New Zealand

I didn’t know what to expect from New Zealand, only that Steve and I had a lot of adventures planned. It was going to be a couple of weeks of trying every new activity we could get our hands on (ice climbing, zorbing, bungee jumping, caving) along with using our own two feet to get around the hills. After a few days I took to calling it our “Adventure-Moon”—it was a belated honeymoon trip. We started out in Queenstown in the Southern Island, mesmerized by the color of the water and mountains. The South Island is most know for the daredevil activities. Steve bungee jumped, I said no way to that, but paragliding felt right. Actually, I felt like a bird, it was a dream. From there, we hopped our way up the coast with Steve scaring the holy bejesus out of me on the roads. New Zealandars drive on the left side and with that goes a whole frame of reference. Hands constantly crashing into the window searching for the turn signal— it can get awkward! On the South Island we also visited the Fiords, ate venison, saw the Fox Glacier and eventually took the train from Greymouth to Christchurch through Arthur’s Pass. I tell ya, traveling by train is the way to travel! Arriving in Christchurch it’s pretty heartbreaking to see the damage from the 2011 earthquake, but the locals have done an incredible job refurbishing buildings and street art projects liven things up. On the last leg of our trip we flew up to the North Island. We trekked the Tongarrio Crossing– that might have been my highlight of the trip. It was a 19.6 kilometer (I’ll leave conversion to miles up to you) hike through craters, around volanic lakes and my favorite, up the Devil’s Staircase. We were a sweaty mess at the end but oh so worth it. We made a two-day pit stop in Rotorua to learn more about the Maori culture and take in the volcanic activity. Those steaming pics are showing the (stinky) steam from the underground geothermal movement. We ended our trip by visiting some relatives in Hamilton, seeing Hobbiton (YES! That is land of Frodo!) and watched people jump from the tallest building in Auckland, the Sky Tower. Being an adventure freak is the New Zealand way!