A cyclist finds simple pleasures in exploring Auckland on two wheels
An ordinary bike ride turns into an extraordinary lesson on living in the present.
6 highlights and hidden gems in South Westland
South Westland is epic in size and majestically beautiful. It’s also one of only three places on earth where tectonic plates collide above sea level.
Why an Air New Zealand Mystery Break is a must-do this year
Decisions, decisions, decisions… there have been too many of them in recent times to leave energy for planning the most fun things of all — holidays.
Chasing snow and adventure in a 1979 Oxford caravan
Camping-mad Kiwis hit the road in all seasons. Wānaka-based Jay Smith says snow and adventure lure him and his family into their 1979 Oxford caravan even in the depths of winter.
The tropical wonders of Far North Queensland
Northern Queensland is the stage for an adventurous road trip between coastal treasures, a World Heritage rainforest and the cultural and geological wonders of the dry interior.
Add the Coastal Arts Trail to your next road trip
A new arts trail, weaving through three neighbouring regions — Taranaki, Whanganui and the Manawatū — offers a cross-district road trip full of colour, characters and inspiration.
Meet New Zealand's one and only Booktown
How to save a small rural town from decades of gradual decline? A cadre of art-world book-loving heavy-hitters are making a difference in Featherston.
Rangitīkei: Where to raft, fish, stroll and explore
On the Rangitīkei stretch of SH1— from the Manawatū and southwest to Horowhenua’s Foxton — rivers, lakes, wetlands and beaches create a vibrant ecosystem well worth a visit.
11 iconic Kiwiana statues to spot around the country
Passers-by can’t help but smile as they spot the wacky, oversized and oh-so-wonderful town statues erected around the country.
10 gardens to visit around the North and South Island
Connect with nature’s healing powers in spaces as spiritual as ancient churches when visiting the country’s many open-to-view gardens.
A photographer's local park transports him worldwide
A photographer wanders through Albert Park near his inner-city home, wondering when travels further afield might be allowed, and begins to reflect on connections close at hand.
5 nostalgic holiday spots
Step back in time to summers past when crowds were scarce and it seemed the biggest problem was what flavour ice cream to choose.
5 reasons to consider Kaikōura for your next holiday
Like a mighty sperm whale, which should never be appreciated only from the water’s surface, it pays to explore this charming seaside town at greater depth.
Exploring the Hurunui district on the hoof
When a gaggle of gardeners get together to make something happen, an entire district can reverberate with the result for years.
6 warming hot springs to add to your bucket list
Natural minerals in geothermal springs around the country have therapeutic properties ‒ and keep toes toasty.
The high-country tours with a feel-good factor
Rats, stoats, kea — and vistas few get to see — Mark Orbell takes visitors to his favourite part of the country, showing off Wānaka’s wildlife, including some he hopes to find neither alive nor kicking.
Explore the country's most extraordinary tree collection
The planting layout of the country’s national arboretum, Eastwoodhill, near Gisborne, is undergoing a reshuffle to a 100-year plan.
Explore this photographer's walking tour of Wellington
A writer/photographer takes a walking tour of the country’s capital, stopping for swirling sculptures, naked models and extremely good cake.
3 beautiful walks north of Auckland to explore
Fancy a day trip away from the city? These three walks have birds, bush and beach all covered.
Whangamata business owner can work 20 days in a row over summer
Boutique owner Karan Gregory has an eye for business based on experience earned, not learned.
6 great cycling trails around New Zealand
Welcome to the golden age of cycling, of aching calf muscles and helmet hair. Thousands are pumping up their tyres to explore the best of New Zealand on two wheels.
Explore this remote Fiordland haven for native birds
This spectacular part of Fiordland National Park was once the site of early European contact, exploration and settlement. those early pioneers, and the successful endeavours of more recent conservationists, have inspired a book.
Waihi & Whangamata: Things to do, places to eat and where to stay
While the golden triangle of Waihi, Whangamata and Waihi Beach isn’t short on glittering activities and pristine landscapes, the Coromandel’s true gems are not tour stops but people giving back to the community.
Why Nelson should be your next weekend trip
What lures visitors to Nelson often convinces them not to leave when their holiday is over.
6 reasons to take a trip to Christchurch
What a story Christchurch has to tell. Once upon a time, its people looked back to Mother England, but today’s citizens are creating one of the world’s most modern cities.
3 hotspots to visit around the North Island
Explore these scenic hotspots without the crowds, enjoying the calm of centuries-old trees and the drifting mist of a hidden waterfall.
