When I think of New Zealand, the first images that come to my mind are beautiful snow capped mountain ranges, white sand beaches, rolling green hills covered with sheep and clear waters that appear to be almost turquoise blue.
All of which are completely true of the two islands but there’s something they don’t tell you in any of the brochures or travel guide websites.
What could make this magical land anymore perfect?!
*An Ode to Wool*
Our lives were changed, ever magically, last year when we were preparing to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was suggested by many packing lists that we layer up with wool shirts and pants… and much to our surprise… its the most comfortable clothing combination we have to date!
This was the beautiful beginning of full wool. We seize any opportunity to get in our woolies!
And the best part?!
New Zealand (unlike most
At 12,217ft, Mt. Cook is the highest point in all of New Zealand. Not in the same league, altitude-wise, as many of the world’s more famous peaks but a legend to climbers all the same.
It’s an extremely difficult climb and many a climber have succumbed to avalanches or the steep ridges you’re forced to maneuver on the way to the peak.
So with this in mind, Jenna and I didn’t climb it 🙂
As we’ve said, New Zealand has a lot of good hiking (I think I was previously quoted as saying they had 8 billion hiking trails but again I’m rounding) but there are a few that are not simply classified as good, but rather great.
There are 9 hikes throughout the North and South islands that are so stunningly beautiful they have been deemed the country’s Great Walks. These hikes range from 2-5 days and pretty much
Nestled in the southwest region of New Zealand’s South Island is Fjordland National Park. It’s home to many fiords, the most popular being Milford Sound.
Although we usually steer away from touristy bits, Chris pushed us to purchase a one day cruise through Milford Sound. Being the Budget Nazi that I am, I pushed against spending the $70 NZD for the cruise but eventually gave in as Chris argued that this would be one of the
When one makes their inaugural visit to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed (and deserved) ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ there are two requisites.
First, thou must eat at Fergburger. Yup the first thing anyone ever has to say about Queenstown, despite the cornucopia of amazingness that engulfs the city, is that you have to eat at its famed burger place. For the record…you totally have to eat at Fergburger if you go. It’s that good.
But I digress.
I like to think of Queenstown, NZ a bit like an adult Disney World; tons of fun stuff to do but terribly expensive.
The town offers everything from skydiving to high speed jet boats but any given adventure activity costs at least NZ $100 per person.
As Chris and I have maintained an incredibly strict budget (which often leads to much turmoil), we opted to indulge in only one costly activity while in the city, Canyoning,
New Zealand has about 8 billion beautiful small hikes (I’m rounding) and the Diamond Lake track near Wanaka is one of the best we were lucky enough to try.
Check it out!
We visited the world famous Franz-Josef and Fox Glaciers on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island and while still beautiful, they’re just a shell of what they used to be thanks to rising global temperatures.
Check out the sign in the 4th photo for evidence of how far they’ve receded in just a few years.
Guess what Fox News? It’s real.
At just about every turn in New Zealand, there is an urge to pull the van over and take a few pictures. The challenge comes in doing so safely. As we made our way down the scenic west coast, the amount of stops grew exponentially. We had just left the gorgeous Abel Tasman National Park and were heading south with delightful cliff views of the Tasman Sea right out the driver side window. We were just