I had been to New Zealand a few times before for work and snowboarding, and enjoyed it but I have to say I didn’t really appreciate why everyone raved about it on the traveller scene. Now I know. I finally did it properly, although not for nearly long enough.
As Australia’s little neighbour to the East, I think a lot of Australians (including myself) are quick to dismiss it as a country that is more or less a smaller version of our own backyard – give or take a few snow-capped mountains and sheep. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure there’s a similar culture, lifestyle and history, but what the country has to offer in terms of natural beauty and untouched wilderness is far different from anything I’ve ever experienced anywhere in Australia.
We hired a campervan in Auckland and proceeded to drive 3,850kms over the next 2 weeks (even more impressive given that we were driving a famously cheap but unreliable ‘Wicked’ vans), covering the North of the North Island and parts of the South Island. Aside from the daily breathtaking scenery, perfectly manicured green lawns, friendly locals and fresh eggs (pronounced “iggs”) for sale in everyone’s driveway; here are some of the highlights from our 2 weeks in NZ, bro!
- Over 400 surf spots…. enough said
- Ice climbing on Fox glacier
- Hanging around the base of Mt Cook
- Swimming in fluro blue lakes
- Camping every night in a magic secluded spot
- Generous free wine tasting in the Marlborough region