5 Questions a Travel or Rota Nanny Should Consider

Being a Travel Nanny or working as a Rota Nanny certainly has its perks. Indeed, becoming a travel or rota nanny is a coveted profession thanks to the opportunities and financial rewards that come with it. Nannies for high net worth families may be invited to 5 star beach locations, or to go sailing on a 50-metre superyacht. Generally, the most professional nannies are hired through a Nanny Agency who ensures they have undergone proper background and reference checks and check that they are able to deliver the best service to families.

However, as much as this job promises a lot of excitement and can be financially rewarding, it is also important to put certain things in place. Before you agree to travel with a family as their nanny, there are certain questions you should ask, and we will share five of them with you in this article.

1. How do the Family Spend Time with the Children?

Every family is different, and how one family brings up their children could be different from another. It is important that you know how the parents spend time with their children, as it could help you to work more effectively. What kind of activities do they do with their children? How do they communicate as a family with each other? And most importantly, how do the parents manage the misbehavior of their children? Try and get a general understanding of family life and see how you would fit into it as their nanny.

2. Who is in Charge When Everyone is Together?

The duties of a rota nanny are slightly different from that of a typical nanny. During a family vacation, everyone is present and no one is at work. This is why you should be clear on when you are expected to be with the kids or when you should step aside. Try and define your schedule clearly.

3. What Exactly are my Roles?

The roles of a travel nanny differ with each family, so you may have to ask the parents directly what they expect of you. While some families would see their nannies as a part of their family, some others would rather the nanny stays professional. Some families may request that nannies wear a uniform. Make sure your duties and responsibilities are clearly defined, even if it involves getting a detailed schedule and routine for each day.

4. Will there be Extra Responsibilities?

As a travel nanny, you will likely be faced with unexpected situations, regardless of what is written in your working agreement. While this is to be expected, it’s always best to still ask the parents if they might require you to take some extra responsibilities at some point. Flexibility is key from both parties in this type of role and you should be ready for anything!

5. Will I Have Any Free Time?

While this is a family vacation and you are expected to focus on the children, you may also want to take some time out for yourself. Don’t assume that you will be given the luxury of free time if you didn’t discuss it in advance. Ask the family if you will have free time for yourself, whether it is a few hours per day or a day off during the week. If you are working as a rota nanny, you should always try to agree on a set shift pattern. 2 weeks working followed by 2 weeks off is a very popular working schedule for rota nannies in HNW families.

Conclusion

Always ask questions if you are unsure, and be ready for anything. Don’t let things catch you by surprise. These are vital questions every travel nanny should ask to keep them on course.

Serviced Apartments: The Ideal Accommodation Choice for Digital Nomads

The life of a digital nomad can be a very exciting one. If you’re lucky enough to have work that you can do from anywhere, whether you run your own business, operate as a freelancer or work remotely for a company, travelling the world as you go makes a lot of sense. You don’t need to worry about booking holidays as you can take your work with you, and making money as you go means there’s no need to be concerned about running out of cash.

Royalty Free Photo

But when it comes to choosing accommodation, every option tends to have both benefits and downfalls. Hotel rooms are often quieter for getting work done, but if you’re travelling solo, they can get quite boring, and pricey too. On the other hand, hostels are a great choice since they’re cheap and social, but on the downside, it’s easy to get distracted and difficult to find somewhere suitable to work. Serviced apartments are an ideal choice for digital nomads and working travellers for a whole host of reasons, including:

They’re Cost-Effective

You can book a stay in a serviced apartment for around the same price as an average hotel room. Dream Apartments, featured here in Love Belfast, start at just £40 per night, which is a bargain when you think about everything that’s included. It’s more than a hostel for sure, but with a serviced apartment, you’ve got space and amenities to comfortably stay there as a group, so get together with some other digital nomads who are planning to travel to the same place, split the cost and suddenly it gets a whole lot cheaper – and you’ve got company.

