(New Zealand) “We have four season in one day” is not a joke, but advice?

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New Zealand Trip_101

After coming to South Island from North Island, I found an interesting thing. At the entrance of the village, I saw a little box on the tree for book exchange. I have always carried one book although I didn’t read often since I started using a smartphone. I exchanged to Twilight which I only knew from the shelves.


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I lost tent poles in North Island, NZ. Since then, I always set up my tent with only strings and made a ceiling with a tripod. At this night, there was nothing to tight on the left side that my tent looked ugly.


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I saw some people riding Velomobiles which had a pedal inside front. When he stopped we had a chat. It had a motor like E-bike. Kindly he let me even drive.


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I had seen more lakes and rivers since I came to South Island in NZ.


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There were baby sheep everywhere. They loved to follow mom always.


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It was so cute to see their tales shaking so much during milking.


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Again I was so popular among cows. I had met cows from all over the world and New Zealand’s cow was the only one following humans. I was wondering how New Zealand farmers raised them.


I made the video of cow loving me so much


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There were mountains everywhere and it was steep. Therefore, I was moving slow. Then I ran out of the water and there was no house around. I checked the map that after passing the top of the hill, there was a house. But I couldn’t wait as I sweated a lot on uphills.


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I just took the water from the side of the road. Little tiny things were floating on the bottle, but it was so good to drink. Actually NZ was the cleanest country in the world. There were so many travelers from all over the world but still, it was so clean. I was wondering what makes this country so clean.


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In North Island, there were many fences to protect cows and sheep, but here were less in South Island that I felt more freedom. Moreover, I could do wild camping finally. When I used the public toilet in a small town, I saw the sign board saying “Freedom camping is not permitted in this town” and showing the map exactly where it was forbidden. As I understood, it meant I could do wild camping out of the town. So here I had my first wild camping in New Zealand. It was a quiet and beautiful place for a night.


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At next morning, when I prepared my breakfast&lunch, sand flies bothered me. As I heard, there were many sandflies in South Island and I was facing it as well.


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There was a good camping app and I found a very cheap deal on it. The cabin staying alone without the toilet was the same price as the hostel’s sharing room. It had a clean toilet and bathroom.


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I liked the sign “Drink and Die”


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I usually didn’t cook during the day on the road. But I only cycled 50km (31 miles) since I came to NZ because of steep hills and comfortable parks to relax. By the way, I usually cycled 80 km (50 mi) a day in other countries.


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It looked similar to Kiwi bird.


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There was a little rain when I was looking for a night. Then I found this nice place but the next was a cliff. I had to be careful to walk around strings to not fall.


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My pot was small and always water went out during boiling. Sometimes tasty was really yuk when it had a lack of seasonings. Sometimes it was so good. So my food had a random taste.


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In New Zealand, people were selling eggs, honey, and vegetables on the road with the only honest jar. There were many tourist’s cars passing. But still, local people sold like this.  Maybe they didn’t have any problem collecting money without people staying outside.


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I ordered tent poles online and sent them to a big grocery store chain in the city where I would pass. Then I cut it on local people’s house where I was staying for two nights. Cutting poles was easy but to put strings into was really difficult because hols were too small.


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It was a really quiet path that I just lied down after reading a little bit of the book. NZ made me so relax as there were not many people. A big shopping mall closed at four or five. At 9 pm, everything went quiet. How can you be busy and work so hard in this environment?


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I only hurried before sunset to look for pitching my tent. It was my instinct to survive though.


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I loved to cycle next to the river and lake.


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When I found some park for having breakfast and drying my camping gears, the park was actually for a helicopter station. When I was pouring my cereal on the pot, the worker came to me and asked to take a helicopter. He offered like $130 USD for 40 minutes flying around glaciers. But I was so hungry that I just denied it. Later he told me the last price $100. I didn’t wish to take it before that it was too sudden. I just denied it again.
Actually, since I came to NZ, first 2~3 weeks, I was so starving every time. I was in South East Asia for one year before and everything was cheap. But suddenly everything was expensive in NZ that my nutrition was not enough to make me full. In the beginning, I doubted I was having parasites. So I thought I needed to buy an anthelmintic. Also, I lost some weight. Then I decided to spend some money and sometimes bought fast food which gave me very high calories. I would spend my money on food than this.


