Not too long ago, I spent 1 1/2 weeks exploring New Zealand’s awe-inspiring south island, with a Christchurch to Queenstown road-trip and some pretty amazing stops in-between, including Lake Wanaka and some absolutely amazing adventure activities and stunning hotels thrown in.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to help you decide where to plan your next winter vacation, look no further than New Zealand. To get you in the mood, here are 10 reasons why you should visit New Zealand this winter. Get comfy, put on some Barry White and let these soothing words roll over your soul.
But first, watch this…
1. Adventure activities galore
There’s nothing wrong with lazing by a resort pool and reading a good book, but let’s be honest, an adventure holiday does sound pretty dang cool. New Zealand has it all, amigos. You can take a helicopter ride, go skydiving, learn to paraglide, take a light aircraft ride, go zorbing, bungee jumping, heli-skiing or heli-biking, do some of the most amazing treks of your life, hire a bike and do some serious mountain biking as well as white water rafting and the Shotover Jet. It’s a playground… for adults!
2. Delicious food
Let’s not mess around… we’re talking incredible, fresh seafood like mussels, oysters and scallops washed down with a glass of New Zealand’s world-famous wines. Red, white… take your pick. It’s all good! Kiwi’s are also famous for producing insanely delicious lamb, the traditional Maori Hangi, pretty incredible fish and chips and, of course, amazing sweets too. Pavlova, Hokey Pokey ice cream and a little thang called lolly cake are the way to go. If this doesn’t do it for you, you’ll just have to settle in with a cheese and wine platter. Did I mention the wine?
3. Incredible scenery
New Zealand’s natural beauty is beyond compare. You can take beautiful photos without even really needing to try, it’s that picture-perfect. There are so many places with stunning views, all you need to do is jump in a car or hire a bike and take off to see them. It’s the kind of place that takes your breath away and reminds you how beautiful and precious this world really is.
4. Wide-open spaces and fresh air
We’re all guilty of spending a little too much time at the office or indoors and not nearly enough time reconnecting with nature. You simply cannot avoid the nature when you visit New Zealand, it’s just not possible! It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and out into the beautiful outdoors for so much-needed reconnect time and fresh air.
5. There are no poisonous snakes or spiders
If you’re from America, this probably seems like a given. If you’re from Australia, this is an absolute luxury. Just imagine, walking along a bush track and not having to look down the whole time in case you accidentally step on one of the world’s most deadly snakes. What a dream!
6. Lake Wanaka
I’ve been dreaming of seeing Lake Wanaka for a long time now and it really is a reason to visit, all on its own. The area offers a fantastic snow season, packed with all your favourite winter activities, as well as some of the best views on the south island and, of course, the famed Wanaka Tree. You can take a helicopter trip to Roys Peak, watch the incredible Aurora Australis and capture photographs and memories you’ll treasure forever. Spend a few days or a few weeks and you won’t grow tired of this place, it is beautiful.
7. The people are the best
Kiwi’s are known for their awesome sense of humour and incredibly welcoming, friendly nature. Visiting New Zealand is almost like visiting extended relatives. Everywhere you go you’re greeted with big, warm, welcoming smiles and a friendly hello. The genuine nature, kindness and down-to-earth humility of the locals will be something you remember.
8. Cuddle up in front of a fire
Visiting in winter means it’s going to be pretty dang cold. But wait, that’s a good thing! It means you get to rug up in front of a fire with a cup of tea or glass of red wine. What better way to spend a beautiful winters evening?! For bonus points, roast many, many marshmallows and eat them until you cannot eat them anymore.
9. The ultimate road trip
Road trips are pretty great, but a New Zealand road trip is something else entirely. Imagine driving through some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever come across. Beautiful, big snow-capped mountains with tiny villages set in the foothills, your car playing your favourite music, nothing but the open road ahead of you. It’s the best way to see this incredible country and a trip you won’t soon forget.
10. Snow-based activities
Even if, like me, you absolutely cannot ski or snowboard to save yourself, you can still learn! Worst case scenario you grab a tray from a cafe and butt-scoot down the kiddies hill. You can also do loads of other fun things in the snow like build a snowman, have a snowball fight (a very gentle one), make snow angels, take the most dreamy photos of your life or even take a ride on a dogsled. These things might be commonplace for some people, but given we come from Brisbane, it’s kind of a big deal!
Need more reasons?
If you’re after some more inspiration for New Zealand, I recommend these NZ savvy babes:
- Wings of a Feather. My home-girl Mindy takes the most incredible N.Z photos you’ve ever seen and is fast becoming Insta-Famous for them, her images have been used in this post today.
- The Wandering Lens. The incredibly talented photographer, Lisa Michele Burns, not only shares her beautiful photographs but gives you tips on how to take great photos and where to take them too!
- 101 Reasons to visit New Zealand from Pure New Zealand
- Lonely Planet’s drool-worthy guides to visiting New Zealand
- Amazing guides and photography from awesome blogger & photographer, Young Adventuress.
Pro Tip: Stay connected with a local sim card from SimsDirect. Get your sim card before leaving home, ensuring you’re able to ‘check-in,’ navigate and find great things to do on the go!
Useful travel resources for your next adventure!
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Agoda – for booking hotels (& homes)
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Motorhome Republic – for RV rentals
RentalCars.com – for car rentals
SCTI – for travel insurance
SimsDirect – best prepaid travel SIM cards
SurfShark – for online security & VPN (Watch the Netflix libraries of 15 countries incl. USA!)
TourRadar – for booking tours