Sydney Jones: New Zealand Starter Pack

gNew Zealand starter pack!

I’m so very excited to be writing a post about my favorite place on this planet…. New Zealand. New Zealand is a magical land where everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at with a chill relaxed but adventurous vibe to compliment it. Wanting to go to New Zealand was what actually brought me to this side of the world in the first place and since being over here I have been three times. In this blog I hope to give my best advice on where to go and what to do based on my experiences over there, obviously you don’t have to listen to anything I have to say.

 Where is what

North Island: Auckland, Coromandel peninsula (Cathedral Cove), Rotorua, HOBBITON, glowworm caves in waitomo, Lake Taupo, Tongariro alpine crossing (Mordor), Napier/ Hawke’s Bay, Wellingtonb a

South Island: Queenstown, Mt. Cook, Fox & Franz Josef glacier, Arthur’s Pass, Wanaka, Roy’s peak Hike, Fjordland, Milford Sound, Christchurch, Abel Tasman, Kaikoura.

All three times I went I chose an island and spent the whole 9-12 days there (lecture recess) in order to make the most of my time. There are beautiful and amazing things to see and do on both islands but if your time is limited you may have to pick one over the other.

North Island: Think rolling green hills and the big cities. Auckland and Wellington are both amazing cities but on either ends of the island. Because of this when I went I flew into Auckland and out of Wellington and just zig zagged down hitting all the main attractions.

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan then the most amazing film site to see in all of New Zealand is Hobbiton, which is an hour drive from Rotorua. I highly highly highly recommend it.

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South Island: “I want to see Mountains again Gandalf!” If you are like Bilbo Baggins and keen for an adventure then the South Island is for you, spectacular mountains e v e r y w h e r e. The south island is definitely larger so for my trips I would do a circle starting and ending in Christchurch. We would shoot over to the west coast through Arthur’s Pass to go see the glaciers then take Haast Pass to Wanaka where we hiked Roy’s peak and then ended up in Queenstown for a couple of days. While in Queenstown we would drive to Milford Sound, which is a bit out of the way but definitely worth it. After Queenstown we hit up Mt. Cook, the lonely mountain, on the way back to Christchurch. There are many other things to do and see in the south Island such as Dunedin and Kaikoura if you have the time.

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Things to consider:

The weather: The weather in New Zealand is very different to weather here in Townsville so make sure to keep that in mind when packing.

Getting around: I used Jucy rentals and always had a great experience however I have also known people to rent a small car and airbnb/ hostel it the whole time. That is just something for you to weigh the costs of. In the south Island I recommend getting gas when you can because it is very rural.

Costs: There is a lot of free stuff to do, especially walks and hikes, but all of the adventure experiences will cost a decent amount so make sure you have some money saved to have those truly unique experiences.

New Zealand is such a fun country to research traveling to, this post might act as a good starting point or I at least hope it might be! Feel free to message or email me Sydney.jones1@my.jcu.edu.au about anything New Zealand related if you’re interested! I’ll do my best to help. It truly has my heart so I love seeing students make their way over there.

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