Gore to Lawrence: What to do, what to eat, and where to stay
Palpable energy courses between Gore and Lawrence, the rural area where Southland stands shoulder to shoulder with Otago.
Buller: What to do, places to eat, where to stay on the West Coast
From the cathedral-like limestone passages of the Ōpārara Basin to small, well-worn coal towns, the isolation of the Buller district feeds the soul.
Passengers participate in conservation work
An entrepreneurial couple have built a Fiordland-based business that takes New Zealanders out of their daily lives and back in time.
PurePod glass cabins are a partnership with NZ farmers
A stay at these all-glass cabins on the outskirts of Kaikoura is to step into a magical realm where the world is reframed and time works in mysterious ways.
Ōamaru: What to do, what to eat, and where to shop on Harbour Street
Don't just expect the unexpected in Ōamaru's Harbour Street. Expect the extraordinary.
The Catlins: What to do, where to eat, and where to stay
Rugged, dramatic, pristine... the Catlins are mesmerizing. They’re also comparatively under-explored. Pack those bags.
Explore historic terrain on The Old Ghost Road
Where once miners dug for gold and glory in the hills above the Buller Gorge, now hikers and bikers discover new depths on the longest dual trail in the country.
What to do at Lake Waikaremoana
Lake Waikaremoana is a special place; we share the best places to walk, explore and learn from this amazing part of New Zealand.
This colourful Perú village floats atop Lake Titicaca
The humble reed is the foundation of life for people who live on floating islands on Lake Titicaca high in the Andes.
Become enamoured with Tairawhiti: The best places to eat and explore in Gisborne
Discover rich history, hidden gems and culinary delights in Tairāwhiti Gisborne.
Exploring Mount Aspiring National Park in the all new Jeep Gladiator
The new Jeep Gladiator is put through its paces in scenic Central Otago.
England on foot: The 308-km Coast to Coast walk
Long walks are a much-favoured tour du jour for energetic travelers the world over. One of England's oldest such walks, first officially described in 1973, crosses the country from coast to coast.
A guide for exploring Auckland's ancient maungas
Visitors come for the bars, rugby and big-city experiences. But beyond the hustle-and-bustle of the country’s largest metropolis, ancient mounds offer refuge from clamour.
How to explore the best bits of Auckland in less than 24 hours
Grab those walking shoes and set the alarm clock. The country's biggest city, home to aeons-old volcanoes and glitzy bars, is begging to be explored on foot.
An outdoorsy couple goes the distance between Auckland and Fiji
He lives in Fiji running yacht charters. She lives in Auckland with the kids. It’s a long-distance lifestyle that takes a boatload of love, trust, and passion for the Pacific.
A photographer's nomadic trek with a Mongolian reindeer tribe
Chris van Ryn faces cold, rain and bolshy animals when he visits the Valley of the Reindeer. But what he discovers is a fairy tale.
This couple's outdoor businesses are just as spontaneous as they are
Owning a collection of outdoorsy businesses means this Matakana couple are adept at adapting to the wind. But they are also proving pretty flexible when life’s personal challenges blow in.
Kiwis need to be more adventurous with their campside cooking, say authors
Campside cooking shouldn’t be limited to scroggin and dehydrated meals. So say the authors of a new illustrated cookbook that encourages trampers to try more adventurous fireside recipes such as fondue and sangria.
On holiday in Venice with actress Alison Quigan
She may only be edging towards her 70s, but Alison Quigan can empathize with Gen, the character she will play in the Auckland Theatre Company’s new comedy.
Explore the sleepy Cambodian town that produces world-renowned pepper
New Zealanders Jon Lambert and Freya Horder are doing what they can to protect Cambodian pepper farms against European encroachment.
The Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail: Creative metalwork in rural Queensland
A rural artist is using industrial waste to transform a 200-kilometre loop of dirt road in outback Queensland.
From sardines to custard tarts: A food editor discovers Portugal (again)
Exploring in grown-up comfort a country first experienced as a youthful adventurer, our food editor discovers that Portugal still tastes the same.
Horse mad in Jerez de la Frontera
While the town of Jerez de la Frontera siestas, a photographer discovers its rich history, wine, and equestrian culture.
Whakātane and Ōhope Beach: What to do, what to eat, where to stay
There’s an energy in the Bay of Plenty that has nothing to do with bubbling volcanoes, sunny days and surfer-friendly swell.
The land before time: A road trip through the Chatham Islands
Friendly people, wild landscapes and ancient treasures are to be found exploring the remote Chatham Islands in the new Holden SUV range.
