My husband and I got married in September. We were unable to go on our honeymoon right after the wedding because of my job (I’m a teacher).So as some couples do, we planned our honeymoon during the winter holidays. I had blatantly mentioned to my husband that New Zealand was where I wanted to go not really thinking it would happen. I know that most of the times the “bride” is the one who plans every little detail in regards to the wedding and honeymoon but, being that I had planned most of the wedding I told my husband he was in charge of the honeymoon. Thank goodness he agreed! So as time would have it, we left on our honeymoon to New Zealand on December 19th! We had the opportunity to “road-trip” through New Zealand and visit a few of the most amazing places this country has to offer. So, therefore I have compiled my top places to go when visiting New Zealand, a little bit of RR and excitement for all.
1. Lake Taupo: If you are looking for adventure, you NEED to stop in Taupo. This small town has so much to offer from paddle boarding, river rafting and so much more. My absolute (and life changing) favorite experience was skydiving from 15,000 feet in the air. The views from above are completely breathtaking; it is mind blowing. I’ll attach photos below. If you are interested in this you need to visit Taupo Tandem Skydiving.
2. Rotorua: This small town is a great place to get some R & R. The smell might set you off (it’s a mixture of Doritos and rotten eggs), but it’s all worth it once you see the geyser, hot springs and mud baths. We visited a geothermal hot spring that had a Maori cultural show; The living Maori Village. Here we were able to see some of the Maori carvings and typical cultural dances. Make sure to take your umbrellas’ the sun can get very powerful here! We also went rafting which was beyond what I expected, the rapid levels were about a level 4, with a super steep waterfall in the middle.
3. Napier: Moving on to a more coastal scene is Napier. Napier is like the Napa Valley of New Zealand. If you are into wine and love the beach– you’ll get a 2 for 1! You will have an array of vineyards to choose from; of course all celebrating the typical New Zealand wine, the Pinot Gris while you sit back and enjoy the views.
4. Franz Josef Glacier: This place is absolutely breathtaking. When in NZ, this is one of the places you must visit. Franz Josef glacier is (to me) one of the many wonders of the world. We weren’t able to see the top of the glacier due to bad weather, but we were able to talk the Franz Josef trail. This 30-minute, one way, hike gets you pretty close to the glacier and you’ll also get to see several mini waterfalls (picture stops). The views are breath taking truly worth the hike.
5. Queenstown: The heart and soul of NZ. Not only does this city have incredible views; it has vineyards, adventure and so much more! 1st thing we went to see was the Gibbston Valley Winery, this winery has the largest wine cave in NZ. It’s a must see… and frankly their wines are delicious. The number one recommendation I have for anyone traveling to NZ would be…(drum roll please) bungee jumping and Nevis swing. We ponied up and decided to bungee jump… what’s that saying the cool kids say?…YOLO. We took a gondola up the mountain to where the Ledge Bungee was located; 400 meters above Queenstown. We jumped 47 meters down in the heart on Queenstown with yet another breathtaking view. Now 47 meters might not seem like a steep jump, but when you’re up there… it looks a lot different. We chose to do a 2 for 1 and also went over to the Nevis Swing, which basically swings at a 300m arc! Phew— I SURVIVED ALL OF THAT, if I can do it, so can you!
So folks, those are my brief recommendations for you. I hope this was insightful and gets you pumped for a trip of a lifetime!