Well it’s finally here, the last part of my trip to the Great Down Under! After my trip to Australia, I flew over to New Zealand and met up with my cousin Ben. Ben is form LA, but while I was booking my trip a few months before the trip, I nonchalantly suggested he come with me. Before I knew it, he was looking at flights to New Zealand, booking said flights, and then all the sudden I had a travel buddy for my stay in New Zealand!
There are many similarities in culture with Australia and New Zealand and the differences were big and small at the same time (to me at least). To get an idea of the difference, I would say Australia is like Los Angeles and New Zealand is more like Seattle. Our 1st stop was Auckland, the bustling metropolis of the small island nation. It’s big city with a small town feel. Everyone we talked to was so kind and welcoming to us as we wandered the hilly streets. There are TONS of park where you hike up ancient volcanic cones (small volcanic cones but still challenging) where you can get great views of the city. After a few days in Auckland, we made our way to the middle of the north island to a place called Rotorua. Rotorua is FULL of volcanic activity. So much in fact there are giant sulfur pits in the public parks. Pillars of steam and the constant smell of eggs emit 24 hours a day. After being there for 24 hours, we got used to smell of egg and the small city on the edge of a giant lake was ours to explore. There were A TON of outdoor activities to do in Rotorua. We went to Hobbiton (where they filmed The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings), went Zorbing (being rolled down a big green hill in a GIANT inflatable hamster ball full of water), went zip lining through the rainforest where we learned all about the wildlife and animals of New Zealand (maybe one of the best things we did on the trip), and hiked the Tarawera trail to Hot Water Beach (where the hot springs pour in to Lake Taraweara). Again, I could go on and on about all the adventures and things we saw and experienced, but showing you is way easier. Enjoy a glimpse of the STUNNING little island country known as New Zealand!