By Chiara Davies (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia).
During the summer holidays and over Christmas, I thought I’d make the most of my time on this side of the world… time to visit New Zealand AND Fiji!!!!
I’ve been lucky enough to visit some incredible places around Australia so far, but there’s so much to say about all of them that I’ll have to save those for a different post…
We flew to Queenstown, New Zealand, immediately after our end of semester exams to be greeted by the surprisingly cold sunshine – I had adapted to Australia’s heat a lot more than I thought I had! The temperature dropped more than ten degrees Celsius, from Australia’s forty degrees to New Zealand’s high twenties – it was no wonder we felt freezing. Thankfully, I brought a jumper and a pair of jeans which became my one and only outfit for the duration of my New Zealand trip.
Queenstown was absolutely beautiful. My favourite town in the world and I would love to retire there. It strangely felt homely to be in a colder, greener climate, even though I was completely on the other side of the world. It had a very ski chalet vibe throughout the town with its wooden log-cabin-esque style buildings. This is probably because it doubles as a ski town during the winter months, but it felt equally awesome in the summer. The scenery was amazing.
From Queenstown, we went stargazing at the top of one of the mountains and learned about the Southern Hemisphere’s astronomy. We also travelled to Milford Sound on a bus tour with more incredible scenery…
Next stop: Auckland!
We stayed with one of my housemate’s school friends who had moved out there with her family. It was lovely to meet them and give us a local’s perspective of the city. From Auckland we visited Waiheke Island which was vastly different to Queenstown’s ski town as it was almost tropical and complete with great weather, vineyards and beaches.
We then took a tour to Hobbiton, the movie set for the Lord of the Ring’s and Hobbit films! This was a LOT of fun and definitely worth visiting whilst in New Zealand!
We then took another flight to Fiji for a week of R’n’R. The sunsets were beautiful and the islands actually were like paradise.
An absolutely fantastic trip overall and I would recommend to anyone on this side of the world to check them out – especially New Zealand’s South Island (where Queenstown is). They’re worth saving up for!