Summer travel update: New Zealand

In about three weeks, my friend and I are heading to New Zealand for an impromptu holiday — to be fair, not as unrehearsed or aspirational as simply hopping on a plane one fine morning, thanks to my Indian passport that requires some degree of preparation in order to get a travel visa.

We chose to limit our movements on the North Island on the account that neither of us drive and are restricted to relying solely on public transportation to move around. On the map below is the rough itinerary, with a mandatory trip to Hobbiton for me to indulge my Lord of the Rings nerdiness.

This is what the rundown looks like tentatively.

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Auckland
  • Day 2 – Auckland – Tongariro National Park
  • Day 3 – Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; probably the most daring thing I’ll be attempting in my life, hiking a 20km trail that passes through three active volcaones, including Mount Ngauruhoe which gained fame for being the stand-in for Mount Doom in the film trilogy. Going in April — Autumn in the southern hemisphere — also means harsh, cold weather, possible rain and thunderstorm and a rough volcanic terrain. How fun! But to be fair, from what I’ve seen so far, the photographs will always be worth it.
  • Day 4 – Tongariro National Park – Rotorua
  • Day 5 – Hobbiton! No explanation needed to be honest. Paying an inflated price for an hour-long walk through a beautiful sheep farm that happened to provide the setting for the Shire? Sign me up!
  • Day 6 – Rotorua
  • Day 7 – Rotorua – Auckland
  • Day 8 – Piha
  • Day 9 – Auckland
  • Day 10 – Return to Singapore

That looks do-able, but knowing my luck with trips like these, something unexpected is very likely to crop up and throw my carefully planned itinerary into the bin. For better or for worse remains to be seen, but there’ll be some fantastic opportunities for photography. I’m excited.

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