NEW ZEALAND – KIA ORA !

The idea of traveling to New Zealand was started roughly one year before the journey embark. At one late night, we saw a promotion from Air Asia and impulsively bought the tickets without having profound thought and later just fell asleep. It was quite an impromptu decision and considered a new thing for us as we never travel that far before. 

No plan was in the picture until 2 months before the departure. We made a detail of planning to avoid any problem during our journey and ultimately to save the cost. Basically, our interest is more to the beauty of the natural environment, lifestyle and culture of a place. Our journey to New Zealand involved North and South Islands for 15 days. We were more laid back during traveling and hopefully this sharing will help you to plan for your itinerary or the least, would inspire you to consider to travel to the beautiful country called New Zealand or Aotearoa in Māori. You will feel warm Manaakitanga from their people once you reached there.

5th AUGUST 2017

Our journey started as we board a flight to Auckland with transit at Gold Coast. It took 8 hours to reach Coolangatta Airport, Gold Coast and the transit was very short. Just 45 minutes of transit. Hence, didn’t have much time to wander around. Gold Coast was sunny but cold for Malaysian like me… haha.. which was about 9oC. The strong wind blow made it worse.

Short transit at Coolangatta Airport, Gold Coast.
  New Zealand Air sighted from our plane.

Then, it took 3 hour flight from Gold Coast to Auckland. The journey was smooth without any turbulent as I slept most of the time and kept my stomach full with onboard Santan meal from AirAsia. I survived!!! I really enjoyed Nasi Lemak Pak Nasser and Teh Tarik everytime. Typical Malaysian.

This is a must for every journey with Air Asia.

6th AUGUST 2017

Just landed after 12 hours of flight journey.

Once we reached Auckland International Airport, we took Skybus which is operating for two main routes which are Auckland City Express and North Harbour Express.  You must take Auckland City Express in order to go to CBD Auckland. You may buy the tickets online or just buy at booths that are located outside of international and domestic terminals.

I was shivering hard at this moment while waiting for the bus to CBD Auckland.
Fare for one way trip to CBD Auckland is NZD18

Journey to our accommodation which is Princeton Apartment at Symonds Street take about 30 minutes and the fare is NZD18/MYR52. 

Princeton Apartment

The price for one night is RM 189/NZD66 including 15% GST. It is Double Bedroom in Shared Apartment. For a traveler who is on a limited budget but still wants comfort, this is the best choice as you still have the privacy as you are staying in your own room. We just shared the kitchen and shower which we didn’t use it much. It was so cold.. haha… We were very lucky as the view of our room was awesome as it was facing the Symonds Street

View of Symonds Street from our unit at Princeton Apartment

This area is actually located near The University of Auckland. The eateries including halal restaurants are aplenty and it just in walking distance. One of our favourites is Mamak Malaysian Restaurant at Chancery Street. It offers a wide range of delectable menu of Malaysia.

Strolling around Symonds Street with Sky Tower at the back

7th AUGUST 2017

Northern Explorer Train at Strand Station

We plan to have a different way to enjoy the North Island. Hence, we took Northern Explorer Train to explore the North Island. It is a long-distance train and one of the scenic trains operated by The Great Journeys of New Zealand. This train will embark the journey at Auckland Strand and end at Wellington Railway Station at Pipitea. The journey is long which is 681km, which depart at 7.45 am and reach Wellington at 6.25 pm. The fare as for me is quite expensive which is RM490/NZD172 but we were very keen to try this train. There are only 3 services per week for each direction which are on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The train will stop at 7 stations which are Papakura, Hamilton, Otorohanga, National Park, Ohakune, Palmerston North, Paraparaumu and will ended at terminus station which is Wellington.

Strand Station is located near Britomart Transport Centre, public transport hub at CBD Auckland

The train is made with wide glass window and roof for you to enjoy the picturesque of the natural environment of New Zealand encompasses coasts, farmlands, hills, mountains and rivers along the journey.

You may enjoy the breathtaking view of the journey through wide glass window of the train

Having mentioned that, you may go to the front section of the train where you can enjoy the nature directly as it has open window so that you can enjoy the natural fresh air with strong wind blow and take photos without any obstruction. The feeling was surreal.

