10 Really Fun Things I’ve Done in New Zealand (Not in Any Particular Order)

1. Beaches

In New Zealand, you’re never more than a half hour drive away from the coast. Liza and I have seen many beautiful sunsets like the one in the picture.

Fun Fact:

Minnesota has about 9 times as much coastline as New Zealand!


2. Camping

There are no dangerous animals in New Zealand so you don’t have to worry about getting mauled by a bear in your sleep when you’re camping here. Plus, with all of New Zealand’s natural beauty there’re plenty of great places to camp.


3. Hobbiton

Hobbiton is where the hobbits live in the Lord of the Rings movies. I’m not the world’s biggest Lord of the Rings fan (I believe that title belongs to Liza), but it’s nice to feel tall with all the hobbit sized houses (or Hobbit Holes as I’m sure Liza will yell at me for not using the proper name) around.


4. Lord of the Rings Tour

It made Liza happy plus we got to go a day without worrying about anything. 


5. Our 2nd WWOOFing Host

Earl, our 2nd WWOOFing host, was incredibly nice. He was working on subsistence farming, and I felt like I was really making a difference. He also made the world’s best bread, and I stole his recipe!

6. Working in Franz Josef

This is what we’re doing now. We’re working at a place called the Rainforest Retreat. It’s more of a hotel than a retreat. Liza and I have been doing house keeping in exchange for food and a room. The other house keepers are really nice. Most of them are from the Philippines and spend all day asking me questions about basketball.

7. Hiking to a View Point in Franz Josef

There are a ton of fun hikes nearby that start within walking distance of where we’re staying. It rains a lot here, but whenever we get a nice day we try to do one. We’ve done two so far.




8. Hiking to a Gorge in Franz Josef


9. Warm New  Year’s Eve

It was weird being outside on New Year’s Eve in shorts and a t-shirt. Picton, the town we were in, had a big celebration with a band playing whiny teenager covers of not whiny teenager songs. Then at midnight there were fireworks. It was pretty fun!

10. Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman wasn’t nearly as intense or isolated as Cajas was in Ecuador, but it was still very beautiful despite being so touristy.





5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy Rions on January 20, 2013 at 3:59 am

    ai’m glad you’re having some fun. New Zealand is beautiful !


  2. Posted by margie shaddrick on January 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    hey Thomas–got a new computer with windows 8–can Skype now–how does the tree grow on top of the big rock?–great pic of your hike to the gorge–beautiful!!!!!!!!! LOVE AND MISS YOU–TAY


  3. Posted by Jeannie on January 22, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Well Tom…I’m glad to see that New Zealand hasnt been a total bust and u seem to be enjoying it now. Im also so happy that u and Liza are working now!! How long til India??? Miss u…and arent u getting homesick yet???!!! Love and miss ya boy! !!


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