Oceania Travel

Why New Zealand is my favorite place on earth • allé custom travel planning and travel inspiration

travel planning

New Zealand, for me, begins as the start of a gorgeous love story (my favorite!). I had simply met the loveliest (human) Kiwi on the wild seashores of Nicaragua, who was headed again to the land he was born and raised in: New Zealand. I, in fact, can by no means resist the chance for a spontaneous journey however within the spirit of honesty, I’m ashamed to confess I had no concept that New Zealand was even cut up into two islands not too way back. To say it wasn’t fairly on my radar, or map (actually, enjoyable reality: New Zealand is typically left off of world maps) is an understatement. However this story has a cheerful ending, New Zealand stole my coronary heart (the boy did too!), and each probability I get to be surrounded by buddies, household, wine and meals, in wild New Zealand, I do.

As a travel vacation spot, New Zealand is palms down an all-round-winner when it comes to having all of it, from chic seashores, beautiful vineyards stretching each islands, a few of the most dazzling and different panorama packed into one nation, and hundreds of magnificent backcountry trails simply ready to be hiked. New Zealand has one thing for the wine lovers, outside fanatics, mountain seekers, seashore bummers, and these after an journey – or honeymoon – of a lifetime. Under is a tiny laundry listing of my favorite the reason why New Zealand is my favorite place on earth. 


wine on waiheke island

Wine on Waiheke Island

Whereas I might write a whole article on New Zealand wine (I truly am, keep tuned!). For those who take the 45 minute ferry out to Waiheke Island from Auckland, it could actually really feel a world away. With greater than 18 wineries open yr spherical, you’ll discover no scarcity of panoramic views, snazzle Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and a number of the balmiest seashore climate west of Hawaii. In the event you solely have time for one vineyard, make it Man O’Struggle, it’s a trek from Oneroa, Waiheke’s most important hub, however oh-so-worth-it. The street isn’t paved, and they haven’t any plans to pave it, to maintain mud, noise, and visitors down. If that doesn’t converse to the broader hapori ‘community’ spirit on Waiheke Island, I don’t know what might.


hike the alpine crossing

Hike Tongariro alpine crossing

New Zealand has Eight Nice Walks, and until you’ve got a yr, or two, to do all of them, making it out to Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a should. It is one of the well-liked walks in New Zealand, and as cliche as this sounds, for good cause. It is a nine-hour trek over a few of New Zealand’s most unimaginable and diversified surroundings. You’ll be climbing previous the likes of Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom for you Lord of the Rings followers) and over Mt. Tongariro. You must hike it to really perceive the vastness, however think about panoramic views of volcanic plateaus and colourful crater lakes. Put together yourselves to be immersed within the sacred, because of the cultural significance that the valleys, rivers, and peaks maintain to native Maori.


sail across lake taupo

Sail throughout Lake Taupo

There is nothing higher than hitting the water on Lake Taupo; generally pronounced as tau-po, however locals will respect the right pronunciation of toe-paw. Sail throughout the water of a volcano caldera (which is nonetheless volcanically lively!) to get a way of New Zealand’s largest lake, and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest freshwater lake. The particular spotlight is the Maori rock carvings, whereas not historic, having been accomplished in 1980, the extraordinary cliff aspect artwork is beautiful and nicely value crusing out to see.


Soak within the Sunshine in Hawkes Bay

In Hawkes Bay, the wine is marvelous, and the solar is virtually assured to be shining, because it’s one in every of New Zealand’s sunniest areas. The vines have been first planted in 1851 by Marist missionaries and the area produces a few of my life-time favorite reds. Te Awa, Craggy Vary, Trinity Hill, and Church Street are just some of the world-class wineries within the area. Past the vines, an important sundown stroll to the Te Mata Peak and Cape Kidnappers to gaze over the marvelous views that effortlessly stretch into the horizon. In the event you’re feeling like a late night time tipple after your sundown walks there is additionally a “hopping” beer and cider scene simply ready to be explored. Hawkes Bay is additionally New Zealand’s up and coming biking capital, with greater than 125 miles of trails to find and zoom round on.


kayak tasman bay

Kayak Tasman Bay

The views from Tasman Bay are the epitome of magical, with white sand, blue water, and what looks like an infinity of splendid native bush (dense tropical-esque forest) framing it. Tasman Bay is the last word native hangout spot, with tenting slots reserving out over a yr prematurely over the vacations. Kiwis know the place it’s at! You’ll wind your approach by way of thrilling tropical bush that hugs the golden coastland that opens as much as aforementioned exquisitely clear water and pristine seashores that make up the bay. However you’ll need to get off the primary stretch to completely expertise the bay and is no higher method to benefit from the sunshine, and views, than on the water, kayaking. Paddle out and discover your personal slice of seashore paradise on hidden Torent and Awaroa Bay. Bonus factors should you’re capable of spot New Zealand Fur Seals “kekenos” frolicking within the water close to Tonga Island.


Discover Kapiti Island

There are two methods to discover Kapiti Island, the primary, by lacking out on the quintessential Kiwi exercise of a lifetime by doing a day journey, or you’ll be able to opt-in for an expertise of a lifetime by staying in a single day on the island and stepping into seek for little noticed kiwis at night time. Be able to stroll alongside the tracks within the lovely dense native bush, swim within the surrounding bays, or chook watch. When you sit down for a picnic, you’ll greater than possible get a customer of the Kia persuasion: the world’s solely alpine parrot who won’t be afraid to climb onto your shoulder, open your backpack up, or nibble on a bit of your lunch.

ski queenstown

Ski Queenstown

The perfect escape from the northern hemisphere summer time means heading right down to Queenstown and being dropped straight into the powder. With 4 ski fields, two being the world well-known Treble Cone and The Remarkables, you’ll be able to ski all day and social gathering all night time. Retiring your skis doesn’t should imply retaining your ft on the bottom. Head up the Queenstown Skyline Gondola for unreal views over the mountains and water. If the climate is too heat for snowboarding, and skydiving is simply ready to have an enormous inexperienced verify mark subsequent to it on your bucket listing, there is no higher time to do it than in Queenstown.