Video: Queensland’s Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail
Get a bird’s eye view of Queensland’s Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail in our exclusive video — featuring spectacular drone footage — by writer/photographer Don Fuchs.
The Routeburn Track: The 32-km alpine tramp with postcard-perfect views
Walkers on the legendary Routeburn Track face sharp summits and spectacular natural vistas.
Finding paradise in one of the happiest (and biodiverse) countries
Costa Ricans are rightfully proud of their political freedoms and stable economy, which is largely dependent on eco-tourism. Rugged and rainforested, the country offers jaw-dropping scenery and striking biodiversity.
A midwinter Matariki road trip
As the Matariki star cluster emerges in the crisp mid-winter dawn sky, the time is right to jump into the new Holden Equinox for a trip on some of New Zealand’s oldest roads.
The Wool Wagon Pathway packs a scenic punch in Western Australia
Australia’s iconic Wool Wagon Pathway — a 1100-kilometre route across the Western Australian outback - originally came into being thanks to profits made from wool.
Meet the NZ couple finding love on a 350,000 km road trip
A shared passion for four-wheel traveling has this New Zealand couple chasing all seven continents.
A life in isolation on the Chatham Islands
Helen Bint turned her back on the city to live a pioneering life on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands.
Portraits of Myanmar: A peek into the lives of three locals
Troubled, isolated and breathtaking, Myanmar is opening its doors to the world. A visit to its interior reveals a country in development and an almost haunting beauty.
Why autumn is a great time to visit Queenstown
There’s no need to bungy-jump from a bridge or swing perilously close to a cliff-face in a jet-boat to sample the delights of New Zealand's adventure capital. Autumn is a time for gentler pursuits.
Sheer cliffs and shear determination
On a road trip to the Golden Shears in the new Holden Colorado, Kelly Gillbanks discovers it takes a lot of guts and determination to be a top shearer. It’s a good thing she’s driving the truck of champions.
Exploring Oita Prefecture in Japan
Kyushu, Japan’s southern major island, has rugged mountains, thick forests, glorious food, and plenty of steam. It’s also heating up for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Exploring Northland's history on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail
The Twin Coast Cycle Trail snakes through Northland’s often raw backcountry. What better way to learn the contours of the land than by bike?
All hands on deck for Kiwi yacht-support business
When Sam met Jess on a ski field in Turkey, neither guessed they’d end up running a yacht-support business together in Vanuatu.
Christmas spirit aboard a European winter cruise
Swapping pavlova and sunshine for European waterways and cuckoo clocks helps one voyager realize the festive spirit she never knew she had.
A guide to the Rangitikei river in New Zealand for the intrepid traveller
Characters, curiosities and intrepid opportunity lie around every corner of one of New Zealand’s longest rivers.
A blockbuster adventure in Hawai'i
A cinema-lover discovers a world beyond the familiar attractions of the movie-esque Hawai’ian island of Kaua’i.
Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan Reader Lunch
The food was exquisite, the sake was flowing and the conversation was filled with colourful travel stories at the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan reader lunch.
3 unusual collections to discover in Mid Canterbury
For those planning a visit to Mid Canterbury be sure to pick up the phone and chat to some of the region’s collectors.
Travel essay: Saving smiles in Kenya
Not every baby is born with the ability to smile. Cleft palates are a heartbreaking but treatable condition. In Kenya, one photographer documents the mothers and children that make their way to surgery as they embark on a journey of hope.
Experience Stewart Island like a local
Stewart Island is a flawless microcosm where the fish is fresh, seeing a kiwi is likely and the genuine welcome also makes it special.
A pub crawl through NZ history
These five historical pubs have have survived the gold rush and the six o'clock swill. They are well worth a visit for those who wish to soak up some New Zealand history with a cold one in hand.
Why Golden Bay should be your next weekend trip
Discover a region where the sunshine hours are unrivalled and the beaches are shared with sunbathing seals.
Exploring Tasmania's pristine south coast by ship
Whales and wild waters, sugared beaches and dramatic landscapes, kangaroos and convict chronicles are all wrapped into the story of this isolated coastal stretch made accessible when explored by small ship.
Jim Kayes' Blog: In the swing of things
Jim Kayes is egged on by a 12-year-old and gives a terrifying ride in Rotorua a swing.
Why action-packed Rotorua should be your next family holiday
There are few places one can land a plane on a lake, creep through treetop canopies, dangle feet in geothermal waters and explore the pockmarked landscape left by an enormous explosion.
4 places to indulge in retail therapy in Palmerston North
What better way to get to know a region than by doing a little retail therapy? Treat yourself to a little something special in these four Manawatu stores - a souvenir of sorts.
