How to have an adventure in New Zealand. Or to put it another way ‘get out of your comfort zone and go travel!’

So where is New Zealand you may well ask? Believe it or not I was once asked the following question by  an overseas friend of mine “is New Zealand in Australia?

I kid you not. No it is not in Australia. It is 3 hours flying time for Australia’s east coast. Some people need to get out more. So this is a travel blog about my daughter, Ally, and I spending a week in the beautiful south island of New Zealand. Which is not in Australia. I was really looking forward to a week away with Ally. I promised her a long time ago we would go away on a trip somewhere but never got around to it. Finally the day arrived and I was excited. Enjoy the journey.

Day 1 

how to have an adventure in new zealand
Just finished the 10 Stairs Sprints!

Ally had come over to stay for a few days before we took off on our New Zealand adventure.

We had a great time at the beach and also doing some pretty full on boot camp type exercise. A little back ground here. For years I had been trying to get my kids to do a bit more exercise and eat a little healthier.

I would go running with Ally and I would always have to stop and wait for her to catch up or really push her to keep going. I would always try and get her out of her comfort zone and go to the next level. But regardless I would always finish first and run back and encourage her to finish what ever it was we were doing.

However on this visit from her I was in for a big surprise. Ally was a beast! A fit, motivated beast! I do a thing called 10 Hill Sprints which have morphed into Stair sprints. The idea is to run up a length or stairs, get to the top then run further up a hill and walk down the next lot of stairs that are around 100 metres further on. Once at the bottom you turn around and run back up them, and then head back down to the first set and repeat. So you run up the stairs a total of 10 times.

how to have an adventure
Gotta love the exit doors!

I really thought Ally would struggle doing this. Wrong! She blitzed me! I had done the first couple and was struggling for air and she is saying ‘Come on Dad, keep going.” What the? She was amazing and really showed me how fit she was. She completed the 10 and was hardly puffing!

I was really happy as I was waiting for the day one of my kids would be fitter than me. This was that day.

It was great fun and I knew going over to New Zealand was going to be full on boot camp when it came to exercise.

At the Airport

how to have an adventure in new zealand
Our ride to New Zealand

We arrived at the Gold Coast Airport in plenty of time. Checked in and got exit row seats. Yes! I need exit row seats with my long legs. Bonus. I kept asking Ally if she had her passport. I had been having nightmares about one of us leaving our passports behind. Fortunately it didn’t happen.

So we were excited about the adventure ahead and so when the announcement was made to board the plane I jumped up and signalled to Ally to join me. Cool as a cucumber she said ‘Chill dad. Why stand in line when we can sit and wait. It’s not full so sit down.” Right. Good point Al.

Eventually we boarded our Jetstar flight and sat back and relaxed in the comfort of an exit door seat.

The Aha Moment for my Book – Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye?

My new book!

It was on the flight and whilst reading James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself, that it hit me. I need to get a book that I self published nearly 7 years ago onto Amazon. My book, Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye? Birth, Death and Inspiration: A Man’s Journey,  had been self published and only sold as a hard copy back in 2009/10. I had sold around 1,000 copies which was great but I never knew how to really push the marketing and get it on Amazon.

Reading Choose Yourself really inspired me and I set the intention to get it done asap, in fact before the end of December. To cut a long story short I got the book formatted for both Kindle ebook and hard cover for $30 using Upwork and had the book selling by the 17th of December. 10 days after I made the intention! Lesson learned? When you want to do something, don’t wait till you know how to do it. Ask someone to do it for you. Ask. Ask Ask. Do not be afraid to ask for help!

Buy your copy of my new book “Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye? by clicking here.

Landing in Christchurch and Being Attacked by Rex the Beagle!

It was a smooth flight and very productive book wise for me. We landed around 10.30pm and moved smoothly through customs and collected our bags. I had only eaten bananas on the flight (It is only a 3 hour flight to NZ) and left the skins in my backpack. Once we landed I had put them in the bins provided.

As we were walking through the exit doors of the airport with our bags and passports all cleared I started looking for where we ordered our pick up driver to take us to our hire car. I was looking around for the free public phone we were told to use when all of a sudden I felt an animal of some description basically jump up on my back! I thought it was an escaped monkey from the zoo! It scared the living daylights out of me! I turned around in sheer terror and there nipping at my backpack was the security dog, a beagle about 12 inches high with puppy eyes staring at me as though he intended to rip my head off because I was a drug courier!

