It may very well be stated that the true pleasure of a highway journey is the sensation of freedom because the wind whips by your hair, your favorite tune performs on the radio, and also you’re in full management of your future.
It’s simply you, the wheel, and the open highway.
I’ve by no means let a small factor like my lack of a automobile or a driver’s license cease me from having fun with the highway journey expertise, even going as far as enlisting assistance from my good friend and someday wingman, Hogg for this 12 months’s Nice US Highway Journey.
In reality, whenever you’re a journey blogger who can often get stuff free of charge, you’d be stunned how rapidly pals come out of the woodwork to ask if they’ll drive you round a rustic…
Now that I’ve achieved my life lengthy dream of doing a highway journey throughout the US, I’ve needed to set my sights on new highway journey conquests.
One nation I’ve been that means to revisit and take my time with is New Zealand and, as luck would have it, it’s the proper nation for a highway journey.
With automobile rental in New Zealand being reasonably priced and there being no scarcity of highway journey routes to select from, it’s the proper place to spend per week, a month, or longer exploring at your individual tempo.
I used to be fortunate sufficient to go to New Zealand on a ten day ‘break up tour’ with my first travelling girlfriend, Fallon. Whereas the journey itself was clearly a bittersweet one understanding that we’d say our goodbyes at journey’s finish, we nonetheless managed to have a memorable Christmas interval travelling by the land of the lengthy white cloud.
Our journey packed within the highlights: Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Queenstown, Franz Josef, and Milford Sound.
We even discovered time to cease off at Nelson for Christmas Eve.
As superb as that journey was, it left me with a thirst to see all of it once more at a extra sedate tempo and in additional element.
Beneath, you’ll discover my dream New Zealand highway journey. I’m positive there are some obvious oversights, so be happy to let me know the place I’ve fucked up.
I’m not alone find New Zealand’s largest metropolis to be nowhere close to as charming as Wellington, Christchurch, or just about another sizable inhabitants centre within the shaky isles.
That isn’t to say that Auckland isn’t with out its charms, not the least of which is that it’s often the most cost effective place to fly to from Australia.
It’s fairly telling that TripAdvisor’s checklist of prime issues to do in Auckland appear to be day journeys out of the town, however there are galleries, museums, and memorials aplenty within the metropolis for many who are focused on such issues.
Once I was final in Auckland, I stayed within the very quaint Verandahs Backpackers. It’s a bit flashier than the standard hostel, with a Colonial really feel that makes it a superb deal extra ‘grown up’ than my regular backpacking digs.
Paihia & The Bay of Islands
A 3 hour drive north of Auckland, the subtropical Bay of Islands is a pure playground that I utterly missed on my earlier journey to New Zealand.
Whether or not it’s sedate cruises between the islands, serene scuba diving, adrenaline pumping sandboarding excursions, scenic biking, or hardcore mountaineering – the world is one among many examples of New Zealand’s unmatched pure magnificence.
It’s the form of place I’d like to spend just a few days exploring and simply soaking all of it in.
One among my greatest causes for outrage on my final journey to New Zealand was that my then girlfriend wouldn’t acquiesce to my want to go to Hobbiton.
Perhaps she hadn’t grown up as enamored of the Lord of the Rings books as I had, however I used to be greater than just a little bummed that we wouldn’t have the ability to make a short cease in on the filming location that launched the world to Peter Jackson’s imaginative and prescient of Center Earth.
The filming set has been stored in good order for vacationers, and a chilly beverage on the duplicate Inexperienced Dragon Inn can be a should as properly.
When it’s all achieved, a farm keep at one of many native farms can be a pleasant option to see what rural life is like in NZ.
Onwards to the stinkiest metropolis in New Zealand – Rotorua.
I spent Christmas Day of 2010 exploring Rotorua; taking the scenic gondola to the highest of Mount Ngongotaha for a Christmas feast earlier than racing again right down to the underside with the Skyline Luge.
The following day, we’d enterprise out for some Boxing Day zorbing, earlier than ending our time within the space with a go to to the world well-known Waitomo Glowworm Caves for some blackwater rafting.
