Plans are nothing until you execute it. Looking at the grand plan for New Zealand I’ve written 2 months ago and the eventual route I’ve taken, many has stayed the same, while many has changed as well. There are places that I unfortunately missed out, and places that I definitely want to re-visit again. This post shall be about the journey I’ve taken, and the places I would want to visit if I ever return to New Zealand. (:
Let’s first take a look at the route I’ve eventually taken across New Zealand.
How I travelled 5000km across New Zealand
In a country which the distance from North to South is 1400km (Cape Reinga to Bluff), I travelled over 5000km throughout the country. The majority of of the distance was covered through hitchhiking (2000km), and through car-sharing (1800km). The rest was covered by buses and of course, the Cook Strait ferry from Wellington to Picton.
In a separate post, I shall be sharing about the various transport means I took in New Zealand. In case you’re wondering what I’m doing at Takaka Hills and Clinton, 2 places which does not seem familiar on the travelling trail, I was attending a hippie festival and working at an organic farm respectively.
Places I wished I had time to visit
Despite spending almost 2 months in New Zealand, its kinda sad that there are still so many places that I have yet to see! If I ever had the chance to return to New Zealand again, here’s where I would go:
- Waiheke Island, Auckland – heard its beaches are really pretty!
- Coromandel – how could I have missed the Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove…
- Mt Taranaki, New Plymouth – snow topped mountain located beside the sea
- East Cape – one of the most isolated areas of NZ with rugged and spectacular coastlines
- White Island, Bay of Plenty – a still-active volcano!
- Matamata (and other LOTR places) – where the Hobbiton in LOTR was filmed
- Nelson – one of the biggest cities in South Island, but I skipped it completely while making my way to Luminate Festival
- Marlborough Region - gotta check out the extensive vineyards and do some wine tasting
- Abel Tasman – despite being at Takaka, I didn’t get to kayak at the beautiful coast
- Arthur’s Pass – heard there are some nice tracks and different greenery there
- Fox Glacier – Franz Josef Glacier wasn’t enough for me :P
- Doubtful Sound – much bigger, grander and quieter than Milford Sound
- Hanmer Springs – hot springs are always good (:
- Kaikoura - if I had more money, I would have done a swimming with dolphins tour!
- Mount Cook Village – a pity I didn’t get to see Mount Cook up close
- Central Otago – would have been fun if I did the Central Otago Rail Trail through desert-like terrain
- Oamaru – more wildlife watching and I heard the town is a charming one as well
Places I want to visit again!
Some places are not meant to be visited only once. These are some places I would die to go back again if I ever return to New Zealand.
- Queenstown – cobalt blue skies, crystal clear lake, remarkable mountain range, charming little English town. no reason not to love this place. And next time round, I would be jumping 134m down Nevis bungy. (:
- Lake Tekapo – the scenery is spectacular, especially on a perfect day where you can see the snow-capped mountains
- Lake Matheson – I still want my perfect reflection of Mount Cook on the still lake
- Akaroa – board a cruise to see the cute Hector dolphins, hopefully with a better weather
- The Catlins – stop by more of the small scenic stops, and visit the cute yellow-eyed penguins again!
- Wanaka - only spent a night here, I’m pretty sure there’s much more to see!
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing – would love to walk this amazing track once again, despite its difficulty
- Ninety Mile Beach – if I have a suitable car, it would be awesome speeding through this endless beach