3 Things to do in New Zealand 

 December 4, 2020

By  Wilson

New Zealand kind of reminds me of Lord of the Rings.

Oh, I’m not the only one? Cool.

New Zealand consists of two islands about a thousand miles east of Australia. Auckland is the capital and is located in the North Island. We adventured around the South Island.

The majority of my travels are solo, but this one was not – I spent one week with three lovely ladies. Shoutout to Neo, Lucy, and Emz. (Note, the same Hashtag, Squad that hiked Patagonia.)

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For this trip, I booked my flight through United (and Air New Zealand because they have a partnership through Star Alliance).

Here are my top 3 highlights of New Zealand.

1. Milford Sound

This was a surreal experience. We did a Kayak tour of Milford Sound and it was my favorite thing of the whole trip.

We got really lucky. It was raining all morning and it finally cleared up when we stepped into our kayaks.

Kayak tour of Milford Sound

Kayak tour of Milford Sound

Milford Sound Scenery

Milford Sound Scenery

Selfie Milford Sound

Selfie Milford Sound

Words and pictures can’t describe the beauty of the scenery in that moment. I still rave about Milford Sound to this day. Obviously you shouldn’t come here just for the gram, but, you know.

2. The Routeburn Track

This was a 3-night (Lake Howden, Lake Mackenzie Campsite, Routeburn Falls Hut), 4 day hiking trip, and the trail starts near Queenstown. Also, I will detail the hiking trip in a special post coming soon. 

Tbh, Milford Sound was lumped into day 1 of our Routeburn Track hike. So we started there, and on the way, encountered breathtaking nature.

Selfie on Routeburn Track

Selfie on Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

Routeburn Track

I’ll let the photos do the talking in a sec, but this was somewhat of a strenuous hike. We camped and pitched our own tents on day 2. I was able to complete this tour without any issues because I believe that I was:

  • In adequate shape
  • Had proper hiking gear (shoes and a good hiking backpack)
  • Had prior experience in hiking and camping and enjoyed them.

3. Queenstown

Regardless if I was into hiking or not, I was 100% into Queenstown. It’s a laid-back, adventure friendly town known for a busy destination for tourism. And every time I stepped outside, I was guaranteed to see drop-dead gorgeous mountains from every angle. 

Also, Candy Bar Fun Fact – Kiwis drive on the left side. Did you know that? I totally forgot. So when I was driving in New Zealand, I only had to remind myself every 5 seconds “turn left and stay to the left”.

Queenstown Kiwis Drive

Queenstown Kiwis Drive

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

We went to Skyline Queenstown and did the Skyline luge. That was fun.

I was very glad that we did the full walk-around the Queenstown Trail that oversaw most of Lake Wakatipu. And just sayin’ – Fergburger (Google Maps location) was worth the hype and the 45-minute wait.

So if you’re able to visit Queenstown in the future or already have visited Queenstown, please let me know if you can help me settle the debate of this question: “Where did the flat white coffee originate from?”

Where I Stayed

We camped when we did the Routeburn Track, and I stayed at a hostel in Queenstown.

By the way, I wrote a separate article on How I Choose Where I Stay when I Travel.

If I Had More Time, I Would Have…

Hiked and camped around Mount Cook. No questions.

Also, I would have taken an epic Facebook profile picture at Roy’s Peak. Seriously, go look at pictures – they are incredible.

For more city life, I would have loved to visit Christchurch. I would have made my way up to the North Island to Wellington and visited the capital, Auckland.

Next time I’m in New Zealand, I plan on hitchhiking. It’s supposed to be one of the safest places in the world to hitchhike.

Closing Remarks

One week isn’t enough time for anywhere. But I thoroughly enjoyed Queenstown and the surrounding hiking adventures we did around that city. People were nice, and the accent is…pretty.

I can’t wait to go back to New Zealand to visit the places that I haven’t visited and that I mentioned above.

Final Grade: A


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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