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Qualmark skews its star ratings too high

Qualmark is New Zealand’s main star rating agency which is the ‘official’ star rating used by Tourism New Zealand. It was established in partnership with Tourism New Zealand and as such it has an interest in promoting tourism rather than providing travellers with impartial advice. Furthermore, like many other – so called, official – ratings agencies, they […]

New Zealand’s top 10 small hostels

The latest BUG New Zealand guidebook reviews of around 500 hostels throughout New Zealand. New Zealand’s hostels range from small intimate places to large modern multi-storey hostels with hundreds of beds although compared with Australia the emphasis is mostly on smaller hostels. When I asked the authors working on the travel guide, their favourites were […]

Going Green

Having driven more than 4500 kilometres around New Zealand in the last month, and having flown several thousand more to get here in the first place, it’s hard not to think about the environmental impact that traveling has. New Zealand already gets 2.4 million tourists a year; now imagine the growth of economies like China’s […]