I recently managed to reach 10K followers on Instagram. I’m not a photographer.  I’m a backpacker.  Ahem. A silly one, okay, but still, I don’t know anything about photography. And… it’s even harder in English! (Ahem. Okay, what’s wrong with my level of silliness today?)

If you want to grow your Instagram account, I have the best tip for you.  Are you ready?

Please, insert big crickets and awkward cricket sounds here.

Book a flight to New Zealand!

Australia is great, but not as sexy as New Zealand!  So, I hope you are ready to be teased by my best pictures of New Zealand. (Oh and I might hide some tips here and there, so you don’t hate me too much!)

1. On my way to Franz-Josef


Who doesn’t like a GoPro shot?  Seriously. I spent so much time discovering GoPro shots and all its unique hash-tags!  I use a GoPro for most of my pictures and simply love it. I simply drop it somewhere, press play and choose the best part of my videos.  They said: “Post only your best pictures!”.  And they were right!

2. Wanaka


3. Wanaka (Because It’s just too sexy out there!)

Resting my hand on #thatwanakatree , pushing it. Loving it. #wanaka #nz #nakednz #letsgoeverywhere

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on

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Tag a location, tag big accounts and find the best hash-tags for features, and to reach the good people.  Now, I see that you are asking yourself “But, Mel, what are these accounts and what are these hash-tags?”. Observation, my friend. Observe different accounts and see how they process.  Then, get inspired, try it and find what’s best for you!

4. Queenstown

Yesterday was an awesome day! #Queenstown, you stole my heart!

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


5. Between Queenstown and Milford Sound

Because every road is stunning on the South Island!

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


Do you care about them? Answer to everybody.  Engage with other accounts too! Like, comment, be original!  Every time I have a great original comment from someone, I check their account.  Do you?

6. Between Queenstown and Milford Sound (shot 2)

Happiness is to run in the middle of the #mountains. Who else agrees? Tag your friends!

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


7. Milford Sound

#milfordsound was a bit misty & wet…

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


I mentioned features. Target smaller accounts at the beginning. They have less followers, but it can help you as it will be easier to get a feature!  Use their hash-tag and/or tag them in the picture!

8. Between Christchurch and Arthur’s Pass

Catch a moment… Catch memories. Catch the #love.

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


9. Abel Tasman

Another stunning shot of #Abeltasman !

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


Be creative.  And find what they like! I posted once and even twice a day for a while.  One sure thing.  I don’t care about your cat (mine is prettier), your Starbucks Coffee or your #myphonespicturesareverylowquality. I’ll be happy to give a like to a great shot of your travel experiences, an epic crazy shot of you in a perfect slice of paradise or the most beautiful sunset I ever seen. By the way, what do you like yourself?

10. Tongariro National Park

That #volcano is simply… Beautiful.

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on

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11. Huka Falls, Taupo

This is simply beautiful. New Zealand you are full of surprises.

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


In my first couple of months, I tried that follow/unfollow game. I don’t waste my time with that anymore.  I follow when I like an account.  I unfollow when I realized that the account is boring. The good thing is… Once you hit a great number, followers are going to find your account no matter what.  Once your reached that point, simply enjoy.  All the hard work will finally be over (or almost!).

12. Rotorua

#Rotorua, smelly and gorgeous!

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


13. Rotorua (smelly, but sexy)

And I found another piece of #paradise out there.

A photo posted by Melissa Giroux (@abrokenbackpack) on


So, what do you say?

Ready to book your flight?

How I got 10K Followers on Instagram

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13 Reasons to go to New Zealand (and Instagram Tips!)

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If you are looking for more Kiwi Inspiration, check out this video!

What are your best Instagram tips?