The first time I visited Hamilton three years ago, I left with an impression that it was just like any other city and never gave much thought about it ever since.

Three years later, I recently returned for a weekend getaway up to the Tron City and I left feeling pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it – This time, it was a weekend well-spent with us venturing to several places slightly out of the city that I would definitely encourage you to visit if you happen to be there!

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It was only last week that a group of us ladies decided to have a dash of weekend fun up at Hawkes Bay, with wine and dine as our main agenda.

Home to many vineyards that produce some of New Zealand’s award-winning wines, we booked a winery-cycle tour with On Yer Bike Tours and had such a splendid time!

New Zealand’s North Island has seen some amazing weather over the past week, with clear blue skies coupled with a cool breeze that’s ideal for being outdoors!

We decided to take a drive out of town on one of those sunny days just to make full use of the good weather. As we cruised along the road leading towards the Manawatu Gorge, a surprise detour led us to discover an absolutely beautiful gem.

A week ago, I returned to the mountainous terrains of New Zealand’s South Island to tick horse riding off my bucket list, something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I was a little girl.

As a huge fan of the Lord of The Rings, it was a dream come true to ride through the plains of Dart Valley at Glenorchy, the very place that provided the scenic backdrop for the Misty Mountains and Isenguard!

A few years ago, I first heard of this unassuming place from friends who wouldn’t stop raving about how beautiful it was. I guess, you could say that I had unknowingly fallen in love with this place ever since, even without having physically been there before.

After having been there myself, I can tell you that no picture has done enough justice to showcase the beauty of this quiet town in the South Island.

This week’s #RoadTrip series in New Zealand brings us to the southeast coast of the Wairarapa, a region I had never explored previously even though it’s only a two hour drive from where I live.

It was a splendid day to be out and about, with us taking a drive through the valley along the winding coastal road, making stops at a couple of places whose landscape made perfect postcard material.

Oh, we also found ourselves a large seal colony! 

The spontaneous decision to climb up Mount Taranaki over the weekend turned out to be nearly a day’s worth of a challenging adventure, but the euphoria you get while standing at the top and looking at the view beyond?

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It was so worth it!

A great summer activity that you could do in New Zealand is to be outdoors taking a hike, literally. There’s plenty of bush walks or tracks to explore if you drive a short distance out of town, but one of the more popular ones up at North Island is the Tongariro Crossing.

Out of the two occasions I’ve walked this trail, I’ve been extremely lucky both times to get cloudless, sunny weather that showcased just how beautiful the surrounding scenery the walk has to offer.

For someone who did not grow up in New Zealand, I along with the rest of the world have probably heard the occasional mention of how scenic this country is, but really, it was the filming of the Lord of The Rings that propelled many of us to bookmark this place as a must-travel destination.

The Hobbiton Movie Set in North Island is one of the most iconic landmarks for the filming of the famous trilogy, and as an avid fan myself, I absolutely had a ball of a time visiting this place!