the famed TranzAlpine Express train to reopen for business. The TranzAlpine was on my must-do list for New Zealand, so we scrapped our ferry plans and rerouted […]

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Mapua, Abel Tasman & Nelson

From Blenheim we drove west to the city of Nelson, near the northern tip of the South Island. Billed as the sunniest city in New Zealand, Nelson is a popular vacation spot with a thriving arts + culture scene. Upon arrival in town we had some time to kill before getting into our rental, so […]