Here’s (more than) a handful of things I experienced, and recommend you should when you’re next in NZ (I am just going to list them as attempting to describe the experiences in words would not do the actual experience any justice at all - New Zealand is one of those places to be experienced to be understood)
– Harley Davidson motorbike tour to the summit of Mt. Eden
– Dinner at the reputable, and very popular American-style eatery on the Auckland Harbour
– Bungey jumping
– 5am boat rides
– Sea Plane ride to Waiheke Island
– Lunch at the famous Oyster Inn
– Wine tasting and vineyard tours (I managed to squeeze in a little bit of yoga at one of the vineyards)
– Helicopter flight to snow-capped volcanoes overlooking picturesque lakes and mountains
– Jet Boat ride at Huka Falls, followed by lunch at Huka Lodge (a favourite amongst the Royal Family)
– A tour of Hobbiton (where Lord Of The Rings was filmed)
– A traditional dinner at the Cultural Centre at Te Puia in Rotorua
...I well and truly got a good taste of New Zealand and their amazing culture.
To be honest, before I left for New Zealand, I wasn’t too sure if I would enjoy it much at all... I knew it was going to be cold, VERY COLD, and I habitually flinch away from any kind of cool climate. However, NZ exceeded all of my expectations and although I did notice the cooler temperature (I dressed well for it), the soul of the land and genuine kindness of all the people managed to warm me to it rather quickly! We only explored the North Island, but I am told the South Island is even more spectacular!
When you think New Zealand, you probably think sheep, sheep, more sheep, bungee jumping and some people talking in strong accents. You’re not wrong but there is so much more to NZ. These would have to be my top three of the trip (taking nothing away from how absolutely amazing everything actually was either).
A helicopter flight from Rotorua took us to the peak of snow-capped volcano Mt Tarawera with 360-degree views – while the temperature was minus something, the experience was breathtaking and entirely worth it. It is the kind of place you can picture unforgettable wedding proposals occurring.
MUD, GLORIOUS MUD
Fine company and some fancy tea helped us relax in a warm, geothermal mud bath in Rotorua. We had a tour of the geothermal park, learning some of the history. And we experienced geothermal energy first-hand, feeling the powerful heat rising from the ground before kicking back in the best mud bath ever (it leaves your skin feeling amazing).
FALLING FOR NZ
An adrenaline-pumping jet boat ride (with a genuine and funny driver, I might add), dodging trees and narrowly missing rocks and cliff faces by millimetres led us to this divine and wondrous sight. Being sprayed by the chilling water was the least of our worries after witnessing the beauty of Huka Falls. Definitely recommended.
Take note New Zealand - I will be back !
Love and light,