The world has a lot to see and do, and even with a reasonably packed three day go to, a short have a look at Rotorua Tourism showcases kayaking, white water rafting, Maori cultural excursions, treetop walks, geothermal springs, and a lot extra to be achieved within the space.
Our final cease on the North Island is the Kiwi Capital, Wellington. A much more engaging prospect for vacationers than the capital, the Windy Metropolis has some properly regarded museums, galleries, and points of interest to go with its pure magnificence.
For me, Te Papa (New Zealand’s nationwide museum), the Zealandia sanctuary, and the WETA Cave are all on the to do checklist.
On the pure magnificence facet of issues, Mount Victoria affords up unparalleled views of the town and Oriental Bay – and the town itself is a famed haven for foodies.
It’s right here we bid farewell to the North Island, taking the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the South Island. At round $300 NZD (together with a automobile) and taking three scenic hours, it’s an journey all of its personal.
Marlborough Wine Area
With Picton being the spot the place the ferry docks, it is sensible to spend just a few days within the Marlborough area to pattern a few of New Zealand’s greatest wine.
I first developed a love for the grape once I took a wine tour of Broke, and have since added to my restricted information with wine excursions in southern California.
With greater than 150 wineries answerable for greater than 75% of New Zealand’s wine output, spending just a few days soaking within the ambiance (and the wine) seems like heaven to me.
Franz Josef Glacier
I used to be fortunate sufficient to climb Franz Josef Glacier on my final go to to New Zealand, and it stays one of the vital outstanding experiences of my travelling life.
We opted for the complete day mountaineering expertise on my unique go to, and I’m so glad that we did. Standing atop such an historical and highly effective power of nature was a humbling expertise, and the view was simply surreal.
The close by city of Franz Josef is a quaint little mountain city with out a complete lot happening, but it surely’s laborious to match that serenity.
Nestled on the shores of lovely Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown stays one among my favorite cities on earth. It’s simply epitomises the idyllic mountain city, and its tourism business means it packs so much to see and do right into a small package deal.
Along with native actions like zip-lining, mountaineering, and water sports activities, Queenstown is the unofficial capital of maximum sports activities in New Zealand. It’s right here you’ll discover world-class bungee leaping, canyon swings, and rather more.
Fiordland Nationwide Park
Whereas it’s actually attainable to see and expertise a fraction of Milford Sound’s majesty with a day journey from Queenstown, the park itself warrants way over a cursory examination.
At over 1.2 million hectares, the Fiordland Nationwide Park is way over simply its eighth Surprise of the World contender – though you’d be forgiven for pondering it is likely to be laborious to prime the hovering cliffs and deep waters of the well-known web site.
Uncertain Sound (generally amusing referred to as the Sound of Silence) is a magnificence all of its personal, and the park’s legendary mountaineering tracks vary from the picturesque to the downright grueling.
From the Fiordlands, it’s the Southern Scenic Route right down to Invercargill on the very foot of the nation.
Not a lot a vacationer spot as a spot to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the vacationer path, it’s additionally an vital cease on the aforementioned Southern Scenic Route.
With a number of the greatest preserved Victorian and Edwardian structure in the complete southern hemisphere, Dunedin may simply be confused with its northern hemisphere equal.
There’s one thing very interesting concerning the concept of wandering the streets and laneways of Dunedin, visiting New Zealand’s solely fort, and exploring the encompassing land on foot or on the well-known Taieri Gorge Railway.
There’s seashores, breweries, and an entire lot extra. I’m truly ashamed we didn’t hit Dunedin first time round.
I’ve saved one among New Zealand’s greatest for final.
Regardless of its continued dangerous luck with pure disasters, Christchurch stays one of the vital lovely cities within the nation. Whereas it’s undoubtedly displaying indicators of wear and tear after its dangerous run with earthquakes, there’s nonetheless a way of peace and artistic vitality to the Backyard Metropolis.
Commonly ranked extremely in tourism journals as one of many world’s should see cities, Christchurch is inventive, bohemian, resilient, quirky, and splendidly serene. It properly and really gained my coronary heart first time round.
It’s from right here we’d fly on residence or to our subsequent cease.
What can be in your dream NZ Highway Journey? Have you ever made one earlier than?
Did I miss something that you just’d have included?
Have I included one thing that you just suppose is woefully overrated?
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