Planning Your Honeymoon? Think New Zealand
There’s a saying that goes “Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale”. There are some moments you remember in life which will never be repeated, that are truly treasured in the book of your life’s journey.
It goes without saying that you want your honeymoon to be full of such beautiful snapshots of these special moments. A honeymoon is one of those holidays you want to cherish and look back on with warm happy vivid memories captured in your heart and mind!
If you’re looking for a honeymoon that combines fun, romance, adventure, and awe, then New Zealand should be at the top of your list!
This stunning, low-populated country, with spectacular scenery from lush rainforests, and alpine meadows to snow-capped mountains, is the perfect place to spend time together. New Zealand lies in the Pacific Ocean some 2000 km to the southeast of Australia and has been a favorite wedding and honeymoon destination for years. Due to its unique geographic location, the country has an abundance of flora and fauna, as well as countless breathtaking views. With virgin beaches, crystal clear lakes, dense forests, glacial mountains and dancing rivers it’s no mystery as to why.
For a country that is so blessed by mother-nature, there is no shortage of activities that you can indulge in. The local people, or “Kiwis”, are famous for their enthusiastic involvement in various outdoor activities. Whether you want to spend a quiet evening fishing in the deep blue lakes, kayak Milford Sound amongst dolphins and fur seals, or enjoy a high adrenaline rush river rafting, bungee jumping or jet boating, New Zealand has it all.
Honeymoon New Zealand
Most honeymoon couples like to spend some quiet, romantic time on one of the many hikes on offer throughout New Zealand. There are an almost infinite amount of beaches, many of which are deserted, as well as hundreds of hiking trails through New Zealand’s pristine wilderness.
New Zealand is home to several active volcanoes and the impressive Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand. Aoraki reaches an impressive 12,217 feet (3724m) into the sky at its peak. This panoramic mountain landscape is further enhanced by a rich plant life which facilitates food and shelter to more than 1500 species of wildlife.
All of New Zealand is gorgeous, however, the most popular honeymoon destinations are located in the South Island. It doesn’t matter whether you visit New Zealand in summer or winter, you can enjoy dramatic contrasts, stunning vistas and fresh wide-open spaces. If you want to tour around the South Island you can enjoy many activities including hiking, biking and kayaking. Milford sound is home to Hector’s dolphins, fur seals and a host of native birds which you’ll get to see on a kayaking expedition. Or, try a spot of snorkeling and get a taste of the abundant sea life all around the coast.
Franz Josef Glacier, a 7.5 mile frozen river, is a sight to behold. This massive river of ice groans and grinds its way down to the coast; it’s dirty topping hiding a mass of blue caverns eroded out by melt water. This ancient beast can also be viewed by helicopter for a grand tour of the area from above.
New Zealand’s wild West Coast beaches are covered with black sand and framed by rocks, native flaxes, nikau palms and other native foliage. Their dramatic yet beautiful appearance will compete for your attention, with the snow-capped Southern Alps in the background. There’s also plenty of cascading waterfalls and swimming holes, to invite you in for a brisk and refreshing swim.
New Zealand’s ancient beech forests are largely untouched. You can see giant epiphytes (parasitic plants) clinging to the massive girths of thousand-year-old trees. The forests are dripping in lichen, giving them an ethereal, almost mystical quality.
Whitebait fritters, a New Zealand delicacy, are delicious and can be made for you at a local fish and chip shop by the locals, in one of the many quaint towns you’ll travel through.
Some say the most beautiful scenery of New Zealand is to be found around the foothills of the Southern Alps. Travel to remote sheep stations to get a sense of life for backcountry sheep farmers living in arguably the most beautiful places on earth.
You would think that the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island, that see a regular dusting of snow in winter, would be barren and colorless. The exact opposite is true; there are so many colors popping up through the nourishing and richly textured earth, from flowers to alpine grasses.
You’ll also find Alpine bird species like the kea, a cheeky native New Zealand parrot that is not opposed to nibbling the rubber around your windscreen wipers, or pecking at the leftover offerings from your lunch.
Everywhere you go you’ll also notice the strong Maori culture influence, from quirky Kiwi sayings like “Kai”, that’s Kiwi for food, and the greeting “Kia Ora” which is used by Maori and pakeha alike to say hello. There’s also other melds of language that gave birth to words like “Jandals”, (flipflops), “togs”, (swimsuit) and “bikkies”, Kiwi speak for cookies.
Kiwis are a very friendly and hospitable bunch of people, with only 4 million living in the whole country, they love to show visitors around, taking them to the best local spots. ‘Kiwi hospitality’ is something we’re fiercely proud of, and famed for.
There are so many places to see and things to do in New Zealand, you’ll want to spend as long as possible visiting. The best way to organize a trip to New Zealand is to choose a company that is run and owned by Kiwis. As the saying goes “If you want to see the absolute best and little known places in New Zealand – get a Kiwi to take you there!”
Where do I start?! New Zealand had been number one on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t wait another moment, if New Zealand is the dream, find a way! The ‘Manuka’ trip was beyond any expectations I could have dreamed of! Yes it was physical, but our amazing guides Claire and Jess kept me going and the accomplishment and the views were always worth it. I have memories that will last a lifetime, best money I have EVER spent. Trust me, don’t wait! Go!
June Vidrine, Active Adventures New Zealand ‘Manuka’ trip, March 2017