We hit the road to capture some of the beauty of New Zealand through the lens of some of Australia’s top Instagrammers. Landing in Auckland, Flight Centre took Luke Shadbolt, Pauly Vella, Garry Norris, Matt Glastonbury and Melissa Findley on a whirlwind journey through the North and South Islands.
From cruising around Auckland on Harley Davidson’s to zip-lining through the tree tops of Waiheke Island, we made our way up the Coromandel Peninsula to star gaze over bioluminescent waters in small beach towns. We made a quick stop at Hobbiton and feasted with locals at the Green Dragon before flying to Wanaka on the South Island.
We really got our adrenaline pumping in Wanaka, where we flew through Mount Aspiring National Park in helicopters and landed on a glacier for some fun in the snow before flying down to our jet boat to weave through the crystal clear waters of Lake Wanaka. If that wasn’t enough, we got our Instagrammers back up in the sky to fly over the region in a tiger-moth plane minutes before boarding our plane back to Australia.
But we’ll let them tell you what their favourite moment of the trip was...
“My favourite moment was, without a doubt, landing knee deep in snow on the glacier in the middle of Mount Aspiring National Park. Feeling so small, walking out to the edge overlooking enormous valleys, frozen waterfalls and frozen lakes was just incredible,” Melissa said.
"One of my favourite experiences of the New Zealand adventure was the Classic Flights tiger moth adventure over Lake Wanaka. It was such a great experience to get geared up in the overalls, sit back in the small aircraft and fly over such a beautiful, scenic town. The weather was just perfect, showcasing the snow-capped mountains against the blue sky,” Pauly said.
"I'd never been on a helicopter before, so the flight around the mountains was a definite highlight. Living in Wanaka basically sounds like an adult's adventure playground, it is pretty tempting to just move there and get a helicopter licence and go mountain biking and sky diving and snowboarding and any other number of adventure activities. Not to mention the incredible scenery! All of New Zealand was amazing though... Great Pinot Noir as well,” Luke said.
“My favourite moment is from Lake Wanaka. This was one of those moments that you just need to sit back and take in the breathtaking scenery around you; crystal clear lake, snow capped mountains and autumn leaves, what more could you ask for,” said Garry.
“I don’t know how to compare a dream coming true, like walking amongst the Lord of the Rings movie set to flying over my friends perched on top of a glacial mountain with the biggest waterfalls I’ve never even begun to imagine. Trying to compare riding along the North Island coast on a Harley, to jet boating through the South Island lakes or hiking around a volcanic lake, is just impossible.
“Spending time in Wanaka touched my heart in a special way. There’s something incredible about that place! Its people, its ancient beauty, its variety of experiences, just... Wow! All I can say is: I’m going back. I don’t know how or when yet, but I’m definitely going back,” Matt said.