by Jonny Blair
New Zealand is a truly inspirational and wonderful place for the travelling Northern Irishman. Ulster people like travel blogger Jonny Blair love it and they have highlighted some of the key backpacking in New Zealand tips on articles like this. To begin with it is a country of pure nature and happy people and needs to be explored so check out our top tips on touring New Zealand.
The People are amazing. Kiwis as they like to be called are a very friendly bunch of people and welcome tourists to their two beautiful islands as if they were there own family. Kiwi hospitality is world renowned for a warm welcome, good food and cosy surrounding. They are some of the best hosts I have ever come across and enjoy hearing the stories of our travels. The Kiwi people live an outdoors life and enjoy fishing, kayaking, tramping (hiking), and all sorts if crazy adrenaline sports, especially in the south island.
New Zealand was the first country in Oceania that I visited, some 2 years before I even landed in Australia. On my only two visits to the more recent Zealand they have been quite lonely, thought-provoking and inspiring journeys. Both times I backpacked alone, often without purpose. It might be one of the furthest countries away from your hometown (as it was for me) but this list will hopefully convince you that it’s worth investing in some flights to New Zealand. It’s a country just aching to be visited by everyone. Here’s my personal top 20, though a top 100 could easily have been concocted.
Get on board the Interislander Ferry, South to North Island. The best way to travel within the two islands of New Zealand for me is on the Interislander ferry between Picton and Wellington. Having spent a brave length of time working on the ferries in England, France and the Channel Islands this was another dreamlike journey.
Head on the Glow Worms Trek, Franz Josef Township, South Island. On my second visit to New Zealand, I headed to the west side of the South Island and ended up in Franz Josef for a few nights. In here I met some cool people over dinner including Natali and Alex (from Israel) and we decided to do our own night time glow worm trek. I organised it and we headed with torches on a dodgy walk through the rain on what was a great night where we saw glow worms and got free shots in the bar (thanks to me finding some coupons in the hostel!).
Try out the sport of Zorbing in Rotorua, North Island – Zorbing (rolling down the hill in a huge ball) was once the backpackery thing to do and comes well recommended.
Eating a Fergburger, South Island is another top sight. I’m probably surprising most of my regular readers with this list as there are so many mainstream popular memories on here. But remember – these times were back in 2007 and 2010 when I was a younger backpacker. In those days, I was trying to save cash left, right and centre and this meant following the cheap backpacker routes most of the time. Besides, there is no food on the list yet and the Fergburger is great so why not?!
Head out to the amazing Pohutu Geysir in Rotorua in the north island. It’s an experience you will never forget. For a travelling Northern Irishman I loved it.
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