You’ve Got Everything You Need

Staying in a hostel can be fun and entertaining, and there’s certainly no shortage of things to do in most hostels around the world, but you also tend to have very limited personal space. This can make them difficult to stay in long-term, so if you’ve decided to stick around in a certain destination for a longer amount of time, consider upgrading to an apartment. Here, you’ll have your own kitchen so you can prepare your favourite meals and save money on eating out. And, most apartments come with fast, reliable Wi-Fi which you definitely can’t do without. But you’ll also have all the comforts of staying at a hotel like daily cleaning and linen changes. Many serviced apartments also have 24-hour reception desks, on-site gyms, pools, spas, meeting rooms and everything else you’d expect.

They’re Widely Available

As serviced apartments become more popular, they are cropping up in destinations all over the world. Since they are so popular with business travellers, you can often find them in major cities, but there might also be options in quieter areas, depending on where you want to stay. One main benefit of serviced apartments is that they tend to be located in close proximity to local amenities and attractions, so if you want an afternoon of sightseeing after a hard morning at work, you won’t have far to travel.

If you’re enjoying the digital nomad lifestyle and working as you travel, a serviced apartment can be the perfect base.

London on a budget: 4 tips to help you along

It’s a wildly popular destination but unfortunately, London also happens to be one of the more expensive getaways out there. This doesn’t just apply to tourists either (in actual fact, it’s no longer one of the most expensive cities for travel).

As well as tourists, residents are also feeling the pinch. We constantly hear about the high rents and house prices but rather than stating the obvious, today’s post is all about unearthing some tips which can help you save money in your day-to-day life in the capital.

Granted, there might only be four suggestions, but take these on-board and see if you can apply any further methods on top to help you along your way.

Entertainment CAN be free

There is a common misconception in London that everything must cost money. As it turns out, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sure, you can venture to the West End and visit the many theatres. Unfortunately, unless you happen to grab a late ticket, this will cost you.

However, there are alternatives. Some people will just head to see street performers, but an even better option is to tap into the museums. The vast majority in the UK are free yet contain some of the world’s most prized and important assets. In fact, if you can get there one evening, you’ll find that there are regularly exhibitions held which are also open to the public free of charge.

Be shrewd with your public transport choices

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people living in London make is taking too much advantage of the fantastic transport links. We all know how impressive these travel systems are and they are undisputedly some of the best in the world.

However, it’s not always necessary. Sometimes, it’s almost as quick to walk between stations, while before jumping in a taxi you should really ask yourself if you fancy being charged through the nose for sitting in traffic.

Chances are, you don’t, and this is a monumental way to save money.

Take advantage of the markets

It might be very tourist-focused from one respect, but from another London still retains its local roots. There are countless local markets and this presents your chance to shine. Granted, you won’t be able to venture into an Oxford Street store and barter with the shop assistant, but on a market store (almost) anything goes. This is where you don’t always have to pay full price and you can come away with some bargains.

Make the most from being in the travel hub

Let’s end with something of a bonus suggestion. London has a ridiculous number of airports, and this presents some fantastic opportunities. You have the pick of the tickets when it comes to European travel and as long as you’re not too picky, you can jump on a plane for the same price as jumping on a National Express for a couple of hours. Make sure you make the most of this as if you are to ever move away from the capital, this bonus tends to evaporate.

What to expect when you venture outside London

For some tourists, it’s non-negotiable. Their trip must be devoted to London and there are absolutely no arguments.

For others, it’s about getting outside the Big Smoke. It’s about traveling like a local (yes, that cliché we have become so used to hearing over the years) and finding out what makes the UK tick. While you might see glimpses of this in the capital, when you are trying to juggle Madame Tussauds one day and Big Ben the next, the whole trip tends to be a Trip Advisor bucket list activity.

As such, escaping London can be quite exciting. There are also some things that you should prepare yourself for, which we will now mull over through the course of this post.

Transport isn’t as reliable (or cheap)

One of the great advantages of London is its immense transport system. Few would disagree that it is one of the best of its kind in the world.

Unfortunately, there is no other location in the country which competes with this. This starts to become blatantly obvious as you attempt to leave the capital, with trains not as frequent – and sometimes costly. To combat these issues, check the timetables frequently, but also book in advance. This latter point is crucial and if you can book your trains weeks ahead of your trip, you can save huge sums of money in a heartbeat.

