Gary and I plan to hit New Zealand after working our way down from Mongolia, China and South East Asia. Our plans for New Zealand are to travel for around eight weeks, before finding work and hopefully saving some money for out next adventure! We will both be getting working holiday visas to allow us to work and travel for a maximum of 12 months. Gary’s brother has just finished travelling the length and breadth of the b-e-a-utiful NZ and his photos are only making us want to get there sooner!! Adding to that, working at STA Travel has allowed me to develop my knowledge of what the country has to offer – I’m even a qualified ‘New Zealand Specialist’ through the tourist board! NZ (alongside Aus) was one of our top-selling destinations; selling amazing travelling experiences to so many people only makes your feet itchier!
We don’t have a set route yet – whether we fly in to Christchurch (South Island) or Auckland (North Island) will most probably depend on flight prices when we come to book our tickets. Either way, we will be doing a full loop covering both islands, seeing and doing as much as possible!
We really like the idea of getting some kind of bus pass that enables us to hop on and hop off as many times as we like along the way. These passes can be great when you don’t have a fixed plan and just want to go with the flow. Although saying that, many offer the option to pre-book your buses before you go, so you could have a much more structured itinerary if you wanted to. You usually have a start and end point, with the only rule being you have to travel in one direction only – no going back on yourself to revisit somewhere for example. They can work out great value for money if you manage to secure yourself a pass in one of the many sales that run throughout the year 🙂
A quick Google search will pull up a few different companies offering bus passes, the ones I’m most familiar with are Kiwi Experience and Stray as these are the ones we sold at STA Travel. I’m definitely not ruling out travelling with other companies – it’s such a long way away at the moment, that we’ll probably just assess our options closer to the time. I will most definitely blog about our experiences/ review the company we choose, so watch this space!
We plan on cramming as much as we can into our eight weeks, including throwing ourselves off as many eye-wateringly high things as possible, hopefully attached to some kind of rope/parachute…
I originally planned to list every place we want to see, alongside all the activities etc we want to do. I then realised the list would be never-ending; certainly too long for anyone to bother reading! I’ve chosen instead to list some top things we want to do:
- Skydive/ bungy jump – Gary has done a skydive before in Australia and is now keen to do a bungy jump; I’m yet to lose my skydive virginity!
- Go glacier hiking at Franz Josef and/or Fox glaciers.
- Visit Hobbiton, home of the hobits! At 5ft 4 a piece, I think we’ll feel right at home here..
- Explore Maori art, culture and heritage. See the top 5 Maori experiences.
- Go whale/ dolphin spotting! With no part of New Zealand more than 128km from the sea, it’s pretty perfect for nature freaks like me – you can even swim with wild dolphins at the Bay of Islands, Tauranga or at Kaikoura.
- Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail.
- Go on a wine tour! We did a couple of wine tasting tours in the Yarra Valley in Australia and loved it, so would definitely like to check out what NZ has to offer in terms of vino!
- Visit Milford Sound.
- Take a trip to Abel Tasman National Park – it looks incredible!
- Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and the nearby Mackenzie Basin forms the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve and has been awarded top gold level status for its skies, making New Zealand officially one of the best places on Earth for stargazing.. Amazing!
- Visit the Bay of Islands.
- Climb a volcano or two…
- Dig a pool at the Hot Water Beach– it’s pretty much what it says on the tin!
- Check out New Zealand’s adventure playground – Rotorua.
If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, check out the links below for loads more information about all the weird and wonderful things you can do. I can’t wait to get out there, and get blogging!