Kia ora is Maori for hello, the local language of New Zealand. Words fail when I sit to describe the beauty of this wonderland.
From North Island to South Island you experience everything that makes for an unforgettable trip; easy transportation- (they have a superb road network), food & stay (lovely cafes n Hotels), Super friendly Kiwi’s (very tourist friendly nation) and of course it’s never ending trail of breathtaking natural beauty.
DAY 1 # We land in Auckland and pick up our dream Suv- Toyata Prado and hit the roads of New Zealand. Initially a bit nervous, we finally got comfortable after a few kms of drive. It’s simple, just stick to the rules and you will enjoy every moment spent on the road, thanks to exact GPS guiding you and the stunning view around.
We reach our first Destination-Rotorua in about three hours. The view from my hotel window is simply breathtaking.
We head to Whakarewarewa, the Living Moaori Village to get a glimpse of their cultural heritage. The city has a typical odour because of the thermal activity in the entire region. Mineral Springs, Bubbling Hot mud pools & erupting geysers are characteristic of the area, giving its landscape a new dimension. We enjoyed the lakeside & Government Gardens and cal it a day.
Day 2# Our first destination at an hour’s drive distance was- The Hobbiton Movie set, features in the Lord of the Rings Movie Series. We enjoyed the picturesque 1250acre sheep farm & realized the obvious reason for the set to be there. The pictures says it all.
We departed from there to reach Waitomo Glow Worm Caves (about 105 km, 1hr 30 mins Drive).- An Experience in itself ; a short boat ride ..Sheer darkness..pin drop silence & you see Starlit cave ceiling above. One is astonished to see this milkyway effect. No photos allowed so these moments can only be captured in your heart.
After a 2.5 hrs drive we reach Lake Taupo, have a nice lakeside dinner & reach back our hotel by 10:30 pm we are back. We unwind ourselves by plunging into hot mineral pools at our hotel. Relax and have a good night sleep.
DAY 3# It’s a long Drive day. Roturua- Auckland-Pahia, Bay of Islands, 230kms + 240 kms, almost a 6-7 Hrs pleasure drive. We filled up the stock with water, coke, chips etc from 24X7 stores after many coffee, n Wine Breaks reached around four.
This town closes early so by the time we were fresh and walked down from our sea facing Hotel, we only got show windows. We had a nice Italian Dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed our walk back to our hotel with sea roaring, cool Breeze n friends for company.
Day 4# We had a cruise at 9 am. We reached Pahia Wharf , walking distance from our Hotel and boarded the vessel. With awesome view all around it gave us a glimpse of many islands of the Bay Area, en route we encountered pretty dolphins dancing and we reached our main view point.
The Hole in the Rock– It was Amazing. On our way back we halted at Othei Bay and took a 30 min UruPukapuka Walk to witness one of the most spectacular views from the hill top then we did a quick visit to Russell- a very small old Capital town, had Nice Indian Lunch and were back to Pahia at 3pm.
As our friends were Golf Lovers we got to visit one of the finest Golf Course- Kauri Cliff, then drove through the lovely town of Keri Keri, did Wine Testing at famous Marsden Estate, and got to see Haruru Falls and enjoyed our sunset at yet another Golf course pretty close to our hotel.
Day 5 # We are done with BOI, we start our way back to Auckland city were we stayed overnight, enjoyed being in the largest city of NZ., covering major highlights like Mt Eden, Harbour Bridge, Parks & Museums. Next day we had a flight to South Island’s famous city -Queenstown.
DAY 6# Here we are in the Adventure Capital of New Zealand- Queenstown .We again pickup our rental car from the airport.
The varied colour in the landscape of the city lefts us mesmerised. Queenstown is developed around the beautiful Lake Wakatipu with incredible ‘Remarables’ as its backdrop. It is one of the most happening cities with nice shops, cafes & restaurants, not to miss the delicious burger at the Fergburger. We relax in the evening enjoying the lake view, chatting with friends and enjoying the wine.
Day 7# – The Adrenaline rush day. This action Capital has it all- Sky Diving, Bungee, Paragliding, Shotover Jet Boat Ride being the Highlights.
We first take a Gondola up to get the Spectacular city view and enjoyed Luge while coming down. Spent our day trying to do some action, some shopping, some eating and had an overall fun filled day.
Day 8# Next Day we had to start early for Milford Sound. It is a 5 hrs journey and there is plenty to see on the way. Lake Te Anau, Mirror Lakes at Fiorland National Park, Waterfalls, Rainforest etc and the 2 hrs boat ride of beautiful Milford Sound. Just soak into the scenic beauty around.
Day 9# We go for a scenic breathtaking drive to Genorchy, almost 45 mins away. Enjoy coffee in one of the cute lake side cafes, took lunch in yet another beautiful Golf Course in Arrowtown (Mill Brook). Another beautiful relaxed day comes to an end. Also this is our last day in the city. We enjoy its night life and do some shopping as well. We have been picking stuff from every place though.
Day 10# So now, we travel to Franz Zosef … a real Long drive but we have the most beautiful lake on the way- Lake Wanaka and Yellow is the colour of the day.
We pass through Haast- a Unesco World Hertiage Site, stopping at various view points and reach this very small Glacier town.
Day 11# We are all good to take a Helicopter Ride to the Glacier. It’s an amazing site to behold. The Glacier almost descends the foothill of the Mountain. Helicopter drops us at a top point and we do this 2 hr hiking in the Glacier. This is an experience to cherish; putting every step cautiously, crawling in the glacier tunnels and also tasting the chilled water, just enjoying every bit of it. We are all tired by the end of this …and we relax, chill and walk around this very tiny town.
We check out next day and reach Greymouth (About 2hrs drive). Leave our car and catch the Tranzalpine Train Express to enjoy the scenic view cross country to reach our last destination; Chirst Church.
The last day we spend seeing this city which was majorly destroyed in earthquake a few years back.
And we are at the Airport waiting to board our flight. It’s been one of the best trips ever we have had. No Major goof-ups, not a much tied up schedule, lovely people. We really made memories to cherish….
Thinking of the Next Destination….