Trail Riding in New Zealand – The Best Way To See The country

The idea of sitting on a half-ton flight animal and riding up a steep rocky path may make some people recoil in terror, but the truth is that trail riding on horseback is one of the greatest ways to see any country, especially the beauty of New Zealand.

There are a vast number of different types and levels one can take, ranging from beach rides with gallops along the white sand, to exploring the untouched mountainous wilderness.

Kahurangi National Park

One of the lesser-known horse trekking sites, here you can expect to splash through natural mountain lakes and forests. You don’t need to be of a certain skill level, as the horses are sturdy and dependable.

If you feel comfortable, you can even ride bareback into the deeper parts of the lake, and experience the thrill of swimming with your horse.

Week-Long Horse Treks

For those who are fit and can stand a couple of days in the saddle, there are a number of horse treks that stretch over a couple of nights. From a whole week to just a weekend, you can ride through the rugged New Zealand landscape on your trusty steed, camping at night under the stars.

All equipment is provided for you and the guides are always experienced and friendly. Just be aware that you will very likely be stiff after a few days ride, especially if you are not used to horse riding. Its best to build up to an experience like this with a number of day rides first.

Follow a Miners Trail

New Zealand is known for its first pioneers who mined coals in the steep mountains. Following in their footsteps on specially bred horses, you can ride up and down steep mountain faces and sleep in sheep mustering huts at the end of the night.

Points of interest often include some old coal and gold mines themselves, as well as unspoiled New Zealand high country. Food is locally sourced most of the time and will give you a great sense of satisfaction as you wrap up in your sleeping bag in a century-old hut with a full belly.

Ride and Race

The horse racing industry is New Zealand is one of the best in the world. Quality horses are bred and trained, running locally and internationally. The great Phar Lap was homegrown in New Zealand and went on to become one of the best racehorses in the world.

A few trail riding outfits are near cities such as Queenstown, which have a thriving racing industry. A great idea is to do a trail ride on a shaggy, dependable pony, and then go to see the other end of the spectrum with glossy, scorchingly fast thoroughbreds.

Placing a bet on a race is exciting, and a well-loved past time in the country. Betting on other sports such as Australian Open tennis betting can be done online and in a number of friendly tote shops.

Go To Mordor

Lord of the Rings was one of the most successful movie series ever made.

The vast majority of it was shot in New Zealand, which is not surprising when one looks at the awe-inspiring scenery.

Take a trail that goes right through some of the best-known LOTR spots such as Mordor and the Battle of Rohan.

The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

Most people agree that living an active lifestyle, to some degree, is part and parcel of living  healthy, happy life. The problem for many people, however, is that first, essential step into a new activity.

Some patimes, like the online roulette NZ offers, for example, require some kind of prior knowledge, but others are easier to pick up as you go along, and do not require a huge amount of experience in order to enjoy. This article outlines the most popular of these for your convenience!

Sample the Fun of Saltwater Fishing 

As is indicated by the name, saltwater fishing takes place at sea, and gives those enjoying it the chance to try and catch large, exotic animals like the marlin. The major drawback for this activity is that you have to be able to access a boat, but, since these can be rented pretty easily, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle organising.

Bewitch Your Brain with Bird Watching 

With around 10 000 species of birds in the world, and only a small handful of individuals who can claim to have seen even 7 000 of them, this activity is becoming more and more popular every year.

Some believe that bird watching is linked to our hunting instincts, while others say it has more to do with systemising, but whatever it may be, it is a great, and safe, way to enjoy the natural world.

Birdwatching - The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

Set Your Sights on Skiing 

Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, can be great fun, and there are instructors to help you find your feet, so to speak. 

Set Sail with a Snowboard 

This American sport has recently started getting worldwide attention. It came to be in the 1960s, and became an Olympic sport in 1998.

Like any other extreme sport, there is some risk of injury with this one, but if you start off slow and steady and, again, get the help of a good instructor, you can safely get snowboarding over time, and have fun while you learn how to do it!

Banish Boredom with Overnight Backpacking

Not to be confused with the backpacking many make use of in order to travel to new places, overnight backpacking describes multi-day hikes that involve camping. Aside from the obvious health benefits, this hobby allows you to reconnect to nature in remote places that are not accessible any other way and restore your spirit, too.

