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JUST PASSING THROUGH // NEW ZEALAND WITH DIRTBAG DARLING



Just before passing through the airport doors upon landing in New Zealand, I paused, shifted my backpack on my shoulder, retied the laces on my Reef Rover LX and was ready for another adventure into the unknown.



There aren’t many places in the world that make your jaw drop on a daily basis. Then there’s New Zealand- the lack of people (there are just 4.5 million New Zealanders spread out over two islands), the variety of terrain (turquoise waters, otherworldly forests, gigantic waterfalls, misty fjords, and the most incredible mountains) and of course, the sheep (they outnumber the people 400 to 1, or so they say). 



I spent 16 days exploring both islands while living in a campervan, eating the snacks recommended to us by the locals at the grocery store, hiking, mountain biking, surfing, rock climbing, and kayaking.

From the ease of travel to the endless opportunity for adventure, it’d be easy to spend a lifetime in New Zealand without being able to pick your jaw up off the ground. But, when you’ve only got two weeks and want to hit both islands, here’s 12 places I suggest keeping on your checklist:


1. LAKE TEKAPU AND LAKE PUKAKI



2. AORAKI/ MT. COOK NATIONAL PARK



3. TASMAN GLACIER



4. CLAY CLIFFS



5. MILFORD SOUND



6. ROYS' PEAK



7. THE WEST COAST AND GLACIER REGION



8. GOLDEN BAY AND ABLE TASMAN



9. ROTORUA AND REDWOOD FOREST



10. TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK



11. WHANGAMATA



12. AUCKLAND