You Shall Not Miss These 5 Wineries in New Zealand

Some of you may not know that wine is one of New Zealand’s top tier exports. The popularity of its 11 wine regions continues to grow. So, be sure to include these wineries as you visit or reside in this wonderful country.

Rippon Vineyard

Rippon Vineyard

A viable candidate for the most picturesque vineyard in the world, the Rippon Vineyard is situated in Central Otago. This region is renowned for its Pinot Noir.

Rippon boasts its own twist of Pinot Noir, along with the bright Riesling and the interesting Osteiner. There is a limited production of the latter worldwide. You see, Osteiner is a hybrid of two German grapes. The rarity of their products make Rippon standout!

Rarity pours throughout the wine process as the owners rejects chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Simply, Rippon’s wines are organic.



Image Credit: Dumol

Greywacke’s namesake is New Zealand’s most common sandstone. Owners Kimberly and Kevin Judd found an abundance of this rock in the soils of the vineyards where they source their grapes. To their surprise, the Marlborough’s stony soil produced quality fruits.

Greywacke creates some of the best Sauvignon Blanc as well as their very own “Wild Sauvignon”. It uses wild yeast, which tastes like toasted sesame and thyme. Are you up for that?


Neudorf Vineyards

Neudorf Vineyards

Who knew that an attractive gem is hidden inside one of New Zealand’s smallest wine regions? This tucked beauty is none other than Neudorf Vineyards. Thriving in the sunny Nelson hills is Neudorf’s subtle Chardonnay and the timeless Pinot Noir.

The brains that brought this vineyard to life was Judy and Tim Finn. Their elegant shed was built by hand in 1980. A lot has changed since then. Today, they use their backyard as a venue for concerts.


Osawa Wines

Osawa Wines

Taizo Osawa’s passion for wines took him into a whirlwind search to find the best place for his own vineyard. This Japanese civil engineer travelled from America to New Zealand. Finally, he found haven at a a sheep farm in Hawke’s Bay (North Island). He planted his pioneering vines 11 years ago with the help of the famous winemaker Rod McDonald.

Osawa Wines has established premier varieties such as in the Pinot Noir (i.e., cherry, strawberry, and brown spices) and Chardonnay (i.e., bright and creamy).


Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill winery is quite an icon in Hawkes Bay. Enter the rustic cellar door to experience the friendly service of their personnel. You will frequently find the owner John Hancock behind the counter or hosting some guests.

When you are there, you must try Trinity Hills’ Tempranillo and Homage Syrah. You will find magic in these two bottles.


As a Filipino tourist, have you ever been to any New Zealand wineries? If so, you may leave your favorite spots in the comment section below.

How to Understand the “Kiwi Talk”

“I am going to the dairy. Do you want anything?”

Just give yourself a minute to process the sentence. It was said in English, but with a twist of Kiwi. Do you know what “dairy” means?

You will likely to bump into a Kiwi after stepping away from one of New Zealand’s international airports. I am not talking about the species of bird.

I am referring to the inhabitants of New Zealand. Kiwis tend to speak in a quick manner with the utilization of slang. Once they open their mouths, confusion boils up into the immigrant’s mind.

Consider studying the dynamics of how Kiwis talk in order to understand them better. Start by listening to their unique intonation. Every sentence sounds like they are asking a question.

In the workplace, you may notice that the orders set by your boss sound like requests. Avoid confusion by asking the person to slow down every once in awhile.

The second element that you must focus on is the distinct accent. Imitate the Kiwi accent by moving the base of your tongue farther in your mouth. You will notice that it sounds like you are saying “ahh” instead of “uhh”.

Stretching the vowels is they key! For instance, the vowel “e” transforms into “ee”. Ten minutes shall be muttered as “teen meenuts”. To get used to this, I suggest that you listen to local radio broadcasts and watch New Zealand films online.  

The last element is the slang. Watch this short video to get a glimpse of what is to come:

Once you get use to these informal words, it will make sense to slip “dairy” or “chilly bin” into the conversation. Here are some of the popular terms in alphabetical order:

1. Chill Bin

You do not throw your trash in a chilly bin. Do not be misled by the last word. Chilly bin is the Kiwi version of cooler or cool box. It is where you put your soda along with the cubes of ice.

2. Dairy

Image Credit: Newzild

No! Your Kiwi friend is not talking about the creamy dairy products. Instead, he or she is pointing out a corner store. New Zealand’s corner stores used to sell their own brands of milk in the past. Corner store is synonymous to our convenience store.  