The handler, who I thought may have said “sorry for Rex jumping all over your back and scaring the shit out of you” simply asked ‘Do you have any fruit in your bag?’ I said well I had some but its in the bin now. She obviously didn’t believe me and proceeded to open my bag and I watched in horror as Rex the timid beagle rifled through my bag with a fine tooth comb and staring at me with those detective eyes. He came up with nothing and gave me that look detectives give a druggy on TV of ‘I know your guilty. It’s just a matter of time!’

So glad I had disposed of my half a kilo of banana skin before he attacked me. Not sure what the penalty is for possessing half a k of banana skin in New Zealand but I’m sure it’s excessive. So I asked for a selfie with the handler and Rex but was told we can’t do that. Rex gave me a look of ‘I don’t do selfies with Banana Pushers.’

Check out day 2 here!

Our Japanese Airbnb

how to have an adventure in new zealand
The best courtesy driver in New Zealand!

We got a lift to the rental car with the friendliest driver I think I have ever had. Miho was full of life and gave us plenty of tips on how to enjoy New Zealnd’s South Island. We loved her fun attitude so much we even got a selfie with her. She was far friendlier than Rex the security beagle!

We drove to our airbnb which was only a short 5 minute drive from the airport. When I first booked I advised the hosts that we wouldn’t get there till around midnight as we had to check bags, get attacked by dogs and get to our hire car. Ok so the dog thing I didn’t know about till we arrived. The host had no problems with that. Just asked us to take our shoes off at the door and don’t push our bags over the carpet. When we arrived Yayoi met us at the door. She was lovely and showed us to our room. We had a breakfast pack waiting on the bed and a Christmas card! Wow didn’t expect that. We were both pretty tired and hit the sack straight away.

how to have an adventure in new zealand
Our friendly Airbnb host Yayoi and son

You learn a lot when travelling with someone. I didn’t realise that Ally had to read for half an hour before bed to make herself tired. So I turned all the lights out and was getting comfy when Ally turns on her bedside lamp. (She was actually on a futon beside my bed) The light really annoyed me and kept me awake. So after throwing 2 pillows at Ally and begging her to turn the light off she put a pillow in front of the light. Problem was I could still see a bit of the light. After calling the police to have Ally removed…just kidding. She eventually turned it off and I got some well needed sleep. The adventure had begun!


Please share this article with all your friends and give them some inspiration and a laugh too! 


Purchase Kevin’s book by clicking on the image below here.

My new book!

27 Replies to “How to Have an Adventure in New Zealand – Day 1 – Is New Zealand in Australia?”

  1. OMG the Beagle story is so funny! What a great time to bond with your daughter. I’ve never been to New Zealand, but my aunt and uncle went for their honeymoon. The pictures were beautiful. Maybe someday….glad you had a great time!

    1. Hi Tammy,

      Yes the beagle was a funny incident! Haha. He was actually very cute. We had a great time in the South Island of New Zealand and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The lakes, the mountains and the scenery, just stunning. Certainly was a great adventure 🙂

      have a great 2018 and see you in New Zealand sometime soon!


  2. Hi there. What a great time you must have had with your daughter. ANd the Beagle was hilarious though sorry it had to happen to you. I would love to go to New Zealand sometime, I think that would be awesome to see.So true about your comfort zone, you get into a rut and get stuck there. Sometimes just need a kick in the pants. I look forward to the installment of yours.


    1. Thanks a lot Carl,

      It was a fun time for sure. That beagle haha! New Zealand is a beautiful place and definitely well worth a look. The lakes and mountains are stunning. Glad you enjoyed the post. See you in New Zealand sometime! Cheers,


  3. What a fun read! Loved the beagle story. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, as we can live vicariously through you and your daughter. What a special time to have together. Way to go! I’ll look forward to visiting again and learning more. I love the accent in New Zealand!

  4. I’m so impressed that your daughter finally got fit and actually beat you! It’s something I’m waiting for too. I love how you made an intention for your book and got it done. Writing a book is on my agenda for this year. Will check out yours. Some great tips nestled in this post for sure!