It was such a wonderful experience enjoying the view at the open section of the train

The passenger will be informed about the features and history of the areas from time to time through headphones. It is so informative. You will go through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains which are Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu. There is a man-made marvel along the way such as Raurimu Spiral which consists of horseshoe bends, tunnels and loop to allow the train to tackle the 139m height of the Volcanic Plateau. Other than that, you will be spellbound with Hapuawhenua Viaduct that crosses deep valley below with slender columns. Looks amazing!

There are a lot of facilities in the train and the one that I really love is the cafe. You may indulge a variety of food and beverages while enjoying the spectacular view.

You may enjoy the wide selection of food and beverage provided at café in the train

The Great Journeys of New Zealand offers 2 other journeys by train which are Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine. If you have more time in New Zealand, please try for all ok! I will be back to NZ for these routes for sure. The journey from Auckland to Wellington is awesome and priceless. No regret spending over the ticket.

After 11 hours of journey, we reached Wellington Railway Station and from there, we walked to our hostel which was Lodge In The City, Taranaki Street. The hostel is good for budget traveler as the price is reasonable. Other than that, it is located not far from Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand. We didn’t have enough time to explore the museum as we need to catch up the early ferry to South Island on the next day. 

Gastronomic treat at Istana Malaysia

We had our dinner at Malaysian restaurant named Istana Malaysia at Allen Street own by Malaysian who have resided in Wellington for more than 20 years. The food and treatment from the owner were very good and fully recommended. This is a must when you are traveling to Wellington. The rating garnered at TripAdvisor is excellent. Check it out.

8th AUGUST 2017

This is Kaitaki which is the largest ferry operating in New Zealand waters

We woke up early to catch Interislander ferry that connects North Island at Wellington and South Island at Picton. The journey takes 3.5 hours. This is the most exciting cruise that I have ever taken as the scenery along Cook Straits, Marlborough Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound is epic. Even though it was raining, stubborn me, still wandering at the deck to take pictures and videos. The ferry runs 5 times every day with the earliest trip from Wellington to Picton is at 9.00 am and the last trip is at 3.30 pm. The fare is RM186/NZD 65 for adult without any vehicles. This service is provided by The Great Journeys of New Zealand.

At one of the many observation decks
Journey through Marlborough Sounds
Sipping coffee with a view

The other ferry operator that you may consider is Bluebridge Ferry. Please make sure your phone and camera are fully charged as you would regret if you missed all the beautiful scenery. Because I did. I will come back to board this ferry yet again!

Welcome to the South Island or in Maori Te Wai Pounamu

We reached Picton at 12.30 pm. Our backpacker hostel is very near to the Pier and we just go there on foot. It just a stone’s throw. We stayed at The Fat Cod Backpackers. I think this is the best backpacker hostel that I ever stayed. It is simple yet very comfortable as it has a lot of facilities. I really recommend this hostel as you feel like home but with beautiful scenery. 

The Fat Cod Backpackers is located just a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal

Since it was raining and the weather was cold, we could not do much to explore the area.

Having hot Maggi cup in chilly weather at my favourite spot in the hostel

Anyhow, since we were very stubborn, we still strolling around by foot exploring the vicinity place. There are two museums at the area that you can explore which are Edwin Fox Museum and Picton Community Museum.

Terminal of ferry at Picton
View near Shelley Beach

The area was so tranquil and somehow, I wish I can stay here and no need to go back to KL. Haha.

Marlborough is your gateway to the south

9th AUGUST 2017

Hills and mountain ranges along the journey

We are going to Christchurch today. We took InterCity bus for 500 km journey and took almost 7 hours. For information, I have been always checking the fare from time to time as I was informed that they sometimes offer very low price for the fare. It was my luck that I managed to get the fare for NZD1 only for this 7 hours journey. For that 7 hours, yet again we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of New Zealand. The panorama was breathtaking and it’s hard to describe. You have to experience it.

One of the rivers sighted along the journey

Half way on the journey, we stop at Alpine Motor Inn and Café. It was a good small café with a variety of food. But since there was no halal food, we just bought chocolate and ice cream for our lunch. Haha

After 7 hours of journey, we finally reached Christchurch Bus Interchange at Lichfield St. It is a new bus terminal opened in 2015 after the 2011’s devastating earthquake. From there, we took Uber to go to Jucy Centre at Christchurch International Airport which we took our campervan there.