Sashay Your Way to a Fitter You with Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months, and will help you ensure your exercise schedule stays on track even when its cold outside. In fact, as of 2006, more than 500 schools in the USA have begun offering programmes for snowshoeing as part of their physical curriculum in an effort to combat obesity in kids.

Take to the Trail, Running 

An increasingly popular sport worldwide, the number of active trail runners increased from just over 4 million to more than 6 million in the United States of America alone between the years 2006 and 2012.

Put A Pin In It – Top Pinterest Suggested Activities

50 years ago, being trapped inside would have been torture for kids, these days being sent into the great wifi less outdoors would be torture for kids. So now that everything involves being indoor with wifi or having limitless data, how do we entertain our kids without them turning into faux Emo’s (i.e. very pale and skinny but without the eyeliner).

Pinterest, it is my saving grace!  I cannot tell you how much Pinterest has to offer, it is a limitless resource of ideas. (And not just for kid’s games – so much more from home DIY to fashion FYI).

Insert a few search terms into pinterest and you get immediate results, sift through them, pin those that you could get your little Emo’s to do and try not get stuck in the scroll.

So when you need a breather and and are waiting to see if you’ve won big at betting NZ sites, try out the below suggested activates.

(Hot tip – I set a timer for when I must stop scrolling through Pinterest – otherwise it never ends and I never sleep!)

Here are my top Pinterest suggested activities:

Kids Science Experiments

  • Elephant toothpaste – this science experiment makes a wonderful “explosion” and is great outdoor fun for kids

The ingredients:  Hydrogen peroxide, yeast, soap and Food colouring.

  • DIY Bouncy balls – making these balls with your kids is a great chance to make toys you can use together after

The ingredients: Cornstarch, Food Colouring, Borax, White Liquid Glue and water

–      Fluffy slime – the name says it all, this experiment is literally guaranteed to ensure your kids      have ours of fun

Ingredients: Baking soda, food colouring, Saline solution, White school glue

  • Moon sand – This is a win for both you and the kids, as this sand is easy to clean up! This sand is super quick to make, and keeps kids occupied with the making and with playing with it after making it

Ingredients: Flour and baby oil (and food colouring if you wanted some extra pizzazz)

*remember to always supervise kids when you use any chemicals for these experiments!

Kid’s outdoor games

  • Colour scavenger hunt – This colour coded scavenger hunt gets the kids outside, using a simply made chart (crayons of different colours on white A4 paper). The kids then need to find matching coloured items outside – think leaves or flowers or rocks. This easy to make game keeps your kids occupied in the fresh air for hours.
  • Paper plates ring toss – this is another simple game to make with recycled items from your home and will keep you kids occupied outside. Using paper plates to make rings, and use empty paper towel holders for the ring toss stands.
  • Giant bubbles – kids love bubbles, so giant bubbles would be even more thrilling! Find a easy recipe to make the bubble mixture (water, dish soap, cornstarch, baking powder and glycerine) fill up a little kiddies paddle pool with the bubble mixture, grab a hula hoop and make some giant bubbles – over your kids!

All the in depth instructions and ingredients for these ideas can be found easily on Pinterest when you search for any of these terms.

Activities That Have Gone Online

Almost everything that we do today is done using technology. The Dr Seuss books that we read and loved as children are accessible on tablets today, complete with a swiping action on the touchscreen to turn the page. Our kids love the words just as much, but they interact with what has been written and drawn in a completely new way.

The idea of merging old, worthwhile ideas with our brand-new technology is not new, but it is as exciting and important as ever. As parents, this is especially important as we try to equip our children to deal with a world that is constantly developing while we try to keep up with the changes.

Technology impacts every part of our lives including how we interact with our children; if we don’t stay up-to-date, we won’t be living in the same world as them and could find really connecting with them impossible.

As always, and with everything, living with technology is all about balance. Use it to enhance your life, not overwhelm it, and don’t be afraid of learning more about what’s out there. To illustrate this point, we’ve listed a few more areas of life that have moved from offline to online that you probably find very convenient already.

