When I fall in love with a place I struggle to look at photos for months… how could I have possibly captured the vast beauty of New Zealand?

It all began with a conversation which sparked the idea of chasing the southern lights, and for that reason we visited New Zealand. I also wanted to visit NZ because I heard there were a lot of sheep there, and we saw so many!!

We drove from Christchurch to our first stop - Lake Coleridge which was only a teaser of New Zealand’s sheer beauty.

On our way to Lake Tekapo, a small quaint town with the clearest blue waters.

We ended our day with the best Japanese (probably the only one - its a very small town) restaurant in Lake Tekapo and I was relieved that they had vegan options (not just rice).

We began the next day waking up early in an attempt to capture sunrise. Even though it was cloudy it was still so beautiful.

One of my most favourite spots we visited was Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. We were able to get so close to the mountains and hike towards glaciers. We also drove past Lake Pukaki with the most vibrant turquoise coloured waters.


Once we reached this pathway, we were only a couple minutes away from the glacier.

The glacier was absolutely stunning. We were lucky enough that during our hike at times the clouds would roll away from Mt Cook and we could see it in its entirety. I’ve heard that quite often Mt Cook is a really shy mountain.

In the above photo Luan is in the shot but blended in - he looks like a tiny speck! See if you can find him. I was down by the rocks (see photo below) when it was taken :O

We ended our day watching the sunset over Lake Pukaki.

Thanks for joining me on my NZ journey. Part 2 will be up where I write about visiting Mount Cook National Park again. In the mean time if you’d like to continue reading more about NZ head to Luan’s blog here.

Japan Diary: Hakuba

This time last year we were hitting the slopes in Hakuba, which was such a beautiful place as well!

Hakuba was such an incredible place. We were able to see snow actually falling and me falling down the slopes hahaha. Viv and I ended up just building a snow man. Hakuba was already pretty vegan friendly and a lot of people there spoke English too which was helpful!

Our next stop (next blog post wooo) - Tokyo.

Japan Diary: Kiso Valley - Magome

One of my favourite places we visited was a small town called Magome in Kiso Valley. If you do visit Nagoya I'd highly recommend taking a day trip to Magome. We started our day off by sleeping in until 8.30am (other days we were waking up at 6am!!) and took the train to Nakatsugawa station, followed by a bus there.

Magome is a beautiful preserved town dating back centuries with many buildings made of wood. We decided to take the Magome-Tsumago trail which is a 8.9km scenic hike. I didn't realise that the hike was this long. I was expecting 3-4kms of walking along a flat surface. I was very wrong. Parts of the hike were up hill and I'd definitely recommend wearing something a bit more appropriate which don't involve Doc Martens and jeans :')

Beautiful Magome aka beginning of the hike

The view was absolutely breath taking here. I definitely wasn't able to capture the vastness and the beauty of it all!

We had a small tea break along the way. The trail also led through the countryside and we passed a few houses and saw a few locals. We even saw some monkeys jumping on rooftops!

Just before reaching Tsumago, we came across a few waterfalls and rivers. This one river we came across was so vibrant and the water looked quite icy too.

The hike took about 2-3 hours for us complete. I thought we had to hike back to Magome, but Luan told me there was a bus we could catch to the station which would take us back to Nagoya (thank goodness)!

We spent most of our day in Kiso Valley - walking from one town to another. I'd highly recommend this trail! But try to take a few snacks with you because when we went hardly any cafes were open for lunch!

Also theres not many vegan options in Nagoya so rice and salad was my best friend.