Every flashpacker knows it – New Zealand is king of “extreme activities”. It’s where the bungee jump got its start and is home from everything to hiking glaciers and gorgeous treks to scuba diving and whale watching. Many people know about the recent quake that hit Christchurch on February 22nd and this inspired a group of kiwi travel bloggers to create a movement called #Blog4NZ letting the world know that New Zealand travel is still open for business.
Since I have yet to visit this amazing country, but will be doing so soon (I leave in April), I wanted to participate with a list of the places I’m excited about visiting and the things I can’t wait to do when I get there. Note: While I normally only use my own photography on this site, the photos in this post are used under the creative commons license via flickr. With that in mind, the above image was taken by somewhere between Queensland and Milford Sound by Jonas Seaman
In no particular order…
Flashpacking The Big Four
I have four cities that interest me and will mark the main points of my eventual itinerary through the country. From North to South, I’m interested in the cosmopolitan Auckland, the café and bar scene in Wellington, the dynamic city of Christchurch and the capital of adrenaline: Queenstown.
I don’t know yet if I’ll be heading north to south or vise versa, but I know that each of these will be the primary destinations I’ll use to maneuver my way throughout the country. If there’s a city I’m missing, for heaven’s sake let me know!
Music and Film
Peter Jackson certainly ingrained the beautiful scenery of the country in our minds and I can’t wait to see the real thing. More recent films have also used the country as a backdrop and it makes me curious to see what the local film scene might be like.
I also can’t wait to get back into an environment where live music is cherished, and from everything I read, it sounds like I’ll find plenty to go around throughout the country.
Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve
I’m told this is the crown jewel of scuba diving in New Zealand and I want to make the most of my newly acquired advanced open water certificate. With plenty of other dive sites and wrecks to check out, I’m sure I’ll find a way to put that cert. to good use.
Photographing The Great Walks
My goal is to do at least one of the nine great walks on each of the islands. I have yet to do decide on which treks to go after and would love to get advice from any rabid trekkers out there.
Have An Adventure
About the craziest thing I’ve ever done adventure activity wise has to be canyoning through the gorge in Interlaken, Switzerland. I’ve never been bungee jumping, sky-diving or zorbing, and I figure if I’m ever going to do any of those, New Zealand seems the place to go a little crazy.
I want to end with a final thought – that New Zealand doesn’t play second fiddle to Australia. I think there’s this perception that hey, I’m traveling to Australia and I guess I’ll include New Zealand since it’s right there. I just wanted to let all the kiwis I’ve met so far, and those that I’ll meet along the way, that I’m giddy with excitement at the experiences I’ll soon have there.