For the last two weeks of February, my husband and I travelled around Lord of the Rings country. It was not nearly enough time to soak it all in. New Zealand has an extremely diverse range of environments: the bright green rolling hills, acres of farmland with cattle and sheep on the North Island and the majestic snow-capped mountains, rainforests, fiords and waterfalls of the South Island.
We were greeted by friendly Kiwis who kindly rented their homes to us and provided complimentary English breakfasts with homemade muesli, fruit and yogurt. My husband missed his bacon though.
We hiked along Hahei beach on a paved path to Cathedral Cove, a white sand beach with a giant hole in a rock you can walk through.
We also stopped by Hobbit country. Can you spot the hobbits?
We hiked through Pureora Forest, admiring the different fauna and listening the bird calls.
My husband and I passed by some incredible up-close views of the mountains on the way to Milford Sound, close to where Peter Jackson and his crew shot scenes for The Hobbit.
We indulged on fish and chips, grass-fed beef burgers, lamb kebabs, sushi and tim tams (chocolate wafers made popular by the Aussies).
We occasionally stopped by cafes to have a “real American” breakfast, as my husband liked to call it to satisfy his bacon and pancake cravings.
The food was incredibly fresh, especially the seafood. Many Kiwis grow their own gardens and eat out of them for most of the year. We were so jealous! Everything is incredibly environmentally-friendly and sustainable there.
On our last day, David finally got his bacon fix along with some lightly fried bananas and french toast.
I satisfied my sweet tooth with an iced chocolate. It was so good I may try to replicate it in the summer.
And a final view from the top of a hill in Queenstown on the South Island before heading home.
The views were breathtaking and surreal. Have I convinced you to take a trip yet? Ka kite ano (until I see you again), New Zealand!