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From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary - Aoraki Mount cook National Park, New Zealand

10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip

New Zealand is one of the best countries to experience an unforgettable road trip. It offers breathtaking landscapes, dynamic Maori culture, amazing national parks and mesmerising lakes. Here is a New Zealand South Island itinerary for 10 days including important things that you can’t miss in New Zealand on your road trip. Don’t forget to check Important Things to Know Before Travelling to New Zealand.

10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip
10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip

From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary

The best way to explore New Zealand south island’s attractions is to start your road trip from Christchurch. You can hire a campervan and sleep under the open sky or drive between locations with the possibility to book accommodation for an overnight. Furthermore you can also plan an easy and flexible bus tour with Kiwi Experience. Either way you will be able to visit the best places of the South Island and to have the best time in New Zealand.

From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary
From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary

The official name of the South Island is Te Waipounamu, which is Maori for “the greenstone waters”. It has been also nicknamed the “mainland” because it’s 32% bigger than the North Island. Nevertheless only 23% of the whole New Zealand population are inhabitants of this area. It’s also the South West New Zealand World Heritage site, which is internationally recognised by UNESCO World Heritage.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand South Island highlights
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand South Island highlights

Best Season to visit New Zealand South Island

The seasons in New Zealand are the opposite to the well-known seasons in the Northern Hemisphere but the same to Australia. New Zealand’s climate is variable and it can happen to you that you will experience all 4 seasons in one day. I would suggest to visit South Island during the Spring (September to November) or Summer (December to February). Summer time is much busier with tourists though.

New Zealand South Island Highlights

Christchurch, 10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary
Christchurch, 10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary

Day 1: Spend a Day in Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It has nearly 400.000 Kiwis. It also has a compact size so you can see the attractions in a single day.

  1. You can explore the city in the historical, well- restored Christchurch tramway.
  2. See the Cardboard Cathedral that was build from cardboard tubes after the earthquakes in 2011.
  3. See the “185 Empty White Chairs” memorial to the quake victims
  4. Visit free Canerbury Museum with interesting galleries dedicated to Maori culture and natural history.
  5. Must visit in Christchurch is the Botanic Garden that is right behind the Museum.
  6. Enjoy the view of Christchurch from the Gondola cable car

Where to eat in Christchurch

  1. If you are searching for something extraordinary then definitely visit King of Snake. The whole restaurant resembles a movie set and not just a fine-dining restaurant.
  2. There are more and more people who are turning to vegetarianism and more aware of planet Earth. These ones should doubtlessly visit the Lotus-Heart. Here you will taste locally and organically sourced dishes.
  3. If you are searching for a cheap treat, visit No Meat Burger at Lower 9th Diner, 89 Lichfield St, Christchurch Central. Here you can taste various burgers for the price of $10 and under.

Day 2: Arthur’s Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass, New Zealand
Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand

Just a two hours drive away from Christchurch you can reach magnificent Arthur’s Pass National Park with it’s highest pass across the Southern Alps. It’s another spectacular thing not to miss in New Zealand. Arthur’s Pass National Park is famous for having a landscape of two halves.

Arthurs Pass Best Tracks

There are different walking tracks but I would suggest you to take “The Arthur’s Pass Walking Track”. Within 3 hours you will observe stunning views, diverse alpine vegetation, waterfalls and beautiful birds.

Where to stay

There are various accommodations and hostels in Arthurs Village but I would suggest to book a room on Airbnb especially if you are travelling in a group. There are many amazing houses for a low price.

Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier (3h drive)

Things to do in South Island: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Things to do in South Island: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

More great New Zealand South Island activities are helicopter ride or a guided ice walk to the famous rivers of ice, Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier. Both are jaw-droppingly beautiful and also part of the spectacular World Heritage Area. You will be able to see amazing rainforests, waterfalls and lakes. It’s also a great place to do a skydive and experience the view from a slightly different perspective.