Everything else is considerably cheaper

On the plus side, you’ll find that your costs dwindle significantly as soon as you venture beyond the famous M25.

Whether you find attractions in Basingstoke, or at the opposite end of the country, hotel prices compared to London are an absolute snip.

Then, there are the general day-to-day costs. While you may still find some attractions which are premium priced, on the whole your days will be far less expensive. Taxis will be cheaper, and restaurants will be as well – you’ll notice that your pocket is much fuller than it ever has been after a UK getaway.

Not everywhere is “tourist friendly”

A degree of caution must be exercised with the term “tourist friendly”. After all, we’re by no means suggesting that some areas are unfriendly, but they just might not be able to provide the support that alternatives are able to.

For example, for foreign tourists at least, they might not be able to speak the language. Or, they might not have people who understand the culture that some visitors bring. It’s at this point visitors must accept these changes and appreciate that whilst rewarding, turning outside of London can sometimes bring its difficulties.

Other areas operate on different schedules

It’s not quite the city that never sleeps, but it certainly has later opening hours than most destinations in the UK. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for the stores to close at 5pm, and some restaurants to follow on shortly after. Naturally, this is completely different to London and other parts of Europe, where dining and shopping times typically venture deep into the night.

5 Tips for Traveling During Busy Seasons

Traveling during a busy season obviously brings increased odds of battling crowds and paying higher prices, but sometimes, it is necessary. No matter what the reason, maybe you recently purchased one of the New Orleans houses for sale, or a home in another city, and want to make an escape to relax after moving in and it just happens to coincide with the Christmas holidays, there are ways to make it more enjoyable. 

Book Well in Advance and Be Flexible

If you’re not in the situation above, looking for a last-minute getaway during the busy season, try and book well in advance. The farther ahead you can book, the better the deals you’ll find on flights and accommodation, and the less likely coveted tours and activities will be sold out. Being flexible about your specific departure date can potentially save you hundreds of dollars – avoid flying on a Friday, Sunday, or Monday, looking for less convenient departure times such as early in the morning or late at night.

Plan to Arrive Early

If you’re the type of person who always arrives early, you’ll be in a much better position for traveling during busy seasons. Remember, there will probably be more traffic on the roads, lines will be longer and check-ins slower. Allow yourself extra time to get anywhere to ensure you don’t miss your flight or any other bookings. When sightseeing, the earlier you can be at the main tourist attractions, the better too for avoiding the biggest crowds.

Get Through Security Faster

US government-approved services like Global Entry, CLEAR, and TSA PreCheck will help you get through security at the airport much faster. That means a whole lot less stress during the busy season as security lines can be horrendous, and could even cause you to miss your flight – in fact, a 2018 survey reported by Forbes noted that one in every seven travelers had missed a flight in the past 12 months due to long airport security lines. CLEAR, available in select airports, uses biometric data from your fingerprints or eyes to verify your identity, and once you’ve been cleared, you’ll be escorted to the front of the security line. TSA PreCheck allows travelers to pass through an expedited security lane without having to remove your laptop, shoes, liquids, etc. Global Entry provides expedited clearance to low-risk, pre-approved travelers when they arrive in the U.S., however, it requires a rigorous background check and in-person interview before one can be enrolled. 

Avoid the Most Popular Destinations

If you can, try to avoid going to the same places everyone is going to. For example, Paris is popular year-round, and during busy seasons, it’s going to be even more crowded – why not head to a lesser-known spot like Lyon, renowned for its food scene while avoiding high numbers of tourists? The more remote and less-traveled your destination, the less you’ll have to worry about being there during the “busy” season. 

Accept the Inevitable

If you’re going to travel during a busy season, the best thing you can do is just roll with whatever happens, especially if your destination is a popular one. Prepare for the worst, assuming there are going to be crowds and high prices – if it’s not that bad, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, far better than had the opposite occurred. 

Canada to Paris flights with Air France

Whether you are hunting for an outstanding adventure or wish to escape for an 11th-hour vacation, airlifts from Canada to France provide the flawless relief. Not only does discovering France offer the gamble to tour the local landmarks, make some dreamlike memories and taste mouthwatering dishes, but the economical airfare with Air France implies you won’t dent your pocket.

