After a couple days in Sydney, I headed to Auckland, New Zealand. I went to meet up with one of my good friends CJ who was also in New Zealand vacationing. The airbnb I stayed at was across the street from the Sky Tower so the location couldn’t be more perfect. The Sky Tower boasts some of the best views in the city and it’s a popular spot to bungee jump.
Tips: If you’re headed to Auckland, be sure to go to the Sky Tower, do a hop on/hop off tour, and walk along Queen Street.
After exploring Auckland, I ventured off to Queenstown to continue my adventure with my pal CJ. When I arrived at my airbnb, nobody was home. My hosts knew what time I was scheduled to arrive so I was a bit surprised nobody was home. After standing outside their place for a few moments trying to figure out what to do, someone walking down the street approached me and asked if I needed any help. I explained the situation and they offered to have me come to their place and they would contact my host. Turns out the guy was the upstairs neighbor of my airbnb hosts. His gf and son were on the floor watching TV and they were completely unbothered by this random stranger being in their house. I guess I don’t give off serial killer vibes lol. His girlfriend asked me if I checked to see if the door was open. Of course I’m thinking why would anyone leave their door unlocked if they’re not home which was indication number one I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I had a reservation at an Ice bar with my friend so I was in a bit of a time crunch. They said I could leave my bags there and when I came back, the door would be unlocked so I could just grab them later. In my head, I was still flabbergasted at the sheer kindness of strangers and how safe Queenstown must be to have no qualms about leaving your door unlocked.
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. Any adrenaline seeking activity can be found here but it will cost you. Most attractions cost at least $100USD. It’s home of the Nevis Bungee jump which is one of the highest in the world. The town itself is small so you can walk most places or you can take a taxi or the local bus. I made the mistake of staying a little bit outside of town so taxis added up quickly.
I knew little about Queenstown before going so I didn’t have any expectations. Queenstown is THE most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I can only image what it would be like to wake up in such an alluring and peaceful place every day. One day I went to Milford Sound which took all day because it’s about 4.5 hours from Queenstown. The weather wasn’t ideal but it was picturesque because there were lots of waterfalls which made up for the rainy weather. Another day CJ and I went to the Onsen pools which are Jacuzzis overlooking the mountains. We also had to stop at Fergburger since they say you haven’t been to Queenstown if you haven’t been there. Sometimes the line is around the corner but thankfully we were able to walk right up. Another day I went luging which was super fun. Luging is similar to go-carting but the cart is propelled by gravity not a motor.
Takeaway: Be sure to check the weather before you go. During my trip, it rained almost every day. The weather was definitely not as warm as I would have liked. Hotels are more expensive in the summer so plan accordingly. Airbnb is slightly cheaper but be prepared to spend $$ on accommodations. Tipping is not customary due to the high wages employees earn. Ideal time to visit is between December-February which is their summer. Winter is also a popular time to visit because skiing Queenstown is a popular skiing destination. If you love nature and want to visit somewhere which may be overlooked for more popular destinations like Europe or Asia, then New Zealand is the place to be. You will not regret it. Everywhere you look beauty surrounds you. The people of New Zealand (also known as Kiwis for their national bird) are extremely friendly. I definitely plan to visit New Zealand again!