Absolutely Everything Online

Rather than calling to make a reservation at a restaurant, check the movie schedule or order a meal delivery, we hop onto the Internet and do it online. Looking for a recipe? Search for specific chefs or methods online, or browse to see what you can make with the ingredients you have on hand.

Students who need to do research go online instead of checking out reference books from the library, and there are YouTube videos on how to do anything from specialised DIY products to professional-looking makeup application.

The dying art of letter writing has been replaced with emails or ecards, or even in some cases social media. As for television, most people simply tune into streaming networks such as Netflix or Hulu these days. You can come back to your favourite shows whenever you’re ready or able to, and never have to endure advertisement breaks, two very important positive points for any busy parents. Soon we’ll even be able to turn on lights and other appliances remotely, thanks to the Internet of Things.

No more calling your neighbour to nip over and switch on the lights when you’re going to be late!  Playing the pokies New Zealand players love so much is now also possible online, thanks to virtual casinos.

Enhancements, Not Replacements

Along with embracing the changes that all new technology brings, it’s important to remember that there are many things that are simply better in real life.

The fact that it is possible to take an online virtual tour of the Louvre is amazing, and until you can get to Paris it’s a worthwhile way to bring all of that culture into your home, but it will never replace travelling to the City of Love and seeing the magnificent gallery for yourself. Nor, quite frankly, should it.

The Most Popular Online Pastime Ever: Slots

While the internet is a veritable playground of all things entertainment and distraction, there is one pastime which is easily the most popular one of all: online slots. With such a wide variety of different online slots to enjoy – the best online casinos will have hundreds of variations – there truly is something for everyone. No matter your budget or amount of free time available, there is an online slot for you.

Here we discuss the different types of online slots, the range of themes you can expect to come across, as well as some handy tips to increase your chances of online slots success.

Different Types of Online Slots

Traditional slots: also known as classic slots, these are usually 3-reeled slots that use fruit, bars, and diamonds are symbols, and are generally very light on bonus features.

3-Reel Slots: an online slot with 3 reels.

5-Reel Slots: an online slot with 5 reels.

Video slots: these look more like video games and have cut scenes, animations, and bonus rounds which all make these much more fun to play.

3D Slots: these look just like video slots, but all the graphics and animations are in 3D. Don’t worry, you don’t need 3D glasses!

Progressive Slots: online slots which have massive jackpots you could win by betting the minimum amount and hitting the winning combination. The jackpot grows every time you spin the reels as a portion of your bet is added to the total. Progressive are a casino NZ favourite!

Fixed Jackpot: most online slots have fixed jackpots which do not grow or change no matter how many people play.

Penny Slots: online slots which can be played for as little as 1c per line per spin, and all online penny slots have multiple paylines which can be activated.

Dollar Slots: these require a minimum bet of $1 per spin, per payline. These generally have fewer paylines than penny slots which means fewer chances of hitting a payout, but the payout percentages are much higher.

High Limit Slots: these are the same as the online slots mentioned above, apart from the fact that you can bet much higher – anywhere from $100 to $100,000 per spin.

Mobile Slots: these are slots which can be enjoyed from your mobile phone.

Amazing Variety of Online Slots Themes

The types of online slots is just the beginning of the decision making process as each slot machine has its own theme as well! Combine these themes with the different types of slots and you suddenly have hundreds, if not thousands, of different online slots to choose from and we haven’t even considered the number of software providers.

Here are some of the most common online slots themes:

  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Celebrities
  • Animals
  • Cars
  • Video Games
  • Pop Culture
  • Game Shows
  • Superheroes
  • Horror
  • Retro
  • Pirates
  • Romance
  • Wild West
  • Sports
  • Money
  • Ancient Lands
  • Action
  • Fairy Tales
  • Food
  • History
  • Mystery

Handy Tips for Increased Success

  • Play for fun and don’t take it too seriously
  • Join the customer rewards programme for exclusive offers
  • Practise intelligent bankroll management
  • Play slowly

Geocaching with Your Kids

If you are looking for a great outdoor activity that combines modern technology with a traditional treasure-hunt game, then consider Geocaching.