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I was cycling again then I saw another park. It was time to relax again. South Island was really beautiful more than North island in my experience. But the problem was sandflies around water always.


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There were fan meeting sometimes on the road.


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Of course, I didn’t forget the selfie with my fans.


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When I was near Franz Josef Glacier, it started to rain. After finishing dinner at the tent, there was heavy rain.


Video at the next morning.


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There was water everywhere at the inside of the tent that all my camping gears were wet. I decided to go to a hostel to dry and have dayoff. I used a free spa including at hostel’s staying. It was one relaxing day.


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At the next day, I went to see the glaciers.


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I heard there was lots of rain in this area. Because of the rain, I could see so many waterfalls everywhere.

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There was a bit of irony. On the left side, it showed how nature was destroyed. On the right side, it showed they will keep destroying nature. On that day it was cloudy that there was no helicopter. But at another glacier, it was too noisy endlessly with helicopters.


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I couldn’t think when I’ve ever visited glaciers on my trip.


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I zoomed in my lens to see it.


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There was Kea at the lookout. Kea destroyed car’s part sometimes. Even it was reported to steal passport. But still, it was so cute. It’s such a smart bird as well.


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It was written at the entrance ‘One and a half hours are enough for the round trip’. But it took 3 hours for me. I liked to walk and see slowly.


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There was no fence in this area. It was too damp and dense forest to do camping though.


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Luckily I found some spot for a night. It was really cold in the night although it was the beginning of November. When I checked the temperature in the morning, it was 6c (42.8 f). I just remembered local people made a joke “You can have four seasons in one day.” It seemed that it was not a joke.


Video in the morning


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One thing I enjoyed since I came to NZ was to hike just next to the road. In this area, everything was so green because of lots of rain. When there was water, all lives grow. Water must be one of the most important things on earth.


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There was another glacier to visit. I had to go around and look from far away since heavy rain blocked the main hiking track.


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I enjoyed looking through my camera lens.


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I met one cyclist. He said he stayed at the same local people’s house where I stayed and fixed my tent.


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After the big tree, the wind was strong and the big wave was impressive.


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We found a camping spot near the river. I asked him how he dried his tent during the day. He said he didn’t dry during the day because when he set up a tent for a night, then it would dry soon. I said to him he didn’t mind a wet tent the whole day in the bag. He said he didn’t care. It was interesting how other cyclists did things for camping.


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I cooked steak for the first time and I was so shocked that it was so tasty. I just put butter, herbs, salt, and peppers but it turned to incredible dinner. I just wished this was Australian cows cause I didn’t want to betray my NZ cow fans.


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He had a fun project. He asked people to draw the world. I draw the map as the circle and made a dotted line for the Americas behind. After I gave him it, I opened the map on the phone and realized I forgot some countries which I didn’t cycle in. I usually had a map in my head only where I cycled.


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The next day he went his way and I cycled slowly and enjoyed nature.


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It was a perfect place to cook and eat lunch.


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When I was in Franz Josef Glacier, I saw two cyclists passing. Then here I met them finally and had chat with them. The left two were brothers and traveling with a big backpack as well. They had the worst night than me when there was heavy rain around Franz Josef Glacier. Everything was floating at their tent cause water was literally cover their tent. They moved to the hostel just like me in the next day and dried everything.


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I cycled with them after the lunch. When there was really steep uphill, I stayed really behind. When I arrived at the top of the hill, they clapped and welcomed to this beautiful view. We cycled a bit together and around sunset, we split as they were staying at the hostel and I was about to camp.


NZ vlog epic 3


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I really liked short track as it took only 30 minutes for a round trip.


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At the end of walking, I could see waterfalls and river.


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At the next day, the rain started in the morning. The cloud was so thick that the rain became stronger. I felt so cold that I wanted to have a hot meal. But those sandflies bothered me too much. They were not like mosquitoes that they couldn’t bite through clothes. So my face and hands were the main targets.


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The hill became so steep that I had to push my bicycle with heavy rain. Actually I didn’t push my bike after coming to South Island much. I thought North Island’s hills were steeper.


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After passing mountains, finally rain was almost stopped and the road became a bit flat.


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I liked the bird and NZ was an amazing place for it that I did love so much for looking birds. Even I bought wild bird food for them. But I didn’t know what’s wrong with me or that package. Birds never came for it.