At Jucy Christchurch to start the adventure with campervan

There are many companies that offer vehicle rental service and after doing some extensive research on selection of caravan, we decided to take Jucy 3-person campervan to continue our exploration at South Island. This will be our home for the next 8 days. 

At one of the houses along Linwood Avenue that served as a campsite for campervan

10th AUGUST 2017

At the peak of the hill facing Heathcote Valley

We only had half of the day to explore Christchurch and of course, it didn’t enough. We went to Christchurch Gondola at Heathcote Valley. Actually, we bought this ticket by package together with punting at the Avon River. The package is RM146/NZD51. You can buy it at www.christchurchattractions.nz You may enjoy the spectacular 3600 views of Christchurch during gondola ride and at the peak station.

View of Lyttelton from the top of the hill
Heathcote Valley and and you may see snow-capped mountain ranges at far
Heathcote Valley

You can enjoy the view while sipping coffee at Red Rock Café. Don’t forget to buy souvenir coin of Christchurch from vending machine at the entrance. You surely will regret not buying it once you got back home. Coz, I do. Whoever going to Christchurch gondola, please buy for me. I will pay it for double.

Quail Island at the back

There are several interesting activities that you may enjoy at Christchurch from www.christchurchattractions.nz. Please do check out. I wish I have more time to explore Christchurch.

Since we had problem with our stove, we went back to Jucy Centre near Christchurch International Airport to check with their staff. This is a lesson learned for us. Please make sure everything is working when you take your campervan/motorhome as it is really troublesome if one of the items is not functions. After we had sorted out the issue, we went to Al Noor Mosque at Riccarton. It is located in front of Christchurch Botanic Garden where the Avon River is located. Unfortunately, we decided to skip the punting as it had reached late afternoon and we must start our journey to Fairlie.

Al Noor Mosque

Fairlie is a small town which is located 180km from Christchurch and take 2 ½ hours to reach there. We chose Fairlie as our stop as it is the nearest town from Lake Tekapo with good amenities. We started our journey quite late which was already dark but it was worth it because we had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sky with the constellation of stars along the way. I never see so many stars in one time before, back in Malaysia or other places that I have visited and that is why New Zealand, particularly at South Island, is well known for stargazing activity.  We reached Fairlie very late and it was almost 1 am. We suppose to stay at Fairlie Holiday Park but since it is already late, we decided to park at the parking area in front of Four Square Market. Having mentioned that, you can actually just come into the park and just parking there if it is already late. You can do all the payment tomorrow morning. It was a sleepless night for me as it was so cold. About 1oC. As the consequences, I was very sleepy the next day even while driving. Sigh.

Reached Fairlie late, no cars were sighted at this hour

11th AUGUST 2017

View at Burkes Pass

In the early morning, we continued our journey to Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo is a town that takes the name of Lake Tekapo that located in Mackenzie District, Canterbury.

Another breathtaking view at Burkes Pass

The view is breathtaking as it is surrounded by snowy southern Alps and the colour of the water is turquoise blue which set it apart with other lakes. It has such a beautiful colour due to the glacial flour, the extremely fine ground rock particles from the glaciers.

Almost there
Reached Lake Tekapo

The lake is also well known for its Lupin flower. You can only see Lupin flower from spring to summer (September to February). Since we went during winter time, there was no even single Lupin spotted. Too bad. Its ok, we will come again..haha..

The view was fantastic

There is also a building that become a landmark for Lake Tekapo which is Church of the Good Shepherd. You must not miss taking photos of the church with Lake Tekapo as background. This is a must if you plan to visit there.

Church of the Good Shepherd

Apart from that, you can enjoy the beauty of the sky by stargazing at Lake Tekapo which is regarded as one of the largest Dark Sky Reserve where stars run riot. You will be amazed. As I mentioned before, I never see so many stars before till I reached Mackenzie district. There are a lot of other attractions at Lake Tekapo and you may refer https://www.backpackerguide.nz/lake-tekapo-guide-backpackers/ for more info.