At first glance, it may seem that Geocaching is not an appropriate actively for children, but in truth, it can be a great adventure game that can be safe, fun and extremely rewarding –just like roulette online Canada games– if you know what you are doing.

What is Geocaching?

The word Geocache is a mashup of two words. The prefix, geo means earth as in Geography. The second word is cache, which is another term used for a secure place for storing something of importance.

At its most basic form, Geocaching is a global treasure hunt with millions of treasures hidden all over the world. You might not know this, but there are probably dozens of caches hidden in your neighbourhood alone.

What You Need to Get Started?

In order to find a treasure, you can use your smartphone or handheld GPS device. The treasures themselves come in different shapes and sizes with varying difficulty levels. While some treasures are easy to find, others are disguised in camouflaged containers that are made to look like their surroundings.

The location of these treasures can also vary from urban areas to places off the beaten track. To date, there are over 2 million caches worldwide, so you will never run out of treasures to find.

Once you find a cache, you will find a small piece of paper or a log book to sign. Larger caches can contain treasures, which you swap out with something of your own, like stickers, toys or other trinkets. After signing the log, you close up your treasure and place it back in its hidey-hole for other explorers to find.

Downloading the Geocache App

If you want to get started Geocaching, all you need is a smartphone and a willingness to explore. You can download the geocache app for free to your tablet or smartphone directly from the site,

Once you have downloaded the app, you can create a free account and immediately start locating caches in your local area. If want access to even more caches, you can pay for a premium membership, but the free membership has more than enough to keep you going for months or years even.

Before You Head Out

Before you head out on your first treasure hunt, it is a good idea is to pack snacks, drinks and maybe a bit of sunscreen for the kids as you might be out an about for a while. Choose a cache with a difficulty level that is easy enough to find for your first couple of outings.

Not only will this be a morale booster for the kids, it will also make the actively fun and rewarding. Once you start finding treasures, the drive to find the next one is simply overwhelming and you might find yourself zigzagging your way across the neighbourhood and foraging in the local parks.

If you start on a cache where the difficulty level is too high, you will end up walking in circles and getting pretty frustrated. The kids will want to go home and the whole actively will be ruined. The idea is to track your progress level and make the hunt as exciting as possible without getting to too technical.

Indoor Activities For Kids With Active Minds

Indoor Activities For The Active Mind

As parents, we all dread those long, winter days where the kids can’t go outdoors. Especially during school holidays where it feels like they are always underfoot and begging to be entertained “Moooommmm, I booooorrreeeed…..” becomes a phrase that we hear all too often.

Keeping your child active is not important for your sanity, but their growth and progress as well. There are, in fact, a number of activities that can be done indoors with limited space which will engross and amuse for hours on end, leaving you free to do a quick chore or even put your feet up.

Make An Indoor Blizzard

Disclaimer: this activity does require quite a lot of tidying up, which can be worked into the process as a reward system as well.

Playing in the snow is always fun, but not necessarily viable. Create your own indoor snow fun with pretty snowflake patterns. Fold a piece of paper in half, and cut out various patterns that will be mirrored on both sides.

Be sure to supervise any time spend with the scissors, however. Once you have a lot of snowflakes, have fun making snow angels, or build a fort and have a snowball fight.

Cleaning up the small bits of paper can be annoying, but if you turn it into a game all of its own and reward for every piece of paper picked up, it can be both entertaining and fruitful.

Build A Fort

As mentioned in our previous exercise, you can have loads of fun with your little one building a fort. I have many fond memories of couch cushions piled together to create interesting crevasses to throw things from. Forts can be built from a wide range of things. One of the best are couch cushions and chairs, but cardboard boxes work just as well.

Obstacle Courses

This can only really be done if you have enough space, but is incredibly fun and will be sure to tucker out your little one in no time, leaving you plenty of time to play some of the online pokies NZ has to offer!

Everyone loves obstacle courses, to such an extent that adult ones are now the rage all over the planet. Building an obstacle course in your house that leads from room to room is fun from start to finish.

Involve your child in the actual building of the course, which will increase excitement. When the course is built, get them to do it either against each other or if alone against you. You can also time them to see if they can get faster and faster.