NZ magpie attack usually cyclists when having babies to protect.. but why? What do we do wrong? haha. Usually they have beautiful voice that I love them.


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There was some tourist place. I cannot remember the name. It was something like blue hole?? But it was not blue at all because of the rain.


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There was heavy rain in the night again. I didn’t have the time for drying my wet clothes from the day. The river was actually on the left side. The ground was quite high from the river that I didn’t think water would come up. But late night, the sound of rain hitting my tent and river flowing were so loud. It made me really nervous.


Here is the video at the next morning


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At the next morning, it didn’t seem the rain would stop soon. My camping gears were wet. I didn’t know how I had slept with all the wet gears last night.


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There was a big hostel nearby. It was a really good deal that there were only four beds with a toilet inside. At the afternoon, there was one cyclist coming to the room to share. It seemed I saw more cyclists on this route cause it was a scenic road. I heard the news that the road was blocked near Franz Josef Glacier cause the bridge was collapsed. If I was late, I couldn’t come here directly.


Video when I got the hostel.


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Finally, I felt like I ran away from the rainy area. This area was more with the lake.


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The scenery was just gorgeous.


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One of New Zealand’s symbol was this plant. But actually it used as a vegetable in South Korea. It was poisonous that it must be boiled and dried at first. I really loved to eat it in Korea. When I was in South Korea, I tried to pick one time and it was really fun. But I had never tried in NZ.


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I was so satisfied with this five-star view. But the tent was not on flat ground. So after all, I could call it four start hotel.


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Usually, I was busy organizing and preparing for dinner once pitching up the tent. Then I woke up and opened the tent at the next morning. That was the moment I realized I just slept at an amazing place.


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Recently my chain didn’t work well. I removed the cassette and I realized something wrong on the hub. I had to fix it in the next city.


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I was so surprised when I had lunch at the town called Wanaka. It was so stunning. At the beginning of my NZ trip, I had asked people for recommendations to visit places. But it was so many that I just made bookmarks on the map. So when I was in Wanaka, I just opened my map and I realized I marked this place.


New Zealand Trip_170

When I dried my things and ate my lunch, I had a small chat with some traveler traveling by renting car by herself. I asked her how it was. She said it was so challenging. She said local people showed finger her a few times when she gave a place for overtaking. She said she never afraid of driving in her country and she drove for more than 20 years. But she couldn’t drive fast unlike local people in NZ. So when there was space, she let other cars pass. But a few times people showed finger at her. Also, she had a flat tired at night. It seemed she was struggling.

Later I met another solo female traveler. She traveled by car by herself as well. I felt pity at her and asked she was okay. But she said everything was so nice and she never saw people showing a finger at her. It seemed like two girls drove the same way. But why only one girl faced challenges? The different thing I found was skin color. The first girl I talked to was Korean and the next girl I talked to was European. There were lots of Chinese tourists in New Zealand. So when one of the travelers made the mistake, it could be more Chinese by rate though. Then maybe some local people got tired of seeing Chinese’s(Asian) mistake and some of them could be out of the patient when they saw Asians moving slow?

Or maybe it was Generalization error. Some people generalize Asians as being good at mathematics, technology, study, and hard working. It seems some of them even expected Asian to be a strong and adventurous traveler. Look. When I moved 4km/h by bicycle with all heavy bags on hills, people cheered me up by honking or thumb up. But when another Korean girl moved 70km/h by car on hills, she was insulted because obviously she was so boring as Asian. It was not about speed, but being strong. We Asian now had to show how much we are good at an adventure.


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At some point, the green color almost disappeared and the brown color came out.


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The hard uphill’s reward was always amazing.


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And here gain green came.


My downhill video to Queenstown


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When I arrived in Queenstown, suddenly there were too many people. It was the small town, but too dense with full of travelers. In the beginning, I didn’t like Queenstown cause it was too crowd. I thought Wanaka was way more peaceful and beautiful. I felt Queenstown was the busiest place in the whole of NZ.


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There were a few big bicycle shops at the town. One of them had the part I needed. I asked to buy the part and fix it by myself at their shop. But unlike a small bicycle shop in Wellington letting me do it, this big bicycle shop didn’t allow it. So I just paid for part and labor. It was quicker and easier that I got it back after just a few hours.


