New Zealand is not a small country but a large village - Peter Jackson
Christchurch and Jailhouse hostel
We visited Christchurch before the earthquake and the devastation. I have great memories of this city and it is so sad to think that parts I remember are now gone.
We stayed at Jailhouse Accommodation. This converted female prison now acts as a hostel providing not only great value accommodation in an unusual and historic setting but a seriously memorable stay! The hostel has maintained one cell in its original condition for guests to visit. The other cells have been converted into compact but lovely rooms. Great facilities, staff and location- I definitely recommend it!
Kaitoke Regionak Park- Lord of the Rings location for Rivendell
This stunning park is where parts of the Lord of The Rings trilogy was filmed and it is not difficult to understand why it was chosen. This majestic park with its pristine, ancient rainforest and tranquil river pools does have a magical feel to it. The swinging bridges are great fun!
Rotorua is located in the Bay of Plenty, famous for its hot springs, mud pools and Maori culture.
The Tamaki Maori Village was a fantastic way to experience Maori culture and way of life. Traditional dances, songs and a feast with Hangi meat (cooked underground). As you walk through the village you can see the women weaving baskets and the elders telling stories of their ancestors.
South Island Road Trip
We caught the ferry from Wellington to Picton and drove down to Dunedin through Christchurch. The South Island is truly epic for a road trip - with it's dramatic, rugged landscape there is a real sense of freedom and space.
This is the lesser populated island and it really does feel remote. There are just over one million people on the entire island and its towering snow topped mountains and stunning coastline are quiet and uncrowded.
The capital of New Zealand, this charming city that feels quite homely. The Te Papa museum is a must! A fun, interactive museum that gives you a fantastic overview of New Zealand, its culture, history, wildlife and much more.
I have been to New Zealand twice now, both times in their winter. I really hope to go back one day in their summer and see a whole new side to the two islands!