Kids activities - Indoor Activities For The Active Mind

Roaming Hide And Seek

This is known in many different countries under many guises, but the premise is the same. Instead of hiding in one place waiting to be discovered, the participants can change their hiding places as often as possible.

You can even add in a home base or flag which they have to get to without being seen. This builds imagination as well as stealth skills and counts toward exercise.

Pen And Pencil Games

Active minds are created early, and one of the things which we simply do not do enough these days is pen and pencil games. Battleship, noughts and crosses and bingo can all be played with two or more players, and templates can be found online with minimal effort.

Great Alternatives to New Zealand Great Walks

You may be aware of the fact that New Zealand Great Walks offer an incredible way to experience the ever-famous landscapes of the country, but were you aware that there is also the option to indulge in more multi-day hikes that are not just cheaper, but are also less crowded?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert tramper, someone who prefers luxury or rustic accommodation, you’ll be able to find something to suit your hiking needs.

Hollyford track

This 2-8 day offers stunning sights all year round, with a well-maintained track, decent accommodation in the form of rustic huts available and the low price of NZ$15 per night, per person.

The Hollyford Track starts in the rock faces of the gorgeous Darren Mountains and gracefully follows the Hollyford River. You’ll pass through an exceptionally beautiful native forest while on an adventure to the west coast.

Pouakai Circuit

If you’re anything like me, your idea of a great weekend is spent lounging in front of a TV or playing a few of my favourite mobile pokies, but even I have to admit this truly is not to be missed.

On this 2-3 day hike you will journey through an exquisite wild forest, sub-alpine wilderness covered in tussock, a wonderful Ahukawakawa Swamp and venture around one of New Zealand’s most magnificent volcanoes, Mt Taranaki.

You can stay in large huts that offer mattresses or bunks, heating and lighting and basic services for just NZ$12 per night.

Humpridge Track

For those of you that don’t like roughing it, this is one of your more luxurious 3-day walks in Fiordland National Park. The Humpridge Track provides some sensational views of the coastline as you journey over subalpine tops.

You can stay in privately owned lodges as opposed to your average DOC hut, with double rooms and 8-bunk dorms available for all. You’ll pay around NZ$175 per night per person, but breakfast is included.

Mt Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit

Grasp the opportunity to explore unparalleled views on a 2-3 day walk on the Mt Holdsworth Circuit. Here you’ll explore the exquisite mountaintops of Tararua Forest park, as well as a quick hike through forest to the top of the mountains where you can stay for the night.

The huts here are just NZ$15 and in spite of their simple style, you will need to book during summer as they do get booked out.

Inland Track

You’ve probably already heard of the Abel Tasman Great Walk, but you really should explore the splendour of this 3-day Island Track hike in the Abel Tasman National Park. The sights and sounds will blow you away, with the call of native birds surrounding you and the beauty of the unspoiled forest enchanting you.

You should be warned, however, the track is slightly more rough than the ones you’ll find in the Great Walks, but that’s just a little extra adventure! The accommodation is 2 standard DOC huts that will offer a mattress or bunk along with heating for a mere NZ$5 per night per person.

Plant Your Own Magical Moon Garden

We often think that the bright light of day is the only time it’s possible to appreciate the beauty and peace of a garden. It’s true that many gardens look their best during the day, but Mother Nature has ensured we can also appreciate her beauty at night.

Spending time in a garden is one of the best ways to recharge after a busy day at school, a hectic week at the office, or during a well-deserved vacation. A moon garden is the perfect excuse to get outdoors and recharge at night.

Like Day and Night

Many plants have flowers that bloom and release their fragrance only at night, while others have white or light-coloured flowers and foliage that is silvery or grey. With just a few careful choices and a little bit of hard work during the day, you can experience the magic of a garden that comes alive at night.

Why not involve the children, and create a moon garden as a family holiday project? It is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the basics of gardening, the cycles of nature, and gardening safety tips and first aid for insect bites and stings, as well as minor scrapes and bruises.

Single but not bothered enough to mingle? A moon garden would be a perfect spot to chill out between playing online blackjack Canada, watching DVDs, and eating pizza on the couch.

