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Friday, July 13, 2018

11 Things You Must Try in New Zealand

New Zealand is outrageously beautiful, the sceneries look like they are created straight out from a fairytale book. To fully explore the islands, you may need to migrate there. If you're like me, a salaried employee with limited annual leave, you'll need to strategise and maximise your time at New Zealand. Having said that, please, please, please take time to slow down your pace, and just enjoy the marvellous sceneries that New Zealand has got to offer. Remember you're not on Amazing Race. Without further ado, here's 11 things to clear from your NZ's bucket list!

Dive into the Maori culture
What's better than to immerse yourself in the beautiful culture of the indigenous Polynesian people? Head down to Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua for a cultural experience of the Maoris. If you ever saw videos of people stomping their feet and roaring with their tongues out, that's their traditional haka (war dance). Learn to dance like a local, or if you're up for it, why not get a Maori tattoo? Nah, I'm just kidding.

Explore Middle-Earth
If you're a fan of Lord of the Rings, don't miss out on the opportunity to become a hobbit yourself at the actual Hobbiton movie set, where you can start your own journey at Bag Eng or knock yourself out at Green Dragon Inn. If you want more, sign up for a scenic tour at Glenorchy. You could even ride a horse, wield a sword, and pretend you're in a war with some fugly-ass orcs.

Take a heli-tour up the glaciers
One of the best things to do (which we didn't because Lady M was pregnant) is definitely seeing the beautiful land on a bird's eye perspective. There are several companies providing heli-tours up different mountains like Franz Josef and Mount Cook, some with snow landing - which is to land on top of the glaciers, where you can spend a few minutes waddling in snow. Unfortunately, weathers in New Zealand can be very unpredictable, but fortunately, most companies offer a bad-weather refund.

Jump off a tower, or a plane
There's no better place to sign yourself up for an adrenaline ride other than the adrenaline capital - Queenstown itself. Go for crazy bungee jumps, or if you're even crazier, skydive off a freaking plane. Obviously, not for the weak-hearted.

Creep yourself with glowing maggots
Glow worms are a natural beauty, they are like blue stars amidst the darkness. If. IF you can get past the fact that they are, in fact, glowing maggots excretion a.k.a. poop. So, here's a fun fact, glow worms poop light. Although the best places to see are probably the Waitomo/Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, opt for the Glow Worm Dell at Hokitika for an absolutely free glimpse.

Gaze at the milky way
The best places to catch the galaxy are international dark reserves, and Lake Tekapo is one of them. There are several tours operating almost daily from Tekapo. However, all are under the mercies of many other natural factors, such as the clouds and the brightness of the moon. Yup, we didn't see it.

Check out how to catch the stars (and other valuable tips) here!

Drive down the steepest street on Earth
Located at North Dunedin, Baldwin Street is the steepest street. In the world. Check your bucket list by driving up and down the slope. Trust me, it's like a roller coaster ride and you have tourists cheering at the side. Here's a fun fact: Every year, a shit tonne of yummy Jaffas (imagine like 75,000 of them) are rolled down this street involuntarily as a race. A chocolate race.

Hike various trails
New Zealand is a dream destination for hikers. Go on hiking trails, be adventurous, take in the cool breeze. The trails vary from as little as 30 minutes to 4 days. Because of our pregnancy, the longest trail we hiked 45 minutes (return) was to the jetty point at Lake Matheson. Still counted.

Eat Mount Alpine salmon
You do not need to be a salmon connoisseur to know that Mount Alphine salmon is one of the best out there. Unlike what the name suggests, the little shop is located at Mount Pukaki, which specialises in raw and smoked salmon. We got a little of both (it ain't expensive, really), and savour them with a view of the lake and Mount Cook. Little pleasures in life.