If you don’t want to book any tours to the glaciers but drive to the location then it’s possible to visit both areas in one day. Otherwise Franz Joseph Glacier tour is much more popular and offers designated tracks for all levels of experienced hikers. Nevertheless it’s steeper than Fox Glacier and groups tend to be bigger. Both glaciers are breathtakingly stunning and offer amazing natural attractions. It just depends if you prefer the secure guided walk tour or the more adventurous and off the beaten path experience.

Day 4: Twizel & Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

New Zealand South Island Attractions: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
New Zealand South Island Attractions: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is New Zealand South Island must do because it’s the highest Mountain in NZ which lies within a beautiful park. Aoraki is a UNESCO World Heritage and means “Cloud Piercer”. There are plenty of adventurous and interesting things to do. You can stay over night in Twizel.

What to do at Aoraki / Mount Cook

  1. Hooker Valley Track – For those who are beginners in hiking it’s an amazing opportunity to enjoy an easy but scenic route. The track is flat and ends up at the mesmerising Hooker Lake.
  2. Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier – Also amazing and easy tracks,
  3. Lake Pukaki – quiet lake that is known for it’s Lupin flowers blooming during the spring time.
  4. Lake Tekapo – famous Alpine lake in New Zealand which is very famous among tourists. It’s surrounded by various cafes and restaurants.
  5. Church of Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo – it’s a landmark of Lake Tekapo

Day 5: Wanaka

Things not to miss in New Zealand: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Things not to miss in New Zealand: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka is a small city located on New Zealand’s South Island which is surrounded by various great highlights that you can’t miss on your road trip. It’s a great place to locate yourself for a night and to explore nearby attractions.

What to do in Wanaka

  1. Lake Wanaka – You will find the lake right in the town and it’s New Zealand’s fourth largest lake which is more than 300m deep.
  2. Roys Peak – it’s a mountain in New Zealand that is just 6km away from Wanaka. The Instagram-famous track starts at the Roys Peak Track car park on the Mount Aspiring Road. It will take around 5-6 hours finishing the hike with breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.
  3. Rob Roy Glacier Track at Mount Aspiring – Is another most-loved half-day track which is one hour away from Wanaka. It’s also a very beautiful and easy hike.
  4. Mount Iron Walk – it’s one of the most popular short walks in Wanaka that offers a beautiful panoramic view.

Day 6-7: Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

If you are searching for the best places to visit on the South Island of New Zealand then Queenstown should be on your bucket list. It’s a vibrant and scenic town that has various activities for every taste. If you’r up to experience some adrenalin rush then you can go for bungy-jumping, canyon swinging or wild-water rafting.

What to do in Queenstown

  1. Hiking to the summit of Ben Lomond – it’s a one day hike over the attractive mountain Ben Lomond with a hight of 1748metres. There are two options to reach the peak: Take the scenic ride on the Skyline Gondola or you can hike from Queenstown. There are 3 places to start the hike: from the end of Thompson Street, from the One Mile Power House on the road to Fernhill or from a track that begins near the gondola terminal.
  2. Glenorchy – it’s a little but spectacular town which is just a 45-minute drive away from Queenstown. It’s surrounded by snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and national parks. It’s famous for it’s multi-day hikes including the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.
  3. Bobs Cove – a mere 15-minute drive away from Queenstown, the short walk track through native bush offers a stunning cove with a view over the turquoise Lake Wakatipu.
  4. Where to eat in Queenstown – Try popular burgers at Fergburger, delicious pizza at Winnies and pasta at The Cow.

Day 8-10: Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park is a 2-hour drive away from Queenstown and it’s one of the most famous sights of New Zealand. It’s also part of Te Wahipounamu and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will experience breathtaking scenery over a vast landscape, unique wildlife, marvellous marine scenes and a world-famous Great Walk. The most convenient way to explore the best of Fiordland National Park is to stay in Te Anau.

