New Zealand is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations I have ever been to but as is the bane of every adventurer, I never get to spend enough time when I visit. So you can understand my determination to visit as many places as possible in my next trip. I decided to focus on the South this time around for maximum effect. Here is how it went down!
Two days in Christ Church
Christchurch has come a long way from the 2011 earthquake and it is obvious to anyone that comes calling. I loved the colourful pop up shops and the dining experience at the Avon River had me wishing I hadn’t pencilled in a family vacation elsewhere for next year. My 7-year old would have had fun feeding the lovely ducks! The local bars and shops are decent as well. To give me some peace of mind I picked up a travel insurance policy from AMI. You can find out more here: https://www.ami.co.nz/travel-insurance One can’t be too cautious when travelling to the epicentre of earthquakes in NZ!
A day in Hanmer Springs
As a wine lover, I heard good things about Hanmer Springs and since it’s just 2 hours away from Christchurch, I was never going to pass up the opportunity to visit. True to the legends, I had some of the best wines here and bought 5 bottles that will only be opened on the biggest occasions! The warm springs makes for a lovely night rest. Away from the wines, Hanmer Springs also has picturesque views, as you’d expect from a location in New Zealand.
Two Days in Marlborough
Marlborough is famous for the sauvignon blanc but I was surprised at the overall magnificence of terrain and the loads of activities to be enjoyed. I wasn’t up for a hike but the trails I saw looked lovely. I went fishing and kayaking though! The region Blenheim was another great find for my wine loving self! Omaka was another interesting place for me as I saw the WWI and II memorabilia museum made by Peter Jackson. The antiques and artefacts are stunning! It has been a while since I was last wowed by a war museum!
Two Days in Tasman/Nelson
The statistics books have Nelson as the sunniest part of New Zealand and it’s hard to argue. The region is known for being home to some of the most celebrated artists in the country. Keep your eyes peeled for stunning displays. If you love Kayaking as much as I do, then you’ll agree that it is hard to ignore the Crystal waters of the Abel Tasman National Park!
Two Nights in Queenstown
My first ever visit to New Zealand was in the winter and it was easy for me to see why it is referred to as the winter party capital of the country. However, I wanted to see more of the area then so it made perfect sense to visit again. I was delighted to see that it looks great in the summer as well! The stunning lake, exquisite cuisine and well-stocked bars can keep you here longer than expected. At least that was the case for me as I originally wanted to stay a night! The jet boat ride and the bungee jump experience in Kawerau were other-worldly! The winery in Amisfield was another great stop over.
Two Days in Fiordland
I read about Fiordland on social media after a visitor posted lots of breathtaking waterfalls, bushes, blue skies, and mountain peaks and I was delighted that it was exactly as the pictures painted! I had a cruise of the lake and enjoyed the fauna in the region. I wish I was up for the hike. It is definitely a place I’d be coming back to in future.
Two Days in the West Coast
The Hokitika Wild Food Festival is one of the major attractions to this region but I was more intrigued by the Fox Glacier, Franz Josef and the Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks is a geographic wonder. Pity they don’t allow people to get too close to the edge but I loved every minute of being here. There are a fair few pubs along the way to the site and they all have exquisite food. Be sure to order your own food specifically unless you’d love some (not always pleasant) surprises on your plate. The food festival spirit looks like it is permanent for the chefs here!
On some of the days, I was simply too tired to explore the area I was in a bit better but I was still extremely delighted with the overall experience. I feel satiated about my desire to explore Southern New Zealand, at least for now!
P.S. I prepped form my trip with a few travel tips from a great travel article I read over at travelblog.org.