100% Pure New Zealand- The Adventurer's Destination

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Shotover Jet Ride

Photo of Shotover River, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

On our way to Tasman Glacier

Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

The yummiest Biryani that I had ever.

Photo of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

The famous Fergburger at night one

Photo of Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Christchurch

Photo of Scarborough Park, Christchurch, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Getting ready to board the Chopper

Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Our guide in action

Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

View from one of our Airbnb stays

Photo of Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

The famous Fergburger in Queenstown at night one

Photo of Fergburger, Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

View from the Chopper

Photo of Tasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Queenstown Gardens, Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Gorilla shaped mountain

Photo of Coronet Peak, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Skippers, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Mount-Cook-Nationalpark, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Hokitika Gorge, Kokatahi, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Spectacular roads

Photo of Hokitika Gorge, Kokatahi, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Tahr with a beautiful view of Mount Cook on background

Photo of Lake Pukaki, Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak
Photo of Yaldhurst Road, Christchurch, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Way to Hokitika Gorge

Photo of Hokitika Gorge, Kokatahi, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

Beautiful view of Queenstown City

Photo of Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand by Sarita Nayak

For a person who loves nature and can travel for the whole of the life, what else could be a perfect honeymoon gift than a trip to New Zealand, a trip full of adventures, exploring places and knowing the other person better..

The journey till New Zealand was really long. From Bangalore to Sydney via Singapore and then from Sydney to Christchurch. It was worth the distance that Samir and I traveled. We hired our pre-booked car at Christchurch and started our journey in New Zealand. Within no time, we started admiring the beauty of the place. When you get out of an overpopulated city to a city where the population density in one fifth of the former, you find peace everywhere. To add to it, you get to see lakes, sea beach, rocky hills and people welcoming you with a lovely smile.

We directly drove to the place that we had booked for the day. It was a spacious place with well- maintained lawn on all its sides. The place that we booked was at a hill top and so we could see the beautiful Christchurch from a good height. The temperature being 15 degrees centigrade, it was cool and comfortable.

The weather is slightly unpredictable in New Zealand. The following morning, we woke up to find that it was one of the hottest days. Well, it was summer then. After packing our bags, we headed towards the market place and had our breakfast. For all the dog lovers reading this article, you will be unable to control that smile on your face. Almost every other person had this kid in their family. Look around and you could see friendly dogs of different breed with their human families.

We started from Christchurch to Hokitika. The drive was amazing and so the picturesque beauty of the surrounding starting from grasslands, farms, stables, mountains to river bodies and the weather, everything was very pleasing. We didn’t wanted to miss even a single view of the things.

On the way to Hokitika (West Coast of South Island), we came across the beautiful Arthur’s Pass. The drive through the pass was an exciting one filled with scenic beauty. Steep mountains everywhere, and few of them had snow laden peaks (repeating, it was summer then). River Bealey flowing through the mountain with clear blue waters. We were already overwhelmed with the beauty, when it started to rain, adding a freshness to the environment and making us admire the whole thing more and more while driving. The 16 degrees inclined road, one of the steepest road is another stretch that would get a smile on the face of all those who love to drive.

We headed straight towards Hokitika Gorge. A long drive with a view of acres and acres of farmlands followed by mountainous roads to reach the spot. It’s a beautiful greenish water gorge and worth that extra miles of drive. We returned to our booked place and were greeted by our host and the friendly furry dog Bruce. We went out for a walk and discovered the town. Hokitika is a small town with huge houses. There are few essential stores and tons of restaurants and hotels. During the Goldrush time, this place was a prime location but now mostly houses are vacant and people have moved to city areas. We enjoyed the view of the sea for some time and returned to our place after having a seafood platter and coffee. The temperature was close to 14 degrees. We had a conversation with our host who gladly explained us about the town and it’s history.