Chris Van Ryn didn't speak or move for ten days in India
A long ride on a spine-cracking rickshaw and ten days of excruciating, immobile silence lead to a place of slow-and-surprising recognition.
Exploring South East Asia by cruise ship
A cruise passenger speed-dates destinations along the south-east Asian coast, and hopes to meet some of them again.
Secrets of the Cook Islands
There are secrets to discover in the Cook Islands by following the road less traveled.
3 things to do in East Auckland
Trying to make sense of South and East Auckland is like peering into a kaleidoscope. Every twist reveals a new scene – there’s the colour of Otahuhu, the calm of Clevedon, the mana of Mangere, the solitude and beauty of the regional parks and the history of Howick.
Video: Exploring Crete by horseback
Sabine Ruijters guides NZ Life & Leisure's Yolanta Woldendorp for a horseback ride to remember in Crete.
Behind the scenes on the Otago goldfields cavalcade
Discover "real New Zealand like it was 100 years ago" on Otago's cavalcade, the high country horse ride of a lifetime.
Inside Bavaria's churches and monasteries
In the monasteries and churches of lower Bavaria, spiritual and secular pleasures go hand in hand.
Lisa Scott goes cage diving with great white sharks
They say the only way to conquer a fear is to confront it, but Lisa Scott discovers singing “la la la” and completely ignoring it might be less psychologically damaging in the long run.
Travel with a difference: Kiwi journalist works in Scottish bookshop
A New Zealand bibliophile discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of running a bookshop in a small Scottish town.
Exploring Japan's countryside by foot
A gentle walk in the Japanese countryside is an intriguing introduction to the country’s spiritual and cultural heart.
3 multi-day walks on Stewart Island
There are three excellent multi-day walks on Stewart Island and one of them is officially Great.
Family and friendships formed on the Tora Coastal Walk
The journey has been every bit as important as the destination for two farming families behind New Zealand’s longest-running private walk.
4 Golden Bay outdoor activities
Visiting Golden Bay - the Insider's Guide has got you covered.
Lisa Scott... goes tramping
The earth moved for the Feckless Miss Scott on her first three-day tramp high in the Naumann range north of Lake Ohau.
4 places to grab a bite in Gisborne
From a very cool bar with a DC3 plane out back, to a cafe where the homemade crumpets have a fan club: here are four places to eat in sun-soaked Gisborne.
8 reasons to visit The Colombo
'Tis the season for a bit of present shopping. With food, retail, homewares, fashion and entertainment under one roof, everything the heart desires can be found in The Colombo in Christchurch.
An unforgettable drive
Kelly Gillbanks drives the Holden Equinox SUV through the Forgotten World Highway and discovers some colourful New Zealand history including the feline vice-president of the 'Republic of Whangamomona' and a brand new private museum.
Turning back time on the Forgotten World Highway
The decommissioned Stratford-Okahukura line covers some of the most isolated country in the North Island making it home to the tunnels, bridges and townships that time forgot.
Travelling through Dublin by foot
A visitor to Dublin meets Molly Malone, Oscar Wilde and Handel, and downs his first-ever Guinness in the embrace of a local pub-goer.
What Carolyn Ferraby learned creating Barewood Garden
Every vista in this world-class garden, photographed through the seasons, tempts visitors down a path laden with promise. Barewood Garden's creator shares how she's grown alongside her garden.
Exploring US National Parks
A farewell tour of some of the United States' most famous destinations comes close to breaking the heart of this nature photographer.
Lisa lives through it: Downhill mountain biking
Lisa Scott wears her gravel rash as a badge of honour after testing her skills at Queenstown MTB (Mountain Bike) Park.
4 reasons why you need to visit Blackball
Gold is hidden in the black sands and gravel creeks of Greymouth but travelers need to venture no further to find quirks and curiosity than Blackball, 30 kilometres inland from Greymouth.
Water Cooler: Deco decadence and anti-plastic fantastic
This week in the water cooler: we're exploring Napier's Art Deco architecture in style, reducing our use of plastic bags and taking part in an important study.
Fergus Garrett shares Great Dixter garden secrets
When a legendary gardener dies, what becomes of his or her garden? Ask Fergus Garrett, the guest speaker at November's Nelmac Garden Marlborough.
Lisa Scott's wild ride at Awakino Ski Field
Lisa Scott’s first day of snowboarding at Awakino skifield in North Otago involved a helicopter and an avalanche.
