Ah, the land of sheep, kiwis and fush and chups. For those of you that haven’t been before there is more to the ‘land of the long white cloud’ than the aforementioned. They also have a sh** load of cows.
With just under two weeks over the Christmas and New Year break here are my top recommendations for a pretty ‘choice’ experience.
1. Waitomo Caves. One for the adventure seekers, there are some amazing underground caves to explore filled with glow worms. We chose to go Tumu Tumu Toobing which is around 2 hours underground including dry rockclimbing and swimming through the pools. Before heading out we were suited up with some pretty unflattering 10mm full body wetsuits, gum boots and helmets. My personal favourite of the trip was when everyone was asked to lay on their back in the rubber tubes, switch off their helmet light and float across the water with the glow worms lighting the way. The glow worms are pretty amazing and look like tiny constellations of stars, the kiwi guide did not really do them justice when he referred to them as ‘cannibalistic maggots’ which funnily enough is what they actually are.
2. Horse Riding in Lake Taupo. Ok so I may have religiously watch ‘The Saddle Club’ when I was slightly younger so it comes as no suprise I would go horse riding in NZ. I’ve been on alot of trail rides and I would have to say this was without a doubt the best. It was also a new experience with the Texan style saddles. We went for an hour through the countryside and forest which was kind of like looking at a real life postcard at every turn. Our guide was awesome and let us give the horses a great work out, if we could have done anything different it would be to go for two hours. If you ever go there ask for ‘Roma,’ an amazing horse.
3. The Huka Falls. About an hour to hike or you can drive to the look out. There isn’t much to write about this place, it’s all about the views: beautiful natural scenery and turquoise waterfalls. Well worth a visit.
4. Surfing at Fitzroy. At the beginning of the trip we were lucky enough to stay with my aunty and uncle in their goregous beach house just off Fitzory Beach in New Plymouth. This is well and truly a surf town, there is no escaping it. Thanks to daylight savings you can safely be in the water until 8pm, which is of course what locals do (after their morning and lunch surfs too). ‘The Smooth Adventurer’ (my travelling companion, and yes he vehemently pushed for the name) has been giving me surfing lessons and the not-so-crowded-I-can’t-kill-too-many-people-with-my-beginner-surfing-skills beach was a perfect training
ground water? Pretty much the only scary thing in the water is the occasional crab which for me was all the more incentive to stay on the board.
5. Hiking up Mt Taranaki. The set for filming ‘The Last Samurai’ with Tom Cruise, mountain trekking is a very good way to test your fitness, trust me. We did the Veronica Loop (2hours) and the Ngaroto Loop Track (1hour) and I can tell you that Veronica is an absolute b***h. The views however were amazing. Definitely wear appropriate hiking or gym gear and take lots of water.
And that was only the North Island…