Ultimate Guide by Cel when visiting NZ

I’ve written this one so you have an additional info on what you can explore in NZ for a short period of time.

Our hobby is photography so I will share few of the photos that we’ve taken from our previous trips in NZ so have an idea on what it looks like.

Photo taken at the Tunnel Beach (few mins drive from Dunedin)

Few more photos can be viewed in this fb page. Search this name in fb: It must be New Zealand

Every person has unique interest in life, one might like an adventure, another would be a relaxing time, nature lover, another one who loves photography or hiking or playing golf or going on crazy adventure or going on a self-drive road trip or you might want to assess if you want to stay here for good. So it’s worth to click the link below to know the basic requirements for safety, what to take with you if you are going on a road trip. It has the complete guide on what you can explore while you are in NZ.

https://www.firstlighttravel.com/blog/ultimate-new-zealand-road-trip

I’m a bit of all above except I’m not brave enough to try crazy adventure activities. I’ve been in New Zealand for 12 years, we do road trips every quarter, chased most of the famous waterfalls in the country but not close to what it offers.

Here are the top places that I would visit NZ if I only have few days to spend.

    Auckland and Hobbiton Farm
    Rotorua and Wellington
    Christchurch City and West Coast if you have extra days
    Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook
    Queenstown
    Milford Sound
    Dunedin

*add Mt. Hutt if it’s winter time

I will list the details below on why I like it, feel free to skip few of the places that you would like to skip.

1. Auckland and Hobbiton Farm

Auckland City is one of the top three big cities in NZ. It’s good to see it for yourself as it might be a good place if you are keen to setup a business. When I visit this place, it feels like I’m in Makati, Philippines where people walk so fast in the morning during weekday. Sometimes traffic is an issue but not all the time. There are few places that you can do in Auckland city. Try to open the link below for ideas

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/auckland-nz-au-a.htm

Hobbiton Farm

Visiting this place is like going inside the movie. The hills, the story behind the mould creation, how the director decided to change all the leaves of the famous tree, it’s just impressive. You can drive from Auckland to this farm then be back to the city on the same day. Just leave early so you have enough time to explore. Be careful when driving in Auckland as some of the roads have unexpected exits.

https://media.newzealand.com/en/story-ideas/hobbiton-from-family-farm-to-film-fame/

2. Rotorua and Wellington City

Rotorua

I love our one week visit around Rotorua. The colours, landscape and the walks. My fav was the ride to the cape kidnappers beside the seashore and visiting the birds colony at the top. Check this out for ideas to visit around this place.

https://www.backpackerguide.nz/awesome-places-to-visit-in-rotorua/

Wellington City

The NZ capital, it’s where most of the government agencies and banks are.

https://www.wellingtonnz.com/discover/sights-activities/the-best-of-guide/top-10-wellington-must-dos/

3. Christchurch City

This city is the 3rd biggest city in NZ. It is known as the “garden city”. It’s beautiful during spring because of the daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms. I live in this city so we’ve explored it more than the ones.

I’ve written a compilation of all the short walks in Chch. Check this link if you would like to try for of the tracks. My fav one is the walk at Taylor’s mistake.

https://dijamcodottingthemap.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/short-walks-compilation-christchurch-new-zealand/

I’ve written as well the places to explore around the city. Going to Castle Hill is really worth it.

https://dijamcodottingthemap.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/castle-hill-2/

https://dijamcodottingthemap.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/day-trips-from-christchurch/

If you happen to visit NZ during spring, visit Hagley Park, Mona Vale and this farm which is roughly 20-30mins from the city. No entrance fee but the place is amazing

https://dijamcodottingthemap.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/tulips-farm-in-christchurch/

photos taken at Hagley Park

If you have a big family to come with you, I would recommend booking an Airbnb house in Marshland or Wigram subdivisions. Select the new built houses with 3-4bedrooms. The Marshland ones are close to the forest, beach, golf club, river, Orana wildlife, willowbank, Antarctic centre, 2mins away from grocery store, 7mins away from the mall and recreation centre(spa, swimming pool, gym), few mins away from the walks that’s I’ve shared above and 15-20mins drive to CBD and airport.

West Coast for two days

I love this trip, it’s one of a kind experience. Check it out in this blog.

https://dijamcodottingthemap.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/west-coast-road-trip/

4. Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook

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Albay Wild Life

I personally don’t want seeing the animals in cages, but it’s life. Zoos would exist even if I decided not to visit them.

The kids have enjoyed riding the bike around the area and I went around to visit the animals. I couldn’t bear it so I stopped at he mid-point of the whole zoo. So far all of all the zoos that I’ve visited my favourite is Orana Wild life and Willow bank in New Zealand, it’s because they let the animals live in a semi-wild environment.

Lola Sayong Resort

As soon as I’ve seen this place online, I’ve decided to add it on our list of places to visit in Philippines.

It’s amazing to know more about this place when I went onsite. The young owners are samaritans for 30kids and Lola sayong was indeed so kind to let them use the land. I didn’t bother Lola sayong to take a selfie, she’s so famous that most tourists would ask for her photo. I’ve decided to let her have a peaceful day hahaha, no taking photos.

While checking the menu from the restaurant I didn’t know I was talking to one of the owners. They’ve built and keep this place tidy, eco-friendly and used all the profit to the adapted kids.

Entrance fees:45 pesos per adult, kids are free

Day Tour Nipa hut rent:500 pesos

Overnight stay Nipa hut:1450

What I love about this place

  • They have a very clean resort
  • We’ve all enjoyed the wave
  • Love the shower and toilets, it’s very creative
  • The restaurant is full of character
  • The shady area is really good to relax. I’ve slept in one of the hammocks.
  • The food is good, try the pork bareal (pork in salted egg, smoked fish the crab)
  • You go back to the basic where there is no air conditioning, since it’s shady, you don’t need it. The air was flowing freely, fresh and perfect.
  • Roughly 15mins away from Sorsogon City

For those who are not keen to try to go back to the basic, love the wave and lively sand, this place is a paradise.

I just love it!