Surely there is heaven on earth… this surreal experience to New Zealand with my parents and younger sister lasted for 45 days. Out here I would be sharing some incredible travel experiences all around North Island… Covering places like New Plymouth, Wellington, Auckland and Rotorua.
To begin my enthralling journey we landed at the Auckland airport in the hot month of December (note: New Zealand summer months – December, January and February, New Zealand winter months – June, July and August). The drive from Auckland city to New Plymouth was full of adventure as you get to pass many of the nation’s best surf breaks. From Waingaro hot springs to Tongaporutu’s rock formations the whole journey is mesmerizing, not to forget the white cliffs of Mt Taranaki in the background. Mt Taranaki / Mt Egmont is very accessible, as within 30 minutes of leaving the coastal city of New Plymouth you can be on the slopes of the mountain.
We started our 10 day stay in New Plymouth visiting the magical Wind Wand, a 45 meter high fiberglass kinetic sculpture wandering along the waterfront promenade with no city hustle bustle. Everything was so calm and serene… Near the Len Lye wind sculpture is the Puke Ariki Museum. It’s a wonderful storehouse of the Taranaki treasure. Its galleries, exhibitions, library and research centre provide a stimulating environment to discover more about Taranaki. Another interesting place which we came across was the Pukekura Park. This park is made up of unique sunken glasshouses linked by earth tunnels. Thousands of people come to walk around the park, enjoy the lights and watch performances by theatre and dance groups. A must see is the zoo in the park which is home to some of the endangered species like the Red Pandas, Lemurs and a wide variety of birds.
Being on the coast one can never miss making a trip to the beaches of New Plymouth… Oakura Beach, 15 mins drive from New Plymouth is a marvelous tourist spot .Helicopter rides from Oakura beach were very thrilling. We got the whole city tour in just 20 mins and it was more than just a scenic flight. Urenui Beach is also favoured by many as a holiday destination. For all the golf freaks, the region has 20 golf courses. Ngamotu Links – has been consistently rated one of the best golf courses in New Zealand. All 20 golf courses are within an hour’s drive of each other. New Plymouth has a thriving city centre mall which contains over 55 shops and services. New Plymouth also has a world class hospitality school named Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS) offering Undergraduate, Bachelor and Post Graduate Degrees all under one roof.
Reinvention in New Plymouth takes a few different forms. The first are the stunning natural contrasts found throughout the city, the soaring Mt.Taranaki, lush farmland, urban cityscapes – in all it takes a million impressive forms. The people who live there through their sharp wit, warm hospitality and knowledge leave everybody in awe and shock. Indeed New Plymouth allowed us to be as relaxed as ever… can’t wait to go back again