Montreal to Paris Flights

The nearby airport to Montreal is the Montréal-pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and the next-door airport to Paris, is the Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG).  The swiftest one-stop trip between Montreal and Paris takes approximately 10 hours. On the other hand, some airlines might take as much as 37 hours, depending on the stopover destination plus waiting period.

About 10 hours is the regular nonstop flight time to Paris from Montreal. Seemingly, direct flights and connecting flights with stopover take lengthier intervals than nonstop flights. In such situations, Montreal – Paris flight time bank on the stopover destination stated by the carrier or the one you select whereas reserving the ticket. Waiting period at intermediate airfields could be anyplace between 45 minutes to one day.

Air France is proud to provide some of the cheapest fares on flight time from between Montréal and Paris. With the low price assurance plus free one-day revocation, travelers can reserve that voyage to CDG with sureness. Pick out from some of the apt days to fly with the Air France flexible reservation calendar, plus you shall save even additional cash on your trip to CDG from YYZ. Whether you are going on a holiday or traveling for job purposes, exploit these Air France deals and visit the city of love!

Flights from Toronto to Paris

Do you wish to take a flight Toronto-Paris? Then have a careful look at the flight prices, exclusive deals, travel guidelines, and flight times, on the Air France site! Also identified as the ‘City of Light,’ Paris is the zenith of stylishness, and it is simple to see why the metropolis draws millions of tourists year after year. Distance to Paris from Toronto (CDG to Toronto Pearson International Airport) is approximately 6037 kilometers (3751 miles).

There are around 270 (nonstop) flights between Toronto and Paris each week, totaling 38 daily. Traveling to Paris from Toronto, Monday is the inexpensive day to travel on average, plus Sunday is the most costly. Flying back to Toronto from Paris, the best pacts are usually available on Monday, while Saturday is the priciest.

Air France runs flights between Toronto to Paris many intervals each day; this implies you can fly to the French capital city in total luxury. The carrier shall take care of your every requirement, regardless of the class you are flying.

Conclusion

With such numerous reasonably priced flights and countless delightful escapades awaiting you, there is no intention to postpone the reservation of a fantastic trip to France from Canada. Reserve your travel appointments to France from Canada with Air France now!

Savour the natural beauty of the UK with Regatta

The natural beauty in the UK ranges from stunning dramatic castles to breath-taking sceneries. A vacation in the UK is undeniably  the best way to reward yourself.

Regatta is dedicated to helping you make your trips in the UK a memorable experience worth cherishing, and one that is a cheaper alternative to a European break. Check out some of the spots they’ve highlighted on their interactive map as an alternate destination or take a look at the places listed here.

The following is a list of five marvelous tourist attraction spots in the UK

Windsor – This historic town is a short train ride west of London. Its lovely Thames-side setting and the many medieval half-timbered buildings along its quaint old cobblestone laneways attract tourists from all over the world. It houses the spectacular Windsor Castle, the world’s largest inhabited castle; Windsor also houses Legoland Windsor, a fun family resort set on 150 acres of parkland close to the town centre and Royal Ascot, the UK’s most famous horse-racing venue.

Medieval York- One of northern England’s most popular tourist destinations, the medieval city of York, harbours one of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals. The country’s largest medieval church, York Minster, also the ancient City Walls, which stretch almost five kilometres around the old medieval city centre and offer excellent views over The Shambles, a narrow 14th-century roadway, famous for being the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley thanks to its fine old timber-framed buildings, many of which hang over the street below.

Liverpool and Manchester- When visiting Manchester, one must visit Castlefield, popular for its well-preserved Victorian houses, canals, and Roman ruins. Manchester Cathedral and the historic Town Hall, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Art Gallery and Chinatown are other attractions.

Liverpool, an hour’s journey by train, offers cultural excitement because of its association with the Beatles. Music fans are drawn here for the numerous walking tours and bus tours of Beatles sites, such as The Beatles Story in the renovated Albert Docks area; the famous Cavern Club, where the band made its debut in 1961; as well as the former homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Besides this, there are many historic buildings, lovely gardens, parks and museums and world-class art galleries.

