Hiking in New Zealand…


I’m Kati and these days I live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, in my adopted home country of Australia.

Even though I moved to Australia in my early 20s, I’ve never considered myself an expat. I studied and sort of just stayed. It’s been more than 20 years now, and I’m coming up to the point where I’ve lived half my life in Australia. That’s scary!

I used to live in sports-mad Melbourne, and some days I still miss it. I’ve adjusted pretty well to life in the sunshine state but I totally miss cooler weather and the four seasons. Sometimes I just find the sun annoying.

I’ve been teaching English as a Second Language for a fair few years now and love it. It’s hard work, I often work more than what’s good for me but my students never fail to delight me. Sometimes it feels like the world steps into my classroom!


This blog was born out of me trying to make sense of our newly adopted home in Queensland when we first moved here in late 2013.

We initially set out on a quest to explore the south-eastern corner of Queensland as well as “tackling all of Queensland”! To our dismay, we haven’t yet managed to venture very far. The husband is a little more determined than I am to extend our stay in Queensland. We used to say that we’ll have to stay until we’ve made it into the Queensland Outback but then we “achieved” that last year and we’re still here.

You’ll find us taking a very low-key approach to travel like road trips, camping, hiking, bike riding but also city trips (but no fancy hotel reviews here). I’m not much good on or in water though I’ve lately contemplated the idea of trying out kayaking – on lakes, mind you.


I don’t count countries, I didn’t even know that was a thing and I haven’t written about all the places I’ve been to over the years.

A lot of my posts focus on hiking, roadtripping and 4WD-ing around Queensland and Australia, my big backyard. I also write about roadtripping, hiking and camping in Canada (my recent travel love), Germany (my home), New Zealand (our cousin) and other places.

I basically love any place that still feels wild and remote.

Camping in New Zealand
Campervan camping in New Zealand

Camping guides is another pet of mine but I keep them fairly low-key and somewhat subjective. 🙂

I also love history, culture, and identity, and how they intertwine but don’t often write about that. If you’re interested in these topics, you could have a look at my posts on the Berlin Wall, Aboriginal cultural sites in Canada or Aboriginal rock art in Queensland.


So… we’re into low-key, inexpensive travel. It’s not that we don’t splurge or are always budget-conscious, it’s just that we’re happy to rough things a bit more. I love falling asleep to sound of the wind or waves in a simple tent or campervan away from the crowds.

I’ve (re-)discovered the beauty of going unplugged, and hence realised that blogging and travel don’t actually go together, making me a rather sporadic contributor when we’re away!

Caravan, tourist or RV parks are not usually on our radar, though we do use them a bit when roadtripping overseas (after all, even I want to have a shower every now and then).

Since we can’t easily take our car and tent with us to the beyond places, we have hired tiny campervans in the past. We love travelling in this way as we can be independent and, importantly, cook our own food in line with my gluten-intolerance. Eating out is not really our thing.

Van travel in Canada
Stocking up at a food stall in Canada

Questions? Comments? Want to come travelling?

Leave a comment or contact me.



  • Liz Bilsborough
    31 May 2020 at 3:29 PM

    Hi Katie,
    If you want a campground that will give you those ‘5 tents’, I suggest you try out the NP campground at Edith Falls in NT. Grassed, shady sites; hot showers & flushing toilets; has an onsite kiosk and coin laundry,

    And the bonus – the largest swimming hole I have ever come across with good clean water and a waterfall at one end of it PLUS walking/hiking trails abound.(see Jatbula trail).

    It doesn’t get much better than this (except, perhaps for the hut to hut hiking in the Tirol)

    • Kati
      9 August 2020 at 1:49 PM

      Hello Liz,

      I’m so sorry, I just realised that I never responded to your comment!

      Yes, I can imagine that some of the camping areas in the NT would hit my sweet spot and trigger a ‘5 tent’ response! The one you mentioned at Edith Falls sounds like a great spot. I’d love to return to the NT and explore some more, hopefully when this COVID world stops spinning quite so crazily…

      Oh, and hut to hut hiking in Tyrol – YES, definitely on my list as well!! We’ve done two long(er) distance hikes in New Zealand and I totally fell in love with staying in huts rather than camping, utter luxury, haha… 🙂

  • Warwick Erskine
    13 January 2021 at 11:49 AM

    Hi Kati,
    I’m a new visitor to your website and now a subscriber to your newsletter. I have a smallish caravan, travel on my own and so far have only explored Queensland, not all and NSW, not all.
    I usually go to Port Douglas for the Winter, travelling up the Bruce Highway. This year going inland a bit taking in Cania and Carnarvon gorges, doing a lot of freedom camping on the way.
    I’ve travelled overseas too, UK, South Africa, Malaysia, Alaska, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
    You have a great website, lots of info and will spend quite some time checking it out.
    I live on The Sunshine Coast too.

