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Queenstown, New Zealand

During a period of reflection in between in-flight movies on our 24+ hour trip back to New York, one word that came to mind when I thought of New Zealand was staggering - staggering in landscape, natural beauty, and scope and range of activities to experience there. It is a place best experienced a little outside of your Comfort zone and through challenging yourself both physically and mentally - whether it be hiking too high, driving too far, jumping out of a plane, freefalling from a bridge, settling into a cabin in the woods, pitching a tent in the Wilderness, swimming in ice cold water with wild dolphins, climbing a wall of ice (don't worry, Mom and Dad, we didn't do all of these things). New Zealand offers an endless range of opportunities to push yourself. At the same time, however, it is a country that gives you the choice to stop pushing yourself at any moment and simply sit back, relax, and Admire the spectacle. If you were simply going to drive around in your car, only stopping to get out for the panoramic views and breath in the fresh air, it would still be worth the price of a plane ticket. Also, despite the opportunities for hardship, New Zealand, in many ways is an incredibly easy country to travel through. Clean drinking water and food throughout the country, friendly and helpful (English-speaking) people, very little crime, excellent plumbing, well maintained roads and trails, cosmopolitan cities, and amazingly reliable guide/tour companies and service. It has the efficiency and convenience of a 1st world country while maintaining the undisturbed, isolated and vast nature of what often feels like an undiscovered, uninhabited, almost mythical continent.

Total Trip Driving Distance: ~1,700 Miles

Overall, we had an incredible trip and are looking forward to hopefully returning someday for more.

[Also - was able to upload some more photos. Some might appear within the blog entries, while others are in the "photos" section.]

permalink written by  bhkann on December 17, 2012 from Queenstown, New Zealand
from the travel blog: New Zealand, 2012
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