After Dubai, New Zealand was my second international trip. Since
childhood I wanted to visit New Zealand for only one thing, 'Adventure'. New
Zealand is also called a land of adventure. In this tiny island situated in
southwestern Pacific Ocean lies an opportunity to do anything and everything.
Whether it is adventure tour or nature exploration or romantic getaway, New
Zealand has everything for everyone.
Best part of New Zealand is self-drive option. Explore this
heavenly country at your own time and pace. Roads are as smooth as cake and
instructions (roads names & directions) mentioned at every junction - so no fear of getting
lost. They have a small place called 'i-site'
in major cities which share information of the entire city along with map and
brochure. It include adventure details, restaurants and bars, city map and
so on. They will also do your booking for hotels or adventure. These information centers are
of so much help. It will make your travel like a cake walk.
Te Puia at Rotorua
Another amazing thing about this country is ‘people’. Friendliest
people I can ever meet. You go to restaurant and they welcome you, in store
they give you big smile, anywhere in New Zealand, you just feel like meeting
your friends. New Zealand has positioned themselves as 100% Pure and you will
see that it is not just a promotional strategy. The place is indeed pure - the air is
clean, streets are tidy and perfect grooming of every natural thing. I haven't
seen the world but I can give you a guarantee that nowhere in world you will
find another place like New Zealand; which is pure in all aspects.
Each major city in New Zealand has couple of adventure activities.
I was amazed and zapped to know how much I can do. Cities to visit in New
Zealand are Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Lake Wanaka,
Queenstown, Hamilton, Dunedin, Bay of Island, Bay of Plenty, Franz Josef and
Fox Glacier to name a few. Most of the travel companies provide package
covering Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Christchurch. All the cities
have their own uniqueness and to cover the each part of New Zealand, you will
need more than 1 month. Attractions which are not covered by many people, rather
to say unexplored cities are Hamilton, Dunedin, Arrow Town, Bay of Plenty, Lake
Wanaka, Napier-Hastings and Nelson.
My trip consisted of mix of cities covering most of New Zealand in
my 13 day holiday. It was difficult to cover New Zealand in 13 days as I wanted to travel
to many cities. I started my trip with north island - Auckland, drove to
Rotorua and came back again from south island to visit Bay of Island. Auckland is
more cosmopolitan city, as this is a hub for business. The must adventure
in Auckland is Sky Walk and Sky Jump at Sky Tower. It is safe and less scary
version of Bungee Jumping. Moving on to Rotorua situated on the shores of Lake
Rotorua, has its distinct smell. You can feel the difference in the air as you
enter Rotorua. It is because this city is contains geothermal wonders like mud
pool, geothermal hot spot and Geiser. Must visit in Rotorua is Te Puia, Whakarewarewa
Thermal Village, The Agrodome and for spa lovers, experience at Polynesian Spa.
On your way to Rotorua from Auckland, don’t miss a chance to see the Glowworm
Caves in Waitomo. A 2 hour tour will give you the information about Glowworm
caves and take you on a very short journey to see it live in caves.
|On Franz Josef Glacier overlooking Mt. Cook|
Moving on to south island, I
started my journey from Christchurch, very similar to English heritage, it is known as Garden City. Tourist attractions include International
Antarctic Centre, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and Botanic Gardens. Take a day
tour to city name Kaikoura for Sperm Whales and Dolphins watch trip. Kaikoura
provides Sea journey and air journey to see Sperm Whales. If your luck is good,
you will get chance to see it unlike me who didn't get chance to see the
whales because of bad weather. Next stop from Christchurch is Kiwi Rail Journey
to Greymouth. The journey is indeed a scenic one and a must to do. From Greymouth
one take hire a car to drive down to Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier. Both the
Glaciers are nearby and provide facilities which will give you a chance to
explore the Glacier and Mt Cook. One can either opted for just helicopter ride
or try their hands on HeliHike. In HeliHike, you will be take to the Glacier in a helicopter and will get chance to explore Glacier and Ice cave with little hiking in surrounding. The entire adventure will be for 1hr or so. From Franz Josef Glacier drive down to mesmerizing
beauty of Lake Wanaka and Laka Hāwea. It is beautiful small town near
the Lake Wanaka. The quietness of the lake will take you to another world. One can go
for fishing or swimming, those who seek adventure can try their hands on Sky
Diving, Jet Skii and all those Lord of the rings fan can take a Lord of the
Rings tour to see the places where the wonder happened. Another thing to do at Lake Wanaka is relax next to the Lake with a book and coffee. Last stop in south island to this
heavenly trip is none other than Queenstown. Before I move to the adventure
capital of New Zealand, enroute visit Arrow Town. The town reminds you of the
gold mining and history of gold. Small yet beautiful!
|Kawaru River - Picture taken from Kawaru Bridge|
Queenstown – where you breath
adventure, you talk adventure and all you do is adventure. Starting with Sky
Diving to Bungee Jumping to Jet Skii to Rafting to Ziplining, list is endless. Even
if you have all the money you will still want more to do more. Sky diving can
be done at NZone which is safe and popular operator, whereas for Bungee Jumping either
you can choose origin of Bungee at Kawaru Bridge or highest bungee spot at
Nevis provided by AJ Hackett Bungy. For jet ski and rafting one should visit
Shotover River. One should also visit a place called Milford Sound from Queenstown,
a day trip where you will explore the Fjordland and take either Helicopter ride
or cruise and discover the marvel of nature. There are many other things available
to do at Queenstown like horse riding or fishing or just wine tasting, the
place has mixture of extreme adventure to tranquil fun.
Coming back to north island, Bay of Island is smaller version of beaches. Surrounded by water and small islands, Bay of Island give an opportunity to go on cruise to see Dolphins or do any water activity or just relax by the beach and enjoy the view. One can also visit town in Bay of Island, closest one is Russell. Daily ferries are there for the people to travel from Russell to Bay of Island. Another town are Paihia, Kerikeri, Waitangi and Kawakawa. There are also nature walk areas around for those nature explorer.
Next time when you think of
visiting something out of the world, think of ‘Middle Earth’ where human meets
nature and nature meets adventure and adventure meet the lifelong memory.
Hole in the Rock, Bay of Island
|Kaikoura City from Helicopter ride|
|Mirror Lake enroute to Milford Sound|
Islands in Bay of Island
Labels: Long holiday, New Zealand, travel, World