On a lazy, sunny weekend in Auckland, Michael and I decided that we wanted to get out of the city and explore a bit. I am really into chasing waterfalls around New Zealand, so we had to find a one we hadn’t been to. Enter: the perfect day trip from Auckland, Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls.

Piha Beach & KiteKite Falls: The Perfect Day Trip from Auckland

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls: The Perfect Day Trip from Auckland

We packed a lunch and drove the 45 mins to the falls first. Spoiler alert: it’s super hard to find the falls on Google maps. Especially since you’ll lose service when you get close. If you search for KiteKite Falls car park, instead of just KiteKite Falls, you’ll get proper directions. This way you can park your car and take the path to the falls.

We did a short 30 minute hike to the falls, and then settled in on the side of a hill. There isn’t much room to sit for a relaxing picnic at the bottom of the falls, but the view makes it worth it. Keep your eyes peeled in the water for eels!

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

After a couple hours of chatting and eating, we continued the hike up to the top of the falls. Holy moly! The top of the falls is so much more friendly for those looking to stay a while. There is room to sit, a swimming hole that you can jump into, and amazing views. It’s not the easiest hike to get to the top, but it’s short and a good workout.

After the falls, we headed to Piha beach to watch the sunset. I am so happy that we did this – it was the best sunset I’ve seen in New Zealand so far!

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach & KiteKite Falls: The Perfect Day Trip from Auckland

Piha Beach & KiteKite Falls: The Perfect Day Trip from Auckland

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls

This is just one of so many great day trips from Auckland. For more posts on New Zealand, see the following:

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Known for the best snorkeling in New Zealand, Goat Island Marine Reserve is just a short drive North of Auckland, and the perfect destination for a day trip.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Goat Island Marine Reserve

If you’re traveling through New Zealand and looking for something to do near Auckland, consider packing your swimmers and heading to Goat Island Marine Reserve for a day. There are tons of day trips you can take from Auckland, and if the weather is right, Goat Island is a fabulous choice.

Goat Island Marine Reserve is a little cove filled with all kinds of fish. There are no goats on the island. But, there are loads of booths renting out snorkel gear, and plenty of room on the beach.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Bring a picnic, because as is the case with most beaches in New Zealand, there are no restaurants around.

Goat Island Marine Reserve is the perfect place to spend a day in the sun and the water. Rent snorkel gear from the storage container at the edge of the beach for $15 (mask and flippers). Throw in a pool noodle for an extra $5 if you’re worried about swimming. Pro tip: the rental company at Goat Island is less expensive than the ones on the way. Don’t bother trying to find them cheaper while heading there.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Flop into the ocean on a clear day, and you’ll be able to see the coral below, swarming with multiple varieties of fish.

Bring your camera, because it’s beautiful! There’s a little waterfall at the far end of the beach that most people don’t see. The little island is a great spot to spread a towel and bathe in the sun. Rent a kayak to head over there.

Goat Island Marine Reserve

Goat Island Marine Reserve is a great spot for the budget traveler, as the snorkel rentals are cheap, parking is free, and it’s a great spot to mark off of your bucket list.

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While saving for travel, it’s important to me to eat healthy but not spend a ton of money on food. Enter my new series: cheap vegan food! I’ll be sharing more recipes on the blog that are healthy, easy, and best of all – cheap. In the past, I’ve shared my famous taco recipe; but today, we are going Asian for a quick and easy veggie stir fry! This is my cheap vegan Asian stir fry.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

This stir fry requires minimal ingredients, and is perfect for a lazy weeknight dinner. It’s quicker than ordering takeout and so much healthier too! Nutritional yeast adds a savory texture, and gives you a full daily dosage of vitamin b12.

Most humans are naturally deficient in vitamin b12, as it comes from rich soil – and most of the soil we use to farm vegetables today either gets fully washed off of our produce, or is so depleted in vitamins that we cannot acquire b12 from it. B12 is necessary for energy, prevents memory loss, and boosts your mood. It’s also said to aid in creating healthy skin and hair, and nutritional yeast is one of the few foods rich in b12. Try out nutritional yeast if you haven’t yet! It really rounds out this cheap vegan Asian stir fry.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry : Ingredients

The ingredients for this cheap vegan Asian stir fry are:

I start by throwing the mixed veggies in a stir fry style pan and adding a tiny bit of water. By using a non-stick pan and a tiny bit of water, I can eliminate the need for oil.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

After a few minutes of cooking those on medium-high heat, I start boiling some water for the noodles. Soba noodles cook very fast, so make sure your veggies are almost finished cooking when you put the noodles into the boiling water.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Once your noodles are cooked, drain them and toss into your cooked vegetables.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Turn the heat off of the stir fry, and mix the vegetables in with the noodles, with the pan on the burner still. This is my trick for getting a tiny bit of fry-like consistency in the noodles without totally crisping them.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Once they’re all mixed, add in some lemon juice and soy sauce to taste.

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Et viola! Pour it into a bowl and top it with nutritional yeast. I even added lentils to the top of mine for some extra protein (and to avoid wasting the lentils from my fridge 😉 ).

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Cheap Vegan Asian Stir Fry

Let me know if you’d try this simple Asian stir fry, and what you think of it if you have tried it.

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Auckland, New Zealand, is a great city to live in because there is lots of work, heaps of good coffee shops, and the city is surrounded by beaches. But New Zealand is made for adventure seeking, traveling, and exploring. These are the best day trips from Auckland.

