What’s up with Google Ads and the Amazon tax?

Have you heard of the latest changes to Google Ads? And what’s up with the so-called Amazon tax that comes into effect this year? Find out more…

My latest article for Energise Web was a bit challenging. I am only just familiarizing myself with Google Ads, and I had never before heard of an Amazon tax. However, I enjoyed writing this one even more so because it taught me a lot about what’s to come and what to look out for.

The bottom line with the so-called Amazon tax is, that starting this tear, Kiwis will have to start paying GST on goods bought online through international websites such as Amazon, Ebay, Wish and many more.

How it all works, why it could or could not be in your favour and who is going to benefit from this decision most, is what I’ve explained in the following blog post. It also covers changes to Google Ads which will affect businesses residing in New Zealand.

As usual, if there is anything you would like to add or if you have any comments, please throw them in the field provided below.

[Read full article here]

Your free travel guide for Queenstown

If you’re planning a trip to Queenstown, but don’t want to waste endless time on putting an itinerary together, why not use a free travel guide? They take all the hassle out of the prepwork.

Did you know that you can let someone else put together the perfect travel itinerary for your next visit to Queenstown – entirely for free? I quite enjoyed writing this blog post for Concierge Queenstown and would love to go on another adventure to the South Island.

You can head over to their website and find out how they work and why it won’t cost you a cent to use their services.

Have you been to Queenstown before? I would love to know what your favourite thing to do has been! Please feel free to share your travel experiences in the comments below.

[Read full article here]

How to attract TUI to your garden

Tui are not only beautiful birds with a very unique melody. They also help spread seeds of trees and flowers, playing an important role in New Zealand wildlife and ensuring that native shrubs and trees keep thriving.

how to attract tui to your garden

The tui is one of New Zealand’s most iconic birds. It looks stunning, has a song that can melt your heart – and it also plays a vital role in New Zealand’s eco system.

Tui are very busy spreading seed pods and flower pods around to ensure that threes and shrubs continue to thrive.

These birds are known to fly more than 10 kilometers to feast, and if you want to attract them to your garden, you can do so by planting a certain variety of trees that tui simply can’t resist.

If you would like to find out which they are, please follow the link below.

[Read full article here]

Relay for Life 2019

In preparation for Relay for Life 2019 I have started a raffle where the winner takes away $200 in cash!!! Please support my fundraising campaign and make a donation towards the Cancer Society Northland.

$200 CASH PRIZE!!!

As some of you may know, I am getting ready for Relay for Life 2019 to support the Cancer Society Northlandand the amazing work they do to support people suffering from cancer and their whānau.

If you would to support this cause, I am currently running a raffle(*). I have got 40 tickets up for grabs. They are $20 or 3 for $50. Simply leave your lucky number in the comments below and I will send you payment details.

The winner will be drawn once all tickets are sold or the night of Relay (last weekend in March), whichever happens first.

If your number gets drawn, you win $200 cash!!!

If $20 is too much for you, but you would still like to make a donation, please head over to my fundraising page and leave as little or as much as you can. Every dollar is highly appreciated.

https://rflnorthland2019.everydayhero.com/nz/mara

Thank you everyone 

(*) This raffle is not endorsed by any social media platform, nor the Cancer Society. Cash prize is paid out in New Zealand dollars, hence the winner needs to reside in New Zealand. For further questions please contact me.

What the heck is a wedding celebrant?

Do you know what a wedding celebrant in New Zealand does? I had no idea idea, until I got to write this article for Collective Concepts.

wedding celebrant new zealand

Growing up in Germany where people get married either traditionally at church or at the civic office through a registrar, the term wedding celebrant (which is quite common here in New Zealand) was very foreign to me. So when I got asked to write a blog about what a wedding celebrant actually does, I was quite intrigued.

Here is what I’ve found out.

[Read full article]

This blog post was written for Collective Concepts. If you’re thinking about getting married in New Zealand, feel free to like them, browse their other articles and check out their services.

Hello Travelista!

Are you new to Whangarei or travelling through? Check out all the fun things you can do in my first article that just got published on Travelista.

I have returned to my passion, writing, and have just finished my first article for Travelista!

If you’d like to find out more about Whangarei, the city I have been calling home for the last 8.5 years, please follow the link below to learn about all the fun things to do in Whangarei.