Make sure your battery is fully charged for a lot of photos

After spending more than 1 hours just for taking pictures, we continue our journey to Lake Pukaki. Lake Pukaki can be considered as the gateway to the highest point of New Zealand which is Mount Cook. The distance from Lake Tekapo is just 40 minutes which is around 60km.

Reached Lake Pukaki after 40 minutes drive from Lake Tekapo
The beautiful Lake Pukaki surrounded by snow-capped mountain range

The scenery is breathtaking. It was so beautiful as every corner is worth to snap for the photo. The colour of the lake is also turquoise similar to Lake Tekapo. We stop for countless time especially at the various lookout points to take photo as it was very alluring.

Driving along Lake Pukaki

Then, we proceed to Aoraki Mount Cook Village which located at the northern part of Lake Pukaki. The road to the village is located along Lake Pukaki. Hence, while driving, you may enjoy the beautiful scenery along the lake. The distance is about 55 km which took around 45 minutes. You may stop at Peter’s Lookout at the halfway to take the majestic view of Lake Pukaki.

Scenic driving along Lake Pukaki
Breathtaking view of Lake Pukaki

Once we reached Aoraki Mount Cook Village, we wandering around and decided to go to Hookers Valley.

Reached Mount Cook Village
Playing with the snow
Strolling around Mount Cook Village
Serene Mount Cook Village

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t permit and we had to cancel our plan. After spending about 1 hour there, we embark our journey to the beautiful city of Queenstown. Yeahhhh !!!

Journey back to Lake Pukaki
View along the way
The turquoise colour of Lake Pukaki

The journey took 3 hours and 15 minutes for about 264km. On the way to Queenstown, we traveled through Lindis Pass which offer great scenic view while driving. Having mentioned that, we were quite late and it was already dark. So, we missed the opportunity to enjoy the view. On the other note, the road is hilly and winding, so you have to be extra vigilant. 

We made a quick stop at Tarras, a small area before resuming to Queenstown. After we made an extensive information gathering about campsite, we have decided to stay at Arrowtown Holiday Park. Arrowtown is located about 20km from Queenstown and it is a small quaint town which previously founded on the gold mining activity. We reached Arrowtown quite late and we just parked our campervan there without duly registration.

Our Jucy in the morning at Arrowtown Holiday Park
Our breakfast cooked from kitchen in Jucy campervan
Serene morning at Arrowtown Holiday Park
One of the accommodations available at Arrowtown Holiday Park

12th AUGUST 201

En route to Glenorchy with Lake Wakatipu on the left

We start our day by driving to Glenorchy. Glenorchy is located at the northern part of Lake Wakatipu. It is about 45 minutes’ drive from Queenstown. The road journey is a total dream. It is a spectacular drive as you can see snow-capped peaks behind the turquoise lake. And I can guarantee that your journey will take more than normal 45 minutes as you will stop at so many spots as you don’t want to miss any chance to take photos of wonderful sceneries.

A short stop at Lake Wakatipu en route to Glenorchy

Having mentioned that, the road is narrow and curved and the local drives quite fast as they are familiar with the road. So, just pull over to let the car behind you pass through. It’s ok. Just enjoy your journey!

Beautiful scenic driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy
A quick stop to take a beautiful panorama of Lake Wakatipu

You must not miss taking photo at Glenorchy Wharf. It is a must for every visitor.

It is a must to take photo at Glenorchy Wharf

Glenorchy is surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains, lakes and rivers. It is so beautiful and my description here is underrated. You must come here to enjoy the panorama. Due to its beautiful scenery, it had become the location for the filming of Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and X-Men.

Glenorchy is so tranquil

Don’t forget to go to Mrs. Woolly’s General Store at Oban Street as you may get everything there from souvenir, fruits, food, clothes and local products. Please enjoy the coffee there.

If you have more time and want to enjoy Glenorchy from bird’s eye view, you may take the helicopter for sightseeing. The time spent at Glenorchy was so worth it is a must if you go to Otago. Please put in your itinerary!!!

13th AUGUST 2017

Skyline Queenstown

We went to Brecon St at Queenstown to enjoy the Queenstown Skyline which is a gondola ride to the top of the hill to enjoy the view of Queenstown surrounded by Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. The view is simply breathtaking.

Steepest cable car lift in Southern Hemisphere
View of Lake Wakatipu from Bob’s Peak

You can enjoy the view while sipping hot tea at the peak which is available at the café.

