I miss the hokey pokey.
by Sietske van de Vegte
Sometimes in life you just gotta say "screw it" and go do what you need to do. I needed to go to New Zealand. I've been fascinated by this small country with such diversity in landscapes ever since I was 15. So in April 2014 I packed my suitcase and left for a month and a half to travel New Zealand.
I found it absolutely refreshing to be travelling on my own for the first time ever. I started out in Auckland, and wore myself out because I had three days here and I wanted to see it all. I visited the Sky Tower, visited Waiheke island, saw Maori artefacts in the museum and ate a delicious bagel in Gloria's Jeans, a local coffee shop.
After Auckland I wasn't completely on my own anymore. I hopped on a bus to explore New Zealand. I stayed a few days in Roturua, where there is loads of volcanic activity and the town smells like sulfur most of the time. I stayed in a traditional Maori meeting house for one night and made my way to Wellington, passing Taupo to skydive and the legendary Mata Mata, where the Hobbiton set lies. That day I set foot in Hobbiton was a day I've been looking forward to ever since I saw Lord of the Rings the first time ever.
After Wellington I journeyed on to the South island, where a ferry takes you trough the rough current of the Cook Strait into the welcoming mountains of the South island. I was gobsmacked by the landscapes on the Souths island. I didn't think New Zealand could get even more beautiful. From Picton I made my way through sunny Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park to the West Coast. I had such a clear and beautiful day driving the West Coast, something that was apparently quite rare. I visited Pancake Rocks and could see the effect the rough sea had on the rocks. Incredible. Hiking through the ice caves in Franz Josef, meeting family (and lots of sheep) in Alexandria to thrill seeking town Queenstown. Milford Sound is part of the fiordland in New Zealand and is an absolutely stunning place to see, with the occasional penguins and sea lions. After Queenstown I continued on to Christchurch where I unfortunately had to catch my flight back home. On the road I think I caught the travel bug, because all I can think about it getting back on the road again.
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