There are many ways to experience New Zealand. You can save for years to make the trip a luxurious experience or you can take the route that my daughter and I took, tramping (hiking) and sleeping in tents, hostels, farmstays or B&Bs. Farmstays are places that usually cater to families and have fun experiences for children of all ages.
Marla’s Whoofing it up in New Zealand
My daughter, Marla, started our New Zealand adventure a few months before I joined in the fun. She spent weeks whoofing through the countryside of New Zealand helping farmers, ranchers and vineyard owners to work their land. For my American readers the term “whoofing” is probably an enigma. What it means is that you work part time for your room and board. While not for everyone, this option allowed my daughter to have an affordable experience of a lifetime.
During this experience she picked grapes, berries and other local produce, she helped to tend livestock and she helped in farmhouses and hostels. These experiences paid her room and board costs, while giving her the chance to really get to know the people and the land of New Zealand. The people who whoof work half a day and the other half they get to explore the countryside.
I Joined in On the Fun
Personally, whoofing through New Zealand is a good idea, but I really did not want to work on my vacation. So I cashed in my frequent flyer miles and met up with my daughter for a month of trekking through both the North Island of New Zealand and the South Island. At this point in Marla’s vacation she was ready to just focus on tramping, so that is what we did.
Our New Zealand adventure strategy was to alternate between luxury and roughing it. This allowed us to constantly be surprised and engaged with the activities that we tried out. Some of our destinations included Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington. Each location offered something unique and special.
At each stop along our trek we sampled local attractions and natural wonders. Some of my favorite attractions included the black water float trip through glow worm caves, the cultural attractions that focused on Maori culture, the great restaurants and the fabulous wine tasting tours. What is truly amazing about New Zealand is that it has so many different activities to choose between.
To cap off our trip we finished on the South Island where the glaciers are found. Here we took gondola rides, we hiked Fox Glacier, we explore the fjords of the South Island and we marveled at the only temperate forest parrots on the planet. All in all, it was a fabulous experience.