What to do at Fiordland National Park

  1. Lake Marian Hike – the duration of this awesome hike is around 3-4 hours. The track is very beautiful but it can get rocky and muddy especially if there has been recent rain. During your hike you will see Like Marian surrounded by snow covered mountains.
  2. Gertrude Saddle – if you like challenging hiking routes and you are an experienced one you can try to conquer the Gertrude Saddle. In the end you will be rewarded with an overlook of Milford Sound from the top of the saddle. This hike will take around 4-6 hours.
  3. Key Summit – it’s another popular hiking track that will take you only 3 hours.
  4. Milford Sound Cruise – it’s a different way to experience the fiord in it’s glory from the water.
  5. Kayak Milford Sound – it’s a cool and adventurous way to see the beauty of the area by kayaking. You can also come closer to the waterfalls.
  6. Visit Te Anau Glowworm Caves  – that’s a great way to experience a mysterious underground world with the luminous light of numerous glowworms. Definitely an unforgettable experience.
  7. The Chasm Walk – it’s a short but impressive walk with powerful waterfalls.


Keysearch Review

Review of Affordable Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch

Every blogger knows that it doesn’t matter how great and interesting your article is if you don’t use specific keywords no-one will ever find your work. Nevertheless it’s not magic to find great keywords to help you rank on search engines for example like Google. It’s all about technique, strategy and great tools that will make it all easier. In my review I will introduce you to my favourite affordable keyword competition tool, Keysearch. It’s a guide to finding perfect competitor keywords. You should definitely go through my article about SEO and How to Rank On Page 1 of Google to learn more about the strategies.

What is a Target Keyword?

In order to get more page views and visitors for your content, you should find great target keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. You should also write high-quality and useful posts based on the keywords. But did you know that good, ranked keyword is often a phrase and not just a single word? Because longer and more specific search phrases give you an opportunity to attract the right kind of reader who will also stay longer on your site.

Finding right Keywords with Keysearch

It’s very simple to use Keysearch, furthermore they provide you with videos where they explain every step. To find the right keywords type in the chosen phrase into the keyword analysis search bar. Choose your location or like I always do it jus leave “all locations”. Hit “Search” button.

Affordable Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch
Affordable Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch

You can filter your results the way you want to. I prefer to see the best score first. Some bloggers prefer to organise the results via volume. The higher the volume, the better. The score shows you how difficult it will be to rank the keywords, how hard the competitiveness is. Red means difficult, amber would be still tough and green is possible. The aim is to find a keyword that is low in difficulty and high in volume.

Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch
Keyword Search Tool, Keysearch

If you find a key phrase with the score under 20 then use it immediately! These words are very hard to find and they will bring a good traffic to your website.

Check the Competition

Keysearch, Keyword Tool
Keysearch, Keyword Tool

Keysearch will show you the top 10 competing URLs and a list of related keywords. First check if there are sites with lower DA then yours. Good chance to rank higher if they are not using the keywords in the URL, description and title. It means you have a chance of competing to rank on page 1 of Google.

Keysearch does cost a small amount but it will make your blogger life so much easier. It’s definitely the method I’ve chosen to use and I will recommend it.

Best Places to visit in North Island, New Zealand in 7 Days

7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand

It happens very often that travellers don’t have much time to see the best of New Zealand that’s why here is my suggestion of New Zealand North Island itinerary for 7 days. It is a bit of a rush but still enough time to experience New Zealand’s North Island highlights.

7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand
7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand

This New Zealand North Island travel guide is perfect for the New Zealand self drive tours or exploring the country by bus. In both ways it’s a very easy and exciting route. I will start from Auckland and finish in Wellington, nevertheless you can also follow the New Zealand 7 days itinerary backwards. It covers the best of north island New Zealand to make your road trip memorable.

