This is a bit of an odd travel daydream for me, as I’ve actually been to New Zealand before over ten days in what has become known among my friends as ‘the break-up tour‘.
But that doesn’t stop me from seeing friends or fellow travel bloggers talking about it and feeling just a little bit jealous. My ten days in New Zealand were amazing, no doubt, but they merely whet my appetite.
It’s hard to believe a country so small has been blessed with so much beauty. I’ve already spoken in the past about my love for Queenstown, my black-water rafting in Waitomo, hiking on Franz Josef Glacier, and my relaxing day in Christchurch; so in this daydream I’m instead going to focus on five things in New Zealand that I’ve yet to do.
#5 – Do the Lord of the Rings Thing
If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you’ll know that I’m something of a raging nerd. I’ve even set up another site (Multiple Nerdgasms) dedicated to all things geeky. I swear, I’ll actually put some work into it someday!
When my ex and I first started talking about going to New Zealand, my first request was that we pay a visit to Hobbiton near Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island. While I’m ashamed to say I never did get to go knock on Bilbo’s front door, it’s meant that I need a return trip to take it all in.
Whether it’s the aforementioned Hobbiton, Edoras in Canterbury, the Pelennor Fields in Mackenzie County, Fangorn Forest in the Fjordland National Park, or the very Middle Earth panorama that can be seen around Queenstown – no nerd should go to New Zealand without getting a little Middle Earth on their itinerary.
Amanda over at A Dangerous Business has done a bunch of Lord of the Rings stuff if you want to learn more.
#4 – Visit Wellington
It’s somewhat crazy that I haven’t made it to New Zealand’s picturesque capital, Wellington. While I did technically stop in briefly on Christmas morning as we flew between Nelson and Rotorua, I haven’t yet had the chance to do the city justice.
New Zealand’s ‘Melbourne’, Wellington is the place to be for culture junkies, hipsters, foodies, and those who want to learn more about the Land of the Long White Cloud. Nearby Mount Victoria is also a potential Lord of the Rings tour inclusion, and for families there’s stuff like zoos and museums to occupy even on the rainiest of days.
Many people have told me of their love of Wellington, so I guess it’s time I visit and see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
#3 – Adventure and Adrenaline in Queenstown
Queenstown was arguably my favourite place in New Zealand: a place of such breathtaking beauty that I wouldn’t have objected if we’d just settled in the quaint mountain town for the entire ten days and soaked it all in.
From Queenstown we launched our visit to the stunning Milford Sound and also did some mildly adrenaline inducing ziplining, but I really did miss out on what is seen as New Zealand’s Adventure Capital.
I’ve dabbled on the tamer end of the extreme activities pool by doing stuff like white water rafting and black water rafting, but I’m keen to make the step up to some truly heart-pounding stuff. Queenstown is the place to be for bungee jumping in New Zealand, but there’s also thrill inducing activities such as canyon swings, jet boating through narrow canyons, hang gliding, and para-gliding to be done as well.
#2 – Sky Dive Franz Josef
I’ve spent a day walking up and picnicking on a glacier, but that doesn’t seem nearly memorable enough. Not when you consider the fact I could jump out of a plane and soak in the startling contrast of the glacier and the semi-tropical forest right beside it.
Sky-diving is seen as a pretty exhilerating experience even over cow paddocks, so I can only imagine how mind-blowing it would be to see the awesome majesty of a glacier as I screamed my lungs out at the sheer insanity of throwing oneself out of a perfectly good plane.
#1 – Explore Fjordland National Park
Few places on this earth are quite as beautiful as the Fjordland National Park on the country’s southern island. Home to Milford Sound, the Fjordland National Park is a perfect example of New Zealand’s enviable wealth of natural beauty. Sheer cliffs, snow-capped peaks, and the vibrant green of the grass against the impossible blue of the sky… it just needs to be seen to be believed.
While I have had the pleasure of taking it all in from a boat on the Sound, I’d love to someday go back and just take it all in at a more leisurely pace.
The Park has a number of multi-day hikes for the more extreme hiker, and it’s actually on my bucket list to someday complete the Milford Track, but after two years in noisy China – I’d settle for a day out under the open sky with only my thoughts for company.
There’s just some of my reasons why I’d love to return to New Zealand someday. What are the things you’re dying to see or do in New Zealand
Planning your own trip to New Zealand? Zuji have all the information you’ll need.