After experiencing the epic beauty of the South Island, Rob and I were both a bit blasé about heading to the North Island — I mean, yes we were super excited, but thought it just wouldn’t be able to live up to what we just encountered. Luckily for us, we were so wrong!
It’s true that the North Island isn’t quite as scenic in the same way as the South, but it also has much more to do! We spent our first few days in Lake Taupo and actually just relaxed a bit! Besides a day trip to Wai-O-Tomo Volcanic Park, our days were spent walking the lake, enjoying room service, watching movies, and feeding the ducks. We both needed a bit of rejuvenation and this was the perfect little town to do it in!
We headed a bit further North and did our favorite excursion of the entire vacation — abseiling 320+ feet into a cave where we went spelunking! Our guides on the Lost World tour were incredible and took some awesome photos for us that we got to enjoy! All these photos were taken by Fish and Scott at Waitomo Adventures. We finished out the day exploring the glowworm caves nearby. To be completely honest, this is one of the most hyped activities on the entire Island, but for us, was a big let down! The caves were absolutely beautiful to see, but you only had a few minutes to see them before moving on. Still worth it, but just managing expectations for future visitors!
The next AM we woke up, to Rob’s delight, to visit The Shire! Yes, we of course went to Hobbiton! I’ve seen all the movies, but didn’t really get into them like he did and even I can say it was a really cool experience! The set is enormous and the level of detail is just unreal. You can tell a ton of thought, time, and money went into making this spot just perfect. Little known fact, they actually ripped it down after LOTR and then had to rebuild it again for The Hobbit trilogy — yikes!
For our final evening, we headed up to Cathedral Cove to visit one of NZ’s stunning beaches. We went sea kayaking in the AM and enjoyed hot chocolate overlooking the endless ocean. It truly was the perfect end to an amazing trip. I don’t know where we will head next, but this one will be hard to beat!