Lady’s Summer Tour of New Zealand!

On Monday 29th December Mr Smaggle and I are packing our little (eh-hem!) bags and heading off on a two week holiday to gorgeous New Zealand!

We start our trip in Auckland (I’ll be wandering around there for three days so keep your eyes peeled and come and say hi! My relaxed face is naturally quite bitchy but I promise I won’t bite!) and are there for New Year’s Eve and then we pick up our big old camper van and start driving South!

My question to you dear ladies and gentlemen is this – What is the poo of New Zealand? The really awesome stuff that you would only know about if you lived there? Is there a man with a beard of bees? A maze that’s filled with chocolate and bunny rabbits? A gin factory with free samples? An adult sized pool of toy balls? Adventure and animal related activity suggestions would be most appreciated. Art and shopping too! And architecture… Just to keep both of us Smaggles happy!

Oh and is there a place where you can pat monkeys or similarly adorable bite-sized creatures? I get that I’m going to New Zealand, not Bali, but Mr Smaggle loves tiny, fluffy animals and I’d hate to miss any baby petting zoos that he could frolick around in… that was a serious question by the way.

I’ve also had several offers from my delightful readers suggesting a catch up! I would love to… BUT as we have no defining plan it might be a little difficult to arrange so far in advance. So I propose that if you’re in New Zealand and would like to meet just email me at lady(at) with your location and I’ll see if we end up in the same place at the same time!

Please feel free to email any suggestions as well! Thanks in advance my little fancy dancers!

Love Lady Smaggle




Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Louise C 8 years ago

    oooOOOoo cute animals?! Then I recommend the zoo in Franklin (at the southern end of Auckland) which costs $10 max, it’s a zoo for retired circus animals and you can get close up and PERSONAL with some amazing animals (I’ve fed a zebra there!) The Auckland Zoo is pretty amazing too, and there is also Kelly Tarltons for fish and other sea creatures, but can be HEINOUSLY expensive.
    Also in Elliot Stables in Auckland CBD there’s a shop called Prenzel that do fabulous flavoured liquors (I have a dark chocolate liquor at home and it’s gorgeous), and you can sample them as well – my favourite part. And Elliot Stables is full of wee boutiques, fantastic restaurants and places to pick up tea, chocolate and whiskey. (It’s in Elliot Street behind Smith and Caughey’s)
    I hope you find these wee suggestions useful! Enjoy NZ =D

  2. Kate 8 years ago

    Waiheke Island is the must see place in Auckland. Pretty much paradise.
    Plenty of shopping opportunities in the city as well.
    I’m biased, but I have to say Wellington is the best of the cities. Great atmosphere, culture, food and people. Cuba Street is great; check out Madame Fancy Pants for lots of cool stuff. I can even offer you a guided tour with a local. 🙂 Art is everywhere too, the highlights are the City Gallery and the Dowse, plus Te Papa Museum.
    Opportunities to pet animals are in almost every country town. Mostly farm type creatures though, as our native birds are not generally of the cuddly variety.
    Adventure and nature activities everywhere in the South Island. Make sure you check out all the scenic spots like the glaciers and lakes. The cities are full of interesting colonial architecture. If you feel like a bit of relaxing geekery, Puzzling World in Wanaka is good cheesy fun.
    Hope you have a great holiday 🙂

  3. Nadist 8 years ago

    Aaargh – I’m an Up North girl! I live a teeny bit northwest of Auckland (Muriwai is my local beach), and on the 27th I am headed to Houhora, which is up towards Cape Reinga. What a shame you’ll miss the fabulous, nay unparalleled beauty of the Northland beaches . . . Not to mention the indepth wisdom of me, your local tour guide. 🙁

    Architecture = Napier imo, but it’s a little off the beaten track. Insanely beautiful Deco buildings, but the beach is not all that crash-hot.