Best Places to visit in North Island, New Zealand in 7 Days

Day 1: Auckland

Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand. It’s for it’s Westhaven Marina, busy CBD occupied by tall skyscrapers and surroundings filled with magnificent landscapes. It’s a nice smooth introduction to the Kiwi culture before you start your New Zealand North Island trip through the land of Tolkien’s mystical creatures. You can visit Auckland Art Gallery or experience bungee jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge or jump off the Auckland Sky Tower. I would suggest you to explore Auckland’s surroundings, they have a lot to offer. Check my Top 5 things to see in Auckland.

New Zealand, Auckland
New Zealand, Auckland

Auckland offers plenty of car rental companies to choose from. I would suggest Snap Rentals. It’s backpacker-friendly, accepts 18+ drivers with insurance costs being the same for drivers of any age. No extra charge for multiple drivers. Pick up locations in Auckland are Auckland City Centre (Hopetoun Street) and Auckland Airport. And Drop-off Locations: Auckland, Queenstown, Queenstown Airport and Christchurch Airport.

Day 2-3: Tauranga & Mount Maunganui

If you are enjoying a self drive tour in New Zealand then it will take you 2:30h to get to Tauranga from Auckland. Tauranga is one of the most populous cities in the Bay of Plenty region North Island of New Zealand. It’s surrounded by a beautiful coastline where you can go sailing, fishing or dolphin and orca watching. You can stroll through the harbour, enjoy the view and taste something delicious in one of the cafés.

Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand
Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand

But don’t stay too long in Tauranga. Just a 15 minutes drive away from Tauranga you will find the amazing beach town, Mount Maunganui. It has been named as the “Best beach in New Zealand”. There are plenty of beautiful walking tracks to the top of the extinct volcano Mauao, which rises 232 metres above the sea and offers amazing 360 degree view. There is also Gourmet Night Market with a wide range of fresh food from local farmers.

Day 4: The geothermal city of Rotorua

Rotorua is another geothermal treasure of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s located just one hour drive away from Tuaranga and offers various attractions. A special feature of this town due to the sulphur in the air is the incredibly strong smell of eggs that makes the journey unbearable and can be handled for only 2 days. 

Redwoods, Rotorua, New Zealand
Redwoods, Rotorua, New Zealand

35% of Rotorua’s population is Maori and the reason for that goes back to the time when the tribes just arrived in New Zealand. Shortly after they discovered lake Rotorua and it’s geothermal surroundings. They immediately saw the benefits, providing hot water and fertile soil. They also gave a spiritual meaning to the region. Nowadays there are numerous villages that you can visit and experience a journey back in time.

Where to stay in Rotorua?

Just for 1 night I would suggest to stay at Base Hostel. The positive aspects were the close proximity to the city and the free parking space for the driving backpackers. Wi-fi was available at the reception but only until 9pm, otherwise you need to pay $6 for 24h.

Things to do and attractions in Rotorua

Geothermal reserve walk in Hell’s Gate

The best way to start your day getting to know the sulphur-rich area is with visiting one of the 5 geothermal parks. We decided to experience the unique Maori owned active geothermal area with mud bath spa, Hell’s Gate. It’s a mesmerising field with erupting waters, pools of boiling mud and a volcano with the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. Every hot pool has a different temperature, for example the steaming cliffs pool is the hottest one and reaches 122C.

There is a separate charming area where you can relax and enjoy the landscaped view. I need to warn you though, your skin will have an egg odor for a few days. Addendum, you will need around 2h to visit this unique place.

Wine tasting at Volcanic Hill and skyline

New Zealand is famous for it’s rich variety of great wine. Every region produces it’s own liquid pride, as does Rotorua. Nevertheless there are only two amazing winemakers, who are creating divine wine together, Sean Beer and Brent Park. They gathered experience from all over the world and decided to produce high quality wine, poetically named Volcanic Hills. Their winery is small and they sell directly to costumers which makes their wine even more exclusive.