Canterbury – Only an hour’s train ride from central London, Canterbury has attracted pilgrims for more than 1,500 years, ever since St. Augustine first started converting pagan Anglo Saxons to Christianity here in AD 597. Its famous attraction is Canterbury Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Canterbury Roman Museum, built around the remains of an original Roman townhouse and its unique mosaic are the signatures of the city.

Cardiff – Cardiff offers a full spread of all the fun experience imaginable. The Cardiff Castle located in the middle of the city and built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort; the old Victorian shopping arcades; the Cardiff Bay now home to numerous fine restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping arcades on the lovely Mermaid Quay make up some of the brilliant activities you can enjoy in this friendly capital.

Exploring Africa with Kids – What You Need to Know

Exploring Africa with your kids is one of the most exciting adventures you can embark on as a family. Africa is a vast continent rich in culture, languages, food, history, landscapes, and of course, fantastic safari experiences.  Each African country is unique in its way, and regardless of where you go, there will be so much to see and do. As such, it is understandable that you might feel a little overwhelmed as you start planning your safari trip. This is why we have come up with our best tips on what you need to know as you plan your first African safari with kids.

Think of where to go

Africa has over 50 countries, and one of the first things to decide about is where to go. This should be directed mainly by what you are interested in. For the quintessential safari, East Africa’s Kenya and Tanzania, as well as South Africa and Botswana, are sure bets. If you are interested in out of the box adventures such as gorilla trekking, then Rwanda and Uganda are good options. An excellent way to make a decision is to list down all the things you would like to see and do and narrow down the places where they can be done with ease.

Photo of elephants taken during an African Safari trip.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Think of your children’s ages 

While there are no hard rules about the ages of children, those above six years are more likely to enjoy, understand, and appreciate an African Safari. Some lodges will restrict group safaris to children over five years; this should not be an issue if you are doing a private safari.

If you are traveling with young kids, we encourage you to book a private van for your family so that you can have some freedom for yourselves. Using a private vehicle also means that you do not have to adhere to strict game drive schedules which make things a lot easier for kids.

Discuss expectations

After checking all the tips above, the last thing to do is discuss your family’s expectations during the safari. Kids will be better prepared if they know that they will encounter different cultures, food, and environment.  Let them know that they might have to forgo some luxuries, such as Wi-Fi in the jungle. Advise them that wild animals are, well, wild, and they should not provoke them in any way.  During a game drive, it might be a while before anything exciting happens, and to counter boredom carry binoculars, cameras, or animal coloring books.  Finally, remind everybody to keep an open mind and have fun!

Tourist on an African safari filming a Giraffe

Source: Bought from Shutterstock.com

Book family-friendly accommodation

Most African countries will have different types of accommodation, from lodges to tented camps of all budgets. You want to book a camp that caters to families, such as one with family rooms. This can be two or three interconnected rooms so that your kids don’t have to sleep in a different place. A family-friendly lodge is also likely to have childminders, a children’s pool, a playroom with toys and games, and kid-friendly meals. If you are traveling during the Easter holiday or Christmas, such lodges will have many more activities for kids planned. All these will go a long way in making your safari more comfortable.

As the saying goes, “The best way to explore a new place is with the people who were born and raised there.” So, instead of purchasing a predetermined family safari itinerary, work with a tailor-made tour operator such as MasaiMarasafari.in or AjKenyasafaris.com. Their guides were born and raised in Africa, and they will customize your trip to accommodate your family travel plans and budget.

Tourist on a Kenya Safari with MasaiMarasafari.in.

Source: Bought from Shutterstock

Combine several activities

The excitement of being in Africa and coming face to face with the big five, or witnessing the great migration at the Masai Mara National Park can be exhilarating. Unfortunately, the excitement can wear off pretty quickly for kids, and you want to plan for other kinds of things to do. For instance, you can prepare for cultural visits, short hikes, horse riding, swimming and some time at Africa’s beautiful beaches. This will not only break the monotony but also increase your chances of seeing and doing more during your safari.

Plan to carry personal items

When traveling with kids, it is safer to bring some personal items with you rather than planning to buy at your destination. While Africa has big cities with almost anything you could want, most safari destinations are far removed from the cities. You might not get a chance to shop during your transfers from the airport to the parks. We advise that you bring your prescription medicine and items of personal nature. Depending on the weather, carry the appropriate clothing and footwear, and be up to date with the necessary vaccinations. Your travel consultant should be able to advise you appropriately on this.

How to get your money back if your holiday gets cancelled

Going on a holiday that involves more adventurous activities can involve more preparation and often more things to buy and pack. It’s all worth it, of course, to find that fresh air, beautiful scenery or just the adrenaline rush that you’ve been craving. However, when something goes wrong, it makes it all the more frustrating. Whether it be extreme weather or a failing travel company, delayed flights or canceled hotels or organized trips can ruin a holiday. But you should do your best to still live your best possible adventure. Click here for information on the steps you should take if anything like that happens.

Keep your motivation high, climb that mountain, visit that temple, or trek across that forest. Some of these opportunities reach us just once in a lifetime and you should not have to miss out. Companies are required to compensate you or find alternative methods to get you to your destination.

Perhaps your missed flight prevents you from starting a trek when you should. There are usually ways around this or alternatives you can take. On the other hand, if it is you who needs to cancel a trip due to an injury, bereavement, or illness, then you should be able to be compensated for this. If possible, rebook your trip as soon as you can. No one wants to delay living their best life but sometimes we have no choice. By rebooking your trip and committing yourself to the adventure, you will motivate yourself to do everything in your power to get well and get back to doing what you love.

The 5 Hottest Travel Destinations in New Zealand

New Zealand is undeniably one of the most charming countries in the world. The country is a relatively small island tucked away in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of approximately 4.5 million people. Its location far away from Australia and other continents makes it one of the go-to places for tourists that are looking to explore some of the world’s most sacred treasures.

In March 2018, New Zealand played host to over 3.8 million tourists. Picturesque landscapes, laidback Maori culture, and vibrant festival scenes are the primary highlights of a holiday in New Zealand. This post shall highlight the top spots you might consider visiting whenever your dreams take you to this glorious country.

1. The Fiordland National Park

The Fiordland National Park is New Zealand’s largest national park. The 12,607 square kilometers park occupies the southwestern region of the South Island and is a significant park within the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

The fastest means to access the park is through a road drive from Queenstown to Te Anau, along the SH6 and SH94. You may also fly into airports located within Te Anau or other nearby towns, such as Milford Sound and Manapouri.

Vegetation in Fiordland National Park is predominantly dense forests with hundreds of plant species, including ferns, shrubs, and silver beech. There are also numerous wild animals to sight, mostly the endangered native animals and birds. Examples include possum, red deer, and dolphins, as well as birds like kakapo, mōhua (yellowhead), and takahē.

Besides game watching, Fiordland is famous for its refreshing boat tours to nearby points of interest like the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory.

Camping in Fiordland National Park allows you a more intimate encounter with its natural wonders. Some of the most popular campsites around the park include Fiordland Great Views Holiday Park, Getaway Te Anau, and more. Visit HitTheRoad.Rentals to learn more about camping in New Zealand. The brand works with over 83 Campervan providers in North and South New Zealand all with real customer reviews.

Another great way to explore Fiordland National Park is by taking a boat cruise to Milford Sound, which is the most spectacular fjord within the park. Other activities in and around Fiordland include hiking, tramping, trout fishing, and mountain climbing.

The best time to visit Fiordland National Park is during the warmer months of December through April.

The pristine waters of Fiordland

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2. Taranaki

Taranaki is located on the western coast of North Island, midway between Auckland and Wellington. The easiest way to get to Taranaki is to fly in, but the most exciting way is to take a road drive along New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail, the Forgotten World Highway SH43.

Taranaki is the ultimate adventure destination, featuring activities that suit travelers of all kinds. Popular things to do include surfing, hiking, snowboarding, mountain climbing, and watching the beautiful sunsets.

