New Zealand has been on my bucket list for years. It’s attraction was due to the many stories of love from friends who either lived or visited New Zealand.
After purchasing two Lonely Planet books, reading many traveling accounts and the many places of attractions on both islands I felt overwhelmed. I happened upon the organization Evanos, that plans trips according to your wishes and lifestyle and they put me in touch with Amanda, our local agent, a New Zealander herself. We passed on our wishes and she put together an amazing itinerary. We went for 5 weeks (I recommend 6,7). We covered a lot of both islands, but mostly in the south, which suited us fine.
To choose one highlight is very difficult. From the quiet of the Catlins to the beauty of the coast to the majesty of the mountains to the incredible walking paths (so well maintained and designed) to the friendly people. They all stand out!
We would really recommend this amazing country and the local agency for first timers and extended stays.
One stay that really stands out was our 4 night stay at Ruby Bay, Nelson. Outstanding! We even picked pears in an orchard for half a day. I do recommend some extended stays in certain areas. Abel Tasman would be one.
Really, most everything!
All of New Zealand was a highlight to us!
It’s diversity of landscape: mountains, rolling hills, gorgeous coast line, pastures in between, beautiful coloured lakes, vineyards, orchards, white & golden (often empy) beaches, lovely wine, warm friendly hospitable people, the peaceful of the rural areas, sheep & cows grazing outdoors, the seemingly active lifestyle.
Hmmmm, not many. If I had to choose: the business of the cities, the roadkill and the sandflies. Also we found New Zealand very expensive.