April 17th, 2015
Next up in my winter adventures, after Costa Rica, was New Zealand. Again, I decided not to bring my professional camera (for reasons you can read in my Costa Rica post) and have fun with taking iPhone photos instead. New Zealand was amazing! For a small country, it sure has a lot of variety packed into it. I knew New Zealand would be beautiful but it still exceeded my expectations and bowled me over with all its stunning nature.
I did a one-month camping trip through Flying Kiwi that had a focus on hiking and biking. It was my first time joining a tour and I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being awesome. Most of the people on the tour were traveling alone and everyone became so tight, including our fantastic guides. There was usually around 26 of us on the bus at a time, with some people only doing a week or 2 weeks and getting on and off in different towns. About half the bus was there for the whole month though. At one point we counted 15 different countries represented among us. There was a great mix of ages and personalities and I loved that we all became like a big traveling family for our time together. : )
We changed locations almost every day (I am pretty fast at putting up and taking down a tent now. haha) so we saw a LOT. I’m sure my friends probably got a little sick of the amount I was instagramming on this trip. haha.
I’ll write details above a few of the photos below but if you want more info about the locations, or stories behind them, you can check out the hashtag #jesszaisnz on Instagram, My Instagram username is jessicazais if you feel like following along on any future travels with me. : )
Most people started their trip in Auckland but it was booked up so I got picked up in Christchurch instead. The first night we stayed south of Christchurch at a sheep-shearers farm. The sheep outnumber New Zealanders (AKA Kiwis) 10-1. The incredible glacier-fed blue waters of Lake Pukaki. The fascinating Moeraki Bolders.Milford Sound = breathtaking views. Queenstown! Such a fun city. Nature and adventure sports abound! Punakaiki Beach Camp. My favourite campsite we stayed at in New Zealand (Lake Pukaki comes second). Amazing area to explore.Pancake rocks, Punakaiki Abel TasmanTent prank shenanigans. I was especially impressed with the tent up a tree. Luckily I avoided getting pranked myself and was a double-agent instead. In one tent “All is fair” was written and the next, it was finished with “in love and war.” There was also an open can of sardines in each tent.From the South Island, to the North Island via a ferry.Selfie with some Maori dancers and fellow traveler, Frida from Sweden.Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand Cathedral Cove (following 6 images). One of thee coolest beaches I’ve ever been to. The beautiful and colourful geothermal pools of Wai-O-Tapu. Tongariro Alpine Crossing – amazing and challenging 19km day hike! Such a highlight! A celebratory glass of wine after finishing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Back to the South Island! I had the honour and pleasure of swimming with 100+ wild dolphins in Kaikora. One of the most incredible experiences of my life thus far. Words can’t express. Coastal walk in Kaikora, New Zealand. Bruce Bay. The tradition is to write a message on a white rock and leave it with the others. Our guide left this one.
After New Zealand I continued on to Australia. Click here to check it out. : )
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