I think many of you are aware of the feeling of the unknown and excitement, before travelling to a country you’ve never been to, but one that always attracted you Given that it is also the most remote country I’ve ever set off to, my feelings before travelling to New Zealand will become quite transparent to you New Zealand Big Episode Few words on hotels first The way I chose to explore this country, also happens to be my favourite! It implies no plans and no goals, and I just have places in mind that I want to see There will be no preliminary bookings and this is where Hotels part of Aviasales app comes in handy! I believe you are familiar with it already! It’s biggest advantage is that it searches all offers across the web, including travel agents Basically you search in one place, and then go for the best offer, whilst variety of built in filters, will make your search super convenient Tonight, I plan to stay in a place called Gisborne, let’s go for something reasonably priced I think it’ll be this one Let’s book it! Simple as that, guys! About time I introduce you to my team Meet Mazda 2, known to government as HRR27, it has already done 105’000 miles This car has seen it all! New Zealand comprises two pretty substantial islands, nothern and southern My job is to visit both of them, from beginning to their end Yep, there is a ferry between them Only problem is that I only have 8 days, and whether I’ll manage to see and film everything, along this 2000km road trip and 8 days, is a massive question! But, as always, life is boring without issues – Alright darlings, let’s cut to the chase shall we? – New Zealand is next level, it’s ecstatic – and is better than anything you’ve seen before Wait a seeeeecond Who is this random girl doing the voice over? – I am not random, Specs! – But a featured star of the show! Ok superstar, thanks! It is my turn now! Alright my darlings Oops, wrong script Munchkins, for the next week and a half, you will join me doing something I absolutely love, a road trip across the whole country, filming everything we deem fit A third of New Zealand is dedicated to National Parks, and that can only mean that this place must be drop dead stunning! Oh, and there are no snakes here either, hello Australia Secondly, it is the last land that was ever populated, which happened only 1000 years ago and means that most of the country still remains untouched You can basically become part of the wild nature, that has hardly suffered from humanity, which is incredibly rare nowadays Just before we indulge in WOWs and OHs, let’s go over the possible difficulties you may encouter, when planning your first visit to New Zealand First, is the location, as New Zealand is god knows where, and if you look at the map, you’ll find NZ right at the edge of it! To get you acquainted with how far it is, until recent time, the longest direct flight in the world, was between Doha in Qatar, to Auckland in New Zealand, amounting to 14000km and nearly 18 hours of flight! Quite ridiculous if you ask me! Another issue apart from the flight costs,
is an unbearable jetlag! The time difference between Kiev and NZ is 11 hours, making it near impossible to get prepared for it! Hawaii is worse though, with a 12 hour time difference Hence, I am literally dying right now! You might have noticed, is that this is a left hand drive country, which may steer you off from renting a car, but to be frank, it is nothing critical! All in all, you need 20/30 mins to get used to it, then you just stop noticing, that you are driving on the wrong side of the road Since the debrief is done, let’s shift to the beauty of this land Cows More cows Corn Lot’s of corn and that’s about it for now Yep, you are not blinded by the beauty after leaving Auckland, and the scenery seems to be pretty standard Places like Iceland for example, are next level beautiful from the get go You don’t even have to go anywhere Here on the other hand, the sights are quite common to us, with typical roads and towns It’s clean and tidy, but nothing that can wow you to the bottom of your soul I shall wait then! As we drive into the country, let’s see what makes NZ popular First, it’s kiwi, and you are gazing over a plantation of it This name though, is also shared with the national symbol of NZ, the Kiwi bird, or birdie to be more precise NZ is also home to vineyards, but it is only later on the Southern Island, that we will touch on the local wine New Zealand is an extremely green country, both directly and indirectly Locals strive for the country to be recognised as the greenest country in the world, whilst local cattle should really be called grand cattle, munching grass on elite fields Deers are bred here in absolutely enormous herds, herds of such scale, that they would put Chukotka’s herders to shame any day of the week Alternative energy is also thriving, since New Zealand became the first country in the world, to levy the carbon tax Locals are absolutely fixed on keeping their country in its original pristine state, and NZ is the first coutnry at a border of which I was asked if I carry a tent, that was recently set up in another country The rubbish and its recycling situation is also on