It's been two years since I've been to New Zealand and I am less than 30 days until I head back to the land of Hobbits, amazing landscapes, but most of all, phenomenal people. My last visit in New Zealand gave me the opportunity to spend some time on both the North and the South Island.
In the North, I spent time in the beautiful city of Auckland, also called the City of Sails. Auckland has a fantastic food/wine scene with lots of great restaurants, in addition to some great shopping and site-seeing. We took a ferry out across the harbor to Waiheke Island. This is a must see if you are spending any time in Auckland. Amazing wineries, quaint boutique hotels and the people give this island charm and personality. If you have some time, stop in to Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant for lunch, a glass of their amazing Sauvignon Blanc and incredible views of Auckland - you'll thank me later!
On the South Island, we spent some time in Queenstown staying at the majestic Matakauri Lodge. To say this Luxury Lodge of New Zealand was spectacular was an understatement. The views from my room were beyond anything I've ever seen. Waking up to the glorious mountains on Lake Wakatipu and smelling the crisp mountain air is the best way to start your day!
From Queenstown, we headed in a camper van onward to Christchurch. I would highly recommend doing a self-drive anywhere in New Zealand because at every turn, there is something unique or amazing to see. Allow for plenty of time to stop and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Unfortunately the day we went, we were on the front end of New Zealand's fall/winter season so we had a lot of rain/sleet and Mount Cook wasn't visible as we passed by.
We were able to stop in Lake Tekapo just long enough for the sun to peek out to enjoy afternoon tea and utilize the camper van. We had a stunning view of the lake and the Church of the Good Shepard. Never the less, there was plenty to see along the journey with spectacular mountain ranges and quaint towns along the way as we made our way to the beautiful city of Christchurch.
As I had said, I will be heading back to the land that I love for the Travel Leaders Network International Summit where 100 of the industries finest will converge for a 3 day summit in the City of Sails, Auckland, New Zealand. We will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful city and head out to visit iconic tourist spots such as Hobbiton, the Waitomo Glow Worm caves, fabulous wineries, museums and indulge in delectable foods and remarkable wines.
From there, I have been given the opportunity to help escort a group of 10 agents on a familiarization trip with our friends at Travel2 through the North Island. We will start out in the capital city of Wellington and then make our way north to Taupo/Rotorua, then over to Hawkes Bay/Napier and ending our journey back in Auckland. It will be 5 days spent experiencing how New Zealand truly offers its visitors different experiences in the span of a simple drive north. If you haven't yet experienced New Zealand yet, why not? Call me to help you create your own personalize journey of this amazing destination and discover for yourself why every day is a different journey!