Endangered Dotterels and Chicks on a New Zealand Beach

New Zealand dotterel

Out of the corner of my eye I see little balls of fluff bouncing and hovering across the beach. These baby dotterels stop to forage for food. Camera in hand, I attempt to focus on one of the endangered chicks although its camouflage makes it challenging. As a result of this lack of contrast, I […]

More Photos from the Great Ocean Road: Explore Australia (Part 2)

The Grotto along the Great Ocean Road in Australia

If my photos from the Great Ocean Road earlier in the week didn’t inspire you to hop on a flight to Australia, maybe the next portion of our journey will. Those were from Torque to Apollo Bay. These are from Apollo Bay to Point Fairy. It was my favourite portion of the Great Ocean Road. […]

Driving the Great Ocean Road: Explore Australia (Part 1)

View from Split Point Lighthouse on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria Australia

Leaving Melbourne Australia, we headed South towards Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road. Like our recent road trip in Oregon (USA) we drove slowly, stopping frequently, hiking, looking, photographing, and just taking it all in. Here are a few of the highlights as we drove from Torquay West towards Apollo Bay: Practical Information:  […]

Your Guide to 5 Great Beaches in Palawan, Philippines

Corong Corong Beach, Palawan, Philippines

{This post was written for Albom Adventures by Carmela Kim Alvarez of Let’s Palawan.} Palawan, an island region west of the Philippine archipelago, is a popular travel destination for many reasons. One of the things that sets this island from all other tropical spots, though, is how it is filled with so many beautiful shorelines. […]

Relaxing in Aruba – A Tropical Cruise Port

Palm Beach on the Caribbean island of Aruba

After three days at sea on the Island Princess, our first port was the island of Aruba in the southern Caribbean.  Famous for white sand, blue water and plenty of sunlight, Aruba did not disappoint. The port is right in town and our time here was pretty short, from 7am to noon. We opted to […]

Ninety Mile Beach – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Sunset on 90 mile beach in New Zealand

N is for Ninety Mile Beach . . .  or nice sunset. Practical Information:  Possibly the most famous beach in the country, Ninety Mile Beach is actually only about 60 miles long. Ninety Mile Beach is a road and therefore all road rules apply. (And yes, people do frequently get stuck if they don’t watch the […]

Inlet – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

An inlet along the northern coast of New Zealand

I is for inlet. Practical Information:  There is over 14,000km of coastline in New Zealand. This inlet is one of 1000’s of beautiful and peaceful spots. I captured this shot through an open window at Mangonui Fish Shop in Northland, a popular spots for fish and chips on the North Coast. The shot was taken looking out towards Doubtless […]

Aupouri Peninsula – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Aupouri Peninsula at the Northern tip of New Zealand

A is for Aupouri Peninsula . . .  or awe-inspiring. Practical Information:  Aupouri Peninsula is the narrow strip of land running approximately 100 km to the north at the upper (northern) end of the North Island of New Zealand. It ranges from 10 – 30 km in width. It shares its name with the local Maori […]

Planning Pacific Northwest Portion and Our USA Adventure

Muir Wood. Photo by Robert Couse-Baker.

We are busy planning a three part epic USA adventure, which starts in less than a month. Part 1 US Highlights:  Phoenix AZ, Chicago IL, West Palm Beach FL. Part 2 Panama Canal Cruise: Adding six countries so it’s actually much more than a USA Adventure. We have ports in Aruba, Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Canada. Part […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots – Te Muri Camp New Zealand

Swimming at Mahurangi West beach in Auckland, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016; for more photos of Mahurangi West, visit the blog

Last weekend I went on a camp with friends at the Te Muri campgrounds in Mahurangi West regional park, about an hour and a half north of Auckland City. Summer here has been glorious and hot, and we enjoyed the cloudless days with plenty of swimming and walking. I also went to Mahurangi West regional park last […]

Waiheke Island Beaches, Paradise in New Zealand

Palm Beach - one of many Waiheke Island beaches near Auckland New Zealand

The Waiheke Island beaches, along with the wineries, help to explain why the island made it onto Lonely Planet’s “Top 10 Regions to Visit in 2016” list. It had been far too long since our last visit. In fact, I don’t think we ever took the ferry out to the island, but had only visited in the […]

Cape Reinga: Stunning and Spiritual Top of New Zealand

Walking path to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga, the top of the North Island in New Zealand

Cape Reinga is a crown jewel, the spiritual and stunning northern tip of New Zealand. For Maori, Cape Reinga is where a person’s spirit comes after death and departs for their eternal home. For visitors, it also offers spectacular ocean views including the impressive coming together of two major bodies of water. Practical Information:  While thought of as the most […]

