Good day, mate. Are you looking for a place for vacation during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year, but you want to escape the winter and the cold? But you don’t like the hot and humid tropical countries, then visiting New Zealand would be the perfect place for your vacation. New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, miles away from the southeast of Australia. Therefore, the weather is the opposite of the northern hemisphere. Therefore, when you are tired of snow and winter, maybe it’s time for a sunny warm holiday in New Zealand. 

The three main islands are the North Island, the South Island, and Stewart Island, also many smaller offshore islands. 

Auckland

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, and it’s built around 48 dormant volcanoes. If you are an adventurer, and interesting in sailing Auckland will be the first place you should visit. Auckland AKA “the City of Yacht,” because there is a bridge connects two sides of Auckland, and underneath the bridge, it’s a big harbor with thousands of yachts. When it’s sunny or windy outside, the harbor will be empty, because the yachts are sailing on the water. 

Hobbiton Movie Set

If you are a big fan of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, then you should come and visit the enchanting village of Hobbiton. There are 44 hobbit holes in The Shire, and each hobbit holes would tell a different story. Waiting to be explored by taking a guided tour, while experiencing the real Middle-earth. When you meander through The Shire, you will see the big party tree from all angles. The big party tree makes the Hobbiton look more realistic like the scene in the movie, so they build a giant artificial tree on the hills. Furthermore, there are thousands of artificial leaves were wired on the tree individually to complete the incredible detail.

The Hobbiton Movie Set is located in Matamata, New Zealand, and It’s about an hour’s drive from Auckland to get there. Hobbiton has become one of the most popular tourist attractions.

501 Buckland Road, Hinuera Matamata, 3472, New Zealand

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Piha Beach 

The geography of New Zealand is made up of long, slim islands. Therefore, you can reach the beach within an hour of driving from anywhere. Piha is about 40 kilometers West of Auckland, it only takes about 45 minutes’ drive, you can enjoy yourself on a beach. Piha beach, AKA surfer’s haven, is famous for its big wave, it’s tall, it’s big and it keeps on coming. If you into kite surfing or regular surfing, Piha is the must-go location, and it will not disappoint you. The beach always packed with people who are trying to catch the wave in the summertime.

Even though you don’t know how to surf with a surfboard, you can still enjoy surfing on the beach with a boogie board or a bodyboard. Getting into the water, splash each other, run and play is the perfect way to cool off from a warm Christmas.  

Tips Before you go

However, Piha on the list of the top of dangerous beaches, because the waves are so big, and riptide is very common. Therefore, you need to read the safety instructions before you get into the water. To avoid danger, you should try to stay between the two red pins and the crowd, because that’s the safe area where a lifeguard can offer help the quickest. 

While you are driving down to the beach, you will see a big rock stood up on the shoreline, which is the famous lion rock. It looks like the lion was sitting down on the sand and face you with his back. If you are going to Piha beach during the summer, you should wear sandals and be ready to run from the parking lots into the water. Because the black sand absorbs heat from the sun and just turns into a hot saucepan, you wouldn’t want to stand on the sand for long.

Rotorua

Rotorua is famous for its Maori culture, you can explore their traditions, customs, and history. While taking the tour, you experience the way Maori say hello, and the way people make piupiu (dancing) and learn a Maori song and dance. Besides the Maori culture, you might like to enjoy a good spa in hot water springs or a mud spa. After a long day of visiting, having a geothermal bath can be relaxing. After, you can dip into a mud pool and sock up the mineral from volcanic mud, to get better glowy skin. 

196 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua Central, 3010

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Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach is known as exactly how it sounds. The beach is on the Coromandel Peninsula in the Northern Island, and it is about 174 km or 2 and a half hours drive from Auckland. Don’t forget to bring a shovel with you to the beach. Because you can create your little nature spa by scooping out the sand letting hot water to exude, and that’s how to create your hot tube

Tips before you visit

Before you visit the beach, you should Google the tidal changes before you go, and it will save you some waiting time. If you arrive during high tide, the seawater will overflow the hot water. Therefore, within two hours either side of low tide is the best time to enjoy the thermal mineral water spring.

You need to be careful while you out in the hot pool, because the springs can get as hot as 147 °F (64 °C), therefore finding the perfect temperature is the key. The first step, you can stick your feet into the sand, and stay for 20 seconds, and see if you are feeling it’s too cold or too hot, if you don’t like the temperature, you could move 3 feet (a meter) to the left or right and test again. Until you find the one place you can comfortably stand for at least 20 seconds, then it’s time to dig.

Here is the question you might ask why I would put so much effort into a hot pool. First, you can customize your seat, you can seat however you comfortable with. Second, the water is organic, it’s eco-friendly, and it’s all-natural without chlorine and other chemicals. Hot Water Beach is the place you can’t miss out.

Cathedral Cove

If you are planning to head to Hot Water Beach, you should visit Cathedral Cove, too. Because they are only 10 to 20 minutes away from each other. Cathedral Cove is very famous for the look, and it is one of the “must visit” sites. Also, you might recognize Cathedral Cove from the movie, The Chronicles Of Narnia. There are three ways to visit Cathedral Cove, which is on foot, boat or kayak. Strongly recommend exploring the coastline by kayak, in the meantime, you can experience the underwater wildlife.

Address: Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, 3591, New Zealand

If you decide to travel to New Zealand, make sure you also check out this link below!!

What To Pack When Traveling Out Of The Country