After extensive research and deliberation, we’ve come up with our Top 50 Travel Blogs of 2017.
In the ranks you’ll find some of the most entertaining, helpful, unique and/or popular blogs out there today. To keep it Kiwi, we decided to only include blogs that have either covered New Zealand or are written by Kiwi expats making their mark on the world. Have a read through and find your ultimate source of travel inspiration for your next trip!
The blog covers a niche topic that is interesting and uncommon. Whether it’s a focus on food, the road less travelled or family travel – if it covers a subject well, it earns points in our books!
For this criteria, articles that took real-life experience and channelled that into useful tips for readers well scored points.
Everyone loves a good read. Whether it’s humour, great photographs or stunning videos – a good blog is always entertaining.
The amount of online fans and followers a blog has earned is an important ranking factor. These blogs are popular for a reason!
Bare Kiwi, also known as Kyle Mulinder, produces absolutely stunning visual content. His GoPro and drone videos really show New Zealand in a unique light (and angle), making his blog stand out above the rest. We’re not surprised he has attracted support from the likes of Go Pro and Macpac , let alone hundreds of thousands of fans.
Nicola from Polkadot Passport focuses on producing visually-rich posts about bucket-list and adventure activities around the globe. She writes both entertaining diary-style accounts of her travels, as well as helpful guides for visiting the places she has been, turning her experiences and lessons into helpful tips for her readers.
The Department of Wandering earns itself third place through the sheer breadth and depth of it’s coverage. Great quality articles can be found for all interests, and the blog is divided up in terms of experiences (honeymoons, eco-tourism, weekend escapes, road trips) which we found refreshing and unique.
Recently visiting New Zealand, Nikki Bigger’s blog specialises in what she calls ‘Vanlife’. Her entertaining words and stunning pictures capture off the beaten track travel, perfect for adventure travellers that are looking to maximise adventure on a budget.
Marta from In a Faraway Land creates detailed travel itineraries filled with beautiful photographs and useful guides. Perfect for trip planning and inspiration, those who love the outdoors will especially enjoy her advice and recommendations. The visual maps she creates also make her guides easy to follow and understand.
Megan Singleton writes honest and entertaining accounts of her personal travel experiences. She doesn’t embellish her stories, and we love the personality that comes through in her writing. Her blog is more tailored towards middle-aged travellers not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone – something with a relatively small voice on the web!
This is run by a large network of contributors, covering a huge base of niches along with it. Whether you’re after the top bookstores in a town, places to stay or the history behind a destination, the culture trip covers them all well. It’s unique angle comes from it’s equal focus on the ‘to-do’ of an area and letting you ‘get to know’ the place before you head off.
Another collective of contributors, Roam Magazine has a combination of area guides, photo essays, interviews, videos and more. We enjoyed this photo essay by contributor Hannah Colligan that showed New Zealand through people rather than landscapes, something we found unique and refreshing.
Off the Path is an adventure-travel focused blog. Here you’ll find detailed road trip style posts, containing a 50/50 mix of recommendations and personal experience accounts. The posts are generally very entertaining to read, with some excellent photographs scattered throughout – bound to inspire those adventure travellers!
The Luxury Travel Diary have gained quite the following, and rightly so with great advice for those who like to splurge a little while travelling. They mainly cover accomodation, transport and travel accessories – even covering one of our holiday homes Oke Beach House in a special article!
Eskrow is a New Zealand based blog that specialises in unique accomodation and experiences. It’s a great source of travel inspiration if you’re after something a bit quirky and out of the ordinary, ranging from luxury homes to glamping tents.
Phenomenal Globe is a blog run by Netherlands-born traveller Lotte. Leaving her job to travel full time, she now travels the world and writes helpful itinerary, diary and advice style blogs from her experiences. She covers the budget travel niche well, with informative articles such as this guide on exploring New Zealand on a budget.
The Travelling Tom is a great blog to follow for information about a new place on your travel bucket list. His country-themed overviews make deciding on places to visit an easy one, covering the unusual to the more popular activities and spots to visit.
Nathan and Sarah are both Kiwi expats living in Abu Dhabi, who lead their blogging community to deliver content suited for the most price-conscious to those with a taste for luxury. They tend to follow the road less travelled and write about experiences that are a bit more out of the ordinary, making for entertaining reads if you’re into a bit of adventure!
The 2 Aussie Travellers cover budget travel and short trips really well – perfect for those who work full time and can’t go on a long around-the-world adventure. Even though they’re ‘2 Aussie Travellers’, both have lived in New Zealand, so give a good insider’s view of travelling the country.
