1. tattooedsass said: Where did you get travelers insurance from and how much did it end up costing? Would you recommend it for a 6 week trip? Also, we are considering kayaking the Milford Sound, would you recommend it? Thanks!

    We purchased travelers insurance through World Nomads and paid 520 USD for 12 months. Insurance was required for our visa, (though they never checked on it when we arrived), but I would recommend insurance, just for the peace of mind. I think you can pay for exactly 6 weeks too.

    Kayaking in the Milford Sound was amazing. We did the Stirling Sunriser with Rosco’s Milford Kayaks. The price is a bit steep (175 USD), but the views are incredible, the tour consisted of just us, another couple and the guide so it was pretty personal, and we got to kayak under a 150m waterfall! It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Happy traveling!

  2. this day came too soon

    It’s our 357th day in New Zealand and it’s our last day here. And what a nice day, including a picnic in Albert Park and dinner with awesome couchsurfing hosts.

    We’re leaving with more shoes than we arrived with

    lots of NZ friends to keep in touch with

    and many, many ridiculous adventures that we will remember for a long time.

    Tomorrow, we’re heading onward to Canada - for just a few days -

    and then trains will take us across the US, to home, eventually.

  3. plantfaster said: How much money do you guys recommend saving for WWOOFing in New Zealand? Plane ticket, visa, domestic travel, weekend activities, etc? I remember when I was there for a short conservation project their dollar was weaker than ours, but the costs added up. Love your blog, thanks!

    We recently figured our costs out to be 500 USD per month… each. Which at first look seems like a lot, but it includes all our big ticket items - plane tickets to and from NZ, travelers insurance, buying a car in NZ (including all the petrol and car upkeep), plane/hotel for our trip to Melbourne, and a kayaking trip in the Milford Sound. Plus, as you may have gathered, we like to eat out. The rest of the time we’re on a pretty strict budget. We don’t stay in hostels and instead camp or couchsurf when not WWOOFing. There are a lot of low cost or free things to do if you look for them and we don’t feel like we’ve missed out by sticking to a budget.

    We saved up the majority of the money before leaving the US, but because we weren’t completely sure how much everything would cost, we also planned to work for a few months while we were here. Two months working in the vineyards of central Otago wasn’t the most fun, but it let us relax a little more about money. Hope this helps!

  4. This week has been full of packing and unpacking and re-packing as we both try to stuff as much as we can in our backpacks in preparation for a week long trip to Melbourne.
We leave tomorrow and are both hoping for lots of delicious vegan food, lots of new city exploring, and lots of queer dance parties.

    This week has been full of packing and unpacking and re-packing as we both try to stuff as much as we can in our backpacks in preparation for a week long trip to Melbourne.

    We leave tomorrow and are both hoping for lots of delicious vegan food, lots of new city exploring, and lots of queer dance parties.

  5. facing the inevitable

    There is a lot of talk about the lesbian urge to merge. Two women get together and BAM, instant merging into one person. I foolishly thought that by making it three years into our relationship, we had somehow escaped this all too real stereotype. I was wrong.

    Traveling, it seems, makes the merge impossible to avoid. It started tamely enough; my parents bought me a large rolling duffel bag that matched Lindsay’s large rolling duffel bag. We went shopping for hiking boots to bring with us and came home with the same pair (they were on a major sale, and we were on a tight budget). Upon arriving in New Zealand, we began to acquire more and more similar clothing. Matching gardening gloves, gumboots (mine in purple and hers in blue), cardigans and cheap sweatshirts to work outside in were purchased. All of a sudden, we’re sharing a car, a cellphone, a computer, a camera, a tent… a life.

    About three months into our trip, I cut my hair short. WWOOFing and traveling meant that we needed to be practical and it just so happened that practical meant that we both ended up being average height white girls with freckles and short brown hair and names that end in y-sounds.

    These days, it is not uncommon for people to ask if we are sisters. It is a fair enough question I guess, but it still gets under my skin a bit.  The thing is, as much as I love Lindsay (aprox. infinity times infinity) I like being me, and I like her being her. It is not unreasonable, just surprisingly difficult.

    And to top it off, recently our gumboots have started to merge too. The once distinct looking purple and blue have been worn to the point of purple-y-blue exhaustion, and we have to check sizes to make sure we grab the right pair. Traveling just seems to make merging inevitable.

  6. peachersen-deactivated20110425 said: how much did you guys have to save up, or how do you go about supporting yourself? i very much want to do something like what you're doing...i don't know where to start though.

    Hi there!
    First, we saved up some money. For our working-holiday visas, we each needed to have at least NZ$ 4,200 available in our bank accounts.
    We, as a general rule, spend as little money as possible, but about 6 months into our trip, (after buying a car, camping supplies, and traveling around the North Island) we began to run low on cash.
    So, we found seasonal work. In NZ, that is pretty easy to do - orchards, vineyards, ski slopes and many other places all hire casual workers. We just finished working for two months and have made enough money to travel in style for the remainder of our trip.
    Just check out the visa requirements for wherever you’re planning to travel to find out the minimum amount you need. WWOOFing is a great low cost way to travel (plus it’s a good way to meet people, share skills and delicious meals) but the cost of traveling to your hosts and sightseeing in between can add up.
    Our trip ended up costing more than we anticipated, because traveling can be effing expensive, but it’s not impossible on a small budget to have an amazing adventure.

  7. melbourne in may

    What does Melbourne taste like in May? Well, we’re about to find out. We’ve planned a trip for a week of decadence, debauchery and indulgence, so get excited for that!

    Six star pimp suite, here we come.

  8. where are the dykes?

    Although I still wonder where all the dykes are when I walk around kiwi cities, lesbian culture in New Zealand has a lot to offer.

    women hiking

    There are potlucks, book clubs, movie nights, dance lessons and walking/hiking groups in many of the major cities and some minor cities too. There is the upcoming queer film festival showing in Wellington and Auckland and the recent Asia Pacific Out Games were hosted in NZ as well.

    While I admire NZ’s wide variety of lesbian groups and activities, I miss being around dykes while not having to socialize i.e. going to clubs, bars, and weekly shows.

    lesbian DJ

    As a traveler, it’s difficult if not impossible to be a part of a scene that relies on continued attendence (and continued social interaction) or to plan an itinerary based on when and where larger events take place.

    This is all to say that I’m looking forward to being part of a permanent community again. Lesbian potlucks 4 eva!