    I LOVE Wellington for shopping and general awesomeness, but you’ll want tips from a local (ie not me). And check out the Cuba Mall bucket fountain! (Maybe not – it’s kind of an in-joke).

    Rotorua is completely excellent – I do love me a good geothermal wonderland. You can do adventurey things there like zorbing, and you can go to animal shows like the Agrodome (sheep-a-mondo).

    If you visit the Coromandel, there are gorgeous beaches, including Cathedral Cove as seen in the Prince Caspian movie. The towns are all very tiny there.

    The Desert Rd/Central Plateau is spectacular. Mountains! Are you the kind of girl who’d take a Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook with you? (No I am not making that up – I’ve got one!)

    I’m not much use when it comes to South Island attractions, but if you’re in Christchurch I just love Banks Peninsula. Lyttelton Harbour is ridiculously beautiful. Lyttelton is kind of quirky/cute, as is Akaroa, but in French! (The streets are all called “Rue de” something.)

    And Kaikoura for whale watching, and Greymouth (Shantytown) for gold-mining historical vibes.

    Tell me if you’re going to Queenstown – my Mum and Dad are currently working at a campervan resort there.

  4. Scribbles 8 years ago

    Hey honey!
    Trying to come up with things that are a little bit different to what other people have mentioned… if you’re looking for a cheap wee place to stop near the Coromandel, the Miranda Thermal Holiday Park is gorgeous… it’s nice and quiet and the holiday park pool has adult only hours so you can enjoy a good soak while not being splashed in the face by small children 😀
    On the way to Tauranga, if you head over the Kaimai ranges, rather than through Karangahake Gorge there is a beautiful reserve there at McLaren Falls. In the reserve is an animal part where you can get up close and snuggly with all manner of cute little creatures, and they even have some more out there ones like yaks! Mt Maunganui Beach is nice, but Papamoa is quieter and only fifteen minutes further along the beach.
    Rotorua is a must-see… you have your pic of geothermal attractions and adventure sports but my favourites would have to be Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park… I went there with Ex-S and we got to pat baby lion cubs – it was INSANE! They also have adult lions there with a feeding show and various other snugglies. Kiwi Encounter (part of the Rainbow Springs complex) is awesome too, you get to see the nursery where they incubate and birth the baby kiwis and get to go into the indoor habitat of some kiwi birds as well. Buried Village is awesome, seeing how the eruption of Mt Tarawera so perfectly preserved some of the houses there… could go on and on!
    The mountains are great, but I’d go to them on the Ohakune side and visit the giant carrot. NZ has many giant objects, I can give you more if you want 😀 And there is a large rock in Taumaranui that wears a top hat.
    Wellington… don’t bother going to Te Papa Museum. It is lame! There is however a massive lighthouse slide on the waterfront that is well worth a try :D. The cable cars up the side of Mt Victoria are pretty cool and you could always go and moon our govt buildings!
    Kaikoura – whale watching, if you are into massive animals as well as small.
    Christchurch… gorgeous little city! I’d suggest that you and Mr Smaggle take a punt on the Avon river (it’s not Venice, but it’s closer!). The Antarctic Centre there is pretty neat, they have a rescue penguin programme (and you know I love me some penguin cuteness!) and so the penguins that you get to hang with in captivity are kept there because there’s no way they would survive on their own. If you head through the Lyttleton tunnel and along the coast southward, you will come across a cafe called “She Cafe” which is divine! It has a largely chocolate based menu but decent mains as well… a very well kept yummy secret.
    That’s as far South as I’ve personally been, I’d recommend Wanaka and if Mr Smaggle really wanted to get up close and personal with animals, my aunty and uncle own an organic farmstay in Winton!
    Oh, and the place that I emailed you about? Doesn’t reopen until 5th of Jan so I’m not sure whether that works (whether you guys are returning to Auckland or heading back home from ChCh). Let me know if you’re keen and I’ll show you around…
    Enough of a novel from me, I think 😀 Hope it helps!!!

