It’s been three days or so since we got home from our holiday trip to New Zealand, so I thought it would be a good idea to wrap up on the whole thing. This trip was by far one of the busiest travel adventures I’ve ever been on, but I don’t regret a single minute of it! I got to see so much of this beautiful country, and it’s definitely a place I’m going to go back to someday. But just in case you plan an adventure there before I get to go back, let me share some of my favorite things that we did while we were there.
Driving around the country is by far the best way to see New Zealand. Sure, it takes longer to get from place to place, but at least 50% of the beauty that we captured by camera was captured from our car windows, especially on the South Island. From the fields of lupins that surrounded the lakes and rivers, to the mountains to the green pastures of sheep and cattle.
Of course, New Zealand has some beautiful waterways too. I’d highly recommend seeing Milford Sound!
In terms of which Island you should prioritize…
I would say that each one has it’s specialty, but if you’re interested in seeing the most beautiful, natural parts of the country, the South Island is probably the best island for you to visit.
My favorite spot that we visited on this trip was Hooker Valley. In my own opinion, there is no other spot in New Zealand that you will get views that are this pretty! I had my camera out the entire time.
There isn’t a spot of New Zealand that isn’t beautiful, but I’d definitely recommend taking some opportunities to put your camera away, and just take in the scenery… you’ll probably remember it better that way anyways!
There are two things in New Zealand that you HAVE to try.
First, the best burger in the world. Fergburger.
Fergburger is located in Queenstown New Zealand, and there are no other words to describe this burger other than beautiful. There is also a place next door where you can get Gelato (Mrs. Ferg’s) and a place in between Fergburger and Mrs. Ferg’s gelato where you can get the famous New Zealand meat pie.
life of pie
New Zealand’s meat pie is another thing you have to try if you go. Pie’s can be bought literally anywhere and everywhere, for anywhere between $3-10. These are great eating options because a single pie is a very filling meal.
Other than that, New Zealand is very much like the U.S. in that the food of other cultures can be found in almost every town. For example, we enjoyed Indian food a couple times, and we also tried Thai food and Malaysian food.
Things to remember when traveling there
- Check what you bring into to NZ very, very VERY carefully
New Zealand is extremely strict about what products are brought in, which makes sense if you consider NZ culture. It is an island country that makes many of its own food and agricultural products, and my guess would be that they want to avoid contamination or outside influence. If you bring anything that isn’t allowed (including an apple you forgot you put into your backpack!), and you do not declare it, you will be charged a fine of NZ $400.00. No one wants to pay $400 for an apple, so don’t be the person who makes that mistake!
New Zealand is a small country. Most roads only have one lane going in either direction. You won’t have cell signal in multiple places. All shops close down around 5 PM, even in bigger cities like Wellington. People are pretty laid back, so if you’re not, you might not enjoy your time there as much as you can.
I would recommend doing your very best to keep looking at the positives in every situation, even if you don’t get somewhere when you want to, or you get stuck on the road in the middle of the trip, like we did. In several instances, I found that even when things didn’t go exactly the way we’d planned, it was a blessing in disguise. In this sense, traveling in NZ taught me to be patient in a new way.
Something else that I did to stay positive was find a new travel companion in Jade. Check out her page by clicking the link!
I actually didn’t learn this until I got back. It’s “New” Zealand and not just “Zealand” or “Old Zealand” because apparently NZ was named after a previous Dutch colony that was already “Zeeland”.
To wrap up this post, check out a little bit more of the NZ I saw in this video compilation of the footage that I got there.