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thanks so much for the comment. Yes she is really fit and it was great to see her finally beat her old man haha! Yes I am big on intentions now and prefer the word intention over goals. Let me know what you think of my book when you get a chance. Have a great 2018,


  5. Ahhh! This is such a great post! I want to travel so badly but I am not quite ready to cover the expenses. Your adventures are definitely making me want to go explore even more. I will have to check out New Zealand one time. It looks like you are getting some good quality time with your daughter which is always great. Awesome post, keep it up!

    1. Thanks Brendan!

      Travel really is the university of the world I think! just do it my friend, your expenses will take care of themselves once you go! I really believe every young person should spend at least 12 months travelling and as you get older spend more time! haha I do love it and I need to do more myself. New Zealand is a real adventure. Don’t leave it too long 🙂


  6. This is an awesome article. It really seems like you and your daughter had the time of your lives…I never been to New Zealand but, you and Ally made it seem so, fun. I am glad your nightmare did not come true, about leaving your passports. That would have been surely a tripper ruiner…(is that even a

    …Isn’t it amazing how we can have these aha moments..Your aha moment was a great idea… Congratulations on your book publishing…and your right to always ask for help when you need it..I truly can say that this is true…

    Rex the beagle…that was funny…Rex seemed to be a handful…Awesome article…

    1. Thank you Lakisha!

      Yes we loved New Zealand and it really was an adventure! Haha yes we took our passports. The aha moments are coming more often now I have to say! The book is doing really well. Thanks so much for reading and stopping by 🙂


  7. Such a great trip and your trip makes me want to explore more about it. I love the way how make the attention on the books. It is a fun reading post and i look forward to it. I look forward for your 3rd day in New Zealand.


    1. Hi Jaden,

      Thank you, yes its a beautiful part of the world New Zealand and everyone should go there no doubt. My book is very inspiring and I hope you get a chance to read it. Day 3 coming up!


  8. Wow that’s quite amazing that you self-published a book. And 1000 copies sold is definitely something!
    I’m also impressed that you were able to get it formatted for e-readers for $30 on upwork. Definitely doesn’t hurt to search for help!

    How would you say your overall experience was in New Zealand? My mother lived there for several years during her 30s, and she said it’s quite an amazing place. How does it compare to other places that you have traveled? I’d like to visit there one day!


  9. Great post Kev!

    New Zealand is definitely a place I want to go check out. I’m gonna have to go through your other posts for this trip to see what else you and Ally get up to. From this point it seems like you and Ally have quite the trip ahead of you and will have a great time!

    I loved the part about Ally kicking your but on the stair sprints, it sounds like she really surprised you and has been putting in the work. You have any plans to step it up and reclaim that to spot or is it time to let the young blood take over?



    1. Hi Mack,

      Thanks for your comments, haha yes I will be working hard to get back that mantle of top dog! All good fun. Loved the trip. We had a ball. Talk about an adventure. It was amazing. Have you been to New Zealand yourself? Great place, well worth a trip

      Cheers mate,


  10. Wow you guys had such a great time, The beagle incident is hilarious! I have been to New Zealand and I can certainly understand how to have an adventure in New Zealand. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Great post!


  11. That is awesome! traveling with your daughter after all this time must have been a great bonding experience! I still have dreams of taking one of my sisters on a trip somewhere! My oldest in particular who has yet to get a passport! and believe it or not I have a good friend in Tokyo named MIho haha!

  12. Nice Blog Kev, I am laughly out loud as a fellow Aussie about New Zealand being in Australia. Something they have in common is the custom beagle dogs. I’ve had one sniff my hand luggage when I had honey and had forgotten about it fortunately he didn’t leap onto my bag while I was carrying it. Great adventures, my son and I plan to visit New Zealand in a few years too.

  13. I love that you share all these details about your vacation with your daughter, and how cool that she’s into the athletic stuff now! And yeah, I think it’s hilarious when people have no idea that New Zealand and Australia are totally different countries. we have a significant ignorance problem over here in the US…people are born and bred with absolutely no concept of the outside world. looked like you had a blast!

    1. Hi Penny,

      Haha yes I know people from your neck of the woods have no idea some countries even exist! New Zealand is a great place and yes Ally is a fitness freak now haha! Which is great. People New Zealand is not in Australia! Lol so many people ask that. Thanks for a fun comment Penny and thanks for stopping by 🙂


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