Hi, I'm Tom, the creator of NZ Travel Secrets. I also run a blog on location independent business over at Digital Nomad Empire.
This website was born on my second campervan tour around New Zealand. Being a New Zealand local, many people have asked me why I take the time to travel around my own country.
NZers are big travellers, and because NZ is quite an isolated country it's common to go on a 4-6 month overseas trip when we travel.
The irony is that a lot of Kiwis who have seen all there is to see in Southeast Asia, Europe or the Americas have never seen some of the best parts of NZ. I figure if over a million visitors every year come down to our little corner of the world, it's worth taking the time to travel it - as a local.
And that's how the idea for this website originated: a guide written by a New Zealand local, able to give more in-depth insights into the culture and history of NZ, for visitors.
When you look at most travel guides, they tend to be quite "shallow." It's possible to breeze through a destination and only ever experience the surface level of it. I hope to help the readers of this website appreciate a deeper level of their travel destinations, even if they're only passing through for a brief time.
It had long been one of my dreams to jump in a campervan and do a complete road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff (the top end of NZ to the bottom - not counting Stewart Island!).
Growing up I was inspired by books like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and films like Into the Wild. I loved the idea of total freedom - waking up somewhere different every day and deciding spur of the moment where to go next.
So in 2013, I moved out of my place in Auckland and took two months to travel all around NZ in a campervan before taking off to tour Southeast Asia and Europe.
That was NZ Trip Number One - but as it turned out, that wasn't quite enough.
Two years later, after having spent 18 after my return from Europe working to build a successful local website marketing business, I got itchy feet again - so this time I bought a bigger motorhome, packed up my dog and the few minimal possessions I still have, and took off for a six month trip around NZ. My goal on the second trip was to move much slower, spending longer time periods in each place to get a better feel for the local area.
And that pretty much brings us up to speed in November 2015 - I now live in a little eco cottage in Leith Valley, just outside Dunedin, and the camper sits outside ready for the next travel mission. I have now lived in Christchurch, Auckland and Dunedin and have visited almost all the major towns and getaway spots in the country - but there are always more hidden-away gems to discover, and for me these are the best parts of travelling in NZ. Part of the fun is being able to jump in a vehicle, take off, get lost, and stumble upon a beautiful spot, feeling as if you're discovering it for the first time.
Interested in location independent entrepreneurship? Visit Digital Nomad Empire.