3. Hangi


Hangi is the traditional Maori method of cooking food. It uses heated rocks buried into a pit oven. The methods adds an incredible flavor to the food.

4. Jandals

You can probably infer the meaning of the word! This is the Kiwi slang for slippers, flip-flops, or Japanese sandals. When someone says that you must “give the full jandal to the car’s accelerator”. That person wants you to give it your all.

5. Sweet as

Sweet as
Image Credit: The Loquacious Letter

“Sweet as” is the Kiwi’s spin to the word: awesome. Any words synonymous to satisfaction, delight, or agreement can be substituted by this term. Try to use it when someone asks about your day.

6. Wop-wops

I have to admit, “wop-wops” sounds like a silly candy. It is not! Wop-wops are remote places, which are far from the civilization. This could count for almost anything outside of Auckland.

If you desire to speak English in the manner that is spoken in New Zealand, you need to adapt their specific pronunciations as well as their slang terms. Good luck!

Hiking Up the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Is Your Ultimate Test

One of the most challenging treks that you can encounter in lush New Zealand is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Holding cultural and natural significance to the country, this 19-kilometer Crossing is not to be missed!

Its intriguing appeal rests on the fact that you have to brave a raw volcanic terrain. You read that right! Three highly active volcanoes can be seen around this area. Solidified lava flows, consistent emittance of sulphur, and loose tephra await you. It takes no genius to realize that you have to check the “volcanic risk” before scheduling a climb.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Image Credit: Wanderlusters

An avid hiker may find Tongariro as an exhilarating climb, but how about a novice tourist? Can you complete the demanding trek up without having any experiences of climbing a volcanic terrain? This is a question that you have to answer on your own.

Let us be honest! Reaching the farthest peak of the Crossing is nearly impossible for some people. The sulphur-filled air and the uneven terrain can put a toll on one’s body. Hikers should not underestimate how much energy can be depleted by travelling this track for at least a day (i.e., 6-8 hours). This is why, experts recommend for you to assess your fitness level first.

Prepare your body by incorporating aerobic exercises to your fitness regimen. If you rarely engage in high intensity activities then, you may have struggle with your breathing and stamina. Physical fitness is something that you have to gradually work on.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Image Credit: Catherine Deslauriers

Without your continued dedication, you reached your optimum physical capacity with no sign of injuries. This is when you shall begin your preparation for the hike. Start by researching the possible weather and volcanic hazards. The best time to plan your hike is in the Autumn or Spring.

Aside from these, your main concern is your mode of transportation to and from the Crossing. Say that your preferred transportation is only available on the next day. Fret not! You can seek an accommodation option that suits your taste and budget. The authors behind the adventure blog called “Stoked for Saturday” stayed at the humble Oturere Hut.

Other boxes on your checklist must include clothing, medical kit, trail map, mobile phone, water, and food. Pack layers of clothing to match with the weather during your trip.

It is advisable to bring a small medical kit to provide first aid wherever you are.

Hiking Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The map of the trail is available for free at the Ruapehu region. Take a copy to lead your way. Alternatively, you may just use your mobile phone as a guide and keep it handy in case of emergencies.

Take at least two litres of water to last your entire climb. It may be heavy, but you have to make this sacrifice. You will realize that there is nowhere to fill your water bottle on the trail. For food, pack snacks rich with energy such as protein bars and mixed nuts. You can also focus on complex carbohydrates.

To motivate you to commit to the climb, you must know that the youngest child who completed it was 5 years old and the oldest was 94 years old. If they can do it…so can you!

Discover the Wonders of New Zealand’s Hobbit Holes

Journey To The Shire

Hobbiton is a fictional place in the center of Shire. It serves as home to many notable Hobbits such as Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, and Samwise Gamgee. These place along with its characters were encapsulated in the best-selling novels written by J. R. R. Tolkien. I am referring to the novels entitled “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of The Rings (LOTR)” trilogy.

The development of the Hobbiton set came about when Peter Jackson ran an aerial search of the best possible locations for the film. He saw the “Alexander Farm” and thought it was perfect.

For those of you who are not familiar with his craft, Peter Jackson is an industry triple treat – a director, screenwriter, and producer.