The queue for Ski Lift
Winding Luge Track over Lake Wakatipu at the back
Ski Lift to the peak

After that, we enjoyed the Luge cart ride which is a cart that you manoeuvred by yourself with no engine and just relying on gravity for 800 meters of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Once you have completed for the first time, you will be addicted to it and eager for more rounds. Aptly with the moto of Queenstown Luge, Once Is Never Enough.

Safety first as the movement for Luge is quite fast
First thing first… driving lesson !!! Thank you for the class
You will definitely want to go for more rounds

If you wanted to try bungee jumping, this is the suitable place as for me as it is less frightening compared to other places such as the famous Kawarau Bridge. In addition, the view from the ledge is super awesome, facing Frankton Arm of Wakatipu Lake.

Bungee Jumping over Lake Wakatipu

14th AUGUST 2017

The beautiful scenery en route to Invercargill

Today, we spend most of our time traveling to Milford Sound. The journey is about 300 km with 3 hours and 45 minutes. In the middle of our journey, we contemplated to divert our journey to other places as we still have sufficient time for Milford Sound. We had two places that we really wanted to go which are Dunedin and Invercargill.

After giving much thought, we went to the southernmost city of New Zealand which is Invercargill, the capital of Southland. The journey takes 2 hours and 15 minutes which is for about 190 km from Queenstown. We always looking for places that interesting and rare. Hence, we had decided to go to Slope Point. Slope Point is the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. The road towards the area is narrow and there is no road towards the signage of Slope Point. You have to go there on foot. Unluckily, our journey came to a halt when the road was closed for maintenance. We were so disappointed as we almost reached the area.

With a heavy heart, we just continue our day to Invercargill town. We had to skip Waipapa Point Lighthouse as it was quite late. Once we reached Invercargill town which was at 7 pm, most of the places were about to close. Hence, we just took photo from outside for few places. I guess today is not a good day for us.

At Esk Street, Invercargill
The bronze statue of a Weka (native bird of New Zealand) to celebrate Invercargill’s sesquicentenary in 2006

Invercargill actually have a lot of attraction but for me, the most exciting is Dig This Invercargill and Bill Richardson Transport World. Too bad, our timing was off.

Bill Richardson Transport World at Tay Street, Hawthorndale
Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Invercargill Water Tower was built to supply pressurized water to the city particularly for any fire incident

After getting some food and rest, we started our journey to Milford Sound. It took 3 hours and 30 minutes for 274 km journey. It was so exhausting but we were really enjoyed the whole journey.

We planned to stop and camp at Te Anau before proceed to Milford Sound. We reached Te Anau at almost 12.00 am and struggling to look for campsite. There were several campsites in that area but it was so hard to find the suitable one because it was already late and very dark. We ended up change 2 times of campsite and settled at campsite beside Lake Gunn. What a relieve!

The view around our campsite at Lake Gunn

15th AUGUST 2017

The majestic Milford Sound

We start our day very early as our ferry at Milford Sound is the first trip and we know that the road to Milford Sound is very hilly and will take time to reach there. The journey from Lake Gunn to Milford Sounds was amazing as you may enjoy the breath-taking scenery along the way. We stop for few spots to take photos. After 45 minutes’ drive, we reached the majestic Milford Sound.

While waiting for Jucy ferry tour

Milford Sound is a fiord that located in Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. The Maori called this area as piopiotahi after the thrush-like piopio bird. English journalist, Rudyard Kipling regarded Milford Sound as 8th Wonder of The World.

There are many ferry services for the tour and you may find the best service that suits your needs

Btw, our ferry is waiting for us at the pier. The tour takes about 2 hours depending on the weather. Similar to campervan, we also put a profound thought on the selection of cruise and after a deep thought on this, we have decided to choose Jucy for our cruise. The main reason is due to incentive given by Jucy which is if we book campervan from Jucy, driver will get 50% off for cruise and it is definitely a great saving. The fare for classic cruise is RM129/NZD45.

Milford Sound is named after Milford Haven in Wales
Milford Sound is one of the wettest places on earth

The boat has multiples deck and plenty of seating, hence you may run to all decks to take photos of beautiful scenery. You can enjoy the free beverage on the deck as well.

