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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Exploring the Land of the Kiwis! – Backpack New Zealand & Australia

Exploring the Land of the Kiwis! - Backpack New Zealand & Australia 1





Hello from Queenstown where we have spent our time on the South Island of New Zealand.

Our last few days on the North Island were fun filled (as always)! All of us trekked across the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. We conquered the climb and got to see many beautiful views from the top including Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings and the stunning blue and emerald lakes. The gorgeous weather we encountered allowed us a clear view of Lake Taupo as well. Dani M. persevered through the challenges of the hike and enjoyed the sense of accomplishment upon completing the seven hour, 12 mile journey.

The next day, we rested our tired legs a little as we made our way from National Park to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand and southernmost city of the North Island. We made several fun filled stops along the way including one at New Zealand’s famous chocolate éclair shop where they produce over two thousand pastries a day! We followed with some time at New Zealand’s best playground where we all embraced our inner child. Hannah especially enjoyed the monkey bars and Matt had a great time trying out the standing see-saw. When we arrived in Wellington, we explored the Te Papa museum before having dinner in town!

We hopped on our flight to Queenstown the next morning, after a tear-filled goodbye to Weeman, our kiwi guide of the North Island, and look forward to our next guide on the South Island.

Upon our arrival in Queenstown, we first explored the cute little ski village. We then played an intense game of frisbee golf or “frolf” in the course by the lake. We spent the evening relaxing at the lodge, in preparation for our big ski day!

The next morning we woke up ready to hit the slopes. The weather was beautiful and the conditions were perfect at the mountain summit where most of us skied and Gaby represented our snowboarding community. Adam, Dani L. And Matt had a wicked time! It was a spectacular day that felt a lot like spring skiing!

We started our next day with a short hike up to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Queenstown. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we enjoyed the view from the top of the mountain. We then made our way to Shotover jet boating where Ezra and Eden both got a little splash during our wild ride down the river! After jet boating, we took a gondola up to the top of the mountain where we enjoyed our last dinner in New Zealand. We watched the sun set from above and the view was just spectacular! Our final activity in this fun-filled day was a dark ride where Gabi, Dani M. And Mike broke the daily records and got their names up on the top scoreboard!

On our last morning in Queenstown, we channeled our bargaining skills during a game of trade up in the village. Matt came back wearing a sparkly pink cowboy hat! We then made our way to the airport to catch our flight to Sydney!

As we wrap up our amazing New Zealand adventure with so many memories, we eagerly await all the new adventures that await us in Australia – speak to you soon from down under!

Until next time,

The Westcoast Blogger