New Zealand : The Land Of Fantasy

New Zealand- they call it the land of majestic scenery and home of middle-earth.

The breathtaking landscapes and jaw-dropping sceneries here will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Truly this place is paradise on earth and I call New Zealand – The land of fantasy.

Stick with me to the end of this story and you will find out why 🙂

So, now let me walk you through the highlights of my trip.

 Auckland :

Auckland was my first destination and big thanks to my friends, who has organized everything very well.

What to do here?
– Check out the Sky tower; to enjoy the panoramic view of the city, try getting up there during sun-set time.


– Walk down the Queen street to see the harbor view.
– Do not miss to go to Mt.Eden- This is an old volcano that is right in centre of the city with some great views of Auckland. The WWII bunkers here are interesting.

– Auckland has some great night life, so make sure to go clubbing here.

I did not spend much time here as there are more exciting and beautiful places for me to explore in the country.

Greymouth :

I did my New Zealand trip with my best friend Aditya and he lives in Greymouth.

So I took a flight to Christchurch and then a shuttle bus from there.

Was fortunate to get window seat here 🙂 where I enjoyed the snow capped mountains view from top and then the bus ride which also had spectacular views.

There were 150 year celebrations happening on the day I reached Greymouth and the fireworks were pretty cool.

 

                               “The Road Is Calling”

 

We did the epic road trip of South NZ covering around 2350kms in total starting from Greymouth .

Shantytown :

This was our first stop and is one of the NewZealand’s premier cultural and heritage attractions.

Made up of over 30 historic buildings it was good to look back at how life was then.

Highlights include riding the steam train and gold panning.

Overall this place is ok.

Franz Josef :

I was super excited for my first ever glacier experience and the glacier here has the same name of the town.

There are several outlets which offer hiking tours, helicopter rides, ice climb, glacier valley walk etc.

We drove till the hike point and trekked from there.

Franz Joseph glacier sights are magnificent and the entire trek path was stunning with waterfalls along.

I haven’t done this myself but, I’ve heard from several people there that glacier pools in Franz Joseph is a must do.

We did not do any prior bookings and all the stay prices were extremely high. After a long search we luckily found this place called Montrose Backpackers; Perfect place to stay and the host was a kind man.

When you are here I recommend you to try this restaurant- King Tiger Eastern Eating House & Bar for some great food.

Bruce Bay :

While driving up the South Island west coast (on the way to Queenstown) you find a long stretch of beach facing the Tasman sea known as Bruce Bay.

 

You rarely get to see these kind of beaches with white stones , rimu and wind-worn trees.

They say Bruce Bay is where Maui (main character in the movie ‘Maona’) first landed in New Zealand.

It’s definitely worth stopping your car here.

Lake Moeraki :

Pristine waters and serene surroundings makes the time stand still here.

I was at peace.

Wanaka :

This is definitely one of my favorite spots in NZ.

You know that feeling when you are blown away?

Driving in South Island of NZ gives you that feeling over and over.

Natural landscapes here are a glorious treat to the eyes and the soul.

Perfect Timing! We reached Wanaka in the evening and sunset here with mountains behind was wonderful.

Wish I had spent more time in Wanaka .

Queenstown :

Firstly, full credit to Aspen lodge backpackers host. We had done our booking through phone and arrived late in Queesntown; she made sure all the arrangements are done.

A big cheers to this super host /m\

Queenstown they call it the “Adventure Capital of the World” and Yes I was super thrilled to do my Bungy Jump.

There are several Bungy spots but I chose to do at the Kawarau Bridge.Well I am a huge fan of Megastar Chiranjeevi (South Indian actor – super star) and in one of his films in 1998 he did Bungy at Kawarau. Since then, I always wanted to do this adventure here and it was like a childhood dream come true moment for me 🙂

If you have any ‘to do’ adventures in your bucket list – this is the place and before booking online check the prices at hostel reception, they are comparatively cheap.

After the Bungy we made stops at Lake Dunstan, cherry/apricot farms and wineries. All these places are nearby Cromwell.

Gandola Ride (Queenstown) :

For a great view of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, take a trip up the Skyline Gandola. Journey began with a scenic ride to the top of the mountain.

 

The view was impeccable with vibrant colors of lake surrounded by rugged mountains.

As the sun went down and lights turned on, we enjoyed the view of the bustling Queenstown twinkling below.

Gelnorchy – Home of Lord of the Rings & Hobbit :

The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy along the Wakatipu lake was so scenic and it was beyond my imagination. We stopped at a few lookouts along the way to take it all in.

We finally reached Gelnorchy and this place was solitary. This tiny town serves as a quaint gateway to the Southern Alps and has a local population of 200.

Gelnorchy gave me a wonderful feeling of discovery and my goodness- “God just outdid things here in NZ.”

