My two week trip around the south island of New Zealand was an active whirl-wind of exploring, hiking, and adventure. The thing I was most amazed about, though, was the diversity of the landscape and scenery that we saw.
I went on an excursion package with Active Adventures. It was the Rimu trip- a 12 day trip that included exploring, hiking, biking and kayaking, as well as staying in some wonderfully unique places. Although there was some down time and a lot of riding in the bus, it was one of the most active and adventurous vacations I’ve been on.
The adventurous part definitely started when I arrived at the airport but my bags didn’t. It wouldn’t have been such a big problem, except we were scheduled to go trekking and I definitely didn’t have suitable clothes in my carry-on for that! Luckily, the guides were able to fit in an unscheduled airport detour so that I could pick up my bags while the rest of the group enjoyed the local winery. This experience is definitely something I keep in mind now while packing!
There were several unique experiences and adventures on this trip, for sure! While I’d always said that the one thing I’d never want to do is bungee jump… well, I was in Queenstown, the birthplace of bungee, so how could I not? Yes, it was scary and no, it was not at all painful. Even if jumping isn’t your thing, it’s worth going to see the bridge and watching the jumpers. I’d have loved to also fit in some exploring around the city, hang gliding, parasailing, and getting a tattoo (Queenstown has so many activities to choose from!), but I did make it to the thermal spas- there is only so much adventure I can take in a day!
This was a wonderful group of diverse people from around the world. Being together to have these experiences can be wonderful, but I also appreciated the solitude on the trails and the time spent in reflection of the beauty. For example, we spent a night on a farm, and the dusk provided the scenery of a mountain against the lake. The night provided a stunning view of the heavens and stars like I’d never seen before or since.
From the ocean to the mountains, from waterfalls to stunning lagoons, exploring New Zealand did not disappoint at all. The best things about New Zealand are that it’s an easy place to go when starting out traveling, and there are no animals along the trails that want to eat you (think lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!). There aren’t even any ticks! I’d definitely recommend it as an adventure lovers dream vacation.