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Drizzles, showers, sheep, fog and finally a very beautiful Lake Tekapo quietly soaking in all the rainwater. That’s how New Zealand welcomed us. All the homework, months of planning and the excitement that had been brewing through our courtship shook for a while. Is this honeymoon doomed right from the beginning? – We wondered! But the weather gods decided to be kind to us and our two-week trip to this little country was nothing short of a dream. Some of us are lucky enough to find a partner who loves the things we love and when I found mine I thanked all my lucky stars for he is as passionate about travelling as I am. Common friends and relatives introduced us to Pritish at “A Travel Duet” (ATD) and he and his team took charge soon enough. Our idea of a honeymoon consisted of seclusion, nature, experiencing local activities and unexplored properties – away from the hustle and crowds. Stuff that’s definitely not made up of seven star properties. All credit to ATD for clearly decoding our passions and hooking us up with some of the most unique experiences that New Zealand has to offer.
After a short stay at Tekapo, where we enjoyed the evening at Tekapo Springs hot pools, we drove to Queenstown the next morning. What makes a holiday truly exciting is not the stuff you plan but the unplanned bits. One such unplanned sight was this lake on our way – vast, serene and endlessly blue.
Queenstown is Nz’s adventure playground. The streets are buzzing with activities, restaurants, quirky stores and things to do. A jump from the skies is a recommended activity and so is an evening under the stars at Onsen hot pools. If you’re a couple you must keep hot pools at the top of your to-do list, wherever possible. But the real surprise that took our breath away was a short helicopter ride to a ledge on the other side of Lake Wakatipu giving us unmatched views, total seclusion and a private couple photoshoot during sunset – a memory that will last us a lifetime. Glenorchy and Arrowtown – two little towns not far away, are definitely worthy of short visits too.
If you really want to experience authentic NZ style hospitality then you must stay at a luxury lodge. Our helpful hosts, who also happened to be marvelous cooks, treating us to homemade peach-almond muffins, pavalovas and relishes, were the perfect guides. Here we indulged in jet boating, flights above glaciers and took short walks through forests. The honeymoon kept getting better and better!
Our journey then took us further upwards on the west coast of New Zealand’s south island. Franz Joseph, Westport and Nelson were our next haunts. Being on a road trip had its advantages – we’d stop on the way for coffee and dessert or stop at various points to indulge in photography, a hobby we are both passionate about. Imagine being surrounded by a forest, a bee farm, an orchard, a lake with ducks and outdoor bathtubs – all to yourself. That’s how we stayed in Westport and that experience, as my husband puts it – was the cherry on the cake. Walks, vegetable picking, honey tasting and losing sense of time – relaxation to the hilt.
The last leg of our journey in south island saw us visiting the art city of New Zealand – Nelson and the coastal area of Abel Tasman National Park. While Nelson fulfilled my hunger for art galleries, beautiful sunsets and a romantic six course Valentine dinner; Abel Tasman is a beach lover’s paradise. If flying a stunt plane is something your system can digest, head to Motueka for a round of stunt plane flying. While the hubby waltzed over the Tasman sea and took 360 degree turns in a two seater air craft, I patiently munched on some fruit while praying for his good health. No, really.
While I scroll through my photographs from the trip – I can recall the taste of fresh honey, the views at each turn, the feeling that one experiences in a pool under the stars and the warmth of the various people who we met during our stay and I find that my words and photos fall short of describing how pure New Zealand really is. Experience it first hand and you will have your own story of bliss to recount.
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