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New Zealand


New Zealand is stunning, everywhere you look is like a postcard. The open land is dotted with cows, sheep, elk, turkeys all roaming wild. The land is rolling green hills with many varieties of trees, vegetation and colorful flowers along the roads. We rented a car and spent three weeks touring the north and south islands enjoying adventure after adventure!

Starting in Auckland, just hours after getting off the plane, we were climbing the “Vertigo Climb” up the Sky Tower, which is the tallest freestanding structure in the southern hemisphere over a thousand feet tall with incredible panoramic views! We then toured the picturesque coastlines of the Bay of Islands, historic sites including where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed which founded New Zealand, and hiked in the Waipoua Forest to the largest Kauri tree and learned how the logging of these trees industrialized this country. We continued to Waitomo where we went black water caving which included abseiling down a waterfall into complete darkness, tubing down a river in the depths of the cave highlighted by “glow worms” on the ceiling, and then swam, crawled and manipulated our bodies through the crevices until we eventually climbed our way back out! In Rotorua we learned about the Maori culture and explored the Waimangu Volcanic Valley which has the world’s largest hot water spring and geyser.

Our journey continued to the South Island by ferry across Cooks Strait where we were welcomed with stunning views of the rugged bluffs and mountains. The driving here is its own adventure with extremely narrow roads, no shoulders, one lane tunnels where, in many instances, you can’t see oncoming traffic and all while driving on the opposite side of the road and trying not to be distracted by the beautiful views! We visited the unique coastline of Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park and hiked the magnificent Fox Glacier. On our way to Queenstown we went skydiving over Lake Wanaka which was both terrifying and exhilarating! We continued our adrenaline pumping activities by jet boating down a narrow canyon river at speeds of 75-80 km/hr making 360-degree spins, and taking a gondola ride up Bob’s Peak and a luge back down enjoying magnificent views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Our last few days we took a scenic overnight cruise amongst the fiords in Milford Sound, stayed at Larnach Castle in Dunedin, toured the Yellow Eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve, walked around the famous Moeraki Boulders and enjoyed the city sites of Christchurch. Amazing trip!

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