Travels in New Zealand
Updated: Sep 30, 2018
Wow, it feels like ages since I’ve written anything (sorry about that)! But for the past two and a half weeks I have been busy travelling around New Zealand’s North Island. In this post I’m going to share and recommend some of the exciting things I did on my adventure!
The Top 5 things I did (in no particular order)
I don’t think there were many days (if any!) where I wasn’t a) swimming in the sea or b) swimming in a waterfall! I visited two waterfalls over the time I was there; Owharoa Falls and Kitekite Falls, and they were both absolutely stunning. My visit to Kitekite falls was probably my favourite because the 30 minute walk up to the waterfall was so scenic (and also uphill on a very warm day… so by the time I reached the waterfall the water looked so inviting and cool to swim in)! A must do if you like to feel at one with nature, especially on a hot day!
New Zealand’s beaches are known to be stunning, and my gosh they are! I visited quite a few in the relatively short time I was there. Whangamata was my favourite because of its stunning views, amazing surf and the fact there is an island which you can walk to at low tide – definitely worth doing for the views of the beach back inland.
Another great beach was the one in Tauranga. It is situated right next to Mount Maunganui – which is a great (if a little sweaty!) climb, but totally worth it for the incredible views of the surrounding area! The beach itself has good surf and great views of the mount and people parasailing off it (…maybe something to try on my next visit)!?
Hot Water Beach is also worth checking out. Why’s it called hot water beach? Because it has its own geothermal hot springs which filter up through the sand! Bring a spade with you (or hire one there), dig a hole in the sand, and relax in your very own hot pool! I’d recommend going in the evening when it’s a bit cooler (and less busy) then you’ll really feel the benefit of the hot water!
Kayak Glow Worm Tour
Of all the things I did in New Zealand, this was my absolute favourite. We kayaked down Pokaiwhenua Stream (on Lake Karapiro) as the sun was setting. The water was surrounded by giant trees and ferns. On our return, about an hour or so later when it was dark, the trees were lit up by thousands of tiny Glow Worms. It was magical, almost like looking up at the night sky. Everyone was silent as we floated back downstream, taking in the pure beauty and tranquillity of the moment. I would 100% recommend booking onto this if you find yourself nearby the area.
The famous Kiwi bird is a national symbol of New Zealand, yet it is extremely rare to see one in the wild as they are badly endangered (and also nocturnal)! Luckily the Otorohanga Kiwi House, a conservation centre, is home to several Kiwis. Not only did I get to see three different species of Kiwi, but also got to meet many other native Nz species, including this adorable little Parakeet. The staff were all very knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely worth a visit, and all entry money goes to conservation.
Auckland Museum and Sky Tower
I spent a couple of days in Auckland which was a complete contrast to all the waterfalls, beaches and natural scenery! The city itself is very lively and Auckland Museum is definitely worth visiting, especially if you want to learn more about New Zealand’s Maori cultural background like I did. Also check for exhibitions that may be on! I went to New Zealand’s Geographic Photographer of the Year exhibition which was superb! As well as the museum, I also went up the Sky Tower which gave great views of Auckland and its surroundings.
Thank you for reading and I hope this helps inspire you to save up and travel (in New Zealand)! If you have any specific questions about my trip or anything I did then I’m more than happy to answer them, just drop me an email or leave a comment.
Have a beautiful day and keep adventuring!
~ Emma ~