[Read full article here]

The best places to skydive in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the adventure countries in the world. Adrenaline junkies really get their money’s worth. Today I’d like to show you the best places to skydive in New Zealand.

new zealand skydive bay of islands

Bungee jumping, white water rafting, abseiling, skydiving, … You name it, and New Zealand will be able to offer it to you. Adrenaline junkies will LOVE this beautiful country because apart from its stunning scenery it also has an unlimited supply of action-packed activities.

Today one of my best mates decided to skydive in the scenic Bay of Islands, up in the North Island. That sparked me to show you the best places to skydive in New Zealand.

If you think anything is missing or if you have done a skydive and would love to share your story, please do so in the comments below!

North Island

You think there is nothing to do north of Auckland? Think again! Some of New Zealand’s best skydiving locations are in the far north of the North Island!

Bay of Islands

The most northern skydive operator is situated in a small town called Kerikeri, which is most famous among backpackers for the abundance of fruit picking jobs in the summer time.

Skydive Bay of Islands offers tandem jumps in up to 20,000 feet – one of the highest in New Zealand! 85 seconds free fall and the chance to land on a pristine white sand beach? Yes, please!

Prices

9,000 ft from $299

12,000 ft from $329

16,000 ft from $399

20,000 ft from 559

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Auckland

Until recently Skydive Auckland was the only operator offering jumps from 20,000 feet high. They are located about 45 minutes from the city centre and have more than 20 years experience.

Prices

9,000 ft from $295

13,000 ft from $325

16,000 ft from $425

20,000 ft from $595

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Mercer

Located right between Auckland and Hamilton, the small town of Mercer is not well known for its adrenalin sports. However, Go Skydive New Zealand is your go to if you want to start small and your budget is limited. In return, you get to enjoy breathtaking views over the Coromandel Peninsula, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Prices

7,000 ft from $250

9,000 ft from $295

13,000 ft from $335

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Tauranga

Tauranga is the gateway to White Island, the active volcanic island offshore clearly visible most days. If you’re lucky, you will catch a good view from above when jumping with Skydive Tauranga. Your choices are a bit limited, though.

Prices

10,000 ft from $325

12,000 ft from $375

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Taupo

The city on the shores of Lake Taupo is known as the adventure capital of the North Island. Skydive Taupo offers fantastic views over the crystal blue lake as well as the nearby Tongariro National Park, including Mount Ngauruhoe, better known as Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Prices

12,000 ft from $279

15,000 ft from $359

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

South Island

There are 3 major areas to skydive in the South Island. Motueka at the very top is less known, while the adventure capital of the south, Queenstown, and the glaciers on the edge of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park invite thousands of visitors each year that are seeking an extra bit of thrill.

Motueka

This will probably be the only jump during which you get to see both islands. Skydive Abel Tasman is New Zealand owned and operated and offers a range of competitive packages.

Prices

9,000 ft from $279

13,000 ft from $329

16,500 ft from $419

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

You have the choice between two operators, each located at one of the big glaciers in the National Park. Which one will you go for?

operator Skydive Fox Glacier Skydive Franz Josef
prices 9,000 ft from $249

13,000 ft from $299

16,000 ft from $399
13,000 ft from $319

16,500 ft from $419

20,000 ft from $559

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Queenstown

It comes to no surprise that most of the skydive operators can be found in or near the adventure capital of the South Island. NZOne is located in the heart of Queenstown, while Wanaka is a 1 hour drive northeast and Glenorchy (Southern Alps) about 45 minutes northwest.

operator NZOne Skydive Wanaka Skydive Southern Alps
prices 9,000 ft from $299

12,000 ft from $359

15,000 ft from $459
9,000 ft from $299

12,000 ft from $359

15,000 ft from $459
9,000 ft from $289

12,000 ft from $349

15,000 ft from $439

(Prices may vary and do not include pictures etc)

Miscellaneous

There are a few things to keep in mind when you plan to go skydiving. Safety comes first, so make sure you listen to your instructors and pay attention to the safety briefings.

New Zealand does not have age restrictions on skydiving. Usually, as long as you’re over 30kg and can fit into one of the harnesses, you’re basically good to go. Children and teenagers younger than 18 simply need a letter of consent from their parents or caregivers.

There is, however, a maximum restriction on weight! If you’re close to or over 100kg (220lbs) your chances of being accepted to jump are slim.

Also, if you have any known medical conditions it pays to seek advice from your doctor first.