When you think New Zealand, you probably think sheep, sheep, more sheep, bungee jumping and some people talking in strong accents. You're not wrong but there is so much more to NZ. We set off to the North Island for a long weekend to discover it for ourselves.
A helicopter flight from Rotorua took us to the peak of snow-capped volcano Mt Tarawera with 360-degree views – while the temperature was minus something, the experience was breathtaking and entirely worth it. It is the kind of place you can picture unforgettable wedding proposals occurring.
My favourite view was from a private retreat at Huka Lodge at Taupo. This place was exquisite. It's often rented by big-name celebrities for a relaxing, peaceful, tranquil and entirely private escape from reality, and you can see why.
Mud, Glorious Mud
Fine company and some fancy tea helped us relax in a warm, geothermal mud bath in Rotorua. We had a tour of the geothermal park, learning some of the history. And we experienced geothermal energy first-hand, feeling the powerful heat rising from the ground before kicking back in the best mud bath ever (it leaves your skin feeling amazing).
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The Hilton Hotel in Auckland offered a huge, warm welcome, incredible service, views of the harbour, delicious buffet breakfast and a bed so comfortable it felt like a home away from home. Best of all, we were just a short stroll from endless entertainment, dining, transport and cafes.
Falling For NZ
An adrenaline-pumping jet boat ride (with a genuine and funny driver, I might add), dodging trees and narrowly missing rocks and cliff faces by millimetres led us to this divine and wondrous sight. Being sprayed by the chilling water was the least of our worries after witnessing the beauty of Huka Falls. Definitely recommended.
(Lead image: Getty)