Mechanical Engineer turned full time traveller Juno Kim creates blog articles with stunning photography and interesting diary-style accounts of her travels. We love her post covering the Fletcher Bay Coastal Walk, something we reckon all visitors to the Coromandel should check out!
With humble beginnings, Nomadic Matt has grown to become one of the largest and most well-known travel blogs, now earning itself a network of contributors. The articles are extremely helpful for advice, as well as comparing and contrasting different experiences and companies.
Yoshke & Vins are the two behind The Poor Traveler. Their main focus is to give advice those interested on stretching their travel budget, based on what they’ve learned throughout their own adventures. This ranges from general tips you can apply to any destination, to comprehensive travel guides for different locations.
Solo Traveler World is an online community run by Janice and Tracey. It spawned from a popular Facebook community where solo travellers review and rate destinations and activities for other fellow solo travellers. Overall we think it’s a great one-stop-shop for all things to do with exploring with the company of me, myself and I!
Having recently spent 5 months in New Zealand, Craig and Linda have been travelling full time since 2006. Their blog is filled with entertaining podcasts, unique to their experiences. They’re perfect for chucking on in the car on the way to work – and span locations all across the globe!
Logan Dodds documents and writes about adventure travel and experiences that would appeal mostly towards the 20-35 age group. Covering events such as Spring Break in Rarotonga and bucket list adventure travel activities, his blog is a great source of inspiration (the stunning photography and videos that accompany it make it hard not to want to head away ASAP!)
The Planet D is an adventure travel blog run by couple Dave and Deb. Their main goal is to prove that everyday people and couples can have a life of travel – hoping to inspire that in other people. They travel full time, posting comprehensive guides that range in topics from what to bring to when to visit. It’s heavy on information which is good for planning that big overseas trip!
Liz Carlson of the Young Adventuress writes beautiful blog posts focused on adventure-oriented travels. For those interested in walks, natural sights and native wildlife around the world, Liz is your girl. Her stunning photography and inspiring experiences have also earned herself a good following on Instagram.
Jodi Ettenberg’s blog is perfect for those who prefer to travel from plate to plate. Foodie-focused posts with a blend of travel tips and experiences make up her popular blog. The posts are useful and entertaining, a favourite of ours being her guide to eating street food without getting sick.
Travelling as a family can be pretty tough, but blogs like Where’s Sharon are full of tips to make it a bearable and memorable experience. Her blog contains a mixture of family-friendly destination guides as well as useful family travel tips. Perfect if you’re about to head away with the little ones!
Her Packing List is a blog that covers a very specific niche, but does it well. It’s all about the right gear to bring to particular destinations and how to pack it. If you find it hard to pick the bare necessities for a big travel trip, or want to know about the latest and best gear, Her Packing List is one to add to the reading list!
Natasha from The Boho Chica writes interesting and useful posts about travel, food and hiking. Instead of being focused on low-budget travel as a lot of younger bloggers do, Natasha includes experiences that are also suited to those with a bit more disposable income.
Michael Turtle writes a very unique blog. Instead of focusing on the usual ‘where to visit, top 10 things to do’ type of posts, he narrows down on some of the more unconventional topics seen on the web. Topics revolving around human ethical issues, interviews with locals and talking about change over time (see his post about the Franz Joseph Glacier) are not astray on his site!
Worth the Google translation into English, Roadtrio is run by three friends who travel the globe and write useful tips surrounding accomodation and activities, as well as more general travel advice. Landing in the middle of backpacking and luxury, their posts are great for a wide audience. They recently visited our corner of the globe, and even stayed in one of our Auckland City Stays!
If you have a passion for the environment and travel, Linda McCormick writes inspiring articles centred around her family travels, eco-tourism and different cuisines. She often takes her two daughters along with her, making Eco Traveller Guide ideal for family holiday inspiration as well.
Kiwis Bethany and Lee write informative articles and advice pieces about travelling with young ones. They cover topics such as how to plan a toddler-friendly travel itinerary and flying tips of children – extremely useful for those who think travel is a near-impossible task with kids!
Howard and Jerry are two bloggers from Florida, USA. Their itineraries and roadtrip posts are especially entertaining and useful, and if you’re thinking about taking that dream campervan trip around NZ, they have a great guest post about a 2 month long roadtrip in New Zealand!
Whether you’re looking to make long-term travel a part of your life, or just want advice for the trip of a lifetime, Sonja’s blog has some valuable information. She’s an expat Kiwi, who’s now based in Scotland (if you can call it that – she’s constantly on the move!)
