There are so many places in the world that I want to go to and I’m pretty sure that there’s not enough time for me to see them all. That said, sometimes I just want to go back to somewhere I’ve already been to. I mean, if it’s good- why wouldn’t you? Vasudha Aggarwal from Travel Defined and Monika Moreva from Two and a Half Bloggers (two fellow travel bloggers who I seriously recommend you check out if you haven’t already) nominated me for this post. Basically, this is an idea by “Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There” which involves bloggers picking the top five places they would love to go back to. I also have to link back to the original Booked.net post and nominate five people to carry it on. Seems like a great idea to me so lets go:
As far as I’m concerned, you just can’t beat a good burger. Throw in a gherkin, some cheese and a nice pile of chips and I’m a happy chappy. Since I live in England, it is unsurprising that I’ve found most of my favourite burgers here but the winning spot has to go to New Zealand.
New Zealand is an amazing place to visit. The scenery is like something from Lord of the Rings. In fact, the scenery can be exactly that from Lord of the Rings. The country itself is a bit of a contradiction. You can either spend your days hiking through the mountains and staying sleepy towns, or you can keep your adrenaline pumping by throwing yourself off a variety of different high-up objects. It’s one extreme or the other. Each town I visited in New Zealand always seemed to have one or two must-dos, so with that in mind I thought I would put together my guide to New Zealand, what to do and where.
Sadly, my travel buddy and I had to pick up our pace as our flights were looming. We therefore had to leave our bus and hop on another one to get to Queenstown. During the journey, we stopped off at a lake and grabbed a coffee before going for a wonder. That night’s stop was at Wanaka, which didn’t have much going on apart from a cinema. After a tasty but unfulfilling dinner of nachos and salad, we went off to see Iron Man 2. The screen room was filled with random sofas, armchairs and even a VW Beetle. The projectionist had a slip through the film and the image went but really that just added to the experience. Midway through the film there was an interval. You could tell when it was approaching as you could start to smell the freshly baked cookies wafting through the door.
The Kiwi Bus had taken us to Waitomo, a village which contained very little. Basically, we had stopped off to see some caves. We had $35 taken from us and were then told that we weren’t allowed to take photos. Thankfully, the caves turned out to be pretty amazing, with lots of stalagmites and stalactites (I think I know which way round they go). We then all got onto a little boat and sailed in the dark to see all the glowworms stuck on the ceiling, which lit up the space like hundreds of little stars. You don’t see that everyday.
After an early night, we had an early morning, catching the bus at 7.30am. Our first stop was some old gold mines and we walked through the pitch black tunnels and over the rickety bridges before heading off. Next was the town of Hobbiton- not the place where Frodo lived but an actual town. We had a picture with a Lord of the Rings statue and grabbed a Meatball Sub for lunch and then we were on the way to our final destination of the day: Rotorua.
After a 13 hour flight from San Francisco, my travel buddy and I landed in New Zealand. After trying to come to terms with the fact that we had set off on Monday and arrived on Wednesday, skipping out Tuesday, we found our shuttle into Auckland which took us to the Nomads Hostel.
Standing on the edge of a platform, looking down to the water below, I couldn’t help but wonder what on earth I had been thinking to get myself here. I hate heights. Just put you arms above your head and jump, the man said, you’re making it worse by waiting- but I just needed a minute, or ten.
After doing my list of the Seven Wonders of the World, I wondered how many UNESCO World Heritage sites I’d seen without knowing it and how many I had left to do. It turns out, that out of the 981 preserved cultural and natural landmarks, I have been to 25. Only 956 to go then- I may complete my Seven Wonders list first:
Bucket List number 43: see the seven wonders of the world. I think that this is probably a regular feature on bucket lists: Christ the Redeemer, Petra, the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza, the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu with either the Pyramids of Giza or the Colosseum taking the last place. With the exception of the latter I haven’t been to any.