My Kiwi round-up

As my time in New Zealand comes to an end, I thought I’d round-up the 6 weeks that I’ve spent here.

My favourite places (in order):

  1. Queenstown. It stole my heart. The scenery is beautiful, there is such an exciting buzz about town, all the activities are adrenaline-packed and heaps of fun and the nights out are awesome. I might be bias considering Queenstown hosted my favourite day of my entire life AND kept the kiwi family together for a week longer, but I honestly couldn’t recommend it more for a destination on the bucket list. I’d love to come back and see it in the snow too.
  2. Rotorua. Although a little pongy and not obviously beautiful, there is a lot going on. The Tamaki Maori experience was perhaps my favourite activity whilst in New Zealand but the town itself is worth a few days to explore. It was also where everyone got really close and started our family journey.
  3. Wanaka. I mean the photo just says it all. It’s just so beautiful and an idillic spot to chill out without being completely removed from civilisation, which I liked.

My favourite memories (in no particular order):

  • Being blown away and drenched to the skin out on the front deck with Jane on the Milford Sounds trip. We mustn’t forget this was also the best day of my life!
  • My munchkin children, Em and Puck, joining me in bed for a heart-to-heart and spoon and keeping awake our fourth roommate. But also my other travel girls Hattie and Monique.
  • Endless singing to Greg on the bus and how our entire friendship was built on my love to sing and dance!
  • The Tamaki overnight stay out by the camp fire and in the hot tubs until 3am, followed by an awesome day and night in Rotorua the next day when we’d all got really close.
  • Walking to the top of Queenstown Hill with Em, Puck and Morgan and being in awe of the beauty of it all, as well as the hilarious company.

My must-do’s in New Zealand (in the chronological order I did them):

  1. The fishing and surfing villages outside of central Auckland. Auckland itself is a good way to spend a day or so, but it’s also well worth a 30-45 minute drive around the coast to experience the beauty of the bay, fish and apparently spot dolphins and orcas at the right time of year.
  2. Cape Reinga tour. This was very early on in my trip but just gorgeous and quite spiritual. There’s loads of geography to learn about and the day tour includes sand boarding which is fab!
  3. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves/Black Water Rafting. You won’t be disappointed doing the 3-hour tour, some were with the 5-hour as it’s so cold, but the caves are lots of fun and a really unique experience.
  4. A Maori encounter and some time spent in Rotorua. I’ve raved about it lots, and for good reason! It’s awesome!
  5. Sail on Lake Taupo and the free, hot water stream. The weather was poor for me on my first visit to Taupo which perhaps clouded my judgement on the Tongoriro Crossing but it’s well-worth spending some time in the town, and in the sun it’s like a whole other place.
  6. The inter-islander ferry crossing. Choppy waters for two hours but then the most stunning scenery, complete with dolphins and orcas for an hour. There’s good reason it’s he world’s most picturesque ferry crossing.
  7. Wanaka lake. See above and photos!
  8. Queenstown everything! Get on the lake, climb the maintains and roam the town, but definitely do it. And don’t forget Milford Sound on a stormy day.

All that’s left to say New Zealand, is how utterly spectacular you have been. From the stunning landscapes in every direction to the exciting activities on offer, the experience of an earthquake and the many unrivalled friendships I made along the way. My kiwi family were truly awesome and my kiwi adventure is now complete, “sweet as”. Now super super excited to see my girls, Kit and Gina, AND have Em join us so that the kiwi family lives on (although we’ll miss Puck, Hattie and Monique).
“See ya later. Bye bye.” (Puck Groenhout, 2016).


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