Kia Ora from New Zealand
After working & travelling Australia I then ventured onto New Zealand. It was a very memorable place for me, amazing scenery & great friends were made. I captured a few of my highlights as seen below…
Auckland surprised me with the size of the city & surrounding areas, though for the size of city I was surprised by the night life here, it didn’t have the buzz which I expected. Though the skyline looked amazing from the docks as did Mount Eden during the day providing views over the city.
Bay of Islands – Cape Reinga
Moving on from Auckland I got on a bus & made my way upwards to Bay Of Islands – Cape Reinga. An amazing place where you can see the Tasman Sea & Pacific Ocean meet. Slightly south of here I stayed in Paihia & visited the first capital of New Zealand; Russel.
Hot Water Beach & Cathedral Cove
It was time to head back down to Auckland & begin my Kiwi Experience, hop on / off journey. This began by visiting Hot Water Beach, and as the name suggests the water is hot. You dig a little in the sand & are welcomed by warm water to create your own little pool of hot water. Not too far away is Cathedral Cove; amazing scenery with very characteristic rock placement throughout.
Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves
We reached Waitomo & here we abseiled down 35m into a dark cave; jumping, climbing & fumbling our way through small holes & waterfalls. Throughout the cave is a spectacle of glow worms with the occasional cave fish to be found.
While I was unsure what to expect visiting Hobbiton I was very pleasantly surprised. Of course this is included getting the obligatory Hobbit house photo & enjoying a Hobbit pork pie to finish.
The Maori Village evening was a highlight of my time in New Zealand, while at first I thought it was very touristy. Things soon changed as the events & entertainment which was held here were so much fun. The night included practising the Haka & learning some old Maori games, finished off with an amazing Maori feast.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Unfortunately despite our efforts with a very early morning start the weather wasn’t on our side when we decided to tackle the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Though it managed to clear towards the end of the day it was still an incredible experience & would recommend to anyone. It is a 19km trek with alternate routes for those who are more physically able, like climbing Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) or slightly easier routes for those who are not.
River valley seemed to be in the middle of nowhere or as we were told in New Zealand; ‘wop wops’. Despite this it was a great place for us to spend the night as we made our way to Wellington.
Reaching Wellington was a mile stone for us; our final destination before heading to the South Island. Walking up Mount Victoria during the day, then again at night for a view of the city was great, with the following day exploring more of the city, jumping on a tram & walking round the cities botanical gardens.
Franz Josef Glacier
Something I had wanted to do ever since I first saw a glacier was to be on there & experience it for myself. Just the thought of walking around, on nothing but ice on top of a mountain which at the rate it’s melting won’t be there for much longer just intrigued me. Getting a helicopter to the top was great & gave amazing views of Franz Josef & it really lived up to expectations.
Nevis Bungy Jump
Not one of the faint hearted; Friday the 13th the day our bus broke down & we decided it was a good idea to then jump 134m down. New Zealand’s highest bungy with 8.5 seconds of freefall. Adrenaline was insane, the pictures & video say it all. Click here to view HD video…
After hearing so much about Milford Sound I got myself booked onto a boat tour, the journey down was very long & questioned if the trip was worth it while I was enjoying my time in Queenstown so much. Once I arrived it soon hit me that the scenery was as amazing as people had claimed.