Kia Ora!

Welcome to my page about New Zealand, or the land of the Long White Cloud. A trip to New Zealand is very special and for many of us a once in a lifetime experience. I have now visited New Zealand five times and spent more than a year there in total.

This page is the base for planning your New Zealand trip. You can check out my favorite places in the sections below, and browse through my blogs full with personal stories and travel tips. Got questions? Want me to plan your trip? Feel free to reach out! See you in New Zealand!

PS Are you Dutch? Then visit my Dutch page here!

New Zealand

Best travel period
October – April

New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Time zone
GMT +12


Antonette in New Zealand

Ever since 2002 I have been traveling to New Zealand and by now I have been here five times, totalling more than one year spent traveling round the country.

I enjoy hiking through the mountains of the South Island but also truly enjoy the green hills of the North Island. In 2022 I hiked a section of Te Araroa, the 3.000 kilometer long thru hike. I’m the author of various Dutch guidebooks for New Zealand and have appeared in Dutch media several times as a New Zealand expert.

Antonette Spaan van we12travel
mitre peak milford sound

New Zealand travel tips: 10 tips for first timers

If this is not your first time on We12travel, you may have noticed that I have a deep crush on New Zealand. I could easily live there, though we’ve decided not to (long story) but just go back every once…

Reishandboek Nieuw-Zeeland

Op zoek naar een goede reisgids om mee te nemen tijdens je reis? Koop dan mijn Reishandboek Nieuw-Zeeland, dat onlangs verscheen bij Uitgeverij Elmar.

Deze reisgids werd met veel plezier geschreven aan de hand van meer van de 5 reizen naar Nieuw-Zeeland die ik de afgelopen jaren maakte. Het is een complete gids met veel achtergrondinformatie, kaarten en plattegronden in kleur.

Bestel bij / Bestel bij de lokale boekhandel

Favorite places in New Zealand

Lake Daniell

The walk to Lake Daniell is not difficult and absolutely worth your time. You walk through a tranquil forest from just outside Lewis Pass to a crystal clear mountain lake, where you can possibly spend the night in the hut.

Read on

Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga is the northernmost accessible piece of land in New Zealand and very special. Here two oceans meet and for the Maori it is a sacred place where they begin their last journey towards their next life.

Read on

Tongariro National Park

The volcanic Tongariro National Park has one of the most spectacular views on the North Island. The famous Tongariro Crossing is one of the most beautiful day walks in the world and a definite must!

Read on


The mystical Fiordland National Park is located in the far south of the South Island and has spectacular fjords, glaciers, crystal clear lakes and countless hiking trails that are well worth setting out on.

Read on

Mount Cook

Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest mountain. It’s a beautiful place to take a hike, but it’s even better to see it from the air. Definitely put Mount Cook National Park on your bucket list when planning our trip!

Read on

Pupu Springs

The Te Waikoropupu (Pupu) Springs are very beautiful, the water of the Pupu Springs is said to be the clearest water in the world. you reach the water source over a short walk in the Golden Bay region.

Read on

Accommodations in New Zealand

Good to know is that New Zealand is a very popular destination and that in high season (December – February) booking your accommodations ahead is an absolute must, to make sure you won’t end up without a place to stay.

Accommodations vary widely from simple hostels to beautifully located boutique hotels. Choose whatever fits your budget and interest and make sure you can travel through New Zealand worry free!

Most beautiful unknown places in New Zealand: Lake Hauroko

The most beautiful unknown places in New Zealand

Welcome to this post with the most beautiful unknown places in New Zealand. Let’s be honest, only few other places in the world can beat New Zealand for its natural beauty. Without having to drive for days, you will find…

Renting a car in New Zealand

I can definitely recommend hiring a vehicle in New Zealand. This way you won’t miss any highlights and you can make the most of your time. Driving is quite relaxed and easy once you have gotten used to driving on the left side of the road.

Make sure to book your rental car well ahead as since the pandemic tourism has risen and there is more demand than availability for rental cars.

Routeburn Track New Zealand

Hiking the Routeburn Track in New Zealand

The Routeburn Track is praised as one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, multi-day hike in New Zealand. I cannot confirm whether it is actually the most beautiful, but like the Milford Track it is a varied…

Book your trip!

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