Paul Corbett is the founder of MyPostcardFrom. A web developer
with a passion for travel, Paul has circumnavigated the world three
times and still ranks New Zealand as one of his greatest ever
There's nothing more rewarding when travelling than to immerse
yourself in foreign cultures. Eating different cuisines, following
local traditions and experiencing new adventures are all integral
to leaving home whether it's for a two-week holiday or a yearlong
backpacking trip around the world.
However, eventually you'll yearn for familiarity, a sense of
being back home in comfortable surroundings. Being from the UK we
found that place in New Zealand.
It's difficult to get any further from the UK than the opposite
side of the globe and New Zealand, yet still feel as though
everything around you reminds you of home.
We'd based ourselves in the main hub of Auckland towards the top
of the North Island. For six months we got to know the city's nooks
and crannies from the leafy suburbs around the base of Mt Eden and
One Tree Hill to the outlying islands in Waitemata Harbour,
Rangitoto and Waiheke.
Our favourite places lay along to coastline of the North Shore.
Catching the ferry across the harbour to Devonport and making our
way up to the quiet sandy beaches of Mairangi Bay and Browns Bay is
a memory that will last a lifetime.
Heading south through the North Island is a mix of adventure and
We caught a glimpse of glowworms in the caves of Waitomo,
relaxed in a natural hot spring jacuzzi overlooking the lake in
Rotorua and studied the art deco buildings of Napier on the east
coast, rebuilt in the 1930s following a devastating earthquake.
Another favourite pastime was the hours spent prawn fishing in
Taupo. As boring as it sounds the everlasting memory of one of our
captured creatures leaping from the bucket and scrambling back into
the water makes us laugh just at the thought.
Rolling green fields lead you to the capital of Wellington
located at the far south of the island. We never struggled to find
a place to grab a coffee or a tasty meal in the city and our only
disappointment was that we didn't find the time to explore every
floor of the stunning Te Papa Museum.
In stark contrast to the North Island is the towering snow
capped mountains of the South Island.
In Kaikoura we rose early in the morning to spot sperm whales
popping up from the ocean floor and attempting to grab that picture
perfect moment of the tail of a descending whale with the
Throughout our journey in the South Island we were never far
away from the mountain ranges and no more so than the night we
spent in the shadow of New Zealand's tallest peak, Mt Cook. The
mist had descended over the tip but the following morning we were
rewarded with the sun shining over the magnificent view.
The far southwest of the island held it's crowning glory. The
drive to Milford Sound is one of the best journeys we have ever
made. Full of greenery, gurgling streams, the single lane Homer
Tunnel to the finale as we descended through the mountains to the
Sound. A boat trip along the water got us closer to towering
waterfalls and the sleepy seal residents.
From the relaxation of Milford Sound to the excitement of the
small town of Queenstown. It has a reputation as the adventure
capital of the world and they are not wrong. We spent five days at
the lakeside location in which we skiied in The Remarkables,
skidded through canyons on a jet boat and, our favourite moment of
our New Zealand journey, rafted the white water of the Shotover
New Zealand may seem an island on the far side of the world, yet
there was so much familiarity about the country. So while looking
for new cultures, new tastes and new adventure we stumbled on a
country that felt very much like home.
Read more about Paul's adventures in New Zealand on his blog My
Postcard From on twitter at @mypostcardfrom
or find him on facebook/
Don't have six months to explore? Why not take a cruise around
New Zealand and take in all the sights in one trip? Visit our
destinations page to find the right cruise for you.