Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

New Zealand- A Fairy Tale

When I came abroad I made a rule of thumb for myself: have low expectations. By setting low expectations, despite all the hype I heard about a certain city or bar or restaurant, I would never be disappointed. But, after leaving New Zealand, I’m going to tell anyone and everyone that it’s okay to have high expectations there – – they will be met.  If there is one place in the world that deserves to be talked up, it is definitely this country.  I wanted to take a picture of everything — the roads, the mountains, the sheep, the hostel, the bars, the water, the lakes, the food… the list goes on and on because everything here was picture-perfect. Not only were the scenery, landscape, and fresh air pristine, but also the people were friendly, outgoing, chatty, and welcoming.

Two of my friends and I rented a car for the 4 days we were there and it definitely was worth it. I have no idea how we would’ve navigated all of the destinations we did if we didn’t have one.  We arrived late Thursday night around 10pm and roamed around the small town for some dinner.  Funny enough every restaurant we asked looked at us like we were crazy for asking if they were still serving dinner at that time.  Luckily an Indian restaurant (my favorite) just down the street was still open so we got to fill our stomachs with chicken tikka and red wine before bed.

The following morning we woke up at 7am to make the 5 hour drive to Milford Sound.  Although I was dreading how long of a day of driving it would be, the drive actually ended up being my favorite part.  It was incredibly scenic with lush green vasts of farm, sheep, and snow-capped mountains drawing my attention the whole way.  We arrived to Milford Sound by 1pm, with a couple of stops along the way, and prepared for our kayaking tour at 2! Kayaking was beautiful, and a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.  We walked 6 miles to a hidden waterfall along the Sound then kayaked back, so we made it back to the car to head home by 7pm.  The drive home was much less entertaining given it was dark, we were starving, and exhausted; but, we powered through by playing classic car games like would you rather.

The rest of the trip was relaxing and peaceful.   The following day we recovered with a nice hike up Queenstown Hill, ate at the infamous Fergburger, napped, and got dinner at a yummy restaurant on the water called the Public House.  Sunday morning we booked Onsen Hot Pools which were incredible private hot tubs overlooking Skippers Canyon. We then drove about 10 minutes to Lake Hayes where we enjoyed the weather in the sun. We unfortunately had to wake up early the following morning to head home, but there is no doubt I will be returning to that country for my honeymoon (:





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