by Franziska Bährle
For me personally, I consider the money I spend on traveling to be one of the best investments I could make. I’m choosing the word “investment” on purpose. „Expense” wouldn’t quite fit in my opinion, as what you’re getting for it doesn’t just last for a limited time, you’re getting something back forever.
Yes, it sounds a bit corny indeed, but after every trip I’m being more and more confirmed that this statement is true – just like after that one to New Zealand.
Mid-September I arrived in Christchurch, ready for a three and half week holiday in New Zealand and five final days in Sydney afterwards.
I fell in love with New Zealand quite quickly. I’ve never seen such diverse landscapes and I’ve never had so many moments were I was simply speechless.
I travelled by bus, using the InterCity network and a so called “Flexipass“, which proved to be a good and quite cheap way. I spent the nights in hostels where I met a lot of cool people, amongst them quite a lot of Germans. Seriously – they are everywhere in New Zealand. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I’m not at home but actually as far away as I could practically be…
I’ll spare you all the details about my trip and won’t go for the “I’ve been here and then I did this and that and went there afterwards“ approach. There’s so much to tell about this trip and this country that it’s hard to get it all into a short post. I even found it hard to capture what I saw with my camera. I love photo – and especially videography, so I took my camera and filled a lot of space on my Mac with pictures and videoclips. However, I often had the feeling I wasn’t as able to show what I saw as I would have wanted in the pictures/recordings. Sure, you can never replace an experience by a picture or a video, but I only rarely felt this as much as I did in New Zealand. There was more than one moment where I was simply stunned by the beauty of the country, for example when I was on a hiking trip in Abel Tasman National Park (South Island), when I spent the day at Lake Tekapo (South Island), watched dolphins in the Bay of Islands (Paihia, North Island) or drove along the South Island’s west coast (probably the most amazing 10-hour bus trip of my life).
Anyway, I tried to „capture“ New Zealand in this Vimeo Video.
What was important to me when I shot those videos, was that I was still enjoying the landscape myself. I didn’t want to go somewhere, get my camera out, shoot my video and leave. My camera would have experienced more of the trip than me in this case…
I saw so many people rushing out of their car or bus, taking pictures of sights they thought they needed to have a picture of. Once they had done that they often left quickly. But they missed out on everything in my opinion.
I remember when I went to Lake Tekapo, the rest of the people on the bus were travelling on whilst I was staying there. Once we arrived at Lake Tekapo, their tour guide smiled at me and shouted „It’s PHOTO TIIIIIMEEEE“. I just watched everyone and thought „You are doing it wrong.“ A lot of people’s attention was given to the statue of a dog and the little chapel, probably because they were being featured in their travel guides. I’m pretty sure a lot of them totally missed out on the beauty of the lake. The unreal colours, the mountains, the vast. They may have it on their pictures (maybe not even that as they were too concentrated on the statue and the chapel), but they were too concentrated on achieving this and totally forgot to experience the place as well. I saw this a lot of times during this trip.
Lake Tekapo is one of the places where I didn’t expect that much, and afterwards promised myself that I will need to go back there.
And I promised myself the same for the whole country. Three and half weeks are by far not enough, which was clear to me before I went there. But before that I want to explore some more countries – and can’t wait to do so.
If anyone wants to know more details about my trip to New Zealand, do not hesitate to contact me.
Moreover, some of my pictures are on Flickr.
My itinerary was: Christchurch – Kaikoura – Lake Tekapo – Queenstown – Milford Sound – Punakaiki – Nelson/Abel Tasman National Park – Picton – Wellington – Rotorua – Whitianga – Paihia – Cape Reinga – Auckland