To explore the savoriness of Volcanic Hills’ wine you can have a ride on the breathtaking Skyline and visit the tasting room. The memorable ride on the Gondola will leave you in excited anticipation to see the top of the Skyline. The tasting room will spoil you with samples of wines from New Zealand’s best wine regions. While you are being a professional and decadent wine taster you can also enjoy the 180° panoramic views over Lake Rotorua. There are 5 different varieties of wine to try and each one has it’s own explosive flavours.

Night tour in Rotorua

This is one of the must tours in Rotorua! It’s something completely different because you will experience the nature of New Zealand by night. Everything that seems to be so normal by day comes to life by night. The shiny eyes of a cute opossum looking at you from behind a tree, curious wallabies and thousands of glowworms covering the walls of the forest like stars in the sky.

All this we witnessed with our great tour guide Stephen, who picked us up from the hostel. He told us about Rotorua’s history and forestlands, to which we were driving. When we reached the secret location, we were provided with torches and safety vests and we started our journey through the dark and mysterious woods. On the way Stephen was telling us about the fauna and flora, pointing out the most important plants. The wow effect were the glowworms adjacent the waterfall by night. It’s very hard to describe the beauty of the nature that we saw, you just need to experience it by yourself.

After the walk through the Native Forest we headed to a river where we could sit down, have a nice chat and enjoy hot chocolate with biscuits. Stephen’s wife is from South America and she makes really great hot chocolate, of which you can’t get enough!

Day 5: Hobbiton & Taupo

Hobbiton the movie set tour

Visiting New Zealand and not going to Peter Jackson’s famous movie set, where the adventure of the little hobbit Frodo began, is a sin! All tourists know it, that’s why 30% of Hobbiton‘s visitors haven’t even seen the movies and still were willing to pay $114. We’ve been told that the best time to experience hobbiton is in the morning, before the set is full with excited fans. Take the first bus from Rotorua to Hobbiton. The movie set is not the original one, it was rebuilt after the Lord of the Rings trilogy concluded. Because after the movies came out, many people came to the farm where it was filmed. So being a businessman, Peter Jackson decided to cooperate with the farmers again and open the attraction park for their faithful groupies.

Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand
Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand

The 2 hours guided tour will definitely leave you with an infinite amount of pictures and a happy smile on your face. Hobbiton is indeed an amazing place with incredible scenery that looks so genuine that you would like to choose one of the gardened houses and stay there forever. People who are working here are taking care of every element of the village, even the evergreen lawn grass is perfect! After a fun tour you will be invited for an ale or cider at the Green Dragon.

Must See Orakei Karako

You can only reach the geothermal treasure of nature Orakei Karako by car. It is a 45 minutes drive from Rotorua. It’s a volcanic colorful world of geysers, hot springs, mud pools and silica terraces. To get to the untouched geothermal paradise you need to take a ferry which will bring you to the other side of the lake. Don’t worry, it’s all included in the acceptable price of $36.

On your 1h self-guided tour you will discover 23 active natural geysers, numerous bubbling hot springs and the Ruatapu Cave. This impressive natural cave has a jade-green pool, which is thought to have been used as a mirror by Maori women for ritual preparations. It’s also one of the picturesque geothermal areas that doesn’t have so many visitors because of it’s hidden position. This means you won’t feel crowded when you enjoy the native bushwalk.

The lakeside town of Taupo in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places to visit on your New Zealand North Island 7 days itinerary. The lake is actually an active rhyolitic volcano, which has produced two of the world’s most violent eruptions in recent geological history. The marvelous lake with the crystal clear water is also the largest lake in New Zealand.

Where to stay in Taupo?

We were staying in the centrally located Base Hostel. Base hostel is relatively new, rooms are very modern and the walls are still white. In the kitchen area guests are provided with all possible equipment and even a spacious deck, where you can enjoy your breakfast under the hot sun. The hostel would be ideal if not only for one essential thing: sleep. It’s located just above the Element Bar, which is part of the hostel.

