What you should not miss in New Zealand

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Lake Matheson

Reflections on Lake Matheson

After coming back from a 3 weeks trip in New Zealand, the first and only thing that you want to do is to tell the whole world how amazing this place is. Whether you are after hiking, sunbathing or extreme sports, New Zealand has it all. It is also hard to sum up the best things to see or do as they are so varied. So, I guess, the best thing to do is simply going through what I did and what I would have done if I had had more time.

The Trip

Detail of the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki

Detail of the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki

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Do Not Miss

The Cathedral Cove walk in the Coromandel Peninsula

The Cathedral Cove walk in the Coromandel Peninsula

 

Now, going down to details, this is what I think is a must see (or do) in New Zealand:

1- The Coromandel Peninsula.

There is a massive Forest Park that covers most of the Peninsula. Just driving through it is an experience, as there are plenty of lookouts that will leave you breathless. Once you arrive on the other side, step into a hot water pool in the sand of the Hot Water Beach. There is a volcanic basin leftover under the hill right on the beach that still heat up the water that gets there and then heads to the ocean. So, if you dig a small hole on the beach you may find a small stream of water coming out, just jump in it! It will warm you up even when it’s winter. Apart from that, the whole coast is amazing, and a stop at the Cathedral Cove is a must, especially at dusk or sunset, because the light creates a magical effect on the beach that will satisfy all the camera lovers.

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2- Hobbiton Movie set Village.

Although it is almost all artificial, and you may or may not have seen the movies, this place will attract you and you will not be disappointed. The guides take you through the village, between the hobbit holes, and explain you all you need to know about the place and how it has been created. The admirable dedication of Peter Jackson towards this place will make you want to see the cinematographic result at the end (or to go through all the movies again if you’ve already seen them). [Find more information on the official website here]

3- Go camping.

If you like camping and hiking, New Zealand is the place for you. All over it there are tracks and walks that can take you from one coast to the other, keeping you busy and surrounded by nature for days and days. A few worth places, just to give you an idea, would be Mount Ngauruhoe, The Kepler Track down in Te Anau, or the one in the Abel Tasman National Park. You can find any possible walk existing in NZ, together with their description and level of difficulty on the government website (click here).

4- Do some crazy experience.

New Zealand has it all, as I’ve already said. Leave your fears behind and try some of its crazy attractions. You can choose between Bungee Jumping, Sky Diving, Kayaking, Rafting, Mountain or Quad Biking and so much more. It does not matter your age or your experience, the Kiwis will change the way you think about life.

5- Last but not least.

Here are a few places that anybody should see at least once in a lifetime and that can’t be really described, because they are just too good to be told. These places are: Milford Sound, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, Lake Matheson, Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook and Arthur’s Pass. Go and check yourself, don’t ask, you will thank me later 😉

Back To Reality

View of Mount Ngauruhoe (also known as Mount Doom)

View of Mount Ngauruhoe (also known as Mount Doom)

Once you leave this country, you realize that you have changed. Everything that you will see on your everyday life will sound boring. You will start to miss the colours and the atmosphere that you breathe in New Zealand. You may even start to plan your next trip there (possibly in summer for myself). In conclusion, do I recommend a trip to this wonderful country? Hell yeah. Will I go back one day? I really hope so. Will I ever forget what I’ve seen there? Never.

 

Me and Sonia at Hobbiton Movie Set

Me and Sonia at Hobbiton Movie Set

 

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