Kia ora! New Zealand welcomes us back again
Words by Brian Crisp
Brian Crisp is the former National Editor of the Escape Liftout that appears in News Corp.
We’ve missed you New Zealand. We’ve missed your luxury lodges; your adventurous spirit; your innovative locally-inspired cuisine; your snowy mountains, hot springs, fjords and glaziers; and of course, that warm friendly Kiwi welcome.
TAKE A HIKE
The Land of the Long White Cloud has some truly Great Walks. In fact, there’s nine of them – six trails on the South Island and three on the North. The 60-kilometre Abel Tasman Track, located at the top of the South Island, is considered the easiest. The coastline walk takes you through native bush, over limestone cliffs and along the Abel Tasman National Park’s beautiful beaches. It is rated as easy to moderate and you can do it over several days.
HAVE VAN, WILL TRAVEL
Why not explore New Zealand at your own pace in a campervan? It’s cost-efficient and New Zealand is well equipped for travellers in campervans. You can set your own itinerary based around what you like, and most towns boast excellent nearby campsites.
IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE QUEEN
New Zealand has some of the best remote lodges in the world. They are not cheap, but they do provide bucket-list levels of understated luxury. When in New Zealand, The Queen has always found time to stay at the original super-lodge Huka Lodge, on the banks of the Waikato River, near Taupo. I was lucky enough to get snowed in for three days at the 12-room Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown one year. That view of the Remarkables mountain range towering over Lake Wakatipu was… remarkable.
THE LONG AND WINE-DING ROAD
The ﬁve-day Classic New Zealand Wine Trail takes you on a journey from Napier to Blenheim with stops at Picton, Wellington, Martinborough and Hastings. Stop at the majestic Jackson Estate Vineyards near Blenheim and taste some of New Zealand’s best wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc), savour some awesome food, and ﬁll a memory card full of stunning photos on this trip.