Things to do in the evening in Taupo

Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo, New Zealand
Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Get to know Taupo with the famous boat cruise to the Maori Rock Carvings. The 14-metres artwork above the deep water was completed in 1980 by the team of four artists and is only accessible by boat. Join the evening trip at 4:30 with Ernest Kemp Cruise. Every guest gets spoiled with a cozy vibe, heaps of wine & beer, pizza and even some delicious treats by the end of the almost 3h long trip.

Day 6: Taupo & Wellington

Free Walks in Taupo

The morning is an ideal time to go to see the Huka Falls. Just follow the path next to the river in the opposite direction from the town. It’s one of the best free walks in New Zealand that will lead you to the natural hot springs first. After 30 minutes of walking you can soak into the hot bubbling water in Otumuheke Stream at Taupo’s Spa Park. Just don’t forget to grab a towel, swimwear, a pick-nick basket and 1-2 or even more friends. It’s better to arrive at this place in the morning, because the hot pools are famous but very tiny, so many locals and tourists want to enjoy them too.

The famous Huka Falls, one of the Taupo’s highlights are another 45 minutes away from the natural hot springs. On a sunny day the water on the lakeside walk is crystal clear blue and very inviting. Huka Falls doesn’t look like the waterfalls that we all know, the 220,000 liters of water per second flow horizontally.

Bungy Jumping & Tandem Swing in Taupo

You an also start your day in a thrilling way and get picked up by the Taupo Bungy Team. You can dip your head into the mesmerizing Waikato River from 47 meters high with Taupo Bungy. Definitely try the Tandem Swing. I believe that Bungy is more of a test on how courageous you are and the swing is more about enjoying the butterflies in your stomach and the picturesque view!

Where to eat in Taupo

For the fine eaters I would suggest Plateau. The dishes are masterpieces on the plate which taste divine. The staff is very friendly and polite. The prices are also acceptable.


On the way to Wellington

The drive time from Taupo to your the final destination Wellington is 5 hours. However there are some nice stops on the way. You can have a break at Ohakune for it’s walking and biking trails. Another option is to visit the National Army Museum in Waiouru. My suggestion would be to drive to Kapiti Coast and take a tour to Kapiti Island.

Day 7: Wellington

Cable Car in Wellington, New Zealand
Cable Car in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. It has been named the world’s “Coolest Little Capital”. The cosmopolitan is famous for it’s amazing coffee culture and great culinary scene. Definitely check The Ultimate List of the Best Free Things to do in Wellington NZ. 

One day would not be enough to see the best of it but here are some suggestions. No doubt you should drive or walk to Mount Victoria and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Start your walk from the Oriental Bay and stroll on the waterfront, taking time to visit Te Papa museum. Try the best Fish & Chips at The Chippery or check some more of my restaurant and cafe suggestions here. You can also take part in a Weta Workshop tour. The Weta Studios are the best special effects studios in the world.

Maastricht, the Netherlands

How to Spend an Awesome One Day in Maastricht

If you want to spend one day in Maastricht here is the perfect list of the things to see in the beautiful town on the souther tip of the Netherlands. Maastricht is one of the oldest medieval cities in Holland that has about 590 listed monuments. It’s very compact so you can explore this little town within 1-2 days.

Streets of Maastricht, the Netherlands
Streets of Maastricht, the Netherlands

Maastricht is also famous for being a university city with a large international student population. It’s also known as a birthplace of the well-known Euro. It has numerous things to offer like great dining, relaxed atmosphere, awesome cafes and delightful shopping. Moreover there are terrific museums and interesting Roman history.