One of the special recommendations is the Pouakai Crossing, a full-day hiking tour that passes through the Pouakai Tarns. If you go on this hike on a calm day, you can see the magnificent reflections of the enormous Mount Egmont in the water. Most tourists prefer to head directly to the mountain for a full outdoor adventure, which includes mountain climbing, chartered flights over the mountain, and skiing, which happens between June and October.

If you’re into surfing, you can cruise the Surf Highway 45 and explore Taranaki’s top surfing destinations. And while you’re at it, you might consider visiting the Sugar Loaf Marine Park to swim with the seals and other marine animals.

February to mid-April is the ideal time to visit Taranaki.

3. Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls is arguably the most popular natural feature in Whangarei city. Nestled within Whangarei Scenic Reserve, the falls are an excellent destination for those who cherish the wild side of nature.

The 26 meters falls is located within a 10-minutes’ drive from downtown Whangarei or 2.5-hours’ drive from Auckland.

Besides sighting the mighty falls, the scenery is also perfect for photography, which makes it a preference for most honeymooners. There’s an opportunity to climb in behind the falls, and if you’re lucky to be there early enough, you can behold the rising sun as it hits the pristine waters, leaving your body covered in rainbows.

Climbing the slippery rocks around Whangarei Falls is an adrenaline-pumping adventure. However, the thought of getting behind the falls to enjoy a clearer view of the rolling landscapes and the sprawling Whangarei city makes it worth the risk. Are you afraid of heights? No need to fret, as you can still enjoy picturesque views of the waterfalls by taking a 30-minutes loop walk. Or, you can follow the trails down the Hatea River for a short but fulfilling walking safari.

The ideal period to visit the Whangarei Falls is during the summer months of December through February.

Cascading waterfalls

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4. Muriwai Beach, Auckland

Muriwai Beach is a top destination to include in your travel itinerary of New Zealand. Located within a 40-minutes drive from Auckland, this beach is famous for its enormous black sand dunes, incredible surfing opportunities, and surreal sunsets. The Muriwai Surf School, located close-by, offers lots of surfboards and sand yachts for hire, as well as surfing tuitions.

Apart from surfing, other watersports activities include hang gliding, paragliding, and fishing. However, ensure you check with the local authorities for the most suitable areas to go fishing or paragliding. Aptly named the Wild West Coast, Muriwai can get really wild during stormy days.

If you’re a nature lover, you might consider bushwalking along the Hilary Trail. Towards the southern end of the beach is the Muriwai Regional Park, a haven for golfers, cyclists, and horse riders.

A notable nearby point of interest is Maori Bay, located far south of the beach. The bay is famous for its steep cliffs and rocky terrain, which offer nesting spots for the region’s only colony of the Australasian gannets.

You can visit Muriwai Beach during the driest months from November to March. However, January till March is the ideal period for swimming at the beach, as the waters are calmer then.

Piha

Piha is a chic town situated along the rugged coastlines of Waitakere Ranges. It’s rather secluded location makes it ideal for travelers looking to escape the bustling city life.

The town is within a 40-minutes’ drive from Auckland city and is renowned for hosting international surf competitions. Piha is actually the most popular surfing spot in New Zealand. Its powerful waves make it a preference for seasoned surfers. As a beginner, you can take short surfing lessons at the Piha Surf Academy before hitting the water.

But surfing isn’t Piha’s only claim to fame. The beautiful black sandy beaches, incredible sunsets, and massive wilderness walking trails are more reasons to visit this quiet town.

While driving to Piha, remember to stop by the Piha Lookout along Piha Road to sample the town’s picturesque views from a vantage point. The Lion Rock, located in the middle of Piha Beach, also offers sweeping views of the pristine waters of the Tasman Sea.

Piha is also endowed with one of New Zealand’s most iconic waterfalls – the Kitekite Falls. The 40-m high cascading waterfalls are located within the town’s native forest in the Waitakere Ranges, making it ideal for hiking and walking safaris.

The best period to visit is from January to March when the temperatures are moderate, and rainfall is limited.

A surfer gliding amid raging waters

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There go our top recommendations for the most exotic destinations in New Zealand. Provided you visit any of these spots during fair weather, there’s no limit to how much fun you can experience.