Although not a traditional blogger in the sense of having a dedicated blog website, Ben Mikha has made some great waves in the travel industry. As a Discovery Intern, he produces excellent videos on his YouTube channel, and shares some of the most visually pleasing photos on his Instagram – if you’re a fan of the outdoors this is one to check out!
They Get Around is a blog that specialises in beautiful photography, videos and guides. They mainly visit scenic landscapes, and their writing has a nice touch of humour – making it a good read! If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, they post a fair bit of video content on their YouTube channel as well.
Frugal Frolicker mainly covers adventure travel on a budget. Lindsay (the founder), writes interesting articles and takes beautiful pictures. She’s also a bit of a coffee-lover and writes coffee-place reviews on some of the locations she’s visited – great for fellow coffee enthusiasts!
Victoria and Steve are a couple that have a passion for travel, sharing their experiences with the internet through a mixture of itineraries, diary-style posts, special accomodation overviews and general advice pieces. It’s a good blog to follow whether you’re after general inspiration or detailed guides about a destination you have your eyes on.
The Wandering Lens covers all things photography-related when it comes to travel. With breathtaking photographs to serve as inspiration and guides on topics such as The Best Photography Locations in Queenstown, those that have love being behind the lens will find this a great blog to follow.
Jon is a Kiwi expat who now travels the world full time. He has a humorous writing style, making his posts great to read and easy to follow. His focus falls more into the low-budget backpackers category – good for those wanting to explore more for less!
Anita’s blog is very unique in how she approached New Zealand travel. Being a Kiwi herself, there are some nice local insights such as how to decipher Kiwi slang. There’s also an article where she spent the entire day with Gordon, a rural postman in the Wairarapa (read it here).
Ocean is a Kiwi who captures beautiful photos, documenting amazing places to visit in New Zealand. She has a focus on adventure travel – those into hiking and surfing will find some great reads on her site. Her blog also covers events happening around New Zealand such as the popular summer festivals.
Although Cheskie may not post as regularly as some on this list, her articles are of a great quality with some beautiful visual content. Our favourite articles include the pieces about the South Island, where she captures some amazing shots from her travels!
Christy and Scott’s blog focuses on high-adventure activities, but instead of being a full-time digital nomad like a lot of the popular blogs out there, they write about their travelling experiences as people who still work, hence the name ‘Ordinary Traveler’. It’s the perfect inspiration for those who only have a set amount of vacation time per year.
Aussie on the Road specialises in ambitious adventure travel – big once in a lifetime experiences such as following the length of the Silk Road and the great US Roadtrip. If you like to get out there and tick off those bucket-list items when you’re travelling, this blog is for you.
Mark from Flying and Travel is an Airline Pilot, giving a unique insight into travel and flying around the globe. He writes detailed itineraries and activity-based articles about the locations he’s visited, as well as a section dedicated to flying advice and interest pieces.
Rhonda and Jeff Albom are US expats currently living in New Zealand. Their posts have a unique, local twist to New Zealand as a destination compared to the usual places written about. If you’re interested in local events and some of the more specific activities to do around the country, Albom Adventures is definitely worth a read!
Katie is a New Zealander who now travels full time, living as a digital nomad. Her blog is more of a follow-me style, where readers can see the world through her experiences as well as get insight into what it’s like living and travelling full time in her monthly round ups.
Sarah, being a Wellington local, writes practical and informative posts that have a mixture of guides, advice and diary-style articles. From local knowledge such as how much it costs to live in Wellington, to broader travel stories from around the world, her posts are always a good read – witty and informative.
Tara moved from the United States to New Zealand in early 2016. She often takes solo road trips and writes about her experiences in entertaining blog posts. She’s found some gems in the North and South Island worth reading about – and has a passion for reading her way around the world.
The Road to Anywhere is a blog focused on adventure and cultural travel. Dean mixes entertaining words with stunning photographs to give a sense of a place, as well as tips and advice for travelling around the covered locations.
As New Zealand’s leading holiday home management company, Bachcare manage over 1,500 holiday homes throughout the country. With local holiday managers in over 142 different locations and 24 hour guest support services, we make finding your happy place easy!
How you can get on this list
Did you miss out this year and want to be considered for our 2018 top 50 travel blogs? Contact us in the comments below with your blog URL and we’ll add you to our list of consideration for next year!
Over to you
Do you have any favourite travel blogs not listed here? We had a few heated discussions about what blogs should/shouldn’t be included in the top 50. A few names worth a mention are What’s Dave Doing, Four Jandals and The Global Couple. If you have any go-to travel blogs, let us know in the comments below!