Location, Location, Location

The first thing you need to do when planning a moon garden is to spend some time in your garden on moonlit nights. Find the spot that gets the best light at the times you would most regularly visit your garden at night.

You would also need to ensure that daytime conditions are suitable for the plants you want to include. After all, they still need sunlight, water, and good soil in which to grow.

Lunar Flower Power

When deciding on plants to include in your moon garden, check that they are suitable for your climate zone. Gardening websites and local nurseries are a wealth of this helpful information.

Try choose plants of different colours, heights, textures, and shapes. Be aware that some flowers are beautiful to look at, but yield little fragrance, while others may not look too impressive, but could rival the complexities of designer perfumes. It is also important to note which plants are toxic, and to take the necessary precautions if including them in your garden.

Among the many different plants suitable for moon gardens are Snow White cornflower, Sweet Alice Lobularia, moonflower (Brugmansia), Diamond Frost or Snow Euphorbia, white bougainvillea, white agapanthus, Felicia daisies, St Joseph’s lilies, snowdrops, white roses, evening primrose, night phlox, evening stock, night gladiolus, Dusty Millers, silver thyme, mugwort, sage, lamb’s ears, and jasmine.

If you have a pond in your garden, you could also plant arum lilies and water lilies. If keeping koi is not too daunting, you could even consider added pearl-coloured koi to the pond.

Planting by the Moon

Creating a moon garden is also a good opportunity to find out if there really is something to gardening according to the moon’s phases. New moon promotes balanced root and leaf growth, so it’s a good time to plant, as is the moon’s second quarter.

If you need to transplant, do it around the full moon, and if you need to prune, do it during the third quarter. The third quarter is also a good time to mow the lawn, while the fourth quarter can be used to harvest, prune, transplant, or just enjoy a good rest.

Rediscover Paper Models – Get Crafty

There is something wonderfully old world about paper models, and not just because they’ve been around in Asia for thousands of years and in Europe since the 1600s. They hearken back to more simple times, where some paper, scissors, and glue were all that were needed to create castles stately homes, villages, and even cityscapes.

The Internet has made paper model patterns more accessible than ever, and this gives us the perfect chance to get crafty and start playing with paper. It is time to let modern tech shine a new light on an old pastime, and rediscover how much fun making paper models can be.

An Old Hobby

The earliest commercial paper models appeared in France in 1800, a little bit before granny and grandpa came along to start building their own. Paper modelling became especially popular during the Second World War, as paper production and use was not regulated too heavily.

In 1941, a brand called Micromodels appeared in England. The brand published 100 different models of aircraft, ships, and buildings. However, as plastic became used more commonly, old-time paper models began to fall from grace as plastic models grew in prominence.

What It’s All About

You can draw patterns for paper models at home yourself, if you have the skills. If not, you can purchase commercial models, or download them for free online. That’s one of the wonderful things about the Internet – you can do stuff for free, such as play online casino no deposit games.

Patterns can be drawn or printed on heavy paper, card stock, paperboard, or even foam. The materials required depend on the complexity and style of the model you want to build.

Origami, for example, uses a single sheet of paper that gets folded, rather than glued or cut. Card modelling involves cutting model parts out of cardstock sheets using scissors or a craft knife, and then folding and gluing the pieces together as per the directions.

The sheer range of paper model patterns available is astounding. There is a model for just about every interest, no matter what the age of the builder. You can choose from cottages with patterns simple enough to fit on a single sheet of cardstock, a fantasy building that requires hundreds of pages in a dedicated book or folio, or anything in between.

Essential Equipment for Paper Models

Before you rush off and start printing off hundreds of paper model patters, make sure you have all the equipment and tools you need. Much of the initial outlay will not need to be spend again, so you can be sure of many hours of enjoyment at what is ultimately a small expense.

Paper modelling essentials:

  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Sharp paper or craft scissors
  • Safety pin to help score folds
  • Point-tip tweezers
  • Ruler
  • Acid-free, pH neutral PVA glue

Once you have these basics, all you need to do is find a pattern you like and print it out. Take a good look at the numbering of the folds and flaps, as well as what the final product needs to look like, and then get started.