A summary of our New Zealand adventure

A few facts and nice things to know about New Zealand:

  • We left Canada on the 2nd of October and arrived in New Zealand on the 4th of October because we passed the date border
  • We were in New Zealand from the 4th of October till the 8th of December, a total of 65 days (64 nights)
  • We drove 6191 km (3846 miles)
  • We stayed with 12 host families (28 nights), 10 AirBnB’s (17 nights), at 8 campsites (19 nights in total, 9 nights in a cabin and 10 nights in a tent). We paid an average of €29,97 per nights. This was our highest average per night in a country. In the U.S. it was € 24,27 per night and in Canada €19,61 per night
  • New Zealand has 1 time zone, so we didn’t have to change the time once (compared to Canada and the USA). Which was good!
  • We saw dolphins, seals and penguins. And a lot of rabbits and even more dead possums along the road
  • It was the hardest in New Zealand (compared to the U.S. and Canada) to find local hosts and we mostly stayed with Dutch who are living in New Zealand. We would have loved to stay with Maori as well, but unfortunately that didn’t work out

And did you know that…

  • ..we liked the North Island better than South? While most people experience the opposite (the weather could have been an important factor)
  • ..we continuously felt like we were driving in a painting? It is so green there!
  • .. November was the wettest November month ever on South Island?
  • ..we went from North to South Island on a ferry during a storm? We had 5 meters high waves that crashed against the windows where we were sitting (and we were high on the boat!). Everyone on the boat got sick and the staff was running around to give everyone puke bags
  • ..we got sick too? Denny was a winner, he filled up 6 puke bags…
  • ..there are no native wild animals in New Zealand? All the animals that are there, are imported. That’s also the reason it’s a big problem, because rabbits and possums don’t have natural enemies, predators (besides eagles). They have traps (and poison!) everywhere to kill them
  • ..it’s pretty weird that there is no “wildlife”? If you drive through the mountains here you expect there to be wolves, bears, foxes etc, but there is nothing 🙂 Also no poisonous snakes or hardly any dangerous spiders either, though that’s a good thing
  • ..there is a large amount of (tropical) bird that live there? New Zealand has the largest variety of birds
  • .. we bought a tent in New Zealand? In the end we hardly used it, because it mostly rained when we weren’t staying with a host
  • .. looking back we would have been better off without a tent. At many campsites you can rent a cabin with only a bed (and sometimes a fridge and sink) for only € 10,- more than a camping spot. We didn’t know till after we bought our tent haha. We did use this option a few times, because it was a cheap way of spending the night and stay dry
  • ..we sold our tent (and everything that came along) for half of the money we bought it for? So we didn’t lose a lot of money
  • .. we slept in a pretty awesome red bus made into a camper? We celebrated Denny his birthday there
  • ..Denny ran his first marathon here? In Hanmer Springs, which wasn’t the easiest choice, because of all the mountains. He finished 2nd in his age category and 17th overall! Very well done!
  • ..Liv went from one cold to another? It seemed like the viruses there are different and she has been coughing the whole 2 months we were there. To top it off she got another cold/flu the night before we flew to Singapore, which almost ended in pneumonia…

Personal note

New Zealand was a trip with ups and downs. It is a wonderful country and we loved the North Island. Because everyone told us the South Island was even more beautiful, we had really high expectations. Our high expectations, the bad weather, the expensive excursions (again with high expectations because we don’t do those very often), trouble finding (good) accommodation, arguments back and forth, have all played a part in the fact that we had a few dips on South Island. Another factor is probably that we have been traveling for such a long time and moved to a new place every 2 or 3 days (with only once a 10 day stop in Toronto). After traveling for so long you just get “travel tired”. It’s a luxury problem, I know, but still pretty intensive. Anyway, like I said: ups and downs 🙂

Beside all this, 2 months for New Zealand was by far not enough. There is so much to see and do and everywhere you go it is amazing! Looking back we should have stayed on the North Island for 2 months and “save” South for later. But you don’t know until you experience it. I already made a long list of everything we want to see next time, because we do agree that New Zealand is awesome! We now understand why so many people started their life there!

Below you can find pictures of our high lights in New Zealand and also pictures of the photo shoots with our hosts.


And a few pictures that I took of our hosts