Last month, I took the long journey (30+ hours to be exact) for my honeymoon to New Zealand, and the country far exceeded expectations. At Diamond Public Relations, we are always on the lookout for emerging destinations, and New Zealand is sure to be on that list for the next few years – add it to your bucket list now! Here are my top recommendations for travel to the land of the Kiwis.
Number 1. Make sure to enjoy the cuisine!
Everyone talks about the wine, but the cuisine was fantastic – particularly the ethnic food. I’m pretty sure we’ll be dreaming about the Indian Star restaurant in Rotorua for years. Also, for coffee fiends (myself included), be sure to try a flat white.
Number 2. Explore by Car
The country is extremely easy to get around by car as long as you have GPS. Just make sure that you’re comfortable driving on the left side of the road, and sit, back relax, and enjoy the views.
Number 3. Visit The Shire
No, I haven’t seen Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know I’m probably the only person around who hasn’t seen it. So before visiting New Zealand I had no interest in seeing where LOTR scenes were filmed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with the hubby, so I “gave in” and we visited Hobbitown and where The Shire was filmed, and I am so glad we did. The set has some of the most stunning views in the country, and I ran into a few cows on the way there. 😉
Number 4. Wine, Wine, and More Wine
New Zealand happens to have some of my favorite wine, so several parts of the trip were of course planned around sampling the country’s finest. Most people are familiar with the Marlborough region (which was great), but there are so many other areas with wine that are just as good. For instance, I recommend checking out Hawke’s Bay or Waiheke Island (a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland).
Bonus: Most wineries don’t charge or there is a minimal tasting fee!
Number 5. Visit Queenstown
We closed out the end of our two-week trip on New Zealand’s South Island in Queenstown, which was our favorite city. Showcasing panoramic views of the lake and mountains, it has a great downtown area with a ton of restaurants, bars, and shopping. There are also several scenic hiking trails nearby.
Tip: Make sure to try the famous Fergberger, and splurge on a helicopter ride and cruise to Milford Sound for some of the most spectacular views in the world. You’ll thank me later!
As you plan your trip, make sure to check out this instagram account for inspiration.