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Kia Ora! Welcome to New Zealand! Kia Ora is a Māori language greeting which means, literally, be well/healthy and is translated as an informal hi. Take an unforgettable trip down to the land of the middle-Earth and be prepared to wake up to dramatic landscapes, towering mountains and enchanting valleys. Once you've step foot and experienced this beautiful country, you'll definitely want to come back for more.
We spent our time in New Zealand staying in a motor home; which was one of the best choice we made. We slept, cooked, ate, drove around and of course, (did our business) in our motor home. Camping out by the lake and forest and waking up to a beautiful, glistering, blue lake was one of the highlights of our trip. It's not always that you get to wake up to beautiful mother nature. For first timers, you are not allowed to park and camp as and when you like. You will need to find a designated camping ground before you station your vehicle for the night. Do download the 'CamperMate' app on your phone; it informs you of all the nearby campsites and dumping stations.
Be adventurous and take a heli-hike at the famous Franz Josef glacier and experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of hiking atop the glacier. Located at the south island, the glaciers are one of the 'must-do' if you're heading down south. The glacier hike is generally easy, similar to a hike in the forest trail just that, you're equipped with a spiked trekking pole and crampons (spikes to attach to your boots). There will be a guide to lead you through ice caves and the narrow gaps also known as crevasses in the ice. It might just be your only chance of seeing blue ice up close! Fun fact: Glacier ice is different from reglular ice. It is so blue because the dense ice of the glacier absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue - so blue is what we see!
That Wanaka Tree is definitely not to be missed. Along with its capativating scenery behind it, be sure to catch it during sunset to get the best views. For those who still have a level of fitness and want to see the best of Wanaka, go on a hike on Roys Peak! Do go there prepared with ample food and drinks as the hike is 11km (to and fro) long and takes an average about 3-4 hours. Be sure to take a Instagram-worthy shot there!
A trip to the south of New Zealand is not complete without visting Queenstown, also known as an adventure capital of the world. Sign up for a bungy jump and take a leap of faith at the Kawarau Bridge which is 43m high. Try the Nevis Swing, the biggest swing in the world and pump up your adrenaline. If you're afraid of heights and want to do something exciting, try the Shotover Jet which reaches a speed of up to 85 kph as you drift through the narrow canyons. There is something fun for everyone in New Zealand. For something more light-hearted and family-friendly, take a gondola up and go on a Luge ride! Ride down the slopes and marvel at the macnificent sights of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
Aoraki / Mount Cook
Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand and a must-see! A pity it was a little cloudy when we were there but nevertheless, the views were equally stunning. Take in the best views of Mount Cook by taking a walk via the Hooker Valley Track, which takes about 4 hours return. It is one of the most popular short walking trails, and is suitable for most people. There are a few rest stops along the way so do remember to bring some snacks and drinks along your walk.
Backpack shown: (Link)
Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is another place to take your Instagram-worthy shots. If you're coming from Queenstown, do drop by the Alpine Salmon Farm (it's not a farm) for some of New Zealand's freshest salmon. Visit the Church of the Good Shepard that is situated just by the lake. It is a beautiful stone church overlooking the lake. If you have free time, do rent a kayak and kayak around the lake. One of the best places to stargaze, do spend a night there and head out to try and catch the magical haze of the Milky Way and some constellations in the sky if the skies are clear.
What are you waiting for? Hurry grab a friend and go on that adventurous trip of your lifetime!
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