The wind was so strong while on the cruise

The captain will always tell the story and features of each spot that we go. It is so informative. One of the best moment is when the skipper will go very near to one of the waterfalls and everyone will get wet.. haha..You must bring your raincoat so that you won’t be drenched.

The beautiful 155m Stirling Waterfall
Stirling Falls runs through the wide U-shaped hanging valley between Lion and Elephant Mountains.

The prominent features of Milford Sound are Lady Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. We were so lucky as the weather was good and we had the chance to enjoy the view.

Milford Sound is surrounded by rock faces that rise about 1200 meters

We even had the chance to watch dolphin playing around. What a great day!

The length of Milford Sound is 16 km and was formed by erosion of ancient glaciers
The cruise at Milford Sound last between 1 hour 45 minutes to 3 hours

Our timing was so good as once we reached the dock, it was raining heavily. After we have done with the cruise, we start our journey back to Te Anau. It was a nice drive from Milford Sound to Te Anau as the view was awesome.

It is quite challenging while driving from Te Anau to Milford Sound particularly during winter and rainy season
Mountain ranges along the route back to Te Anau
The spellbinding Mount Christina
Every turn and corner is a masterpiece
This is one of the exciting parts of the journey. Before you reach Milford Sound, you will go through Homer Tunnel below Darran mountain range into the Cleddau Valley. The tunnel is signalized since it can only fit for vehicles in one way at a time. The feeling while driving through the tunnel was surreal

At the halfway to Te Anau, we stop for a while at Mirror Lakes. It is a small lake with Earl mountains as a background. You may see the reflection of the mountains at the lake. So, it was aptly named Mirror Lakes.

Mirror Lakes is located beside Te Anau Milford Highway and therefore you must make a stop to take photo of Earl Mountains reflection.

After driving about 45 minutes, we finally arrived at Te Anau. It’s known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island and second largest in New Zealand. It is complemented with Mount Luxmore and Mount Murchison at the background.

Tranquil Te Anau Lake in front of Te Anau Terrace
At one of the piers at Te Anau Lake

Te Anau is a gateway to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound and it is famous for its tracking trails such as Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track. If you opt for leisure activity, you may just relax and chill around Lake Te Anau. The view is so beautiful. We just spend about one hour there to explore the town of Te Anau. Then, we get back to Arrowtown.

Lake Te Anau is a good place for boat fishing for a big population of trout
Boat and ferry for cruise tour around Lake Te Anau
Boat fishing activities at Lake Te Anau

16th AUGUST 2017

The majestic Lake Wakatipu
You may take One Million Dollar Cruise to enjoy the enchanting view of Lake Wakatipu

Today, we just wandering around Queenstown and Arrowtown. We decided just have a laid-back day to really enjoy the serenity of Queenstown and Arrowtown. We were strolling and enjoying the view of Lake Wakatipu and Frankton Arm. We also had a taste of renowned cookies at Cookie Time, New Zealand’s favourite cookie. Cookie Time is a family-owned company established in 1983 at Christchurch.

Cookie Time offers a wide selection of coffee to complement your ice cream and cookies
Time to choose cookies and ice cream!

Their delicious cookies were rapidly loved by Kiwis and now has well known all over the world. You may find a delectable range of cookies and beverages at their premises and you may enjoy taking photos of their shop that is so colourful and insta-worthy.

Coffee served in a cute cup
You may purchase the souvenirs as well at Cookie Time

If you have ample time, you may visit Cookie Time Factory Shop at Templeton, Christchurch.

The cute sheep that we bought as souvenirs

Then, we went to DF Souvenirs for NZ souvenirs. We have made an extensive research on the souvenir shop and we found that this is one of the cheapest and reasonable shop with variety of choices. It is strategically located at Mall Street and you may easily find the shop. I spent almost 1 hour there and end up with total spending of NZD 250. I try not to state in Ringgit Malaysia here because it is excruciating..haha Having mentioned that, it is so worth it.

One of the famous things in Queenstown is Fergburger. It offers about 20 variants of burger and please bring your chair and bottle drinks as you need to queue up about an hour to get your order. This place has been covered by many articles and this is one of the best.