Best Day Trips from Auckland

Piha Beach & KiteKite Falls

Head west for just under an hour to bathe in the paradise that is Piha Beach. One of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand, Piha is a great spot to escape the city for the day. KiteKite Falls is on the way to the beach, and is a fab stop off for a cool down and some great instagram photos.

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

McLaren Falls Park

About three hours from Auckland, this is one of my favorite places in all of the North Island. McLaren Falls Park makes the list of Best Day Trips from Auckland for it’s rugged wilderness, climbable rock formations, and fresh water to swim in. It’s a great spot for a relaxed day in the sun. It’s also super instagrammable. Bring a picnic and stay for the sunset!

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Owharoa Falls

Just a little over an hour from Auckland, these falls are a great spot for a picnic and a relaxed picnic. Spend the whole day here, or head to Karangahake Gorge on the way back to the city for an adventurous tunnel walk through old gold mines. Make sure to bring plenty of food & water!

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

North Shore

If you aren’t in the mood to drive, head over the bridge to Auckland’s North Shore. Browns Bay is a popular spot, surrounded by beautiful beaches and filled with cute little cafes. For all my fellow vegans, check out Soulshine for loads of vegan food.

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Rangitoto Island

Take the ferry across the water for a day of adventuring over the volcano of Rangitoto. Hike to the top for an incredible view of the city, or sit down at the bottom and soak up the sun for the afternoon. There is no water or food on this island, so pack everything you need, plus more.

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Bethell’s Beach

Piha’s little sister, Bethell’s Beach is less of a tourist attraction, but another popular beach for the surfers. Check the weather before heading out, as it gets super windy.

Best Day Trips from Auckland

The Coromandel

Another favorite, Cathedral Cove, is easy to classify as one of the best day trips from Auckland. Scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed here, and it’s is easy to see why, given the magical formation of the cove and the towering rocks coming out of the water. If you have time, bring a tent and explore the Coromandel all weekend.

Best Day Trips from Auckland

Best Day Trips from Auckland

Omanawa Falls

Technically, Omanawa Falls is closed to the public, but it’s hard to stay away from something this magical. Jump the fences and climb a rock wall on the short but strenuous hike to the bottom of the falls. The icy cold water will cool you off quickly. Bring a picnic and lots of water, and relax like a lizard on the rocks surrounding the falls for the day.

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Goat Island

Head North to Goat Island for a day of snorkeling and sun bathing. There aren’t any goats in sight, but Goat Island is known for some of the best snorkeling in New Zealand. Bring your swimmers and don’t forget your underwater camera for a day of exploring the sea.

Best Day Trips from Auckland

Have time for more than a day trip? Check out the Ultimate Three Day Road Trip from Auckland, the guide to Paihia, or my New Zealand North Island Bucket List.

Pin this photo to come back to this post later!

Best Day Trips From Auckland

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Ever feel like you just keep packing your bag, moving around, taking the same photos as everyone else, and are constantly exhausted? Even worse, have you ever been sitting in your hostel or airbnb room, and realized you are just sick of travel? Welcome to travel burnout – it’s a thing, and I’ve experienced travel burnout a few times. Here are five tips on how to prevent travel burnout.

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

1. Take Breaks

It’s important to realize the importance of slowing down while traveling. Though it’s really common to try to fit as much as possible into one trip, take some time to appreciate and observe your surroundings, and really just soak in the environment. While traveling through Europe, I decided once I arrived exhausted in Berlin, that I was going to do whatever I wanted.

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

I threw out my list of tourist attractions to visit, and instead spent my time in the most beautiful bookstores, going to parks, and eating at the best vegan restaurants with my couchsurfing host (who quickly became my good friend!). This ended up being one of my favorite experiences throughout my time in Europe, and I’ll never regret prioritizing self care over touristy photos.

2. Travel Slower

Taking a bit more time to get from place to place, and spending more time in each city or town is what helps me prevent travel burnout. It can be exhausting to hop on bus after bus, train or plane, only to do it again in a couple of days. In my experience, I’ve had success to prevent travel burnout when I have less places on my itinerary. Being able to have a base to travel from is helpful for some people as well.

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

Lately, I’ve been doing working holiday visas, and staying in one place for a while. This year, I’ll be based in Auckland for nine months – longer than I’ve stayed anywhere in the last two years! Traveling a bit slower not only allows you to see more of the country, it’s helpful for replenishing the bank account, and relieving the stress of fitting everything in to a short time.

3. Schedule relaxing activities

Taking time out of the hustle and bustle of traveling to indulge in a little pampering never hurt anyone. I like to take an afternoon to have a long lunch, an entire morning in a coffee shop, or an entire day by the pool. Other good ideas: a spa day, an afternoon in the park with a good book, a nice museum, or my favorite, an hour long massage.

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

4. Stay Somewhere Comfortable

I was really tight with my budget when I first set off through Europe. I couchsurfed almost the entire three months. Though it was fun, after a while, I was really craving some alone time. It is important to put your comfort as your number one priority, especially while traveling. You’re already going so far out of your comfort zone in so many other areas of your life – make sure you have somewhere safe and comfy to return to at night.

How to Prevent Travel Burnout

5. Create a Routine

Sometimes we miss the routine of home. When you’re constantly on the go and your surroundings are always changing, routine can be something to look forward to. Carrying a favorite mug to drink your coffee in every day, or starting a healthy travel morning routine can be just what you need to cure your travel burnout.

These are five simple tips to prevent travel burnout. Travel burnout is a reality, but these five tips will help you avoid it, keep you on the road, and help you make the most of your trip.

 

 

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