Rainforests, snow-capped mountains, hot springs, lakes, and beaches; New Zealand truly has it all. If you’ve seen Lord of the Rings, you have a limited peak into the magic I speak of. Experiencing it in person is a whole new ballgame. New Zealand’s remote location keeps the natural beauty shielded from the tourists who would overwhelm this breathtaking island if it were closer. Luckily for me, it was a quick three hour flight from Sydney.
Don’t forget to check out Part One of my adventures!
1. The Diverse Scenery
No matter where you are in New Zealand, I can promise you are less than 15 minutes from somewhere spectacularly beautiful. And that is no exaggeration. Made up of two main islands and a few smaller ones, New Zealand has an amazing range of breathtaking scenery, from subtropical forests and beaches and in the north to glaciers, lakes, snow-covered mountains and expansive plains in the south. Not to mention fiords, volcanoes, and hot springs; a diversity unlike anywhere else on the globe.
2. The Adventures
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Where else can you go surfing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, sailing, hiking and caving – all within the same season and a fifty mile radius? Don’t forget skydiving, rock climbing, bungee jumping, paragliding, ziplining, helicopter rides, jet boating and white water rafting. New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world and Queenstown is the place to get your fix.
3. The Perfect Climate
So we may have lucked out on my trip, blessed with pure sunshine every single day. New Zealand offers a temperate climate, without extreme hot or cold. From the north (warmest) to the south (coldest), average temperatures range from 54 to 76 °F. Spring and autumn are beautiful, with and abundant rainfall which keeps everything green, while the summers are good for relaxing at the beach, and winters for hitting the slopes. And the air just feels so fresh and so clean.
4. The Sparse Population
New Zealand was was the last major land mass on earth to be populated, so is not overrun with people (My kinda place!) Picture only 4.5 million people inhabiting land nearly the size of California (which boasts 34 million). This leaves plenty of open space in between for the beautiful landscapes, and so much more room for activities!
5. The People
Kiwis are without a doubt the most friendly breed I have ever met. I thought Australia was a happy place; New Zealand takes the positivity to a whole new level, from the shopkeepers and bartenders to a stranger I ask for directions on the street. They were even welcoming to ignorant visitors such as myself. Who likes tourists anyways?
Now I’ll share with you some snaps of us traipsing through the forest like Avatars as I here dreaming of being transported back to this magical land….
Pictures from Hidden Falls in Fiordlands National Park. Stay tuned for Part 3 of my adventures next week!