From the time I was a child I dreamed about visiting New Zealand- it lived in my mind as a magical, awe-inspiring place. This was before they filmed Lord of the Rings, but in every photo I saw it looked like an absolute wonderland. When I started looking into colleges- you can bet that the one at the top of my list was in Auckland. I didn’t go because I was too intimidated to take such a big leap straight out of the nest, but I did make it one of the first vacations I took as an adult. A girl friend and I rented a camper van and spent two weeks exploring the north island (the south island is still calling my name, I WILL get there!) It was one of the best vacations of my life- we ran amuck, had grand adventures, saw the prettiest sights, jumped into cold lakes in the middle of the night, hiked through the most beautiful rain forests, tried sand boarding, made friends (one that would later become my long distance boyfriend for a year!), ate incredible food and generally just had the time of our lives. I wish I could pass along recs- but we did absolutely no research besides reserving the camper van before we arrived and we just followed our instincts through the entirety of the trip- so I may have not even known where we were while we were there! I’m very often a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants traveler. But if any of you have any recs, please leave them in the comments for those planning trips and for my next one!!!
Right now Air New Zealand is running a promotion where some very lucky folks will win their own New Zealand adventure! Watch the video below, enter the contest, and if you win- bring me, OK?! PRETTY PLEASE!!! And for those of you that don’t win, Air New Zealand is offering flights starting at just over $1k round-trip- adventure is calling!! Below the video are some of our vacation snaps and a few little blurbs- going through the photos was such a treat, it brought me right back to all the fun! Enjoy and GOOD LUCK!!!!! xx- Sarah
CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS IS REAL?! It is. I was pinching myself. I may not remember everything but I do remember that.
Some of the friends we made we animals! I have never met a goat I didn’t love. And that beautiful horse grazing while a foggy mist rolled over the mountains- it’s owners saw us taking pictures and offered to let us go for a ride! So the next day they met us there, saddled up two of their horses and sent us on our way. MAGICAL I TELL YOU! If I’m going to generalize, which I am, I’ll tell you that Kiwis are kind hearted, generous folks who will go out of their way to make your vacation amazing should you cross their path. There were quite a few that added to the fun we had, including one that let us stay at his house so we could get out of the van for a night!
Selfies with sunglasses that were in style circa 2007. It happened. And I have naturally curly hair. So that cat’s out of the bag too!
We camped at the northern most point of the north island- and it rained the entire afternoon and night. This is us after surviving it. We set the camera on auto-timer because there was literally not a soul to be seen anywhere. We laughed so hard that night in the camper van that I’m actually very happy that the sunny beach time we had envisioned didn’t manifest.
I believe I took this photo on the way into Wellington, which I remember to be my favorite of city. Isn’t it amazing how those houses are built into the lush hillside like that?!