Maastricht in the Netherlands
Maastricht in the Netherlands

Things to See in Maastricht

Het Vrijthof

One of the famous monuments in Maastricht is Vrijthof. It’s a medieval main square. If you visit Maastricht during the Christmas period you will discover a beautiful Christmas market here. Museum aan het Vrijthof was founded in 1973 with the intention to exhibit a huge collection of artworks that used to be owned by a rich couple of The Hague. Nowadays it presents masterpieces of contemporary artists. During the summer Vrijthof is surrounded by trees, cozy cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a drink on the terrace. Adjacent to het Vrijthof is the St. Servatius Basilica, a Romanesque cathedral worth visiting.

St. Peter’s Caves

St. Peter’s Caves is one of the highest spots in Holland. You can have a unique tour through miles of tunnels that were excavated by men through the centuries. The tunnel system is over 80km long. Interesting fact: The cave also served to keep Rembrandt’s famous “Night Watch” painting safe during WWII.

St. Peter’s Fortress

St. Peter’s Fortress was built in the 18th century with the purpose to defend the city from the French. You can access this magnificent 300 year old monument only on a guided tour that takes a bit over an hour. You will see the cannon gallery, underground tunnels and last but not least a breathtaking view from the top. The green surroundings of the fortress are a protected nature reserve.

Top Museums of Maastricht

Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht

Maastricht features various great museums that reflect it’s long history. Here are the best of them that you can’t miss. Museum Kelder Derlon displays archeological artefacts from the time when the Romans maintained garrison in Maastricht. Perfect for a family visit is Maastricht natural History Museum which offers a wide collection of scientific specimens, artefacts and the skull of a prehistoric aquatic lizard, Mosasaurus. It was hiding in the Meuse river for over 7o million years ago. Last but not least check out the Bonnefantenmuseum because of it’s vast collection of objets d’art and a great selection of paintings, statues and installations from the Medieval period to the present day.

The Meuse River Tour in Maastricht

Another great way to explore the little town Maastricht is by joining the Meuse River Tour by boat. Within an hour you can sail through the scenic waters of the Medieval town.

Shopping in Maastricht

Maastricht is a great destination for the shopaholics. It offers numerous amount of amazing boutiques, big brands and many unusual stores. Just walk through the labyrinth of cobble streets around the Wyck district and you will discover plenty of beautiful things.

Restaurant Tips in Maastricht

After a long day of walking and exploring the beautiful historic town you will definitely be hungry for delicious food and you would like to eat in Maastricht. There are numerous great places to have dinner in Maastricht, nevertheless my restaurant tip is to visit Harvey – Kitchen & Bar. This cozy eatery is open for lunch and dinner. It’s a bit out of town but definitely worth a visit. During the summer period you can enjoy drinks and snacks on the terrace.

new_zealand_beer_yeastie_boys
New Zealand beer “Yeastie boys”

The young owner who has been travelling the world and decided to open his own bar. That’s why you will find an outstanding menu with the modern cuisine. Beer lovers will be spoiled: There is a great variety of Belgian beers and even awesome New Zealand beers. The staff is very friendly and helpful if you need any advice on what to order.

Burger in Harvey - Kitchen & Bar, Maastricht
Burger in Harvey – Kitchen & Bar, Maastricht

We went for the BBQ Wild Chicken & New York Beef Burgers with fresh orange juice and a “Yeastie Boys” New Zealand Beer. My boyfriend was extremely happy because he didn’t expect to find New Zealand beer in Europe. Our portions were big and sumptuous with tasty fries on the side. Enjoyed every bite of it! So if you want to eat burgers in Maastricht don’t miss Harvey – Kitchen & Bar!

ONE DAY IN Maastricht
ONE DAY IN Maastricht

Where to stay in Maastricht

There are numerous of hotels in Maastricht but we were staying at EasyHotel Maastricht in the city centre. It’s an amazing to stay for 1 night. It offers free Wi-Fi, clean and tidy little rooms with very comfortable beds, a big flat screen TV and a private bathroom. Hotel also has 24-hour front desk with very friendly staff. It’s definitely an ideal place for budget travellers who want to stay in the heart of Maastricht.

