The Guide to the New Zealand Road Trip - Part 2
Hey everyone! So last week I was beginning to tell you all about our honeymoon in New Zealand. We started in Auckland, rented a car, and ended the trip down in Queenstown. Follow along for some of the things we did, places we stayed, and food we ate!
Our final destination was Queenstown, so from Picton, we tried picking a place that was somewhat in the middle. We ended up settling on Tekapo, which was 7 hours away from Picton and another lakeview town that thrives on tourism and outdoor activities. While we were on our trip, it probably rained half of the time, which was kind of a bummer. We wanted to go to Tekapo because it has one of the clearest skies in the world. Due to low light pollution, the stars are absolutely incredible. Nonetheless, it was raining while we were there. So, we hung out in our cabin, and pretty much left it at that.
The next morning, we were off to Queenstown, which was only 3 ½ hours away. We found this really cool cabin that was recently renovated on Airbnb. It had amazing views of the lake and the people were incredibly hospitable!
Queenstown is known for action, adventure and taking risks. Since we are not necessarily the biggest “risk takers”, we opted for more adventure type of activities like hiking. The night that we got there, we went for a hike on the Bob’s Peak. You can also take the gondola up there if you are not into hiking and just want to see some cool views. It only took us around 1 hour to get up the mountain, so it’s not very strenuous at all.
The next day we had great weather, so we decided to do the hike that I was most excited for, Ben Lomond. The hike is roughly 14 miles and took us 5 ½ hours to do. The hike has you hiking through the woods at first, then you come to a clearing and you’re out on the exposed dirt path. Because of this, it gets hot, so just plan to wear layers when you go. When you start climbing, there was snow towards the top, and the summit was incredibly windy. I wore a tank top, an under-armor shirt, and my Lululemon jacket with gloves and was nice and warm. Rounding the top, it starts to get a bit more challenging. There was fresh snow, but it was mixed with a lot of mud, so the trail was incredibly slippery. We brought our trekking poles which came in so much help, because it would have taken us twice as long to climb that part. Getting to the top was tough, but it was honestly the best hike we have ever done.
The next day was another beautiful day, so we ended up deciding to go back to Tekapo to do the star gazing at night. We drove up to the area and hiked around Mount Cook National Park for a bit before heading back to Tekapo. The star gazing tour was this magical part of the trip. Mike loves astronomy, so this was definitely his favorite part. I’d never seen a sky so clear before!