What To Do????

Whatever the time of year you arrive in New Zealand – it is truly an amazing place.  Only this last week we had some friends over from the UK.  First on the agenda the All Blacks vs. Lions second test game… Ahem WE WONNNNNNNN 21-24 needless to say this is officially a week of mourning for our Kiwi brothers as captured beautifully by some random person on Facebook!

Half Mast

After the game and a few celebratory drinks of course we cleared the cobwebs with an amazing walk down by Lake Taupo and the Huka Falls…  Even watched a dude kayak down the falls, which was pretty epic!  You can see the video of this on our Instagram feed #designcarebackpackers

The lake was so calm yesterday and crystal clear.  The only thing stopping us all from jumping in was the temperature – I honestly think you might have turned blue not to mention the shock your body would have experienced upon hitting the water!



I could talk all day about the things to do just around beautiful Lake Taupo but this country has a wealth of locations North and South for you to explore.  Some of the best places to check out when you get to a new place is the local iSite – they have a whole host of information.  Click and surf a bargain, two for one offers and in the winter some off season prices – always worth a look!

Our next blog we are going to consider what to do if an earthquate shakes whilst you are here!!!

Excited… you have arrived in NZ!!

It might not be quite as busy as the summer but there is still so much you can do in New Zealand in the winter months…


Before you get into exploring you need to make sure you are clean

& have no forbidden foods in your possession.  Make sure you are totally aware of this before you get here otherwise it could prove to be an expensive start to your travels…  We have given you some great websites & tips of what to expect when you first get here.

So my friends Haere Mai Aotearoa… Welcome to the land of the Long White Cloud!

In our next blog we will look at what the top winter destinations are in NZ and some of the favorite things to do so you can really enjoy the beauty that is Aotearoa in all seasons!



Pack Those Bags…

IMG_3728Some folk thinks New Zealand is behind the times, you may be surprised when you get here of what or whom you might find!!!  There is nowt so queer as folk, as me father would say…

We actually have hot running water these days, electricity and the internet…  Speaking of which, there are some brilliant websites that can help you on your travels so rather than re-invent the wheel we thought we’d share one of our favorites:

Backpacker Board NZ

This website has a wealth of information for touring around NZ and what to pack, what to expect etc.  Some of my favorite tips… Op Shops aka Charity Shops… if you forget something or think you will get it when you get here, make sure you don’t underestimate these treasure troves.  The Op Shops can save you a fortune and also help with your weight allowance.

My advice pack one or two of your favorite pieces… Ladies, a little black dress or a bit of sparkle can go a long way when you’re backpacking/traveling light!

Things that are a must that you can get in NZ; Jungle Formula, Antisan, Suncream and AfterSun… don’t bring them with you but make sure you buy them as early into your trip as you can.  The sun is intense down here, believe me, you will know about it if you don’t use at least 30SPF.

The one thing that folk complain about & wish they had been told about in advance is Sand Flies… they are tiny black bloodsucking bugs that bite and can leave horrible itchy welts on your skin.  Don’t let them put you off just be prepared & for some reason you don’t have to be around sand to have these little suckers bite you!

See you when you land…




Making it real…


How exciting, you have a rough idea of your itinerary and budgets having explored flight prices, visa options and working opportunities. So when are you thinking of going on this expedition? You’ve got your list of countries and have a sense of what your options are…

BOOK IT – there is no right time other than NOW!!!!

If you are heading out from Europe and want to make it down to New Zealand, which seems to be a really popular destination right now for taking a year out; it would be cool to swing by SE Asia and spend some time exploring the wonders of all the colorful cultures that are so vastly different to anything else you will see in Europe.

If you decide on a round the world ticket, you can plan in so many stops and even check out the US on your way back if you fancy, or the other way round…

My husband and I are originally from the UK and I had the amazing opportunity to travel around SE Asia for 2 years. The food is amazing, it is so cheap and easy to get around and most folks speak English. It also feels relatively safe, which for me is an important aspect of travels especially with the way the world is right now ?!?!

My Top 3 Favorite Asian countries and why:

Cambodia – whilst the history of this nation has had its troubles (I don’t say that lightly – it was hard to put it into words) the people are extremely warm and open. The hustle and bustle of street food and markets will tantalize your taste-buds, and whilst watching the traffic – you will be amazed there aren’t more accidents.

Malaysia – again so much history, especially in Georgetown Penang… incredible food, it is known as a foodies paradise and it’s sooooo cheap (well it was when I lived there 2010-2011). You have access to the sun, sea and the cool’ish air of the Cameron Highlands on the mainland– simply stunning.

The Philippines – oh my how you captured my heart… the coral reefs are spectacular, the people are simply beautiful and gentle. Beaches, island hopping, towns, and cities. Go for a ride on a Tuk-Tuk weaving in and out of the crazy driving. It is an amazing atmosphere that I fell in love with.

Check out our Instagram feed @designcarebackpackers for some crazy pictures of the wonders we found in SE Asia and a little taster of New Zealand in all seasons!

What are you waiting for for…. Book your round the world ticket and head on down to the ultimate destination… New Zealand!!!!

In the next blog, we will start to share with you what to expect when you first land in NZ and some helpful Websites that have oodles of information on them, which you may find useful.

Watch this space… you can find more information and pictures on who we are @designcarebackpackers and our Facebook Page, which is called errrrmmmm Design Care Backpackers – who would have thought it!

Time Out… the world is your oyster!

The World

So you’re thinking of taking some time out before you go to University or find a job… Done your studies & decided that actually what you studied you don’t want to do anymore? Just had a baby and want to travel before they can crawl, making it easier and less expensive in the long run?

Whatever your situation my husband, Esteban & I (Helen) love to travel and we have had so many backpackers come stay with us over the last year we thought we would share some of the things that they wish they had known before they headed off into a new horizon.

I can think of no better way, than to go travelling, to find out what really makes your heart come alive. Having the opportunity to take a bit of time to travel before it just becomes something you wish you’d always done will be one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Some helpful points when thinking about your trip…

How long are you wanting to travel for?

What countries are on your must experience list?

Will you be working when you are visiting?  – If so, is that in every country on your list or just some?

What visa options are there for each of your stops?

When would be the best time to go and where?

Start with pulling together a rough itinerary, work out a rough budget and in out next blog we will share with you things to think about when your plans start to take shape.  You may find this next post particularly helpful, especially if you plan to spend a wee while in New Zealand….

Planning your trip wisely will ensure you have covered all the important things that you need. It will prepare you for some potentially unforeseen situations, especially if you’ve never travelled before!

Watch this space…

Powered by

Up ↑