September: Travel Tips
photo courtesy of me!
Traveling is one of our main passions in life here at deVivre Concierge! So, each month we will share the love by letting you in on some of our favorite places in the world and the most fun things to do in those places. This month...
New Zealand, North Island
There is so much to see and do in New Zealand that I decided to break this blog post up into the North & at some point in the future, the South Island of New Zealand. When I visited towards the end of my round the world adventure, it was the middle of winter. I am so happy I went then because it was staggeringly beautiful. If I had planned it, I probably would have picked summer and perhaps missed one of the best parts of my trip. It's all about the outdoors in NZ!
-A major highlight for me was the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This 12-mile hike can be done year round and is considered one of the top 10 hikes in the southern hemisphere. It crosses the active volcanic terrain of Mt Tongariro and passes beside Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings). In summer you could expect to see volcanic pools and solidified lava flows. In the winter you get the added bonus that you can slide down the volcanic slopes on your backside.
-Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and it lies in what used to be a volcano. There are all the usual lake based activities like hiking, cycling, sailing, rafting, etc but if you ask me the best way to see the lake is by jumping out of a plane at 15000 ft and enjoying a 30 sec freefall before gently floating down to earth under your parachute (with a pro strapped to your back). There are a few companies but I went with Skydiving Lake Taupo and they were awesome!
-Another memorable experience of my whole travel adventure was caving at Waitomo caves. I had tried caving (or spelunking as it's known in the US) before and been squooshed into tiny spaces with a line of people in front and behind. It was pretty boring. This was more like running around full speed underground while clambering up and down waterfalls and being lowered down into ever deeper and deeper caverns. So. Much. Fun!
-Don't miss The Bay of Islands located at the far North of the Island. It has fairly mild weather year round so most summer activities become winter activities. You can take a dolphin tour, go fishing or visit the Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett by boat. There are also several Maori cultural sights and museums to visit in the area. Ruapekapeka pā is well worth exploring.
Contact deVivre to help you plan your next adventure!