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I started liking town on my last day of staying. Before leaving the town, I tried the famous burger with a long queue. It became the best burger in my life ever.


I made the video of it.


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I met a Korean girl again in Queenstown. She told me there was a famous bungee jump place which was in a Korean movie. And I saw bungee jump place on my way by chance.


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In NZ, there were many camping sites for free but most of the time it was for self-contained car even there was a public toilet. But this place was the opposite. Camping-car was not allowed. I didn’t know why this place was the opposite. I just appreciated a free camping site.


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I was heading to the north. To watch cloud was fun thing in NZ cause it changed so quickly.


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Some NZ guy I had chat in Wanaka introduced me his friend. They ran the farm and made socks of wools. They gave me the gift even. They ran insta channel as well.  @point6enwzealand


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When they showed me around the farm, I got a chance to hold a chicken. A feather was so soft.


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There was another amazing place which was on the bookmark of my map.


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Because of something coming from the glacier, the watercolor became so pretty.


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It was a really beautiful day that I felt like flying.


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Alps 2 Ocean was the name of the bicycle track and socks I got as the gift had the same symbol of it.


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I wish I could stay for a night but it was time to look for the place for a night.


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I really loved this camping spot. Because of pine needles, the ground was so soft and dry that I could sleep nicely.


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Another beautiful river with a blue sky.


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This was really weird day. When I was hanging around the river, it was so sunshine and warm. But after a few hours, there was a heavy strong wind, rain, and even hail. The temperature was dropped to 3.9c (39f). I promised that I would never laugh when local people said “We can have four seasons in a day” because they were giving important advice.


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There were farms that I couldn’t find the place for camping. I even couldn’t see people’s houses to ask. It became dark and I cycled under the rain. Then I saw the light far from. I just knocked at their house and asked to put my tent at their garage. They said it’s cold that it’s better to sleep inside.


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It was a young couple that they were so kind. They told me about life as a farmer. They worked 7 days a week to take care of their deer farm. I must respect the farmer’s hard work. The farm’s name was Ardleigh Farm. I hoped their business going well.


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When I started cycling in the morning, I could see a beautiful mountain. It seemed last night they got snow.


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It was a really long day that I cycled 3 times more than average, 150 km (93 mi).


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Pete, whom I contacted before online, invited me to his place. I stayed at their place only for two days as I had to hurry to catch the flight. They showed me around and I thought it was the most beautiful big city in NZ to me.


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Pete already got the box for me that I just had to put all together. I applied for Australia Working Holiday Visa almost one year ago and I must enter soon before expiring it. I had only two days a valid day to enter. That’s why I cycled 150 km in one day.
I was not sure how long I will stay in Australia and how much I will work with my one-year work visa. I will just go and see.
NZ trip was really special that I enjoyed camping lot without scaring much. Also, many nice people let me sleep at their property. I loved cows liking me so much. I thanked everything in NZ. Now it was time to go to a new country!


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Days in New Zealand= 67 Days
Distance of cycling in New Zealand= 2,677 km (1,674 mi)
Expenditure in New Zealand= $2,160 USD
($673 Direct Flight from Singapore to NZ +$1,487 expenses on the road )


The last Vlog of New Zealand Trip

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  1. Hello from Canada,

    I love reading your posts! I was wondering what kind of stove you use?
    And what is the make of your bike? Love your adventurous spirit.


    • I am using MSR Whisperlite international Combo. I have Surly Long Haul Trucker but most of parts were changed as worn out. Cheers! Jin

  2. Jin I think your travelling stories are uniquely interesting. You have such a great perspective and humour on life.

  3. I love your blog! Thank you for inspiring me and others <3 safe travels and a good journey home, one day <3
    P.S: Are you happy with your stove? I just saw you have a MSR whisperlight intern. combo. Thanks!!

  4. Another great travel blog. So many great photos. Some were like postcards. NZ is such a beautiful and clean place. It’s on my list of places to visit, but I want to dedicate a good 3-4 weeks to travel around it. Is that enough? I usually travel alone but NZ seems like it would be better traveling with a friend. It’s interesting to see how you’ve changed your travel style a little from the beginning of your trip.

    • If you travel by car, 3-4 weeks would be enough 🙂 I am wondering how people feel the difference between the previous and now. You think what is changed? 🙂

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