We visited New Zealand twenty years ago so it seemed about time to go back for our 2018 holiday. There’s no doubting that in the intervening time New Zealand has become a tourist magnet. The epic scenery shown off to such spectacular effect in The Lord Of The Rings films justifiably draws the crowds. Recent reports of queues to take the perfect photo seem reminiscent of places in Scotland and so we were keen to visit some less well trodden places if possible.
Our holiday on the North Island last November had it all. During our month long stay we took in island life, coastal scenery, sea kayaking, mountain hikes, volcanoes, urban walks, wildlife, Art Deco architecture, Māori culture, weather and some wine and gastronomy!
On most of our “tramps” we met only a few locals on the way and enjoyed the excellent network of paths and mountain top views. The Tararua Forest Park close to Wellington was a particular favourite. We now know why the Kime Hut is referred to as “The Fridge”. It’s higher than Ben Nevis and doesn’t have any heating. On the night we stayed there, with the snow falling outside, the inside temperature dropped to just above freezing. Unsurprisingly we had the place to ourselves!
Tongariro National Park and the famous one day Tongariro Crossing hike rank high on most people’s “must do” list. We were here twenty years ago. It’s certainly busier now but on the Round the Mountain multi-day tramp, which takes you round the volcano Ruapehu, we found plenty of solitude among the spectacular otherworldly landscapes.
If you’re interested in our trip you can see a selection of our photos in our Gallery. Look out for the 2018 – New Zealand collection.