Indulging Patagonia ice cream at Arrowtown

Then, we wandering around Arrowtown and one of the must-stop is Patagonia Chocolates. It has variety of chocolates, ice creams and coffee. You must try!!!

Just realize haven’t taken photo after indulging it

It has 5 stores at the moment which are located at Arrowtown, Queenstown and Wanaka.

Then, we went to Lake Hayes which is located just beside Arrowtown. Lake Hayes is a small lake that attracts runners and cyclists to enjoy the beauty of the area.

Strolling around Lake Hayes.

It was so tranquil with geese playing around. It was so serene relaxing at Lake Hayes. What a day!

17th AUGUST 2017

Today, before we took our flight to Auckland, we relinquished our last 10 days home aka the sexy Jucy campervan at Jucy office just adjacent to Queenstown Airport. The process was very quick, they just check the condition of the van and took the key. Voila!!! Its done.

Enjoy the coffee!

The Queenstown Airport is a very good and convenience. It has a single terminal for both domestic and international flights. This airport considered small but due to its size, I feel it convenient and relaxing. The terminal consists of single level and the passenger need to walk to get to the flight. We took Jetstar to Auckland and this is my first time using this service. All in all, I didn’t face any problems and the 2 hours journey was smooth. Kudos Jetstar!

Took Jetstar from Queenstown to Auckland

Once we reached Auckland Airport, we took SkyBus to go to our accommodation which is Colombia Apartment at Symonds Street. You may buy your ticket online or just go to the SkyBus booth located outside of the domestic and international terminals. Colombia Apartment is similar to Princeton Apartment that we stayed during our first day at Auckland but it was a little bit under-maintained. Having mentioned that, it was still a good place to stay. Like Princeton Apartment, it is located near main attractions at Auckland. You can just go to Queens Street on foot. Plenty of food are available at the vicinity of the area including halal food.

18th AUGUST 2017

Queens Street at night

Today, we just touring around Auckland CBD for sightseeing and shopping. We went to Queens Street that is well known for shopping place. It is quite a long road starting from Queen Wharf at north and Karanghape Road at South and named after Queen Victoria. You may find plenty of things at Queens Street form food, souvenirs, clothes, electronics and many more. The prominent landmark at Queens Street is Auckland Town Hall. Off course, your eyes will catch the highest structure in Auckland which is Sky Tower.

Sky Tower

Sky Tower is a telecommunication tower with height of 328 metre. It is 25th tallest tower in the world. There are plenty of activities that you may enjoy at Sky Tower such as sky jump and sky walk.

On the ferry with skyline of Auckland at the back

Then, we went to Queens Wharf to take ferry to Devonport. The journey by ferry was so fun as the wind blow was chilling and you may enjoy the skyline of Auckland.

Skyline of Auckland

Devonport is a quaint town which offers a variety of items and services like cafes, restaurant, antique, gift and bookshops. Devonport is regarded as one of the prettiest villages in Auckland.

This is a playground for a bookworm

We even bought books at Bookmark Secondhand Books. It is a nice place to chill and hunt for books.

Indulging Kapiti Ice Cream

We also head up to Mount Victoria and the best thing is you can see skyline of Auckland and Rangitoto Island. You may find a lot of red big mushroom on Mount Victoria and fret not, it is vents for water pumping station.

Skyline of Auckland from Mount Victoria.
 Rangitoto Island sighted from Mount Victoria
Big mushrooms that are actually air vent for tunnels below Mount Victoria

19th AUGUST 2017

The atmosphere of Auckland Airport

It’s time to go back to reality. It’s time to leave New Zealand. We took SkyBus from Auckland CBD to Auckland Airport. You can take the bus from SkyBus City Lounge at 396, Queen Street. You can relax over there while waiting for your bus. The screening and immigration process at Auckland Airport was smooth and at 6.00 pm, we departed from Auckland and reached KLIA 12 hours later.

One thing that I would like to share is you will be infected with a disease that is difficult to cure once you get back home from New Zealand. You will be infected with ‘I miss New Zealand very much’ disease. Even less than a week, I have an urge to visit back New Zealand and at the moment, just manage to travel around New Zealand through Google Street View. It helps you a lot..haha.. This journey is one thing that I never regret despite the money spent as it is awesome and priceless. It is one of the best things ever.

Haere ra Aotearoa !!!

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