If there is one place in the world that has my heart like no other, it is the always beautiful New Zealand.
I first visited in 2013, spending an entire month traversing the width and length of both the North and South Island in a beat up old camper van. What an adventure it was. What a place it is. From the unobstructed ocean views at Cape Reinga all the way down to the epic scale of Milford Sound and everything in between, New Zealand has so much to offer those seeking an escape into the wilderness, without ever feeling too far from civilisation.
As was no doubt the case with many others, my desire to visit New Zealand was induced after seeing the Lord of the Rings films for the first time. Peter Jackson's ability to balance the telling of Tolkien's timeless tale while showcasing a landscape that was decidedly 'Middle-Earth' is a juggling act that could not have been easy.
For us, the real hero of those films was New Zealand herself, in all her glorious beauty. Seeing it firsthand with my own eyes did not disappoint! As an Australian visiting our close allies 'across the ditch', it is hard to imagine so much adventure and scale packed into such a small place! New Zealand makes it seem so easy, all the while without making the place feel crowded.
Some of my best and brightest memories have been experienced in New Zealand. I've hiked to some incredible mountaintops and have recently purchased an acre of land in picturesque, blue sky Wanaka. It is a place I will one day call home.
New Zealand, you were my first love. I have loved you so much that I continue to return to your shores time after time. Looking ahead, it is a place I know I will always return to.