Hi there! This is my second blog and I thought I’d talk about my recent trip to New Zealand.
I was in New Zealand for a month recently over June and July. I travelled from Auckland to Queenstown in a campervan with one of my best friends, Henri. We spent one week in the North Island and three weeks in the South. One of my best friends from home, Helena, moved out to New Zealand around 7 years ago and the last time I saw her was two years ago when she came to England to surprise me. My main aim of this trip was to see her and her family who live in Christchurch.
(I am on the right, Helena is on the left)
So first, we stayed in Auckland, hiked to Cathedral Cove and stayed in a place called Hahei where we found the best beach I have ever been to. We got up early to walk to the beach and we were the only people there – just perfect.
(Photo credits to Henri. You should check out his Instagram page @earthtohenri)
Henri is a pretty big fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit so on our second day, we visited the movie set at Hobbiton. I’m not a super fan but I absolutely loved it, I recommend it!
The rest of our time in the North Island consisted of going to Mount Taranaki, Dawson Falls, Emerald Lakes, Huka Falls and Wellington. Then on our 6th day, we caught the ferry from Wellington to Picton to start our journey in the South Island.
(Photo credits: Henri)
Our time in the South Island started off a little rocky… Our car kept stalling (the car is automatic!) and would cut out at completely random times. We spent the whole of our first day at the garage but had no luck. We were in Golden Bay now so it was annoying that we were stuck in a garage in such a gorgeous location. However, we managed to get an amazing campsite in Pohara right on the beach. We managed to time it perfectly for sunset too.
Next, we travelled to Pupu Springs and did the Pupu Hydro Walk, then drove to Nelson for the night. The next day, we drove to Lake Rotoiti which has the most famous jetty in New Zealand and ended our day in Hanmer Springs. We went to the hot springs in the evening which was great timing because all the fairy lights were up in the town centre and it all looked really pretty.
The next day was the most exciting for me because we drove to Christchurch to see my best friend, Helena. I was so excited; that Henri was getting annoyed at me screaming in the car! She gave us a tour of Christchurch and took us to a very cool restaurant (called C1) where the food is delivered to you from tubes in the ceiling. I couldn’t recommend it more, it was amazing! The next few days consisted of staying around Christchurch, going out to some amazing restaurants including Casa Publica and a Thai restaurant that is secretly hidden behind a laundrette. Helena lives in Sumner, a town just on the outskirts of Christchurch which is absolutely beautiful and right on the beach. It also has Burger Stop which sells amazing burgers. I loved it so much that I posted a picture on my Instagram.
Whilst I stayed in Christchurch, Helena and I ran up to the ‘Sign of the Kiwi’. It took us around 2 hours to run to the top but it was so worth it for the amazing view (I also posted this on my Instagram).
Then the weather took a turn for the worse… a snow storm hit the South Island. We managed to drive to our next location which was Lake Tekapo but we got stuck there for three days! We managed to find things to do including more hot pools, a lot of coffee shops and walking around the lake but we did get a little bit bored. Luckily, our friends from Christchurch were passing through and gave us some snow chains for our campervan. This meant we could drive to Mount Cook finally!
Mount Cook was amazing, especially because we arrived for sunset. I left the accommodation to Henri this night and when we turned up, I realised that Henri had booked for us to stay on a sheep farm. It looked like somewhere out of a horror film! Luckily we arrived quite late and left first thing in the morning but we just stayed in our room the whole time.
From there, we drove to the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers and onto Wanaka. We went out for a great meal in Wanaka at a place called Trout (I recommend). I also recommend a restaurant called Relish – it’s a little expensive, but definitely worth it!
I had been thinking about buying a GoPro for about a year before New Zealand but never did because I was too worried about saving enough money for the trip. I very nearly bought one in Wanaka but finally did it in Queenstown which was our last stop on the trip. This meant I could film all of the fun activities we did whilst in Queenstown.
Our biggest adventure of the whole trip was a sunrise hike we did up the famous Mount Roy. We left our house at 2am to drive an hour and a half to the start of the track. We bought head torches, lots of snacks and water and wrapped up warm. It took us nearly 5 hours to reach the peak where the snow was up to our waist but the view was absolutely incredible. We reached the peak just in time to watch the sun rise behind the mountains over Lake Wanaka. It was perfect, my favourite moment of the whole trip. And what made it better is that it burnt nearly 2000 calories and all before midday!
(Photo credits to Henri)
After Mount Roy, we headed back to Queenstown and chilled for a couple of days. Whilst in Queenstown, I didn’t eat particularly healthy. There is a restaurant in Queenstown called Fergburger that sells the best burger in the world. I’m not joking! So of course, I had to get one. The rest of our time in Queenstown consisted of going out for nice meals (including amazing ice cream at Patagonia) and shopping.
However, one day we decided to do something else… The Nevis Swing. This is the highest swing in the world at 150m above the ground. It has a 70m free fall and a 300m arc. It was one of the scariest but most exhilarating activities I have ever done. Well worth the money and I would definitely recommend doing it if you are in Queenstown.
(This aren’t a great photos because it’s a screenshot from a video. In the second photo, you can just about see us being “dropped”. In the future, I might post a small video of the whole thing on @flothefoodie)
Queenstown was where we ended our trip and we flew home the day after doing the swing. Our flights were delayed on the way home and we missed 2 connections and 2 trains but we got home in the end! It really was a trip of a lifetime and I definitely won’t forget it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you have a great day.
P.S. Say YES to new adventures.