There’s no secret that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It combines beauty and adventure along with a laid back and chill vibe, making it an ideal travel destination for everyone.
I would go back to New Zealand in a heartbeat. The scenery was beyond breathtaking, it felt like you were on different planet. It rained out most of the time, so I didn’t get to do most of the hikes I wanted to do.
What to See?
First destination after we picked up the camper van. The distance between Auckland and Cathedral Cove is 91 km. Small hike 30 mins each way, spitting you out at a beach, but when you turn to the left you see this amazing cave that opens up onto the water. Jamie and I went at sunset and ended up being the only people there!
Located in Rotorua. They have different hikes to choose from, and they were free! Trails are in the middle of the forest and the trees are incredibly beautiful! The nature here is amazing, from the tall trees, moss on the rocks, the smell of fresh air, and the peaceful walks. This should be on your list for sure when you come to Rotorua! Perfect way to get out of your small camper van or car and just hike for a short time, or a couple hours. It’s up to you, which trail you pick!
Castle Point Lighthouse is located near the village of Castlepoint in the Wellington Region. It’s the North Island’s tallest lighthouse standing 52 metres above sea level. When you get to the top, it’s breathtaking with all the views from the water splashing on the rocks, the lighthouse itself, and if you’re lucky enough you will get to see seals at the bottom of the cliff (we did). There is also a walkway that leads you down to some beautiful jagged rocks right on the water edge. Don’t get too close though as you will get a bit of a splashing.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Check this out if you can! It looks beyond beautiful! Jamie and I had to miss it due to rain and little did we know it costs a few hundred dollars to do when we went. $144 CAD/PP due to having to go with a tour guide because of the weather. You will need to book a shuttle bus, which will cost around $34CAD/PP, which will include a bus to the national park to the exact trail, and then back. If you go, remember to wear proper hiking shoes, bring water and snacks with you, dress for the weather, etc.etc.
This place looks interesting! It’s a maze of limestone caves, lined with stalagmites, stalactites, and galaxies of glowworms can be explored on a guided walk or boat tour.
New Zealand is literally a hotbed for geothermal activity. Although hot springs can be found all over New Zealand, the region between Rotorua and Taupo has the highest concentration of hot springs, geysers, silica terraces, sulphuric pools and bubbling mud in the world. Keep in mind it does get very smelly(the eggy sulphuric smell). Very neat to see though!
Hobbiton Movie Set
Walk through a movie set from Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit! It looks so cute! However, since Jamie and I were on a budget we skipped this activity. It was a bit pricey in our minds, around $80CAD/PP. It’s on someone’s farm land, but it’s a permanent attraction complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridge and the Mill & The Green Dragon Inn. Matamata, home of the Hobbiton Movie Set, is a small agricultural town in the heart of the Waikato region. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Auckland.
There are so many things to do in New Zealand that will get your heart and body racing! Bungee jumping, parasailing, jet boating and whitewater rafting are just some of the activities to do with an adrenaline buzz.
We didn’t have time to walk around and check it out. We had to grab the ferry to go to the South Island, but the vibes here seem amazing! Great city, lots to see here.