7 things to do in Invercargill
There’s plenty waiting to be discovered in the big city of Invercargill and in the small towns that line its wild coast.
Photo essay: From Russia with Love
New Zealand Photographer Birgit Krippner captured the gritty reality of Russian village life on her journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
A local's guide to Wellington
To truly get to know Wellington’s hidden secrets, leave the preconceptions at home.
It's all good craic in Belfast
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what do Game of Thrones, a jigging Irishman and Bill Clinton have in common? Belfast
A walk on the wild side in Southland
In this award-winning story, Lisa Scott travels on foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world in Southland.
Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino
Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time
Video: Locals fighting to protect the waterways that feed Lake Wanaka
Water, a precious resource, is at its most pristine in a spring-fed stream chuckling its way through the heart of Wanaka
Hunting for wild flowers in Aus
Western Australia’s wild flowers draw hoards of hunters in search of a floral fix.
Horse trekking off the beaten track
Baerbel and Thomas Hack were so determined to set up a dream seaside location for horse lovers, they built a road.
Jim Kayes' Great Barrier Island fishy tale
Twenty-five years a journalist, Jim Kayes knows how to hook a story but when he ventures out on his rookie fishing trip he realises hooking a fish is completely different.
Street art and historic charm in Dunedin
A grand city built on a wave of gold-fueled wealth, Dunedin has had its ups and downs. today finds the city very much on a high.
Building a human nest
Creating your own human nest? Landscape architect Sara Gerard has some tips on how to survive the renovation process, plus some tree house inspiration.
Jim Kayes cycles the Hauraki Rail Trail
Jim Kayes is easily led astray by his 10-year-old daughter on a bike along the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Move it in Madagascar
Cycling the exotic island of Madagascar provides a lesson in the country's economy, as well as one in humanity.
Ghost stories and the charming characters of Port Chalmers
Ghosts, nudie photographs and a Pacific slave trade - Lisa Scott takes a tour of Port Chalmers and discovers a few skeletons in the closet of this Dunedin suburb.
Exploring the sacred forest of Ubud, Bali
A sacred forest in Bali’s Ubud is both a conservation area for monkeys and a place where humans strive to reach physical and spiritual well-being in accord with Hindu principles.
6 surprising things about Abel Tasman
Dunedin writer Lisa Scott went adventuring in the Abel Tasman National Park, north west of Nelson, and came away reeling.
From farm to 'glampground'
Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.
Welcome to The Outback
In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instruction on how to live.
Small kids in a campervan - no problem
Fun and freedom on a budget? Or the family holiday from hell? Traveling some 1200 kilometres from Christchurch to Auckland in a campervan with two small children isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven. But this family survived… and then some.
Five things to do in Melbourne on a budget
Rhianna Osborne lives like a local to enjoy Melbourne without breaking the bank.
The green heart of Italy
For an alternative to well-worn (and often overrun) Tuscany, the relatively unknown Abruzzo region in central Italy offers a true Italian experience with the capacity to surprise.
Horse trekking through the Coromandel
There may be a few hills to climb and you could well be subjected to a little karaoke, but this trek through some of New Zealand’s best scenery does good in more than one sense.
Leading the way in eco tourism
Featuring New Zealand's largest earthbag buildings, tipis, a permaculture garden and solar energy, Raglan's Solscape eco-camp is leading the way in sustainable tourism.
Dunedin through a phone lens
A travelling foodie changes captures the best of Dunedin - through her phone.
Easy riding in Central North Island
An entrepreneur wants his new website to be the matchmaker of cycling.
Creating a home in France
Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille
Finding Love in the Outback
In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instructions on how to live.
Walking the magenta path
Sue Moody explores Auckland's magenta cycle way - by foot.
Self-sufficiency on Norfolk Island
When you live on a little island in the middle of a big ocean, you have to make your block of land pay its own way in the most self-sufficient manner possible.
4 amazing museums to visit in Ireland & the UK
Caught out by the weather while visiting the UK or Ireland? Here are four great museums to visit on a rainy day.
Why his nickname is 'Bulldog'
There's a reason why Brook MacDonald is a top 10 World Cup mountain bike rider.
A new Italian life at 57
Christchurch’s Averil Stuart-Head followed her heart to create art in a medieval village in Italy.
Life on a container ship
26 days on a container ship puts life on dry land in perspective for a photographer.
Hotter than Hades in Chihuahua, Mexico
Head into Breaking Bad territory, where land is dry, throats are parched and dogs are very very small.
Peta Mathias explores Uzes
The writer, cook and lover of the south of France tempts visitors to dance in her town square.