The first time I laid eyes on this beautiful country, I thought, I’m never going back home. It is by far the most stunning landscape you’ll ever see. New Zealand has long been known for the extreme sports, and while I wasn’t brave enough myself, the bungy was actually invented in New Zealand. Queenstown is known as the World Home of Bungy Jumping, here you can jump 43m off the historic Kawarau Bridge, the first commercial bungy jump in the world! If you’re keen for things like that, sky diving, jet boating, white water rafting, zip lining, and canyoning are easy to find throughout the country’s wild landscape.
For those of you who are more my speed, I loved the wineries in Queenstown. I’ve heard about the millions of others all across the country but I’ve yet to go. We will be exploring those on our camper van trip in September (I’ll revisit this and make a new post after that!) I highly recommend a wine tour so you can check out the different ones – they varied greatly from one to the next as far as whether they had whites, red, or sparkling.
Queenstown was full of life with so many restaurants and bars, all very easily accessible by foot. Since English is the native language, it is very easy to make friends and the locals are extremely friendly.
The best day trip was definitely Milford Sound. However, fair warning, if you get motion sickness, TAKE ALL THE MEDS. I ended up making great friends with some ladies who got incredibly sick on the very windy road that leads to this beautiful place. Pro tip: there is a helicopter/plane you can take to/from to avoid the ride if you are prone to extreme motion sickness. Milford Sound is New Zealand’s most stunning natural attraction, with dramatic cliffs, dark waters, and mountain peaks. The fiord was formed by the submergence of a glaciated valley. And it was beautiful! If you can take a van and stay more than a few hours, I’d recommend that as it can tend to be cloudy off and on throughout the day.
For the North Island, be sure and check out Hobbiton and the worm caves. Both are just a day’s trip from Auckland but both were mesmerizing (especially if you’re a Hobbit nerd like me.) Auckland also had several speakeasies that I loved – Caretaker and the Jefferson – but two nights was definitely enough time on the North Island for me.
My whole trip, everyone kept telling me that I needed to rent a campervan but I just didn’t have enough time. It’s “the best way to see New Zealand!” SO we’re going in September! If you want to join us, we have a few spots left, check out our itinerary here: https://legittrips.com/new-zealandi