And here you can find great info about Dutch Hidden Gems: The best off the beaten path destinations in the Netherlands.

MyHeritage picture

Review of the Best Ancestry test MyHeritage DNA kit

I’m convinced we all at least once in our lives questioned ourselves what is my heritage? If there is reliable and the best ancestry test to find out more about your family history? Not even being a genius in the history of the world we know that borders of countries were and are constantly changing, people have been traveling and exploring the world so probably our great grand parents also didn’t stay in the same little village their whole lives.

Furthermore I think learning your family history and ancestry is an essential part of understanding yourself. And when you find out your roots you might confirm something you always wondered about, or reveal something you never knew. There are numerous DNA testing companies but I’ve discovered an affordable MyHeritage DNA kit.

My personal MyHeritage DNA test review

So thinking about all these vital life changing questions I decided to amaze my boyfriend with this original present so he can discover his DNA genealogy and ethnic origins. I’ve read DNA kit reviews and decided to go with ancestry DNA test kit from  MyHeritage. It shows you with a simple DNA check great ancestry results like from which geographic regions and ethnic groups you come from. I saw that customers from all over the world can purchase it so I ordered one online. It was delivered within a few days. It was so simple to accomplish everything and the results were so interesting in the end that I couldn’t resist to order another one for myself too!

MyHeritage DNA kit

MyHeritage DNA kit

So how does ancestry DNA test kit of MyHeritage work?

Opened box of MyHeritage Media Kit

Opened box of MyHeritage Media Kit

After ordering ancestry DNA test kit online as I mentioned before within few days you will receive modern and cleverly designed box. By the way if you want to send it as a gift you can also ship the DNA kit to the address of this lucky person. All instructions can be found within the box. They are very simple, first of all activate your account with a few easy steps online. Afterwards use the sticks to scrape the inside of your cheeks for 1 minute each. It means no blood or any other tests should be provided, it’s pure saliva ethnicity test. The saliva samples will go into the special vials which you need to mail to the lab in enclosed envelope. You need to pay for porto costs so it depends on your country how much it will be. Anyhow it’s a little letter and in Belgium I’ve paid less than 5€.

What you will find inside of MyHeritage DNA box

What you will find inside of MyHeritage DNA box

When will I get my results?

Online results of MyHeritage DNA test

Online results of MyHeritage DNA test

Within the first 2 weeks you will get an email from MyHeritage that your vials with saliva ethnicity test have arrived in the lab and after that it will take around another 3-4 weeks. You will be informed via email when your DNA ancestry results are ready to be viewed. And after your DNA analysis you might discover some surprises like I did!

My personal results of MyHeritage DNA test

My personal results of MyHeritage DNA test

My personal results of MyHeritage DNA test

My personal results of MyHeritage DNA test

My Heritage DNA results

After viewing a little video presenting my ethnic origins and geographic regions I could look at my DNA results a little bit closer. I had no idea what’s my heritage could be. It was an unexpected surprise to discover that I have Japanese and Eskimo roots! I have no idea where it could come from but the 2,2% of Finnish ethnicity explains my affinity for cold Suomi and handsome Ville Valo.

Why you should do Family TreeDNA test

The other interesting thing is that you can find and connect with new relatives who share your DNA. Additionally you can create a family tree DNA results to uncover the full story of your family. I believe creating and building a family tree lets you leave a legacy for your children. Invaluable family history that could be lost forever can now be documented and passed from generation to generation. Isn’t it fantastic?

It also makes sense to provide your parents with the DNA kit so you will gain additional information like which of your results is maternal or paternal. Good to know: Your siblings may get different results as you do because of the nature of genetic inheritance.

Use this coupon and you will get free shipping: ELYSIANMOMENT.  Definitely try MyHeritage because it’s a best genealogy test and without any doubt it’s one of the most interesting and useful things to spend money. You can also give DNA origin test as a present because it’s something that will stay with you and your family forever.

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