point! Tissues are from recycled material, you get free coffee if you bring your cup, whilst grocery bags come in paper and fabric variants and people do use them! There are plastic bags too, but they are all labelled as multi use This whole movement made me want to be a part of it, so I also went and bought a local bag) Grocery shops are packed with organic fruits and veg, including potatoes, blueberries, pears and of course, the organic chicken To summarise it all, NZ makes an impression of a very eco friendly country Still let’s not deviate from the main pillar, that we know this country for One very well known movie! Of course it is Lord of the Rings! This is what we know New Zealand for! The film became a true pillar of this country, and nearly every shop sells a guidebook that can take you to most scenes from the film In total, the trilogy brought around $200million to the country, whilst government set out a department, responsible for seeking out ways to profit even more from the film At the same time the treasury, issued $1 coins with a picture of the ring The central location tied to a film, is the Hobbiton A real film set, located 2 hours away from Auckland, naturally became my first destination It’s a place that will make film fans scream with joy, as it is packed to the brink with the film props What’s interesting, is that Hobbiton is an operating farm with tractors and cows, and tourists get transported on specialised busses The landscape on the other hand is pretty standard, and reminds of a slightly altered Toscana It was by pure coincidence that this film set was found, as the producers happened to fly over over it in a helicopter, landed for a chat with the owner, and the rest is history The beauty of this place, is that right from the beginning of your bus trip, you are greeted by Peter Jackson, the producer of the trilogy and 3 times Oscar award winner Oh and the side steps are everywhere here, since this is hobbits’ land.) Welcome to Hobbiton, a place with a crazy cool atmosphere and home for 44 hobbit’ houses Here, butterflies flitter near the apple trees, ducks stroll around minding their business,
and just 5 minutes later, you find yourself so soaked into the atmosphere, that you start expecting Frodo to appear from one of these houses It is thanks to Peter Jackson and his attention to detail that you feel such strong feeling of presence Hobbit’ classifieds, like a wheelbarrow for sale add even more to the magic of presence! To be honest with you, I doubt all these details were visible in the films, but it is this attention to details that makes it clear why this film received 17 Oscars I have to show you this place with people in the frame, as otherwise it is impossible to understand the scale Everything is so tiny, that even a chess board is absolutely microscopic! Well, it is all down to perspective! This may seem as an average house, but as soon as you have something to compare it to, it all becomes much more interesting Absolutely everything is miniature Watering pots and benches of course! The extent to which production team took it, goes far beyond any rules of common sense For example they needed a lush tree for a scene, and ended up recreating one Just take a guess which one it is This one! Yep It is an artificial tree with 200’000 leaves, that were made, painted and attached by hand! Incredible isn’t it?! I would have never taken it for artificial from afar only if I were to look closer There is also a hobbit pub where you get treated to free ale both alcoholic and non alcoholic Peter Jackson used to brew his own beer here, but made it light, so the extras would drink, but retain productivity during working hours Great way of keeping people on the set for 12 hours! Peter Jackson is a smart guy, I tell you! To summarise, it’s been long time since I enjoyed an excursion this much! Hobbiton is an amazing place and I truly envy you if you haven’t watched the trilogy yet Don’t miss out, as it is stellar film! We are now somewhere here on the Northern Island Logical thing to do would be to head South, towards the ferry, but I will instead do a 450km detour towards Gisborne, located in the most Eastern part on New Zealand Later, you will see why, but for now let’s drive and explore! I’ve been told many times prior to this trip, that NZ boasts the most diverse nature that can ever be found on this planet Well, first top marks definitely go to ocean and beaches, as they are truly top notch! surfing too! Still, the best thing about it is the realisation of how far away my backpack and I are from home! I still can’t believe that I am in New Zealand! Jeeeesus! It’s 6.47am, sunrise is expected to be in 10 minutes and I think it’s time to tell you the purpose of coming here Gisbourne is the most Western beachfront of NZ, and there is nothing outstandaing about it, apart form one single thing It’s locals are the first people in the world who see the sunrise every morning! This gives me goosebumps!) Gisbourne is located on 178 meridian, whilst the imaginary line from which every day is counted, can be found on the 180th meridian, which is 400km away from here To be super precise, Samoa population is even closer to that meridian, but since earth is not flat, Gisbourne is the first place which the sun rays reach, and today I’ll be one of the first people on earth who will see the sunrise! at least I am hoping to be the first! Isn’t this outstanding?))) Outstanding is the fact, that I pointed my camera in the wrong direction, and sunrise is actually hidden behind the hills Still, nothing can stop us now! First person in the wold to see sunrise – TICK
