Winter in New Zealand: Kia Ora


Winter in New Zealand


Auckland is built on 48 volcanoes! New Zealand sits on the edge of the Pacific and Australian plates which is why there are SO many volcanoes. Because it is an island, after the age of dinosaurs, there were no mammals here ONLY birds (they flew here). The MOA was 3m tall (9 feet!) and looked like a ostrich or emu and was a flightless bird.

Steamy in ROTORUA

Bubbling mud pools, gurguling hot springs, gushing geysers

I loved ROTORUA! WOW!! so much thermal activity. This is one of the places where the earth’s crust is the THINNEST in the world. At Te Puia, we saw mud at 92degrees and it was bubbling…we saw geysers, a Maori show, and so much more. Here is the photo

I am working on loading all the videos!


Bay of Islands–Kauri trees, Haruru Falls, Rainbow Falls

What a tour we had in the NORTH–Bay of Islands. We saw rainbows, waterfalls, the lighthouse at the TIP of the north Island! We saw where the Pacific Ocean (means passive in Portugese) meets the Tasman Sea (lighter color and more heavy seas). The old growth Kauri trees are AMAZING–they are related to Redwoods and Sequoias. We hugged a few trees and of course took photos. The most amazing thing was SAND SURFING!!! We hiked to the top of a sand dune (after our bus drove on the SAND carefully avoiding the quick sand and then down a river–the bus has special seatbelts and is actually a truck not a bus) and we lay down on boogie boards and ZOOMED down the dunes!! I did scream the whole way but George went twice and I got a great video of him. It was really fantastic!

Kia Ora (hello in Maori language)

We have had a fantastic time in New Zealand. BUT since we are SOUTH Of the equator it is WINTER here…and in Rotorua it was -3degrees celsius (27F) at Night—-I wore 4 long sleeve shirts, a cashmere sweater and a raincoat…and I was still cold. People kept telling us it was not that COLD! And they left all the DOORS OPEN! In the North, we were in Paihia during the Gale Force Winds Brett. So we have seen a TON of rain and luckily a TON of Rainbows!! We did read that many people noticed so many TEETH in our photos….we did have to take some sad face photos in the rain and cold! We go next to Sydney, Australia. Thinking of you!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Lisa and George

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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