New Zealand is no longer a secret location for travelers. Many people come every year to enjoy the country´s beauty. With all the mass tourism and profit organized tour companies, you might start to think that you miss out when not paying for the exclusive travels during the best weather conditions.
However I felt New Zealand´s spirit the most during my 7 months of work and travel when I opened myself to let the country surprise me. By accident I arrived with my car at the less known Cannibal Bay going originally to the more famous neighbour beach. Tired of driving I walked down the beach, firstly finding nothing than windy, cloudy, spitting weather. But then at the far end I discovered the sea lions peacefully sleeping just rolling from one side to the other.
Milford Sound is a famous touristy place when there is good weather. However the day I did a boat tour, deep hanging clouds,strong winds and rain were less welcoming. Disappointed at first, a local saved my day by telling me all Maori myths and traditions, pointing out that this uninviting weather is the real Milford Sound atmosphere.
New Zealand is famous for its huge numbers of sheep. As I hiked up to the Isthmus Peak I was surprised that the whole area was used for sheep. When I reached the top of the mountain I could take a photo of them in front of the panoramic view, before the anxious sheeps ran away.
Another place is Farewell Spit. It is a long thin sandbank in the north of the South Island. In its sand dunes one felt alone like in a desert, however the wave pattern in the sand reminded me of the nearby ocean. Besides vast landscapes New Zealand has some bigger towns. Rotorua is definitely one of the most interesting ones, as you can feel here more than anywhere else that New Zealand is the result of tectonic plates shifting. The town sits in the middle of a thermally active area. In the city´s park one could see a big hot pool with steam rising only 50m away from a big street.