Tag Archives: New Zealand

Visa Problem for a teacher in New Zealand

My friend is a great teacher for Year 2 students in New Zealand. She is American and was offered the job two years ago when New Zealand needed primary school teachers.  Last month she came home for her grandmother’s funeral and her visa application was denied because the recent labor and market search suggests their isn’t a need for foreign teachers. She has decided to return to her job as a volunteer so that her children can finish the school year with a consistent teacher. The school wants her. The children love her. Only a teacher would take a job unpaid for her children. She will finish out the school year and then return home. PLease consider helping fund her so she has a few living expenses these next few months. She’s only 24 and doesn’t need much but every dollar helps!

Read her story and visit her page below


Walk on the outside of the Auckland Sky Tower: 100 Family Travel Experiences

Walk on the outside of  the Auckland Sky Tower:

My ten year old is a daredevil. When he saw this opportunity he begged us go. My husband doesn’t like heights but we all said we’d give it a try.  This activity is terrifying and exhilarating!  I felt quite safe (as I triple checked the harness straps) but there is still something that doesn’t seem quite right about leaning off the side of a 192 meter tower! They run you through a series of activities as you make your way around the edge, like walking to the edge or leaning off forwards and backwards .  As we grew more accustomed to the experience of being outside at extreme height, some of us become more brave.  We spent about an hour outside circling the building on a metal grated walkway with no handrails. They take lots of pictures too. In addition to the sky walk you can take the fast route down to the street.  The Sky Tower offers an option to jump off the side and descend to the sidewalk below! Very memorable and kids will love it!!!



#94 Visit Weta Cave in Wellington, NZ : 100 Family Travel Experiences

100 Family Travel Experiences
#94 Visit Weta Cave in Wellington, NZ

New Zealand is the home to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. You can see it in the landscapes of the country as well as in the pride the country takes in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of the J.R.R Tolkien novels. Not only can you take sightseeing tours to see where scenes are filmed but you can actually visit intact hobbit houses in Hobbiton where filming took place. For any fan or family a visit to Weta Cave is a must stop. Located in Wellington, Weta Cave is Peter Jackson’s special effects studio and museum and provides a behind the scenes tour of the movie magic. It’s fun and your kids will love it!



” Lost and Found in New Zealand”

In the first of our “If we can do it blog challenge” series of posts I want to thank our guest blogger Vanessa from http://missapprehension1.wordpress.com/

What a great New year’s experience!!! This is inspiring and If Vanessa can do it so can you!!

After almost 2 years of events that left me emotionally battered, broken and beaten – including the sudden and unexpected end of my marriage on New Year’s Day; my trip to New Zealand with a close friend (Julie) and our mascot Wilhelmina the Wicked Wino, was not only a welcome distraction but also a time of healing, learning and self-reflection.  It was the most memorable holiday of my 35 years and provided some of the happiest moments of my life – to memory.

For two fabulous but cold weeks we:

  • Travelled over 3000km in a 2 berth Camper Van.
  • Took over 5000 (yes five thousand) photos.
  •  Visited 5 fineries, 1 zoo, 4 stunning lakes, 3 Speights Ale Houses, the Antarctic centre, 1 ice-bar and 2 fantastic word class snowfields.
  • Stayed in 6 camp grounds – 4 were amazing and 1 beautiful hotel.
  • Relaxed in 2 hot tubs and 2 hot springs pools.
  • Drank numerous bottles of wine, umpteen pints of Speights Chocolate Ale, 4 cocktails, 3 bottles of duty free bevies and 1 Bloody Mary.
  • Ate our way through what must’ve been 5 kilos of cheese.
  • Enjoyed a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, survived an ‘Arctic storm’ (simulation), blinked through a 3.4 magnitude earthquake, jumped off a cliff strapped to a gorgeous man at Coronet Peak and thrashed our way through the white waters in a raft on the Shotover River.
  • We visited so many towns and cities including Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka, Arrowtown, Mount Cook, Te Anau and Akaroa.

