A trip to Kiwiland

Up the glacier in Mount Cook

On the 29th of April to the 13th of May, my family and I went for a holiday to New Zealand, which is also known as Kiwiland. I am going to explain the highlights of our trip here. Our plan was to drive all around the country and visit the beautiful sceneries of New Zealand. We left from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 11.45pm and reached New Zealand at 6.40am. We landed at the Auckland International Airport which is in north island. On the day of our arrival, my dad’s friend picked us up and sent us to our hotel. We stayed in a really nice city hotel penthouse that was so big and luxurious. I really loved the hotel that we stayed there. We spent the whole day with my dad’s friend and he brought us around Auckland city. On the next day, we had a tour around Auckland. Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand.

In one of the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours

The next day, we departed from Auckland to a small town called matamata to go for a hobbiton movie set tour. It was a really interesting 3 hours tour of how the movie “Lord of the rings” and “The Hobbiton” was filmed. I learned a lot about the 2 famous movies and also manage to visit a lot of the sets where the movie was filmed. The tour even ended by giving each one of us a cup of ginger beer which tasted really good! After the tour, we continued our journey to another small town called Rotorua. We stayed in Rotorua for the night.

The following day, we went to a famous geothermal area called Waiotapu. Waiotapu, also spelt Wai-O-Tapu (Māori for “sacred waters”) is an active geothermal area at the southern end of the Okataina Volcanic Centre, just north of the Reporoa caldera, in New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is 27 kilometres south of Rotorua. Due to dramatic geothermal conditions beneath the earth, the area has many hot springs noted for their colourful appearance. In addition, we manage to make it for the Lady Knox Geyser show at 10.50am. There were many different pools to see such as Champagne Pool, Artist’s Palette, Primrose Terrace and boiling mud pools. After the visit, we visited a hot spring pool which was located in Rotorua. We enjoyed our time relaxing there.


On the next day, we left Rotorua to visit Huka Falls. The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo in New Zealand. A few hundred metres upstream from the Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from approximately 100 metres across into a canyon only 15 metres across. The scenery here was breathtaking and I really missed the sight of it. After that, we went to Lake Taupo. Lake Taupo is a lake in the North Island of New Zealand. It is in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano. With a surface area of 616 square kilometres (238 sq mi), it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. After visiting these places, we left for our road drive to Wellington. The drive took us about 5 hours. Although it was a tiring drive, we still enjoyed spending time together as a family. We reached Wellington in the evening and checked in at a guest house.

In Wellington, we had a lot of friends that has migrated there. We met up with many of them and some of them brought us around the city. After spending a few days there, we took an internal flight from Wellington Airport to Christchurch. After our arrival, we rented a car and drove to Lake Tekapu. We visited on of the smallest church which is the church of the good shepherd. After that, we drove all the way up to Mount Cook which was a 3 hours drive up the mountains. Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height since 2014 is listed as 3,724 metres (12,218 feet), down from 3,764 m (12,349 ft) before December 1991, due to a rockslide and subsequent erosion. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. We tried a few of the mountain climbing tracks such as the Tasman Glacier View track. That night, we stayed in a backpackers hostel for one night and it was a great experience we have never experienced. We had dinner at a hotel restaurant in Mount cook and the food there was great. On our way back to our hotel after dinner, it was so foggy and moreover it was winter, we could not even see the roads. The visibility was about 100 metres and it was so challenging to even see anything in front of us. On the next day, we went for a Hellicopter and ski plane ride to the glacier on top of Mount Cook. We also had the chance to land on top of the glacier to catch some amazing pictures there. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. After we were done with the flights, we left Mount Cook for Cromwell.

In Cromwell, we were supposed to go for cherry-picking unfortunately, the season ended early, and we did not manage to do it. On the next day, we left for Te Anau. In TeAnau, we stayed the night to await our trip to Queenstown the next day.

On the cruise at Milford Sound

On the next day, we went to one of the 10 wonders of the world which is Milford Sound. Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. We manage to get a cruise ride around Milford Sound. After that, we drove to Queenstown.

In Queenstown, we spent about 3 days. Queenstown (Māori: Tāhuna) is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. It has an urban population of 15,850 (June 2018), making it the 27th-largest urban area in New Zealand. In 2016, Queenstown overtook Oamaru to become the second-largest urban area in Otago, behind Dunedin. We went for a jetboat ride there in Queenstown and the ride was really fun. The wind was really strong and all our hair got tangled up after the ride. On the next day, we went up the hill through the gondola rides. We signed up for luge rides and we had loads of fun. We also had a really luxurious buffet lunch up the hill in a hotel before we took the gondola back down. After that, we had a tour around Queenstown.

After the jet boat ride

The next day, we had to travel back to Auckland to catch our flight back to Malaysia. We took an internal flight back to Auckland and then back to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. In conclusion, the 2 weeks trip was really amazing and I really enjoyed myself. We also enjoyed the time spent together as a family.  If I have a chance, I surely do want to go back to Kiwiland one day.