  5. Kate 8 years ago

    The South Island shits all over the north IMHO …. North is lovely.. but south is fucking amazing.

    Christchurch – chilled out fab little city… for a good night out where you can sit & drink & not have horrible club music killin’ you hit up SOL square… Fat Eddies is the best… & friday nights they have Piano Man (or sometimes lady..) ….for a top cheapo meal go next door to Fish & Chips… obv. great fish & chips… bangers & mash etc. Top stuff. The strip is also nice for a wee stroll along the river & a stop in for a coffee. For scenery drive up through the Port Hills… drive careful! There are spots to stop off for a picnic if you catch some good weather … and there are a couple of short walks you can do on walking trails, if you’re into that.

    Kaikoura – super cute wee town… def. do a whale watching cruise. But watch what you eat & drink immediately prior, def. not one to do after a big night on the beers. It’s so amazing to see whales so close, incredible! If you’re into seals too, you can park up and walk along the edge of the water & they are usually found flippin’ around the rocks or laying out in the sun. I think you can do swims too – wetsuit up and go swim amongst them – I saw a group doing it but I wasn’t so keen to jump in (hell, it was snowing on the mountains!)

    Be sure to see the West Coast. It is fantastic. Do a glacier walk. I did Fox Glacier and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was bloody brilliant. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

    Dunedin – not a lot to keep you busy too long but be sure to do a tour of the Speights Brewery. Speights Beer = Pride of the South … and a not a bad tipple! If you’re keen for an early morning you can drive out & see penguins while in Dunedin too.

    Queenstown. A trip to NZ is not complete without Queenstown. Def. head up to the Luge, loads of fun! Promise. & if you want animals, you can book a bus tour to Deer Park … where you can feed the deers, any of the travel joints in town should be able to hook you up on that. If you want some adrenlin pumpin’ type activities try white river rafting … even if it’s cold when you’re there, it’s a total blast & the instructors are awesome fun. If you bungy, opt for the bridge over the river, the view is amazing. Once you’re done with all the day time stuff, for Pizza in Winnies & drink cocktails from teapots in World Bar.

    If you wanna know more about any of what I’ve mentioned just shoot me a msg… I know it’s mostly obvious ‘tourist’ stuff but it’s all worth checkin’ out. NZ is fab.

    Have fun lovely! & be sure to take TONS of photos!!

  6. Kate 8 years ago

    Oh & if you do find yourself in Christchurch on the weekend, there is a market down in the grounds of the arts centre (you can find it pretty easily, signposted from town i think, otherwise jump on the tram & jump off when it’s announced). They have buskers & fresh bread, art & photography… and if you like fudge, there is a little place called the Fudge Cottage… they do tours & make fudge on site.. free samples … but so delicious you’ll end up buying some. Recollection serves right… its quite reasonable priced 🙂

  7. Hannah Cheeto 8 years ago

    Ahh New Zealand, that’s really awesome. I went there when I was like four so I don’t remember much other than this town that smelled very um sulfurous and this swimming pool that was at hot-tub temperatures. It probably was actually a hot spring come to think of it… but yeah I don’t really have any recommendations. Have fun!

  8. Ruin 8 years ago

    In Auckland: Skyjump. Do it. I did. Twice. Its safe. I’m still alive. Skyjump. Do it.

    I’d recommend the Les Mills gym… but I suspect that’s the last thing you’d want to do 🙂

    Go to Waitomo Caves. The Glow worms are cool, but if you want to try caving – did an awesome 100m abseil, and crawled about in tiny caves, big caves, watery caves, and did more abseiling over/through waterfalls – go there. Serious fun. They also have a really nice restaurant there. I can’t remember the name, but beleive me, you’ll find it. Waitomo is a teeny weeny place, but super relaxing.

    Rotorua smells.

