March 15, 2019
Friends. We had the opportunity to go to New Zealand this past week and it couldn’t have been a better adventure. I feel so lucky Blake and I get to fly on my sisters benefits this year. New Zealand is one of the places that’s been on our bucket list as long as I can remember. Going together (already!) with my parents and my sister, Lisa was incredible!
If you know anyone who has been to New Zealand, you probably know there is a North Island and a South Island. The North Island has the biggest metropolis area, Auckland, where we flew into, Hobbiton, and lots of amazing natural areas. We never made it to the South Island though, which I hear is even more spectacular. (Is that even possible?)
Side note: I think this has to be one of my favorite parts of off-season, just having more time with Blake and our families. 🙂
We did a number of different tours & hikes, all of them in this post were excellent! I picked my top three, but we truly found a lot of great places. 🙂
#1. The best by far was the glowworm caves that we visited. I would show you photos, but we weren’t allowed to take any. (My heart still aches a little.) However, good news! You know those pop-ups at theme parks and tourist places like Niagra Falls? They take your photo in front of a green screen, then print it out for you to buy? (Which always confused me a little. I wonder how many they throw away every day… Do you think they shred them first? Humm… anyways!) Well, don’t worry. We bought the download of the glowworm caves and to be fair, I think it’s one of my favorite photos because it’s just so ridiculous.
#2. The second best thing we did was this crazy hike to the bottom of Wairere Falls, a super tall waterfall. I was 90% sure we were on the wrong path…literally the whole time.
Think about it. We’re hiking to the bottom of the waterfall, but we were hiking straight uphill the whole way. I was positive we were going the wrong direction. However, we did finally make it to the top…of the bottom, of the waterfall and it was AWESOME! Had it just been Blake and I, we would have gone all the way to the top, but even going up to the bottom was fun. 🙂
Time to the bottom of the falls: 45 Min (35 for Blake and I. 😉 )
Time to the top of the falls: 90 Min
Hike difficulty level in my novice opinion: Intermediate
#3. Finally, we did a pretty cool Volcano Tour with Mike. What I loved most about it was that we got to see 7 of the largest volcanoes in downtown Auckland, (You read that right.) learn their history and hike up a few of them. I can say with certainty I learned a lot about volcanoes and I think anyone who lives in an active monogenetic volcanic field is brave.
Fun fact for you. We left New Zealand at 3:30 PM on the 9th of March. We landed back down in Chicago at 2:30 PM on the 9th of March. You could kind of say we’re time travelers. 😉
I hope you enjoy a few of the highlights of New Zealand and if you have any future travel recommendations, send them my way!
Looking back toward the parking lot at Karekare Beach.
Dad, Mom & Middle Sister Lisa. Love them. 😀
I mean honestly, they’re too cute! 29 years and counting. 🙂
(30 years this April 8, 2019!)
I must have forgotten to tell him we were going to the beach. ????
We thought we could get to Pararaha Valley from Karekare beach, but we never found it.
Still worth the trip though! Not a lot of people and the beach had their famous “black sand.”
Cute downtown area. Adorable family. ☺️
Downtown Auckland. My youngest sister Sarah wasn’t with us, but we made sure to send her some love. 🙂
… I just thought this was cool.
Volcano Tour. This is the top of one of them. It’s truly unique.
Downtown Auckland is just behind the treeline!
The little place we stayed the first half of our trip.
Fun fact: They didn’t have air conditioning!
It was totally fine because of the breeze and perfect weather, I was still surprised though!
This may not have made top 3, but it is number 4. ☺️
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Never change Babe. ????
#2. Wairere Falls
What? No photo of the actual falls? I know, I know. You’ll just have to go see it yourself. 😉
I hope you enjoyed a few of the photos and recommendations. If you’ve been somewhere beautiful we should add to our bucket list, let me know! I always love hearing from you. 🙂
Till Next Time,
Waaaait! What about the glowworm photo!? I’m so glad you asked. 🙂 For your viewing pleasure… 😉
An Arizona Adventure
March 15, 2019