New Zealand Antics - North Island
By Gap 360
Last updated: 21st March 2014
With Gap 360's Becky still working as an Au Pair in Sydney, and Gap 360's Melissa's contract at Luna Park coming to an end, she decided to take a quick trip to New Zealand. She shared her experience with us below
I fell in love with the paradise that is New Zealand, and if you're in Australia, or thinking about going, then do it! It's definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far. Even though, I think that about almost everywhere I've been so far!
I booked a bus pass which took me from Auckland to the very tip top of the North Island to Cape Reigna, then all the way down to Queenstown, then back up to Auckland, in one month!
I was a bit confused about the whole bus thing, not really sure how it works, but the main manic started at Sydney airport trying to check in for my flight. Turns out you need a return ticket to be able to check in, my carefree one way booking thing clearly wasn't going to work here! I had 45 minutes before check in closed to go and find a ticket. I ended up running to the nearest flight centre and then buying one, thankfully in time! So here's my main advice, look these things up before hand!
I made it to New Zealand, then to my hostel and the next morning I was ready to head to the Bay of Islands. I made some friends on the bus, as Becky was in Sydney still working, so I spoke to as many people as possible, and then started my journey. It was amazing! You don't have to worry about anything, the driver will book all your accomodation and activities, and they send round sheets to fill in and explain all about the area. If you only have a short time frame though, make sure you ring up and book all your buses before hand so you don't end up on stand by. I was for one of my busses but thankfully a seat became available so I was all good!
The North Island was my favourite of the two, being bit warmer then the south. I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan, so when we made it to Hobbiton I was in my element! I think I annoyed pretty much all the friends I made on the bus by asking them to take my picture next to pretty much all 45 hobbit holes! With over 200 photos of that day, it was most definitely my favourite.
Other highlights include the Tongarriro crossing in Taupo. It's a 20k hike over 8 hours so it's a bit gruelling, but the views are incredible! Well worth it.
I also did a sky dive in Taupo, which was probably one of the most surreal experiences of my life! The whole concept of jumping out of a plane is so mind baffling-ly strange that you just have to shut your brain off and do it!
My favourite city if New Zealand has to be Wellington. We had some of the best nights out there, as well as getting to see The Lord of the Rings workshop and the Te Papa museum!
If you're even thinking about going to New Zealand, then just do it, it's well worth it! I've made some awesome friends and were already planning our reunion :-)