The best way to explore the entirety of New Zealand is to rent or buy your own van and create your own adventure around the country. With its jaw dropping remarkable scenery varying from volcanoes, to ice glaciers, white beaches and rolling hills one finds in a famous hobbit movie, travelling at your own pace and time is the best way to see NZ. If young, wild and free- like I was, and wanting to take an easier and more organised way, buy a coach ticket.
Coaches here are in the form of hop on hop off buses, which combines the ease of travelling around the country and taking in the ever changing landscape at each stop, meeting new and interesting people in a manageable environment, a personal tour guide, and personal unique stops within the country on your chosen route. Before my trip, I organized the latter with a coach company called ‘The Kiwi Experience Bus‘, and boy was it an experience. The drivers and tour guides are equally as bonkers and care free as those who decide to join the bus, meaning the entire trip is a manic and enjoyable ride. Each night the driver makes sure the entire bus is fuelled with alcohol, and those who don’t join in, are shamed until they do so. Developed for a young crowd, or for those who are young at heart, the trip is a blur of incredible sights, and incredible hangovers. If partying every night inst you thing (after 2 months of my trip it surely wasn’t), then there are other buses such as Stray and Magic that offer similar packages.
Wellington is windy. Really windy. It is actually named the windiest city in NZ which I think is most definitely true. Although Wellington is the capital city of NZ, it seems unusual for many as one wouldn’t think it. With its picturesque port docked with bobbing boats, laissez faire style of attitude towards the people, and its diverse night-life (that is the best in the whole country), one argues why an earth does Auckland feel so superior and snooty, when Wellington is such a beauty? Wellington is the under dog of cities, and filled with an extensive art gallery, peaceful parliament and friendly beaches, I enjoyed my time here. I recommend walking up to Mt.Victoria’s Summit, (I got excited about the name) and seeing the entire view up there over Wellington, it is worth it.
Taupo is yet another beautiful lake set in a thriving countryside of rolling hills. Its an ideal spot to fish, para glide and even sky dive over. The main reason why many tourists visit is to hike the 20k Tongario Crossing. Now I had just spent 5 months partying every single night in Australia and the South Island of New Zealand and any exercise filled me with dread, especially 20k’s worth. I made friends with a nice German girl en route to the crossing and we agreed to walk together through the hike. I’m so glad I met her, otherwise I don’t think I would have made it. Looking back now, I have no recollection of her name or what she does but I am so grateful for her constant chatter and continuous ability to walk on as I never got a chance to sit and moan. The terrain is beautiful, and from this day is the most diverse and rewarding hikes I have ever been on. The scenery constantly changes in front of you, from soggy marshland to rocky out crop that is dark and volcanic, lava flows and active craters, loose gravel that makes you slip and slide, emerald coloured lakes that sparkle and shine, mountainous flowers growing in jungle; everything you could imagine. The walk was incredible and I urge you all to do it. You know the saying pictures are a thousand words? Just take a look below.
On another trip to Taupo myself and some of my friends went to some Hot Springs just a 30 minute walk away from our hostel (the locals said 10 mins but that wasn’t the case) which for all the backpackers going on the cheap, I recommend to visit- its free!