In May this year I realised my lifelong dream to visit New Zealand. The flight with Air New Zealand was over in a trice and hassle free.

First, a couple of nights in Auckland, a chance to adjust to the time difference and to see the sights before collecting our motor-home and heading north to the Bay of Islands. We experienced its scenic beauty on a luxury catamaran cruise, pausing at the famous Hole in the Rock, and at Otehei Bay and Urupukapuka Island while listening to commentary on Maori legend.

After this tranquillity we flew south to Queenstown. A lively, vibrant town set beside IMG_0308Lake Wakatipu and in the shadow of the Remarkable Mountain Range. South Island is for every age group-breathtaking views, walking, culture, jet boat safaris on the Dart River, bungee jumping. . .the list is endless. However, my favourite experience was Milford Sound in Fjordland national park. We travelled by coach through subtropical rainforests and waterfalls before joining our cruise in the Sound. The view of Mitre Peak towering above the waters of the Sound is something I will never forget. The half-hour scenic flight back to Queenstown over the mountains and along Lake Wakatipu completed a most wonderful day.

Travelling by coach to Mount Cook for lunch, we turned north to Christchurch, New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’. This is a lovely city of tree-lined avenues and beautiful gardens. An added attraction is its proximity to Kaikoura, made famous for guaranteed sighting of sperm whales!

My real life visit has far exceeded my lifelong dream. I can’t wait to return.

by Keith Visser

If you’d like to know more email me: charmaine@hallmarktravel.com