  9. Uber Original 8 years ago

    Hey darl I’ve been meaning to say this for a while but thought it was just my computer, but then when I jumped on a different computer today the same thing happened so I thought I should mention it incase it really isn’t just me.
    Whenever I jump onto your blog it’s like alligned to the left and the end of every line is cut off so it takes me twice as long to read the post while taking educated guesses at what two or three words are missing.
    Hopfully it’s just me having this problem though lol. Enjoy your trip to NZ I hope to tour their sometime next year as well! xx

  10. Kathryn 8 years ago

    I was born in Auckland, but don’t really know a lot of grown up things to do as we tend to spend the time with family.
    I love the museum, Auckland Zoo, picnics in the Parnell rose gardens, getting out on the harbour – bliss!

  11. princessnaea 8 years ago

    I really dug Christchurch, very pretty, good markets, lots of little microbreweries where you can get alcoholic ginger beer at the dux de Lux (which I know is kinda chainy but still, alcoholic ginger beer!) and fresh mussels and delicious stuff like that, and it’s all in squares so really easy to navigate for highly linear organised people like you and me…

    when I was there I took a day trip to Akoroa which I would highly recommend because you can swim with tiny tiny Hector’s dolphins which I think I remember are the smallest dolphins in the world (and you know I don’t really give two hoots about animals or that communing with nature shit and even *I* thought it was rad) and all the streets have French names. Highly twee but also highly pretty.

  12. Eyeliah 8 years ago

    Oh gosh, have so much fun!!

  13. Donna Hamilton 7 years ago

    Hi there!
    If you (or your friends) are in Auckland, check out our tour…..

    ‘Coast to Coast Tours’ – rated the No.1 attraction in Auckland on
    BOOK DIRECT (and pay cash) for a 10% DISCOUNT!!!!!!

    This personalised, small group, ‘true’ ECO tour is owned, operated and hosted, by New Zealander’s.
    Get out of the city and explore the West Auckland region where our family has lived since 1922.
    Enjoy AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES (with very little travelling!) that include;
    – lunch, (with wine/beer at an upmarket cafe),
    – Waitakere rainforest, (a guided tour of Arataki Information Centre),
    – craft-shopping, (100% NZ products),
    – wine tasting, (at an award winning winery),
    – honey sampling, (at BeesOnline),
    – gannet (sea-bird) colony,
    – Muriwai beach, (black iron-sands),
    – visit to our SHEEP FARM and
    – historic Homestead for afternoon tea, overview of Maori culture, and a hands-on animal experience.

    We also have a ‘unique-to-Auckland’ CARBON CREDIT TREE PLANTING project to offset this tour’s emissions. Purchase and plant your own Native tree – (certificates issued, trees tagged and protected by New Zealand Government Law, forever).

    GROUP TOURS (or Shore Excursions) are available, and can include an informative ‘Kiwiana-themed’ lamb BBQ lunch at our farm (30 pax maximum, bookings essential).

    Qualmark Endorsed and operating since 2002.

    Visit our WEBSITE for full details about our tours [a booking form is on there]
    Compare our itinerary, experiences, and price, …you’ll not find better value for your money…guaranteed!

    … Pssst, pass it on and tell your friends!

    AND, PS, we are NOT the ‘Coast to Coast’ or ‘Countryside Experience’ Auckland shore excursion option listed on the major cruise line websites!

  14. Willy 6 years ago

    please tell me what to do with my wife while in Aukland on business? We will be there in May 2011 for one week, and after that we expect to spend another 4 days in your country. From there we will fly to Sydney for 3 days and from there back to Tampa,Fl.
    Any suggestions are most welcome. We try to cramp as much in as possible to see your beautiful country while there for such a short time
    Thank You so much.

  15. Colin 5 years ago

    You may have fun in New Zealand and you will see some fabulous scenery, but you won’t see this scene anywhere. My bet is the picture was taken in Canada.

  16. realbenson 5 years ago


    That image isn’t New Zealand, it’s Mount Chephren, Waterfowl Lake, Banff Nat. Pk. Canada


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