Peter Jackson and a Hobbit Hole

March 1999 marked the first construction of the site. About 37 Hobbit holes were created with plywood, untreated timber, and polystyrene. The set was rebuilt in 2011 for the sought-after films “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”. Hobbiton ended up with 44 Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon, the Mill, a double-arched bridge, and the Party Tree.

Strict attention to detail was poured to ensure that everything is suited well for the movie. There was this one particular tree with 200,000 leaves on it. Peter Jackson felt that it had the wrong shade of green.

So, a woman was paid to hand paint everything for 10 consecutive days. Can you imagine this? This fact along with other nuggets will be shared during the set tour.

Inside The Renowned Movie Set

The massive and loyal following of Tolkien’s trilogies led to the public’s clamor for visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set. Fans and travellers alike do not want to miss this attraction once they visit New Zealand.

The Hobbiton Movie Set allows you to fully immerse yourself to the wonders of the Hobbit Holes and the entire Shire. It is a once in a lifetime experience that will tantalize your sight, smell, and all your other senses. Your guide is set to escort you to explain how the movie magic was made. Moreover, you will get a chance to fall in love with the Alexander Farm sheeps and with the view of the Kaimai Ranges.

hobbiton set tour

The website‘s attractive description says it all: “You will be taken around the 12-acre set; past Hobbit Holes, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you can sample our exclusive, specially brewed beverages to conclude your own Middle-earth adventure.”

You can choose from the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour, the Evening Banquet Tour, the Chinese Tour, and the Private Tour. Admission prices for adults start from NZD 79 while admission for children aged 8 and below are entirely free.

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets, now.

Visitor’s Information

Address: 501 Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata 3472, New Zealand
Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5:30 PM
Contact Number: +647-888-1505

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at Napier’s Art Deco Repertoire

To occupy the curious minds of her children, my mother showered us with the bulky volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica. A significant portion of my day was spent on browsing the monochromatic pages of these informative volumes.

You see, we did not have the luxury of back then. I became familiar with the dynamic wealth of knowledge in various subjects. If you owned one, you probably stumbled upon the intriguing “Art Deco”.

The Art Deco movement began in the Roaring Twenties (1920’s) and was fully developed during the Thirties (1930’s). Its distinct name was derived from the Parisian exhibition entitled “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes”.

The style was first displayed here, in 1925. The style represents modernism transformed into the alluring fashion. Its distinguishing features were geometric ornaments, clean shapes, representational forms, and often expensive materials. It gave off a unique appeal that held a special place in history.

A Rainbow After The Rain

a rainbow after the rain

Napier holds over a hundred of Art Deco buildings in its area. Napier is a coastal city on New Zealand’s North Island. The integration of the historical architecture was initially unintentional.

It all started with one of the most devastating natural disasters in the country – the Hawke’s Bay earthquake. In 1931, Napier was struck by a massive earthquake measuring to 7.8 on the Richter scale. 256 people lost their lives that day and there were a few lucky survivors.

Another glistening silver lining in this circumstance was the opportunity of rebuilding the town from scratch. The Art Deco age offered chrome, neon, and other shiny materials. Downtown Napier was quickly rebuilt using the vibrant and confidence-raising style of Art Deco.

You can see this style in various parts of the world. However, Napier stands out due its concentration of buildings decked in this striking style.

One That Napier Can Trust

one that napier can trust

Art Deco Trust is the organization that leads in preserving, protecting, and restoring Napier’s heritage for a period spanning over 30 years. It arranges the guided walks and bus tours for tourists.

You shall look for them when you come to this part of New Zealand. The price of the guided walks range from NZD 19-21 (about AUD 18-20). While, the vehicular tours range from NZD 45 to NZD 195 (about AUD 42-182).

According to the organization, the city boasts with 147 Art Deco buildings. These buildings were infused with the designs of the Egyptian, Mayan, and Maori culture.

Many of these buildings were repainted to cheery pastels and restored to its historical beauty. The tour showcases the thriving 1938 Municipal Theatre, which has its original neon fittings and original chrome.

The 2017 Tremains Art Deco Festival

Napier’s consistent efforts to annually celebrate the Art Deco Festival is truly admirable. During five magical days, the town seeks to transport you back to this bygone era.

You will get to savor Hawke Bay’s regional specialties in food and beverages, enjoy the soothing Deco music, dance with new friends, and relive the incredible heritage that Napier is proud of.

This year’s event was held from February 15 to 17. Take a peek at the festivities last year!