Looking back on New Zealand

Hey there,

It has been three weeks since I’m back. Back from an adventure. An adventure of a lifetime. Back from New Zealand.

It`s going to be a real challenge to take you through this trip in just blog posts, but I will try my very best. After this blog post, I’m planning to publish four articles: from our first until our last week, with all the highlights, must-do`s and routes.

But to start off slowly, I’m taking you through our trip to the other side of the world and how New Zealand left an unforgettable impression in our hearts.

Getting there

First of all: do you remember the blog post I published when we booked the flights? Well apart from the fact that was a long time ago 🙂 I thought a 30 hour trip would kill us. But all went quite well actually. I did have a hard time sleeping but the service of Cathay Pacific was great: nice food and a media center that kept us entertained for the whole trip. Me Before You, Suicide Squad, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Joy,… I have seen them all.

Looking for a place to rest?

Oh, if you`re looking for a place to rest in Hong Kong airport (without paying for an expensive lounge), I have a precious tip to share. At gate 26 in terminal one there is a relaxation center downstairs with loungechairs. It`s quiet and there aren`t any announcements. Perfect to catch up on some sleep.

If it happens to be full, there are some loungechairs at gate 36, behind some planters. But it`s harder to rest because you`re in the middle of a busy terminal. It took us some time and internet research before we found these relaxation areas. They don`t make it easy for you to find them 🙂 So you`re welcome!

Stunning New Zealand

Back to New Zealand. They weren`t lying, the country really is impressive. And I do think you have to visit both of the Islands to experience that. At a certain point in our trip I almost didn`t realise anymore how beautiful everything I saw was. Almost.

All within an arm`s stretch

From mountains to craters, to lovely beaches. New Zealand has it all. It’s a very green country, tailored for trampers. The tracks are always well-marked and laid out, and most of the time everything`s there to make your walk as comfortable as possible: from clean, public toilets at the start of tracks to fresh water.

Some landscapes made us think of different countries back in Europe: England, France, Switzerland,… others were very unique in their own way. The smaller villages had a very American touch to them: think the style of housing, one big main road with every fast food restaurant you can imagine together with petrol stations and car dealers. Less romantic in other words. But other, bigger, cities surprised us very much, like Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin. Despite their young age there is some history and culture (and a lot of street art!) to them. The coolest thing probably is the fact that everything is so close to each other. Take a walk in the mountains in the morning and be back at the beach in the afternoon.

We stayed with as many locals as we could and we don’t regret it. New Zealanders (or Kiwi’s as they are also called) really are the friendly, laid-back people they believe you to be. Blending in with their everyday-lives makes you feel a little less like a tourist. Just having dinner and drinks together was so cool, and before you know it, you’re sharing stories about each other’s lives and starting new friendships.

Oh, if you consider going during high season: go around the country clockwise, like we did. Apparently a lot of tourists travel the other way around. In that case you avoid traffic on your route. We didn’t know but were lucky obviously!

Not the question if, but the question when

All this makes you think that 4 weeks is enough to discover the country but I`ll have to dissapoint you. Holiday-wise, we had our break. But almost every place we visited made us wish we stayed longer, really. So quite quickly we noticed that the question was not if we would go back, but when. We discovered our favourite places and are more than ready to explore new ones.

Photos: the best of

No worries, you don’t have to wait for the next articles to see some photos. It was hard as hell to chose, but here is a selection of the most beautiful things we saw during our trip.
Oh and #nofilter! But that’s just because I’m lacking the time to edit my photos 😀