„When they ask me what I liked the best, I’ll tell them, it was you“
(City of Angels)
When I travelled 2011 to New Zealand I needed a time out. My sister Stefanie and I bought a car and slept (most of the time) in the trunk – for 5 weeks.
Stefanie had it a little bit better than I. She is a little bit smaller and fit perfectly in the trunk. I am a little bit taller and I had to bend my legs. Ok, I have to admit, in the morning I woke up right next to my annoyed sister because 1. I was lying diagonal in the trunk (and that took a little bit of her sleeping space) and 2. I was breathing too loud.
Not snorring. Breathing. Because you should know one thing about New Zealand:
It’s a very quiet, calm and pieceful country!
It can happen that you hear the other person breathing in the car at night. And you hear the mosquitos when they are buzzing happily because they are going to suck all of your blood out of your body. We stayed mostly on DOC Campsites – simple campsites with picnic tables and benches, usually with an outhouse. Cheap, simple and far away from touristy spots in some of the most beautiful places in NZ.
I can’t think of a better way to explore New Zealand! To be flexible and be able to go where ever you want to go and stop and with no problem.
Well, almost no problem. Let’s forget about the one time in the middle of nowhere between Wanaka and the Westcoast when we had a flat tyre. And we couldn’t change the tyre. Lucky us, a German couple stopped and helped us. Which was a little bit difficult. Because it turned out that the car had been involved in a car accident and the whole frame was bent so that we couldn’t reach the spare wheel.
Let’s also forget about that we were wearing Flip Flops and the mean black flies (as if mosquitos wasn’t enough!) were eating us alive. 20 bites on each foot is, I guess, part of a New Zealand adventure. Somehow we managed to get the spare tyre out and we reached the next garage without any problems. The tyre got changed and we kept on travelling.
Being independent – being free
It was the first time in my life that I felt real freedom. Free from time pressure, free from obligations. Just listening to my body and the only question that was impoartnt was „what do I need right now?“ We didn’t need a clock. Why would we need a clock?
Of course we went to typical touristic spots but they are really worth to see!
One of our highlights was a 4 hour hike in the Rob Roy Valley, north of Wanaka. We started next to a turquoise river, walked over green sheep meadows, over a suspension bridge, through rain forest and got rewareded at the end oft he hike with an astonishing view! We looked at a glacier and beautiful waterfalls! -> Rob Roy Track
After my sister had left to go back to Germany, I stayed for another 4 ½ months on the North Island, worked weekdays, travelled on the weekends. Discovered and explored.
New Zealand is a country full of wonders! Did you know that there is a beach at the Coromandel Peninsula (Hot Water Beach) where you dig a hole in the sand, hot water bubbles out and you can sit in it like in a hot tub?
Did you know that up North at the 90 Miles Beach you can surf down sand dunes on a surfboard?
What if I tell you that 200.000 litres of water rush down the Huka Falls in Taupo EVERY SECOND!
Back then I unfortunately didn’t go to Hobbiton. At that time the filmset was often closed because Peter Jackson was filming the Hobbit and it wasn’t allowed to take photos. So I went there in December 2015 🙂
It was like in a dream! There are so many details in Hobbiton that you have the impression that hobbits really live there. A „must see“ for Lord oft he Rings and Hobbit fans!
In 2011 I couldn’t do the Tongariro Crossing. An alpine hike in a volcanic landscape. I wanted to do the Crossing in 2015 when I was there again but the shuttles were cancelled due to bad weather conditions. You shouldn’t do the hike when it’s snowy and stormy, you can get lost easily. If you get a chance to: Do it!
New Zealand is a country that wants to be explored. And believe me, there is so much to explore! The landscape is incredible! Incredibly diverse, incredibly colorful and incredibly peaceful.
The Kiwis? Lovely! Open-minded, chatty and super friendly. Not in a pushy or exaggerated way. Friendly in a humbled way. If our car would have broken down I know that a Kiwi would not only have helped us, he/she would also have offered us a place to stay.
5 weeks were great to travel. I once read somewhere that in your first week of vacation you still think of your work. In the second week moste people are deeply relaxed. In the third week people usually already think of work again. We had 3 weeks of deep relaxation.
I find, a trip to New Zealand is the perfect therapy! The laid back Kiwis, the relaxed atmosphere and the incredibly beautiful landscape let you forget all your sorrows!
What are you waiting for? Fly to New Zealand – a world of wonders!
PS: I sold my car after 5 months again without any problem. The guy who wanted to buy it wanted to meet me in a suburb of Auckland, 9pm at night in the dark, on the upper level of a parking garage. Yeah, you wish. I packed my 1,94m friend in the car, met the guy and his three (!) friends at a gas station in the city centre. Around the corner was an internet café where we changed the car registration online. And I stood right next to him when he got the cash from the ATM at the gas station. Nothing could go wrong 😉