Trisha and Mayank, New Zealand
Embarking across the stunning countryside for an epic 18-day road-trip, this couple savored everything New Zealand has to offer.
One’s wedding marks the start of a whole new journey. In the perfect metaphoric celebration of their new life, Trisha and Mayank set off on a picturesque road trip through the verdant spots and experiences New Zealand has to offer. Discovering the transcendental beauty of the country was a journey that was as sublime and transformative as it was memorable.
The bride shared her experience with us.
How They Met
Trisha shares, “We met at our first job in Hyderabad after college in 2012. We both were alumni of Delhi University and had common friends who introduced us. We started hanging out daily, and soon became best friends, stuck with each other through thick and thin and finally tied the knot in 2019 in Pune.”
“We had always wanted to go to South America for our honeymoon, but dropped the idea knowing that it would be raining at Machu Pichu at the time. We then considered New Zealand and Australia, hearing the lovely experiences some of our friends had there. One look at a few pictures of New Zealand and I was sold. We decided on a road trip from North to South Island in New Zealand, staying overnight at 13 places. Our choice of cities/towns was based on what all we wanted to do, which basically included a bit of everything that New Zealand has to offer.”
For their 18-day long trip across December and Jan 2019-20, the couple travelled across the country, mostly staying in quaint Airbnb’s for a homely, local experience. “We would highly recommend the same for anyone planning to visit, as it offers a much more personal experience. We also stayed at Four Points by Sheraton in Auckland and Astelia Apartment Hotel in Wellington. The places we visited were Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass Village, Franz Josef, Wanaka, Te Anau, Queenstown, Tekapo and Christchurch. Our favorites were:
Rotorua: The geothermal parks with bubbling mud pools, geysers and colorful hot pools were enthralling, to say the least.
Taupo: Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a region with three active volcanoes, was the most epic experience we have had as a couple. If we can climb a mountain as a team while motivating and helping each other, we can get through anything. It is clearly one of the best day hikes in the world!
Kaikoura: The wildlife encounter opportunities and the walk on the cliff-top walkway to view the surreal landscape where the mountains meet the sea, was simply so serene.
Wanaka: This was our favorite town. Built around a picture-perfect lake, it has a lively vibe with cute stores, bars, and cafes.
Queenstown: The adventure capital of New Zealand is not only thrilling but also very picturesque.
Tekapo: Stargazing in this dark sky reserve, watching the brilliant milky way shining bright in all its glory was a sight to behold.”
Best meal of the trip
“Considering I am non-vegetarian and Mayank is not, our best culinary experiences were varied. His favorite would have to be the veggie burger at Our Dog Friday in Tekapo. They were the only restaurant open after 9 pm in the small town and they made our day with their super delish burgers. My favorite meal was the chicken salad with bacon aioli and pineapple relish at Atticus Finch in Rotorua. The meal was heaven on a plate and the service was top notch.”
Most romantic moment
“Our most romantic moment was at the Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown. Lounging privately in the candle-lit hot pool while enjoying a glass of bubbly and the astounding view of the canyon beyond would definitely stay in our memories for a lifetime.”
Advice for couples
“While there is a ton to list here, the absolute must have experiences would include Hot Pools, Polynesian Spa and Onsen Hot Pools among the best. Don’t miss a cruise through Milford Sound, exploring Wanaka, its vineyards and lavender fields, swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura, Heli-hiking on the Franz Josef Glacier and Tandem Bungee or Swing in Queenstown. Also, try and have picnics at random picturesque spots. Those moments of love amidst natural beauty are some of our most cherished memories.”
“If you don’t like commercial, crowded places, avoid Hobbiton. It is great for pictures but just about average as an experience. Huka Falls in Taupo and Arthur’s Pass National Park also didn’t spark any joy. Finally, instead of large boats for your Milford Sound Cruise, stick to the small ones for a more intimate experience.”
Hotels We Stayed At
Four Points by Sheraton, Auckland
Astelia Apartment Hotel, Wellington
Kinloch Farmstay Retreat near Taupo
Private, Tasteful Studio, Wanaka
Koa Tui Cottage, Te Anau