Journey the Picton to Wellington Ferry

New Zealand boasts many “most beautiful thing in the world” and the Interislander Ferry experience is no exception. From dramatic views of Wellington harbor, straddling mountain views of the South Island, and the dramatic coast of the North. You’ll see dolphins, orcas, and even humpback whales swimming proper beside you as you coast alongside Prepare dinner Strait. You’ll you crusing alongside for a breezy three hours, and you’ll be dropped in Picton, the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds: South Island wine nation.


Wine and dine in Marlborough

As you sail into wine nation, Marlborough is nothing in need of beautiful wine nation. Whereas Sauvignon Blanc is their namesake, you’ll be tickled by honey-green apple crisp Rieslings, fruity, and seemingly drenched in sunshine, and you’ll be pleasantly stunned by the bounds being pushed by cultivating promising varietals like Grüner, Veltliner, Viognier, Arneis and even Tempranillo. If issues appeared just a little bleak crusing off the ferry from windy Wellington, worry not, the Wairau Valley in Marlborough has been named “Kei puta te Wairau”, ‘The place with the hole in the cloud’. Kick your ft up, soak within the sunshine and bask in a cheeky glass, or two, with quite a lot of artisanal meals like native chutneys, Manuka honey, jams, effective meats and, in fact, some recent New Zealand sheeps cheese.


Helicopter round Milford Sound

Milford Sound have to be seen to be believed and it is greatest seen from the air. A wide ranging sliver of topography that simply rivals the good Norwegian sounds and whereas it is final on the listing, it is an absolute should to anybody heading to New Zealand. Hop aboard, fly away, and be ready to gaze in awe. You gained’t know whether or not to look left, previous the wrinkled and wild cliffs, or proper, to gaze out on gushing waterfalls falling soothingly into the sound. One of the best information is which you can simply skip the tragically receding Franz and Fox glaciers in favor of touchdown on the glossy Mt Tutoko glacier. The magical mixture of intense wilderness, mystical waters and lush tropical bush that surrounds Milford Sounds is in contrast to anything on planet earth.

The logistical aspect of issues

When to go to
New Zealand being within the Southern Hemisphere, issues run somewhat in a different way down there, together with their seasons. Their summer time runs from December to February, autumn from March until Might, then winter is from June to August, and spring from September to November. Vacation crowds are at their busiest from December to early February. Due not solely to abroad guests being at their peak, however faculty summer time holidays being in full swing, the place roads could be backed up for miles with Kiwis making an attempt to make their option to their very own coast. Mid-February and March are superb, each weather-wise, and to overlook the crowds, particularly in case you’re trying to hit the seashores and wineries. Whereas July and August are your months should you’re able to hit the ski slopes and expertise New Zealand as a winter fantastic it may be.

How a lot to finances
There is no good quantity for with the ability to go to New Zealand. Flights will simply eat up nearly all of your price range hovering round $1,250, per individual, spherical journey from the East Coast. Whereas, lodging in New Zealand actually run the gamut in each worth and degree of luxurious. You possibly can lease a batch (Kiwi vacation house) within the low season for as little as $50 an evening, or you possibly can simply splurge and keep on the vineyards of a number of the worlds greatest wineries throughout the nation for round $300 per night time. In the event you’re a foodie at coronary heart, New Zealand boasts some extremely fantastic menus, however they arrive at a worth, often round $70 per individual, per day, you’ll be able to all the time select to chow down on an enormous menu of pies for underneath $5 – kumara (candy potato) and steak being a nationwide favorite. Distinctive, small-group experiences reminiscent of a boutique, full-day wine tour on Waiheke Island, they begin at $85 per individual, whereas issues just like the Glow Worm Caves and Hobbiton value $35 to $60, per individual, respectively. With some distinctive experiences like helicoptering over Tongariro Nationwide Park (versus the eight hour hike to cross it!) costing $415 per individual. It’s a rustic greatest fitted to budgets within the $three,200-$6,400 per individual vary for a 10 day journey.

How lengthy to go for
To be able to see all of it, we advocate budgeting at the least 20 days to see each the North and the South Island. Splitting your time evenly between the 2. You’ll lose three of these days flying (because of the worldwide date line time, however a minimum of you’ll have the ability to say that you’re in future!), and in the event you’re going to go all the best way, why not keep some time. Shorter journeys are potential, in fact, however in that case I like to recommend making some compromises and not visiting some elements of the nation, to keep away from dashing from place to place. 

What to mix New Zealand with:

Australia: for metropolis lovers and nice nightlife.

Fiji: for honeymooners fulfilling bucket lists.

Tonga: for seasoned adventurers and those that need to get away from all of it.

New Caledonia: for the French-fusion foodies and these wanting somewhat slice of France in the midst of the Pacific.

Hawaii: for many who need to combine in a tropical island with wild New Zealand, however slightly bit nearer to residence. With new Air Asia connections between Auckland and Honolulu – beginning at $250 a method, per individual – it’s a cheap mixture too.  



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