It’s only been about two weeks since we’ve left and we are already wanting to be back in Kiwi land! Thinking back, we realize that it was such an adventure seeing so much of both islands in just 15 days! At times, all of the days seemed as though they rolled together and we just wanted time to slow down so that we could take it all in. Our only time to rest was when we were on the long Stray bus rides every other day or so.
We fell in love with every single stop in New Zealand. From the “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing at every sheep paddock we passed, to our jaws dropping at each of the snow-capped mountains hidden around every bend of the roads, we couldn’t hide that fact that we felt as though we were on another planet. And we weren’t the only ones who felt that way!
We’ve compiled a list of our top five moments from New Zealand below:
Since it was our first true NZ experience, our Franz Josef hike rolls in at number five. We didn’t want to throw all our money away at the very first place we went to by going with everyone else in the group on the helicopter ride up to the glacier – so instead we took a nice, yet challenging, walk up to Lake Wombat and then ventured over to see the glacier from a popular hiking path. It was crazy because our hike up to Lake Wombat was incredibly freezing, yet just a few hours later when the sun was out and we had made it to the glacier view path, we were extremely hot and had to rip off all our layers of jackets!
The longest amount of time we had allotted in one place was in Queenstown and that stay was extended when we missed our bus! Coming in fourth place is the time we spent there. We enjoyed delicious food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, luging with our new friends from around the world, a day trip to the quaint gold-mining community of Arrowtown, swinging in the park, and walking around the beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
What we’d claim the third best moment of our trip is when we saw Milford Sound. We were slightly disappointed with the weather at first since it was raining when we arrived in the national park, however we immediately realized that the rainy days are in fact one of the best days to see Milford Sound. There were thousands of waterfalls and hundreds of rainbows… It couldn’t get any better than that!
The runner up favorite of our trip would have to be at the Bay of Islands when we saw a pod of dolphins playing around our boat. As we drove away, they all did tricks for us as they played in the wake! Nothing brings a bigger smile to your face than a pod of wild dolphins playing, laughing, and doing tricks because they are happy and they want to! (it’s not the same at Seaworld!)
Last but most certainly not least, our favorite part of New Zealand all together was the most terrifying and beautiful thing that we have ever done… We jumped out of a perfectly fine, bright orange airplane twelve thousand feet above Lake Wanaka at sunset.