    • Kati
      15 January 2021 at 12:41 PM

      Welcome, and thanks for dropping me a line, Warwick. 🙂

      We haven’t done a lot of freedom camping in Queensland/Australia as we normally stay in national parks but there are certainly plenty of spots out there. All the small towns now seem to make their ovals, showgrounds or similar available for caravan travellers so I’m sure you’ll find lots of spots to plonk down for a few nights. And Carnarvon Gorge is amazing, especially if you get up early! 🙂

      I’ve just been re-doing a few things on the blog so some things might still look a bit funny while I iron everything out.

  • Dave Holman
    26 April 2021 at 7:28 AM

    Kati, I love your reviews of the National Parks. My wife and I have an Off Road caravan (small) and have been to many of the NP’s in Qld. Your reviews are very helpful, and very accurate based on what we have seen. We have just returned from a 6500 km Outback run (Brisbane to the Gulf to Birdsville and back), and missed a few parks due to flooding closures. So your guides will help us to prioritise for our next trip in a few months. Keep up the great reviews please
    Dave Holman
    Coolum Beach

    • Kati
      11 May 2021 at 4:45 PM

      Dear Dave,
      Sorry for not responding sooner, having two long weekends in a row gets in the way of everything! 🙂

      I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful comment, you really made my day. I often wonder whether I should keep going and write up my notes so I’m really glad to hear that yes, there are others who find them helpful. 🙂 Thank you.

      And what an amazing trip you’ve just been on!! What were the highlights?


  • Dave Holman
    12 May 2021 at 6:58 AM

    Hi Kati. Highlights – hmmmm. We love deserts, so I think the trip from Birdsville to Windorah was amazing – transitioning from the sandy Simpson Desert and channel country, to the hard Gibson Stony desert. Not much out there (except flies!). And we took a 1/2 day drive into the Simpson which we really enjoyed, despite getting bogged (thank-you MaxTrax). And seeing the Gulf country so green after all of the rain was wonderful too. Last time we were there in 2019 it was barren. And if you are out that way, stay at the Camooweal Lagoon. 8km of frontage onto a beautiful lagoon with free camping. Lots of birdlife. No facilities though. We stayed there 3 nights and loved it after all the driving. In 2019 we went into Boodjamulla NP (Lawn Hill) and that was wonderful. Didn’t go in this time as the river was brown after all the rains, and you go there to see the emerald green water. But a must do if you have never been there. Cheers. Dave

    • Kati
      25 May 2021 at 8:40 AM

      Hello Dave,
      Sorry for the slow reply, I didn’t get notified for some reason.

      It sounds like you had an amazing trip! We’ve only made it as far as Welford NP (west of Blackall) and down to Currawinya NP (west of Cunnamulla). I’d love to see more of the Qld Outback, and head out to the desert and also north to Boodjamulla. And I definitely want to visit Camooweal Lagoon, that sounds heavenly (I can deal with no facilities, just not tons of people 🙂 ).

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Cathy Swan
    25 August 2021 at 8:36 AM

    Hi Kati. We are experiencing our first national park stay at Cania Gorge, Qld. The walks are great for older travellers who prefer to take their time. Not sure how you managed to complete all of the trails in a day? We marvelled at and wondered how the lookouts, bridges and steps were constructed with only narrow paths leading to the caves! Loved our time at Cania Tourist Retreat on a powered site! I suppose older people appreciate things on hiking trails such as construction, nature, peace and quiet than youngsters do! We have children too!! Thanks for your views on NParks! Enjoy your travels.

  • Zella
    4 January 2023 at 3:07 PM

    Hi Kati!
    I’ve stumbled across your page when trying to find more about Deepwater NP, which is where we’re heading at the end of January! So looking forward to it!
    I really like the way you write, it’s sort of down to earth, really fun to read while addressing the important things that I have questions about and that usually don’t get a mention on DES/other websites.
    I also find it very reassuring to find out that I’m not the only person in Australia who can’t stand port-a-loos (give me a shovel any day 🙂
    I’m also originally from overseas (Bosnia in my case, but lived in Munich for about 3 years), and now have been living in Queensland for well over 10 years, and absolutely love it! My partner and myself do smaller trips mostly, with some of our favourites being Straddie and Fraser Islands. He’s an avid fisherman and laughed his head off when you mentioned forgetting the fishing gear. I think he’d prefer to forget the tent than the fishing gear 🙂
    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    • Kati
      28 January 2023 at 6:08 PM

      Hello Zella! 🙂

      What a lovely comment, thank you for leaving such a kind response – you made my day! Apologies that it’s taken me a while to respond, the blog has been sadly neglected for the last couple of years… (Not that we haven’t done trips, I’ve just lost my mojo a bit…)

      Haha, your comment about toilets made me laugh because yes, how many people really do prefer shovels??! I know I do, especially when the portaloos or toilets are feral.

      Hope you had a fabulous time at Deepwater, if indeed you made it there! Believe it or not but in the 10 years we’ve been in Queensland, we still haven’t made it to Stradie (and would, no doubt, forget the fishing gear! XD).



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