This April I decided it was time for a big trip and decided on New Zealand. I can't really say how I came to this conclusion but I mean it's New Zealand, it's gotta be rad, and boy was it. I took a couple weeks off of work and made the trek. Man it's a long way though, pretty much 20-24 hrs straight of traveling.
I flew into Queenstown, which is where I'd base my trip out of. I first had to go through Auckland on the North Island and then it's just a couple hours on a puddle jumper down. I rented a tiny car for the duration of the trip which made getting around super easy. Queenstown is an amazing place. Iv'e never met so many nice people and to my surprise there weren't actually that many Americans there although it's a pretty heavy tourist destination. I stayed in hostels each night while I was there which was actually pretty challenging because I was also there during NZ's student holiday.
While in Queenstown I obviously took advantage of the amazing mountain bike and bmx scene while I was there. I rented bikes and caught some chairs, shuttles, and some word class single track. I could go back again just to bike for weeks on end.
After running around Queenstown for a handful of days it was time to set out on the one thing that I did plan in advance, a multi-day hike in the mountains just north of Queenstown out of Glenorchy where I'd be staying two nights in huts and another two nights tenting it. This was easily the most epic "camping" experience I've ever been on and I luckily had perfect weather the entire time.
After being out in the mountains for four days I was in need of a little R and R and I found an awesome little bed and breakfast down in Kingston right on the lake. The couple moved down from Auckland the year before and kitted their house out with bunks and a suite made out of their shipping container that they used to bring their belongings down in. The guy had a set of dirt bikes that he took me out on and they also had kayaks which I used daily. Chickens meant fresh eggs every morning!
With just a few days left before needing to go home, ugh, I headed to the village of Roxburgh to stay with a couple that I found on airBNB. I had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome that is. They had a little hut back on their property that I stayed in and I was even able to do some hunting. The owner took me out for stags and rabbits. It was a truly incredible experience that I could have never seen coming. It turns out that in New Zealand you don't need any licenses or permits for stags or rabbits because their are no native mammals to the island. They are basically pests that have no predators because they were brought in for sport many many years ago by English settlers.