Kia Ora, New Zealand


Edit: Kia Ora is a traditional Maori phrase that can be used as a greeting or a farewell, similar to how Hawaiians use “aloha.”

New Zealand lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It’s hard to go anywhere in the country without encountering mountains, rivers or rocky coasts. Some of my favorite memories from my trip include:

  • Viewing the colorful thermal pools in Wai-O-Tapu
  • Hiking in Tongariro National Park
  • Cave tubing under glow worms in Waitomo
  • Getting my geek on in Hobbiton
  • Hiking the Routeburn trail
  • Taking a cruise into Milford Sound
  • Window shopping and walking around Queenstown
  • Tricking my brain in Puzzling World
  • Kayaking around Abel Tasman National Park
  • Walking the coast at Kaikoura
  • Watching the seals sleep and play all over the south island

I was in New Zealand for around a month, and I saw almost everything I wanted to while I was there. My trip was quick, but I had enough time to take in most of the sights without rushing around. Next time I’m in New Zealand, I’d like to:

  • Sail around the Bay of Islands
  • Go wine tasting in the Napier / Hastings region
  • Visit Wellington
  • Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Visit Dunedin and the southern tip of the south island
  • Explore Aoroki / Mount Cook National Park
  • Go on another Great Walk or two (Milford Track and Kepler Track)


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