By Jacob Laukaitis
I’ve been traveling the world for the past 3.5 years and I had the chance to explore quite a few gorgeous places in different parts of the world. However, I knew I couldn’t say a certain place was really beautiful before I explored New Zealand.
Everyone kept telling me it’s the most picturesque country in the world and I knew it’ll be nice… but I could never have anticipated how out-of-this-world it actually was.
#1 I flew to Auckland, bought a 1996 Mazda SUV car and began my trip all around New Zealand
#2 I knew the country will be beautiful, but i could never have anticipated how out-of-this-world it actually was
#3 At first i went to the Northernmost Point in all of New Zealand that looked like a dream. Then… I started going South
#4 A few days later i hiked the highest volcano in the country (which is also a place where they filmed “The Gates of Mordor” for The Lord of The Rings)
#5 The next morning i crossed the famous Tongariro Crossing that took me over 20 kilometers across gorgeous mountains, valleys and lakes
#6 Eventually i made my way to the South Island and that’s where the real fun began
#7 First off i went to the Abel Tasman National Park and hiked 70 kilometers literally all across it in just 2 days
#8 Then i proceeded to Wanaka, which was the most beautiful town i visited throughout the whole trip. Why?
#9 Because this… is just one of the places i casually visited during my time there
#10 On my last day in Wanaka i decided to see it all from above and thus i jumped from a plane at 4,500 meters above the ground. That was fun.
#11 Then i proceeded to Queenstown, a little town in the South that claims some of the most beautiful surroundings ever!
#12 Not only that, they have the world’s first commercial bungee jump, which i of course couldn’t miss
#13 That same day i went to the very South, into the Fjordland National Park that’s bigger than Cyprus, Qatar, Jamaica and many other countries
#14 It took me over 2 hours to trek to this lake, but i had it all to myself since it’s so remote. What a gorgeous place!
#15 Then i started going back up North by stopping here and there. This was one of the short hikes I did during those stops. I mean… what?!
#16 Eventually i ended up at the foot of Mt. Cook – New Zealand’s highest and most dangerous mountain
#17 The sunset that day was… magical. I was sitting there thinking: “How can this be real life?”
#18 Then I began making my way back to Auckland, where I’d sell my car and officially finish this breathtaking adventure
#19 However, before I did that I simply had to visit the real Middle-Earth – the Hobbiton. It was too touristy for my taste, but i was extremely happy to finally see it real-life
#20 All in all, it was a wonderful adventure i will never forget. And once again… HOW CAN THIS COUNTRY BE REAL? I have absolutely no idea
By Jacob Laukaitis