We woke up the next day and got prepared for the Heli Hiking at Franz Josef. After having a delicious breakfast cooked by our host, we bid good bye to Hokitika and drove towards the glacier. It was drizzling and that enhanced the picturesque beauty of the place. Low clouds, high mountains, greenery all around, and roads that seemed to have led to infinity. All this happiness turned into a sad expression when we got a call that the Heli Hiking was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Well, that was a moment where I really didn’t know how to react. Whether to be happy about the mesmerizing beauty all around or to be sad about the cancellation. Well, then we realized that New Zealand is a place of innumerable activities. We headed directly towards Queenstown and decided to go for one of the most daring adventures, bungee jumping. It was the first time that we were planning for a bungee, and I had a wish to touch the water. So, the only option for that was the Kawarau Bungy at Queentown. We registered and waited for our turn. It was Samir who took the first plunge and looking at him I felt it would be a cake walk for me. Then came my turn. I was harnessed and completed the safety check. It was my turn for the jump. For few seconds, I had no idea what was I blabbering (I heard all those blabber in the recorded video) and I asked the crew to push me. He did so. The next moment I was there screaming and enjoying the jump. That was an experience!

The next day, we explored the whole city. It’s a small beautiful place where you get the best of city life. You look around and you get to see mountains and lakes. That again inspired us to go for another activity. We thought of speed boat ride and chose Shotover River and I think it was one of the good decisions that we took. The bus ride from the pickup point to the base was one hell of a ride. It requires years of training to drive on a wet muddy road wide enough to fit one bus plus when the visibility is less. The Shotover jet ride was very thrilling, especially the 360 degrees turn.

We didn’t had much to do that day and headed towards our Airbnb. As informed earlier by our host, we were greeted by their dog Joe, who welcomed us much like the way a human would welcome somebody. We then met the cats KK and Coco. We had a good time with them and after few hours the host arrived and we had a good chat over coffee.

The next day we started early. I was praying for the weather to be sunny. We booked for Heli Hiking in Tasman Glacier, which is the largest one in South Island. As usual, the mesmerizing beauty around us and the long straight roads kept on continuing. After driving for hours, we could see a huge mountain, white in color standing boastfully and very different from others. We did no mistake in realizing that it was Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand and that we were driving towards the base of the mountain. We stopped at a view point and clicked few photographs.

We reached the base camp i.e the Old Mountaineers Café and met our guide. We got geared up and one more couple joined us. Interestingly, even they were a honeymoon couple. After few instructions and mock session on how to get into and out of a helicopter, we boarded our chopper and started towards Tasman Glacier. The view was breathtaking and one wouldn’t want to blink the eyelids for a second also. We landed at the glacier and started our hiking. It’s an experience that one should have personally. The clear ice, pure water and the view was inexplicable.

Soon after we reached back at the base, we continued our journey. We had very less time with us and had a long way to go. We stopped at Lake Pukaki to admire the beauty of the place. Lake Pukaki is the largest lake in South Island covering an area of roughly 178 km square. There was a store from where we got fresh Salmon Sashimi. That was the best Salmon that I had ever.

We reached Christchurch and still had some time. I wanted to be at Sumner Beach once again before leaving the beautiful country. We spend sometime in the beach doing nothing but enjoying the beauty of the place. In that short period, I was so much in love with the place that I would not mind to stay there forever. For some reasons, that place has got a place in my heart forever. It’s a perfect blend of city and nature.

Few Points based on my experience:

Driving is the best way to explore the country. It’s very easy for Indian drivers to drive in NZ, even for people with basic experience in driving. For experienced drivers, please don’t be over confident.

It takes time to cover the whole country. One week would be a decent time period to explore the whole place. There are many things to see. One needs to have a basic plan. Choices are many.

People are friendly in New Zealand and you will always be greeted with a smile. Please greet them the same way and you would be in love with them. They like Indians and can identify in a minute if you are a honeymoon couple. I have even heard Bollywood songs being played in shopping centers.

Walk around the city to know the local culture. New Zealand is a very safe country. Keep ample of time for sudden plans. There are many hidden worth visiting places in the country. Talk to local people and they would let you know.

A special note: For those who are doubtful if an adventure trip is ideal for a honeymoon couple, I would like to tell you from my personal experience that yes it is! You get to know a person the best when he is in a situation. And in an adventurous trip, there comes many such type of situations. You share responsibilities, unknown circumstances and both of you face it together; you navigate wrong together, correct it together; let the other person sleep while you keep on driving. Most importantly, you let the other person drink and you do not because you have to drive and then wait for your turn.. :)

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