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“Don’t leave town until you’ve seen the country” is a catchphrase thrown out by many New Zealanders, to encourage others to explore their home country before jetting off overseas (probably to Australia) for a couple of years. I largely agree with this sentiment, New Zealand locals should see as much of this country as we can before heading out into the big bad world, mainly because people you come across are going to ask you A LOT of questions about New Zealand. So it helps to be able to answer them!
While I feel like I have seen a good chunk of the country, particularly the South Island (such as Dunedin, and The Catlins), there is still so much left to see and do! So I have put together a wee list of what some of my New Zealand Bucket List items include.
Hopefully this list will inspire you to look around your own home country for things to add to your own home country bucket list! At the very least, this list will give a little more information on New Zealand and what there is to do here. Sound good?
1. Cape reinga
Cape Reinga is the northernmost tip of New Zealand which is the complete opposite end of New Zealand to where I live, so obviously travelling there is a bucket list must. At this northern point, two oceans collide. The Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide creating swirls of currents beautiful to see.
Another reason I want to visit Cape Reinga is that I really enjoy the Maori mythology behind Cape Reinga. It is believed the spirits of dead Maori travel to Cape Reinga, to the mighty pohutukawa tree (believed to be over 800 years old) before travelling down a root of the tree and into the ocean.
Once in the ocean the spirits travel along the spirit pathway (Te Ara Wairua) back to their traditional home of Hawaiki. For some reason, the idea of this really appeals to me, I think it is a very beautiful belief and I think visiting Cape Reinga would be a spiritual experience because of this.
So, how to get there?
There are a few options here. My ultimate number one way to do this would be a massive road trip with my boyfriend, stopping at various towns and cities along the way, crossing Cook Strait on the InterIslander and general road trip fun. However this would be a very loooooooong road trip and somehow I do not think I will be convincing Mr Boyfriend to go on this road trip any time soon! BOO!
Most likely we will fly to Auckland and hire a rental car. Then we can go on a mini road trip, stopping in beautiful beachside destinations such as Paihia or Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands region. This road trip would be a lot shorter and manageable than the previously mentioned road trip.
There are also various tour buses which make the trip between the Bay of Islands are Cape Reinga (Backpacker Bus and Kiwi Experience to name a couple).
2. Zorbing in Rotorua
Leave it to us Kiwi’s to come up with “Hey what if we jumped in a giant ball and rolled down a hill in a paddock?” Zorbing looks like so much fun! I know there is a lot more to Rotorua than just zorbing, but for some reason the idea of cruising around a paddock in a giant ball just sounds so fun.
Rotorua is located in the North Island, about 3 hour drive away from Auckland. There are two zorbing companies in Rotorua believe it or not. OGO is closer to the town centre (five minutes’ drive away) so would most likely be easier to get to. I imagine a local bus probably drives past or if worst comes to worst, a taxi for five minutes probably won’t break the bank.
How to get there: I would probably fly to Rotorua as they have a regional airport and this would be the easiest option.
Other options: Busing from Auckland to Rotorua on the InterCity or other bus service.
3. Mount Roy Track in Wanaka
Now this one I really should have done by now. It is only a couple of hours drive away from me. But I am unfit and lazy. Mount Roy is a strenuous uphill battle of a day walk. So why do it? Like everything else in New Zealand, for the views! The walk, depending on your fitness, can take between 5 to 8 hours to complete and is mostly all uphill. I am going to leave this one for when I am a bit fitter. Time to jump on the treadmill I guess….
How to get there: Wanaka is about a 3 hour drive away from where I live. This would be another adventure poor Mr Boyfriend would be dragged along on. We would arrive the day before and get a good night’s sleep to arrive at the start bright and early the next day (8am?). The start of the track is signposted as Roys Peak Track and is about 6km out of Wanaka.
4. See an aurora
I am lucky enough to live in a southern part of the world that is sometimes blessed with auroras. But I have never seen one. Why not? Because they tend to happen when it’s a) Freezing outside; or b) at 3:00am. I also seem to only ever find out about them the next day in the newspaper. However, all that is about to change (well only the newspaper bit) because Aurora Forecasts exist! Once this beauty tells me there is going to be an aurora I’ll be grabbing my camera and jumping into my car. I will probably be heading to some dark southern spot to try and spot these cheeky elusive lights! Wish me luck!
Well there you have it. My New Zealand bucket list of things to do before I leave home! I hope you enjoyed it.
Please let me know what is on your home country bucket list! Or even what is on your New Zealand bucket list if you have one! Let me know in the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe!
Thank you and much love,
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