Ninety-Mile Beach at Sunset – Northland, New Zealand

Sunset at Ninety-Mile Beach on the Aupouri Peninsula in New Zealand

Ninety-Mile Beach runs along the western side of the Aupouri Peninsula, the strip of land leading to the Northern Tip of New Zealand. It’s one of the more famous beaches in the country. Its name is a bit of a misnomer as the beach is only 60 miles (96 km) long. Officially, it runs from Shipwreck Bay to Cape […]

White Silica Sand of Rarawa Beach in Northland, New Zealand

White silica sand at Rarawa Beach on the Aupouri Peninsula New Zealand

Rarawa Beach takes your breath away. I know it’s cliche, but what else can I say about pure white sand, gentle waves, and a quiet that seems out of place, disrupted only by the gentle waves and the occasional squawk of a nesting bird. We stopped at Rarawa Beach as a side trip on the way to the northern tip […]

Stunning Coastal Walk Over Volcanic Rock: Takapuna to Milford

Takapuna to Milford Coastal Walk in Auckland New Zealand

Yesterday was a day made for celebration. It was my birthday, complete with fireworks (It was also Guy Fawkes Day, but I am claiming at least a few of the fireworks). I had my great medical appointment earlier in the week. And it was a perfect spring day for a coastal walk from Takapuna to […]

Yellow Eyed Penguins in New Zealand: World’s Rarest Penguin

The yellow eyed penguin is considered the world's rarest penguin. Photo in New Zealand

We stood quietly in the trench, a hiding hut for humans. Here we waited, and then watched as yellow eyed penguins headed to their nesting boxes. It’s important that these endangered birds remain undisturbed. Watching quietly from our hut, we were so well hidden the penguins didn’t know we were there. Their nesting boxes seemed […]

A Daring Adventure ~ Weekend Travel Inspiration

daring adventure

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller If these are the only two choices, I choose daring adventure. I think it’s the interpretation that makes the difference.  When we travel to exotic islands like Samoa, or to Middle Eastern countries like Oman, or when we allow are children to head off […]

Coastal Hiking: Interesting Rock Formations in New Zealand

Coastal Hiking in New Zealand

Swirling patterns in the cliffs and unusual rock formations dominate the coastline on the east side of Shakespear Park (Auckland, New Zealand). With a bit more energy, I could actually walk from my house to the steps leading down to Pink Beach. Yet, before last week I had never been here on the outgoing tide, […]

Essaouira: We Saw Surfers, Horses, and Camels on this Moroccan Beach

Essaouira Morocco on Horseback

Essaouira Morocco with its warm days, exotic aromas, cobblestone streets and an eclectic mix of beach goers was the first image that popped into my head when asked by Lexa Cain to join a blog hop about my favorite summer vacation spot. I have been to cleaner, more beautiful beaches on tropical islands like Fiji […]

Xing Around Auckland: The #AtoZ Challenge is Nearly Over

Cartwheel on the beach in Auckland, New Zealand

The A-to-Z challenge is nearly over and finding an X in Auckland was even easier than I thought it would be. Once I got started “Xing”, I could find them everywhere. Have you gone Xing around your town? What’s your favourite X? Posted for the A to Z blogging challenge 2015 and linked to Our […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #28 – Advanced Photography Workshop

Thorne Bay with a 10 stop ND filter, taken during the Three Little Wishes Advanced Photography Workshop.

Recently I had my final lesson of my Three Little Wishes Mentorship program, an Advanced Photography Workshop. In the morning we learned about outdoor studio lighting and filters, and our model was Victoria, the same model from the studio workshop I took last year. In the afternoon we took some ocean photos while experimenting with […]

Bagpipes at a Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

Bagpipes at the beach in New Zealand

Bagpipes were the last thing I expected to hear at a New Zealand beach. The music is distinctive, yet when I turned my head I was surprised to actually see bagpipes.  Well, technically it was just one man and one instrument. The two adorable children were following him everywhere.  I am sure there is a […]

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Beach at Waipu Cove

The beach at Waipu Cove in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand

Two hours north of Auckland is Waipu Cove, a stunning beach town that I didn’t know existed until a few weeks ago when our friends invited us to join them on their family camping trip. In this case, it was our friends who were our weekend travel inspiration. The water color changes with the weather, […]

Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #20 – More Mahurangi West

Crab along the Cudlip coast at Mahurangi West

Today I’m sharing the second part of my adventure for my Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award hike, which was at Mahurangi West regional park in Auckland. If you haven’t seen the first part yet, you can read it at Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #19 – Mahurangi West Tramp. We returned to our base camp after the Mita Loop […]

Sarah’s Saturday Snapshots #19 – Mahurangi West Tramp

Mita Bay Loop Track at Mahurangi West in New Zealand

Last weekend, as a follow-up to the Tawharanui park tramp I did a few weeks ago, I had my qualifying Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award tramp. This one was at Mahurangi West regional park, and though it rained for a bit, we had an excellent time and I seriously enjoyed myself. Among other things, we need to write […]