The Daydream Series: New Zealand – Kia Ora!


Daydreaming is easy, healthy, and free!
Here at AAV Travel, we would like to give your mind a break and the opportunity to enjoy and learn more about the world from the comfort of your home.


A visit to New Zealand is on top of many bucket lists. Jam-packed with extreme natural beauty, jolly kiwis, and fantastic food and drink, New Zealand impresses at every turn!

Cool cities, vineyards, mountains, rainforest, beautiful beaches, glaciers, and valleys. You can spend weeks and never get bored! #tourismstrong

Jamaican Flavors

New Zealand’s cuisine could be described as Pacific Rim, with influences from Asia, Polynesia, as well as Europe. The abundance of fresh food, as well as the mix of traditional Maori culture with European influences makes for hugely diversified food experience. With the laid-back Kiwi attitude, dining experiences generally have a more casual feel. Picture fresh farm to table food combined with fantastic local wines in a relaxed atmosphere.

Take a little bit of that:

and add a little bit of this:

And you’ll have an better idea of what to expect.

Anxious to try a recipe at home? How about Kiwi Pavlova?

Recipe and video courtesy of Carina. 


  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1½ Cups | 250g Castor Sugar or Super Fine Sugar
  • 2 tsp Corn Flour | Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • Whipped Cream and Fruit to serve


  • Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
  • Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is on high speed until all of the sugar is incorporated. Beat the meringue for a further 5-7 minutes on high speed.
  • Add the cornflour and vinegar and mix for 30 seconds or so until incorporated.
  • Turn the pavlova out on a lined baking sheet and shape it into a 9inch or 23cm disc. Bake in a 130C|260F oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. When the pavlova has finished baking, cool it in the oven without opening the door for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  • Serve the pavlova topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Watch the video for hands-on instructions:

Copy of taste!

Lorde is likely one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular exports, but there are a lot of different bands and artists, as versatile as the country’s landscape. Check out our playlist and listen to some well-established artists, as well as some new and emerging ones.



Whether you want to delve into New Zealand history, escape to a dream world, or drool over beautiful landscapes, here is a selection of six movies to get you started.

  • Whale Rider: Watch 12-year-old Pai, fight against ancient Maori traditions, which prevent females from being clan chiefs.
  • The Piano: Scottish Ada and her daughter are sold into marriage and left with all their belongings, including a piano, on a desolate New Zealand beach. This is a deep and amazing movie, no light feat but utterly rewarding.
  • Bridge to Terabithia: The story of two bullied adolescents that create an imaginary world, Terabithia, which they rule as king and queen.
  • The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey: Bilbo and his hobbit friends are on a quest to reclaim Erebor. Most of the movie is filmed in the hobbit village, which you can visit one hour outside of Auckland.
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople: A boy and his foster father become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness. This is a fun movie!
  • The Insatiable Moon: This 2010 New Zealand drama tells the story of Arthur, a Maori man who sees himself as the second son of a god. He sets off on a mission to find the Queen of Heaven.

If you want to do some daydreaming and possibly plan a visit, check New Zealand’s lovely plea.

This video by Pure New Zealand does a fantastic job capturing New Zealand’s people, their spirit, and the country’s beauty.


If you love reading and are ready to go deeper and learn more about the country as well as its history, culture, and behind the scenes, there are some excellent books for you!

A Good Keen Man by Barry Crump
Set against the rugged beauty of the New Zealand backcountry, this is the tale of a young man’s introduction to the art of deer culling and follows the exploits of a good keen man as he learns the skills necessary to become a good bushman. For more…

Pounanu Pounanu by Witi Ihimaera

A collection of original stories that showed how crucial Maori identity is for all New Zealanders. For more…

The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King
New Zealand was the last country in the world to be discovered and settled by humankind. It was also the first to introduce full democracy. Between those events, and in the century that followed, the movements and conflicts of human history have been played out more intensively and more rapidly in New Zealand than anywhere else on Earth.

The Penguin History of New Zealand tells that story in all its color and drama. The narrative that emerges is an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonizing New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a ‘fatal impact’, coped heroically with colonization and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer. For more… 

A Kiwi Year: Twelve Months in the Life of New Zealand Kids by Tania Mccartney
A multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our amazing country. They’ll take you through a year in the life of New Zealand’s kids, from celebrations, traditions, and events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. For more…

Do They Speak English Down There? by Susan Tunney
Read how one family transformed fantasy into reality when they traded in their San Diego lifestyle to move to rural New Zealand along with the challenges it presented, adapting to a new culture. From duct tape to #8 wire, its been one helluva journey. For more…

Squashed Possums: Off the Beaten Track in New Zealand by Jonathan Tindale
Ten years after returning from the New Zealand outback, Jon receives a mysterious manuscript in the post. Narrated by Jon’s former home, the lone caravan, Squashed Possums, reveals what it’s like to live in the wild through four seasons, including New Zealand’s coldest winter in decades. For more…


Since New Zealand is home to many excellent vineyards, how about a wine tasting?

75 % of all grapes harvested are picked on the South Island in the Marlborough region. Hawke’s Bay is located on the North Island, South of Auckland, and makes up for 12 % of the harvest.

The majority of the wines are white, so why not compare a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, with one from Hawke’s Bay?


Please stay safe and healthy, wash your hands, and practice social distancing as long as it is necessary.

Being able to travel is an incredible gift. The experience can open our eyes to the unique cultures and spellbinding beauty of the natural world. But with this gift comes a responsibility – to protect the world as we know it. Please behave responsibly and show respect!

Stefanie Pichonnat is the owner of AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating customized travel itineraries. Originally from Switzerland, she started exploring the world at a young age and continues to expand her knowledge every year.

To plan a trip contact her at