My Top 10 Travel Experiences

I’ve been pretty lucky over the last few years. I’ve been to many incredible places and done and seen some pretty amazing things. But there’s some experiences that do stand out above the rest. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten but since I have to do so (well I don’t have to, but I’m making myself do it) then I’d say that it would probably be these, so in no particular order: Continue reading “My Top 10 Travel Experiences”

A Backpacker’s Guide to New Zealand

New Zealand is an amazing place to visit. The scenery is like something from Lord of the Rings. In fact, the scenery can be exactly that from Lord of the Rings. The country itself is a bit of a contradiction. You can either spend your days hiking through the mountains and staying sleepy towns, or you can keep your adrenaline pumping by throwing yourself off a variety of different high-up objects. It’s one extreme or the other (or both if you’re into that kind of thing).

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Extreme Sports in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful place, but if you don’t like jumping off stuff or out of things, you are limiting your choice of available activities. Such as things are the norm for backpacker pastimes. Continue reading “Extreme Sports in New Zealand”

My UNESCO World Heritage Checklist

After doing my list of the Seven Wonders of the World, I wondered how many UNESCO World Heritage sites I’d seen without knowing it and how many I had left to do. It turns out, that out of the 1,121 (as updated) preserved cultural and natural landmarks, I have been to 58. Only 1,063 to go then – I may complete my Seven Wonders list first: Continue reading “My UNESCO World Heritage Checklist”

My Seven Wonders of the World (and Back-Ups)

Ellis’ Bucket List: see the seven wonders of the world. 

I think the seven wonders are probably a regular feature on bucket lists everywhere: Christ the Redeemer, Petra, the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and the Colosseum – with the Pyramids of Giza taking an honorary position as the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.

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New Zealand Part Four: Wanaka, Queenstown and Christchurch

With our flights to Australia starting to loom, the Gap Year Buddy and I had to pick up our pace. We therefore had to leave our bus and hop on another one to get to Queenstown. During the journey, we stopped off at a lake and grabbed a coffee before going for a wander.

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New Zealand Part Three: Waitomo, Taupo, Wellington and the South Island

After Rotorua, the Kiwi Experience bus took us to Waitomo – a village which contained very little. Basically, we had stopped off to see some caves. We had $35 taken from us at the entrance and we were then told that we weren’t allowed to take photos. Thankfully, the caves turned out to be pretty amazing, with lots of stalagmites and stalactites (I think I know which way round they go). We then all got onto a little boat and sailed in the dark to see all the glow-worms stuck on the ceiling, which lit up the space like hundreds of little stars. You don’t see that everyday. I was a bit gutted not to get any photos but it would have been a shame to dazzle them.

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New Zealand Part Two: Rotorua

After an early night, the Gap Year Buddy and I had an early morning, catching the bus at 7.30am. Our first stop was some old gold mines and we walked through the pitch black tunnels and over some rickety bridges before heading off. Next was the town of Hobbiton – not the place where Frodo lived but an actual town. We had a picture with a Lord of the Rings statue and grabbed a meatball sub for lunch but sadly we didn’t have time to take a tour over to the actual Shire movie set. Instead, we had to move onto our final destination of the day: Rotorua.

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New Zealand Part One: setting off from Auckland

After a 13 hour flight from San Francisco, the Gap Year Buddy and I landed in New Zealand. After trying to come to terms with the fact that we had set off on a Monday and arrived on a Wednesday – skipping out an entire day – we found our shuttle bus into Auckland, which took us to the Nomads Hostel. 

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Discovering Fergburger in New Zealand

Have you ever seen that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall is determined to hunt down the best burger ever? Well I found the best burger and it turns out it is not located in New York (although granted I’ve never been), it’s actually in New Zealand.

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