All images taken by my dadMy last overseas trip with the whole family (3 kids + parents) was two summers ago. We decided to embark on a 2week holiday for some quality family bonding time. New Zealand, specifically South Island was chosen as the parents have always wanted to travel there. Plus mum is a big fan of the Lord of the Rings.
Nothing, however, could prepare us for the beauty of this other-worldly country. It is the most gorgeous and breath-taking place on earth. We probably took a million pictures because we could not believe how gorgeous it was. My dad who is an avid photographer went bonkers. Literally every 5 minutes, he would stopped the car, set up his tripod and snapped away.
Here are my top 5 activities/places of South Island, New Zealand:
1. Jump off a bridge. Yes, jump off one. Obviously with a cord attached to your feet. New Zealand is also famous for its extreme adrenaline-filled activities. The most famous being bungy jumping. What better way to celebrate my second day in NZ than paying and voluntarily jumping off Kawarau Bridge, the world's first commercial bungy jumping site. Yep, that pic above with that tiny human oscillating up and down, that is yours truly. Make this your first jump, if you ever want to bungy.
2. Queenstown. Besides being known as the Adventure Capital of the world, it is also a very scenic and lovely town. Surrounded by the mountains known as The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu, the town is extremely photogenic.
3. Lake Tekapo. Blue. Extremely gorgeous blue lake. Possibly the most beautiful lake in the world. So surreal looking at it. Please put this lake onto the list of places you have to see in NZ.
4. Milford Sound. It is known as New Zealand's most famous attraction. I don't know if it's because I have seen so many amazing sceneries along the way that I sort of expected more from this fjord. But it is stunning especially the wildlife, e.g. seals and waterfalls. The best thing, however, is the drive to Milford Sound and Homer Tunnel - the single lane, long dark tunnel that gets pretty scary as you have no idea what awaits you at the end. That is until you drive out of it and ... wow.
5. Hike a Glacier. The west coast of South Island is also famous for its two glaciers. Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. They are two of the most conveniently accessible glaciers in the world. Though it still requires quite a tedious and long hike to the top (maybe I find it so because I don't exercise). It is overwhelming to be standing on top one. Highly recommended unless you hate hiking.
If you love nature, extreme sports and road trips, then New Zealand is the place for you.
Also do hire a car. No license? Find a travel companion who has one. You will see so much more, every missed turn is a drive to somewhere magical.