A bad moon rising gallery

Shayla Gibbons

When Shayla Gibbons left NZ her OE, she never thought she'd end up in a Thai clinic, fearing for her friend's lives.

The big OE: why do Kiwis do it?

Kiwis are Christmas Scrooges

BAH HUMBUG: Kiwis are happy to snub their family this holiday season.

Kiwis are a bunch of Scrooges with 50 per cent wanting to leave family members behind this Christmas.

Pasifika welcome

If you slip into "Tonga time" you'll have an amazing experience.

Elizabeth Rine has embraced island life in the Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa.

A different life stuff nation

KENTE WEAVING: A complex system of weaving on a loom with foot pedals.

Avi Duckorjones left his comfortable apartment in Manhattan for deepest darkest Africa.

Land of the rising sun

OCEAN'S FOUR: Matt Kurd with wife Yuka, daughter Akira and son Taila at a local wharf by the sea.

Matt Curd swapped Christchurch for a new life teaching English in Japan.

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Family travel in Thailand

People release floating lanterns during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai.

Need help an itinerary for Thailand? If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz.

Budgeting a UK trip

Need help with a budget for a trip to the UK? Email us at travel@stuff.co.nz.

Europe on a budget

Bora Bora on a budget

australia

The Gold Coast's classiest hotels gallery

QT: The QT's relentlessly perky and design-heavy take on the traditional Surfers Paradise tower resort is a high energy blizzard of colour in a sea of fun-free safe blandness. A tongue-in-cheek vintage seaside theme pervades the whole property, whether it's the wholesomely retro bikini babes on the lift mirrors, jumpsuit receptionist uniforms or garish mesh bags with thongs inside on the bathroom hooks. Anyone who doesn't love the cockatoo-shaped bedside lamps has a heart of stone, while the Stingray bar has become one of the hottest cocktail spots in town. Doubles cost from $219.

It might be known for excess and skyscrapers, but the Gold Coast can do classy, too.

Get your motor running

By the second descent I couldn't wait and gunned it, and now there was no stopping me.

SNOW COVERED: On top of Mount Wellington

Cold at the top

It may be summer but it's snowing on Mount Wellington when a group of cyclists begin their hair-raising descent.

pacific islands

Getting kava'd in Vanuatu

POTENT BREW: Drinking kava used to be reserved for special ceremonies, but things are changing in Vanuatu.

Going to a kava bar in Vanuatu is like going to a corner pub after a hard day's work.

Full of heavenly adventures gallery

Crawl off the beach towel and there are opportunities on many Pacific islands for unique adventure activities.

HARD AT WORK: The writer (far left) on the beach with the experts.

One bloke's balancing act in paradise

This retreat begins and ends in the warm, clear waters of Rarotonga's Muri Lagoon.