Travel Trend: Get On Board With Adult Colouring-In

12 September 2015
Read Time: 1.7 mins

Next time you're at an airport, take note of what your fellow travellers are doing to whittle down their waiting time. There's a bespectacled gentleman reading The Australian, a handful of folks with necks bent, scrolling through their Smartphones, and a person sitting by the window... colouring?

 Colouring is the new black

Adult colouring-in is the latest mindful living trend to sweep the nation, following in the footsteps of meditation apps and gratitude journals. Pop into any bookstore (yes, they still exist) and a range of grown-up colouring books will be displayed front-and-centre.

When we say grown-up, we're not talking R-rated illustrations, although those are probably out there if that's what floats your boat; surely 50 Shades of Grey could do with a splash more colour?

Inky tomes for the mature audience are more likely to include intricate florals, ocean swirls and geometric patterns. Millions of copies are flying off shelves across the globe, even weaselling their way into best-seller lists. Come Christmas, they could well be the 'selfie stick' of 2015.

 Tourism New Zealand jumps on the colouring-in bandwagon

Colouring as an act of stress-relief and meditation is nothing new, but the fad has received mixed reactions from the medical world. While some say there's little merit beyond enjoyment, others have praised colouring's therapeutic benefits in using the 'visual-spacial' part of the brain, which can otherwise be occupied by anxiety.

Most professionals can agree, however, that taking some quiet time for yourself is never a bad thing. The adult colouring-in craze is  making itself known in the travel sphere too, with plenty of holidaymakers choosing to put down the iPad in favour of Faber Castells before boarding or even while in the skies.

Some titles to look out for include Mulga's Magical Colouring Book, The Magical City by Lizzie Mary Cullen, Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, and Lacy Mucklow's Colour Me Calm.

 Level up to watercolour

Kia Ora Colouring!

Tourism New Zealand has eagerly embraced the mindfulness movement, creating a series of sketches of iconic New Zealand locations for travellers to take pen to.

Dubbed Colour Your Journey (#colouryourjourney), the drawings by Auckland-born artist Gabby Malpas are available to download at newzealand.com.  You can add your own colourful spin to the vineyards of Waiheke Island, the Hobbiton Movie Set, Milford Sound and Cathedral Cove.

 New Zealand artist Gabby Malpas at work

"New Zealand will always be my home and I drew deeply upon its uniqueness when sketching the line drawings," says Gabby. "As people colour in the lines, I hope they will be inspired by the North and South Island’s beauty."

Be warned: colouring isn't for cowards. Purely for research purposes, I spent an hour on Sunday afternoon colouring paisley patterns.

After remembering how to hold a pencil, I also remembered I hadn't coloured for about 20 years and my hands knew it. Colouring could well be the new crossfit for your wrists - a hidden bonus in addition to shaking off tech-stress.


Has colouring the landscapes of New Zealand awakened your holiday inspiration? Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to New Zealand.


Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg