The Guide to the New Zealand Road Trip - Part 1
I cannot believe that its been a week since we got home from New Zealand! Our honeymoon was definitely the best and coolest trip that we have ever been on. We have never taken two weeks off for a trip, so it was really nice to take a lot of time off, refresh, and come back to the states fired up and ready to go!
Since we are avid hikers, New Zealand has been a place that we have wanted to visit for quite some time now. And because it was their spring, we were able to get in a good amount of hikes with some great weather!
I spent so much time researching other blogs on what were the best ways to travel throughout the country, and what were the best spots to go to. We weren't sure if we wanted to do just the Northern island, or just the Southern. You could spend a month and not see everything, so we knew we had to weigh in the most essential things that we wanted to do. In the end, we decided to start in Auckland and end in Queenstown, which seemed to be the overall majority of people.
Starting in Auckland, we landed in the afternoon and headed straight for our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Grand Windsor which was definitely the nicest place we have ever stayed at. We were welcomed with glasses of fresh green tea with honey at the desk, and a bottle of wine and a cake in our room. (Let me tell you, I loved the perks from being a honeymoon! Can we use that all the time perhaps?)
After we rested up and got cleaned up, we hit the town. We walked for a little bit, but I was also on a mission because I had a surprise for Mike. When we went to Toronto a couple of years ago, we ended up not going up in the CN tower, and I didn't realize how devastated Mike was that we were unable to go. So, I found that Auckland has a similar skyscraper, where you can book reservations and dine there too! The 360 Orbit restaurant is fascinating because it at one of the top floors of the building, but it also rotates! So throughout dinner, we were able to get amazing views of the sunset around the city.
Since we were only in Auckland for a day, we went out to breakfast the next morning before venturing onward. Mike found the spot on google, but we couldn't find a website, just photos from Instagram. We took a chance, and man, was Major Sprout the best breakfast we have ever had!
Our next destination was Taupo, which is only 3 ½ hours away by car. We rented our car through Hitch, but there are a lot of other companies you can check out, too. Along the way, we decided to stop at Rotorua to see some of the hot springs. Afterwards, we went over to Huka falls to see the crystal-clear blue water and waterfall.
When we got to Taupo, it was the evening, and we strolled over to the lake and watched the sunset. It’s such a beautiful spot. Definitely touristy, but we went in the office season, so it wasn’t too bad for us.
Since we stayed at the same Airbnb for two nights, we went to the grocery store and picked up things to make for breakfast and dinner. Our go-to’s are pasta with some kind of meat (ground meet or sausage) and veggies. For breakfast we typically do oatmeal or cereal, Greek yogurt, and some fruit.
The next day we went to the Tangaroa National Park to do some hiking and to do the 19 km trail to the top. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible that day and it was a combination of rain and snow, with the visibility being really poor. Since it can be a dangerous hike if you are not careful, we opted for the safer choice and did a walk to come waterfalls instead.
To be continued…