Best of New Zealand

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Destination: New Zealand (South Island)

Duration14 Days

Best time to go: December through February — December has the longest days, and January has the warmest temperatures. However, being mid-summer, these months are peak season, so expect other travelers joining in on your adventures. Fall is March through May. The temperatures will be cooler, but you’ll experience fewer crowds and beautiful autumn colors. If you enjoy skiing, winter is your season — June through August. And spring is September through November. We went in November, the shoulder season. It was windy, with a mix of hot and cold temperatures depending on your location, but we experienced very few tourists, and by avoiding peak season, the activity rates are cheaper — we recommend it!

Best part of the trip: This is cruel — I seriously can’t pick just one thing! From glacier trekking and overnight kayaking to whale watching and hiking, we did too many amazing things. So I’m going to cheat and say that renting the RV was the best part (and decision!). Driving over 3,600 kilometers around the island, we were able to experience all the impeccable scenery and adrenaline-fueled activities that New Zealand has to offer.

Best place to stay: We obviously stayed in the RV most nights, but not all of them. Toward the end of our trip, we visited Akaroa and stayed at a beautiful water-front bed and breakfast we found on airb&b called Akaroa Coastal Studio.

Best thing I/we packed: A good pair of hiking shoes. There’s so many outdoor activities to enjoy, you’ll wear them more than anything else on the trip. A close second was my blanket scarf. It was a bit chilly and quite windy almost everywhere we went, so it came in handy nearly every day.

Hokitika Morgan

Best meal: Bella Cucina, a great Italian spot for dinner while visiting Queenstown. But honestly, New Zealand has top-notch fare everywhere you go! You can’t skip out on the lamb either – it’s phenomenal and puts every other time I’ve tried lamb to shame.

Best drink: Rippon Vineyard‘s “Emma’s Block” 2012 Pinot Noir. Definitely stop by for a tasting when you visit Wanaka!

Best thing I/we brought homeMemories. I know it sounds mawkish, but it’s true. We had the trip of a lifetime, and New Zealand has forever stolen a piece of my heart.

Best word to describe the trip: Enchanting

Best picture from the trip: Every photo we took on the Hooker Valley track was unreal.

Share your comments below!

Travel on, Beaches 🙂

-M.

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