Our member GarrettM recently shared his experience of honeymooning in New Zealand in the form of a trip report. Visiting both the North and South Island, there were many highlights in this country renowned for its natural beauty and friendly locals.
Flying across the Tasman via Melbourne, our newly-wed member began the trip in Auckland. Only a short time was spent in New Zealand’s largest city, but it was enough to climb the Sky Tower, visit Mount Eden and sample the local cuisine. At 328 metres high, the Sky Tower dominates the Auckland skyline. As well as being a great lookout point, it’s a hotspot for thrill-seekers.
We had decided we would check out SkyTower as well, which offers some very impressive views of the city. It’s quite a different feeling in the lift up to the observation deck too. For the very brave, I mean crazy, you can actually “jump” off the tower. They harness you up and you basically free fall until the harness kicks in and brings you down to the ground. The jump point is above the observation deck, so every 15 minutes or so you’ll be admiring the view in one spot and then some nutter flies past the window – probably praying to whatever deity they prefer that the ropes hold.
Just a few hours from Auckland is one of many “Lord of the Rings” filming locations in New Zealand. On a sheep farm just outside the town of Matamata, visitors can tour the set of Hobbiton.
Heads up Tolkein fans!! There was just no way I was going to NZ and not visiting THE MECCA of Lord of the Rings geekdom.
Hobbiton was built on a farm near the town of Matamata, a couple hours south-east of Auckland. It was built on a temporary basis in 1998 or so after Peter Jackson spotted it from the air. But it was dismantled after the LotR, and then rebuilt on a more permanent brief for the filming of the Hobbit.
The trip continued with a flight to Christchurch in the South Island. After enjoying the views of the Southern Alps from the plane, more incredible views awaited on the ground when our member arrived in Cass Bay, just outside of Christchurch.
Sadly, much of Christchurch itself was destroyed by a major earthquake in 2011. Although Christchurch is a resilient city, much of it is still under reconstruction.
Picking up a car in Christchurch, our member continued south, eventually reaching Queenstown. The picturesque town of Tekapo was the first stop along the way, followed by Wanaka where a pleasant surprise was in store.
Unbeknownst to me the new bride had arranged for me to get out on a boat with Davy Pattison from Adventure Wanaka, who runs trout and salmon fishing sessions from on Lake Wanaka.
It seems like a great time was had in the land of the long white cloud! View GarrettM‘s full trip report HERE.