Milford Sound :

This is one of greatest natural wonders in NZ. By car, it is a 4hr long drive from Queenstown but, the landscape on the way will make you forget about all the hassle.

Along the way we pulled over, snapped some pictures and took a short stroll. You will find plenty of chances to do all of that en route to the Sound.

 

We drove through the Homer tunnel, a 1.2km deep dark tunnel avalanche zones passing right through the mountains.

We finally arrived and I was super humbled at the very first sight of it. The scenery is so amazing you just cant take your eyes off.

A cruise ride here will reveal the fjord’s true beauty. This ride was like an optical illusion which made me wonder whether I am in a dreamland.

(For the cruise ride here, you can do your reservation at any of the operators in Queenstown or you can buy the tickets directly at Milford Sound.)

With soaring limestone cliffs on either sides, the towering snowcapped mountain peaks were off in the distance. Anxiously, I looked ahead and some amazing waterfalls began to come into focus.

At the same time you just can’t neglect to take a look at the view behind you, as the looming Mount Mitre starts to take center stage. It’s at this point where you may find yourself running all around the ship in attempts to take in all 360-degrees of the awesomeness that surrounds.

The imposing rocks raising vertically from the Tasman sea and the sun reflecting, the landscape itself looked surreal.

This is definitely “A MUST VISIT PLACE”.

Mount Cook :

Mount Cook National Park : They call it the home to the tallest mountain in the country, a bunch of glaciers, and some fantastic high alpine hiking; and indeed it was.

The road to Mount Cook beckoned along the shore of lake Pukaki.

The route had suddenly turned into a mythical scene where, the clouds completely concealed the highway.

Before starting the trail we relaxed at Chamois hotel.

First we headed to Hooker valley that sits at western base of Mount Cook. It is one of the best hike’s that I’ve ever done.

 

The whole trial was relatively easy and the walk was rewarding in itself. You can do this walk in flip flops; it is such a nice flat groomed trial.

There was no ugly part of the walk at all.

There were several suspension bridges and lookout points that would give you a grand sight of the magnificent Mount Cook.

Lake Tasman:

The drive out to the start of the walks is beautiful and the walk is more interesting with a bit of climb.

We passed a couple of beautiful greenish blue ponds on our way up.

Sudden snow fall here was an add on to the stunning views of Tasman lake.

Lake Tekapo :

This lake is famous for its teal blue color and for wild flowering lupins washing the region in a sea of purple , pink and blue

On the shore of lake sits the charming and iconic Church of the Good shepherd.

Mostly, it is pictured at night with the milky way glowing in the night and you find a lot of images of this being circulated around the internet.

I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for a church, or a better place to sit and marvel at creation (whether your’e religious or not).

When you are here be sure to visit the Mount John University Observtory for incredible views and a great cup of coffee.

Moana :

We finally returned to Greymouth from where it all started. I had a day to spare here so we went to Moana.

Situated at the age of lake Brunner, Moana is a 30 minute drive from Greymouth.

Christchurch:

I wrapped up this incredible trip by taking the world famous Tranzalpine train that goes from coast to coast – Greymouth to Christchurch.

The ride goes through the beautiful Southern Alps, stopping at Arthurs Pass Station, where we were able to get off the train for a short break.

It was evening by the time I reached Christchurch. After seeing so much of New Zealand’s beauty over the previous few weeks, this place didn’t impress me much.

Watched a movie at Riccatorn mall and had some good Italian food at Tutto bene restaurant.

Well, that’s the end of the story :-).

New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world and a place not to be missed.

 

If you would like to know about our stay details, please click here.

 

 

6 Replies to “New Zealand : The Land Of Fantasy”

  1. Rakesh Banothu says: Reply

    Nicely written story. Great pictures and info on places to visit.
    While I was reading through three article I got curious about food and expenditures for the trip. As I’m sure people would get inspired to also travel to these places from your blog like I do, it would be helpful to put in more information about the travel expenses, food and stay and the websites to go to(you may also get referral bonuses in the future).
    Thanks for putting a lot of time and effort to compose this beautiful journey into words and pictures.

    1. Hey Rakesh, many thanks for your feedback. We will definitely try to improve our user experience in future. Stay details can be found under “where I stayed” in the menu options. We are working on incorporating the budget and visa details and will do the same with regards to the food.

      Thanks again 🙂

  2. This has to be the most resourceful New Zealand catalogue available on the web. Simple, to the point & let-me-carbon-copy-this-itinerary-kinda-resourceful.

    Kasko na vasco degama. ( Famous dialogue of the same South Indian superstar – Chiranjeevi )

    1. Thanks a lot Ashwin! It was your blogs that inspired me to come this far.

      Next blog is also ready, rough adinchestha 😛

  3. That truly like a fantasy land

    1. It is indeed !!!

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