Planning a journey to the opposite side of the globe

with 10 Comments
New Zealand is a country that takes the top spot in a lot of bucket lists and dream destinations. How could it not? With its Maori culture, unique flora and fauna, incredible mountain experiences and magnificent views, hobbit stories and much more it can inspire every person to travel. So, after telling each other stories and sharing dream destinations, one night we decided it is time for The Magic of Traveling to conquer New Zealand. This was the easy part! Now we have to find flights, make up an itinerary, think of a transportation method, accommodation and find answers to many other questions about our New Zealand trip.

planning a trip to the opposite side of the globe - a journey to New Zealand


We started with the hardest and the most expensive part of the planning – flights.

There were some interesting offers from Western Europe by HolidayPirates, which we missed. We conducted a decent amount of searches on Skyscanner. On one of our next searches for some good flight deals it turned out we had forgotten to check Istanbul as a starting point. The best offer was found and our plane tickets were bought just a few minutes afterwards. China Southern Airlines was going to be our flight company that would take us from Istanbul to Auckland with two intermediate stops in China (Urumqi and Guangzhou).

planning a trip to the opposite side of the globe - a journey to New Zealand
This is what you get when you try to book some top attractions as the Milford Sound Cruise in the last minute.


Moving around New Zealand

After a lot of research it turned out that the best way of transportation there is by renting a vehicle such as a car or a camper van.

We decided to rent a car and chose to do that from a local company that has be awarded the best rent-a-car company two years in a row. Even from the reservation process we could tell they have earned the awards. They could also book tickets for the ferry that would take us from the North to the South Island.

Let the journey take you to  Japan - Matsumoto and First Impressions

We read the advice given for the drivers that are used on driving on the right side of the road. We watched a couple of videos, too. That’s how we checked this task as done – we were ready with our transportation in New Zealand.


planning a trip to the opposite side of the globe - a journey to New Zealand
A view from the road, New Zealand



This site helped us a lot with our itinerary. We made our own plan by combining some of the not so bad offers about journeys on the two islands.
For accommodation we turned to the usual suspects – Airbnb, and Hostelworld.

Exactly 15 days before our first flight we got a mail, saying our flight has been cancelled and we should contact an agent to make a decision what we should do. This process was mediated by It wasn’t good. We got postponed for a week and we had to start speaking way louder in order for them to start doing something. We ended up with the same flights on the next day. Of course, for us this meant more expenses. That included a flight Sofia – Istanbul – Sofia, a night in Istanbul, a couple of extra night in Auckland and some stress. However, nothing can stop us and it looks like we have overcome all the obstacles. We are already in Istanbul, excited for our 3-hour journey to New Zealand.


planning a trip to the opposite side of the globe - a journey to New Zealand
On a bridge in Istanbul


Coming soon is our story about the small obstacles along the way and our 4-week itinerary in New Zealand.


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10 Responses

  1. wyldfamilytravel
    | Reply

    Glad that you are finally going to make after a few changes to the schedule. We are from Australia and one day have to get over to New Zealand actually hoping to visit Bulgaria on a Europe trip in 2019 cheers from Wyld family Travel

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Sometimes it’s harder to visit the neighbors! 🙂 Same is here – we don’t spend much time on the other Balkan countries and we should!
      You’re welcome to Bulgaria – let us know if you need help planning your route. It would be nice to meet you!

  2. Mikkel
    | Reply

    That is so crazy you had your flights canceled! Great to know the best way around is to rent a car. I hope to travel to New Zealand one day too!

  3. Cat
    | Reply

    It must be so stressful to have your flight cancelled before your trip. Glad that it didn’t stop you from visiting New Zealand! Looking forward to your next post!

  4. Claire
    | Reply

    I hate when airlines change flights – after all that careful planning it screws everything up! Glad you got everything sorted in the end – and didn’t let it ruin your trip!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Airlines could be quite unpredictable and ruin even the best planning. So we have to do our best to do our trip. Happy travels!

  5. Claire Martin
    | Reply

    This will be a valuable resource for when I’m visiting New Zealand next year! It looks like an amazing place.

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Hi Claire, we hope you get to NZ very soon. Here you can find all the blog posts we have about it. 🙂

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