Everyone has a story about plans that were thwarted or postponed in March 2020. For my family and me, it was a long-awaited trip to New Zealand we had been planning for an entire year! Fortunately, this year we finally had the chance to resume our shelved plans and visit this breathtaking country – and it was absolutely worth the wait! This country is seriously stunning with so much to offer.
First off, we encountered an astonishing number of sheep – truly, these fluffy creatures were everywhere! We even stayed at a working farm and saw amazing sheep herding dogs at work.
Yet our journey entailed more than marveling at sheep; we embarked on a series of thrilling adventures! New Zealanders, or Kiwis, are known for their love of adrenaline-pumping activities (it's the birthplace of bungee jumping, after all!). So, in the spirit of embracing local culture, we went canyoning, kayaking, and ATV driving. We traversed waterfalls, leaped off cliffs, and navigated through rushing rapids – it was a truly exhilarating experience!
During our stay on the North Island, we also met up with some friends and hit the golf course. While I took a lesson and strolled alongside my boys, our caddie acquainted us with the New Zealand term for heckling: "chirping." True to form, my son delighted in "chirping" at my husband with every subpar shot. We also visited the remarkable Gibbs Farm which is a stunning open-air sculpture park with gigantic works by world class artists, like Anish Kapoor and Richard Serra, with a dramatic backdrop that included lots of wildlife - both local and exotic!
New Zealand's food scene is also amazing, with delicious food and fantastic wine everywhere you go. One of the best experiences was the tasting menu at Amisfield Winery. Each dish boasted innovative concepts and artistic displays, featuring butter disguised as stones (can you tell which is the butter?), lamb tartare, and dehydrated strawberries for dessert. Initially apprehensive, my boys surprisingly savored every morsel.
Apart from the fancy dining, we also had a blast trying a local treat called Hokey Pokey ice cream (how darling is that name!) Imagine creamy vanilla ice cream filled with crunchy honeycomb candy pieces – yum!
New Zealand, you stole our hearts – we can't wait to come back!
What about you? What’s your next travel destination? What adventure are you currently planning or dreaming about?
Glad you had a great time in NZ. It looks like you got to see and do some great things here.
Spectacular experience and photos. It is on my bucket list for sure! Do they love their cakes and cookies like we do? Also, any chance you could share where you sources your adorable hat - headed on Safari next Fall and it would be perfect. Thanks for sharing your experience.