I can’t say this trip saved my life but it changed me forever.  It was my third trip to New Zealand, my first holiday as a single woman and the best holiday of my life, perhaps because I learnt so much about myself and because it afforded so many opportunities that I’d never have taken had I still been married.

Apart from the GREAT company (Julie, Wilhelmina and I laughed a LOT), the highlight for me was of course paragliding over Queenstown.  The cold, wet weather and gusty winds meant we almost missed out on paragliding off beautiful Coronet Peak.  Our first jump was cancelled on the drive up the mountain, but the weather finally gave us a reprieve and came good on our last day in Queenstown – someone was clearly watching over us.

I can’t find the words to articulately describe what I felt as I sat strapped to my handsome Israeli pilot, floating over mountains and valleys, streams, roads and buildings, farms, dams etc… For the first time in as long as I can remember, perhaps EVER, I was completely speechless.  It was such a short trip and I just wanted to take it all in.  It was breathtaking.  I was overcome with so many emotions – for the first time in a long time I felt everything was going to be ok.  I felt incredible joy – elation even; you couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face.  I felt content, at peace, I felt safe, I felt humble and grateful and fortunate and blessed.  And after some acrobatic turns over a field that looked like the head of a Roman statue, we landed – ever so gracefully with a thud on my bum instead of running on my feet – I screamed and laughed (scraughed lol) hysterically and uncontrollably.

The glide only lasted a few minutes but the feelings lasted for days and the ride back to our camping park was one of quiet contemplation.  I can’t remember a happier time in my life – though I hope I experience it again.  And though words escape me, I’ll never forget the feelings or the experience.

Vanesessa is “29 (OK 36) and single AGAIN, trying to make sense of the World and find my place within it”.

Vistit Vanessa over at http://missapprehension1.wordpress.com/


Twitter: MsNessa77

If you want to share your travel story with us please see the “If we can do it” Blog Challenge page on our home page.

Most Magical Place on our RTW trip?

We received a question from Fun Things @funthingsapp on Twitter asking us, what was the “most magical place” on our ’round the world adventure?  What a great question!

With our family, as with any family, you get four very different answers to most questions you pose. To this question my son and husband would both answer New Zealand. My husband will tell you because of it’s breathtaking beauty. We actually had to pull over in our campervan to admire the view at times or we were sure to run off the road.

My son will say New Zealand for a totally different reason. New Zealand is an eleven year old adrenaline junkie’s dream.  He was able to walk outside skyscrapers, roll down hills in giant inflated balls, jump off cliffs  and freefall 60 meters, luge down mountains and jet boat through Lord of the Rings country.  He visited with the indigenous Maori people and learned some of their customs, including the traditional haka.  There were dolphins and whales, kayaks, geysers, glaciers and hobbits. For him it was a massive island playground. Forget Disney.

My daughter would say Africa. She loved it. It was indulgent in the gift of life.  Animals are everywhere and they are the kind you dream about.  Lions, leopards, giraffe, zebras.  We awoke one night to find our tent surrounded by hippos grazing just a few feet from us. The people were wonderful, exhuberant and kind. The beauty was abundant. I remember being in awe of  fluorescent sunsets behind slowly moving silhouettes of a foraging herd of elephants. I find it hard not to agree with her.

For me, the answer is difficult. I’m torn. If I can differentiate between land and water (I’m a diver and underwater….well, that is a whole different post!)  then I will say Bali. I was struck while walking through the small streets in Amed and Ubud by the beautiful Hindu temples and private garden temples at each home. I felt like I had walked into a secret world. I loved seeing the flower offerings set each day or visiting a ceremony with elaborate costumes and mystical music. Bali is a magical place because life is lived on a different schedule there. Each action, each person, and each event is honored. Taking time to appreciate life is a conscious practice in Bali and in such a beautiful environment one can’t help but become enchanted.

Thanks for your question!!!

Thanks Funthingsapp   http://funthingsapp.com