Trust me guys, I am not a fan of exaggeration but for this moment alone I have travelled extensively far, so even if there is someone who saw the sunrise earlier on that day, I simply don’t want to know of it! This is why I declare myself to be the first human that saw the sunrise on the 5th of March 2019 Great feeling, this! There are many beautiful places on earth, some are accessible by car and some aren’t, and NZ earns another point here, as be it the mountain passes or the ocean drives, the roads are absolutely excellent You just enjoy every second of your drive! Here is an interesting lifehack I bet many of you seek out free wifi hotspots during your travels, and I bet so because I am the same But I am also confident that none of you know, that quarter of all free wifi spots in the world aren’t protected nor encrypted! This means that when you connect to such wifi, someone can simply access all your personal data I am sure you are now thinking that this is something that doesn’t concern you, but here are the stats There were over $1.5 trillion stolen by cyber hackers in 2018! A solid solution to this is to protect your data, and you can join me and 650 million other users, who use a VPN app called HotSpot Shield It masks my IP address and encrypts data, making access to it literally impossible! The app doesn’t store any user data, hence you will be surrounded by complete privacy You can get the app via the link below, and go about your browsing, fully protected and wherever you are! Even here, in New Zealand!) Despite the obvious differences between the two, you will see me compare New Zealand to Iceland a lot, as there are many similarities also! First, are the volcanoes! and to show you the first signs of it, we find ourselves in a place called Tehokowhitu-a-tu Yep, locals love sophisticated names How about this one? The bottom one is totally unreadable to me NZ is home to the longest toponym in the world The name of this hill consists of 92 letters, it’s not a joke, and just in case your eyes are already broken, let me help you out! Here is the word we’ll try to pronounce Think of it as a NZ karaoke Taumatawhakatangi Taumatawhakatangi hangakoauauotamatea Taumatawhakatangi hangakoauauotamatea turipukakapikimaunga Taumatawhakatangi hangakoauauotamatea turipukakapikimaunga horonukupokaiwhenu Taumatawhakatangi hangakoauauotamatea turipukakapikimaunga horonukupokaiwhenu akitanatahu! simple as that guys! Just in case you managed to pronounce it, you must be half Maori already, the NZ native! All there is left to do, is to ink up on traditional tattoos, put on the right attire, and learn Haka, the traditional NZ dance which is not complicated, as all you have to do is stick your tongue out, stare with your eyes wide open and make faces Let’s get back to geo-thermal stuff for now New Zealand boasts both hot springs and geysers Geyser eruptions though, are not as frequent as the Icelandic ones, typically erupting 16-20 times a day This means you’ll have to stick around for at least 40 min before it goes off Geysers resemble a chamber that get filled with water, and as soon as it fills to the brink, water start to boil and erupts as follows I was waiting for 50 minutes! The difference between Icelandic geysers is apparent, as those are much more explosive and abrupt Like so These on the other hand are much slower, but last longer Girls prefer NZ geysers! Apart from other typically Icelandic things, NZ boasts a couple of unique stuff too! First, is this beautiful lake called Champagne Pool It’s not filled with champagne unfortunately, and carries the name due its bubbling water, resembling champagne in a way This is where similarities end though, as the temperature in this pool is 74c, and I doubt you’ll be keen to try it Now let me show you the pinnacle of it all *no photo correction added This is a real acid lake, with a PH rating of 11 Not a 100% acid but it’s very close!
I am sure this would make a raver happy though) Once thing that I’ve noticed, is that once you see the geo-thermal springs, you will hardly ever be amazed by them again It put me in awe, first time in Iceland, but now I am just not as impressed Another interesting fact about New Zealand, is that it is home of the biggest volcano eruption, that happened in the past 70’000 years As you may know of course, where there is eruption, there must be the trace Lake Taupo was formed 27’000 years ago, as a result of a volcano eruption The scale of it is clearly visible by this caldera, left as the aftermath of the eruption Nevertheless, active ones still do exist in NZ This time I won’t make you pronounce the original Maori name of this volcano, as most of us know it as Mount Doom that later became the prototype to the infamous Lord of the Rings volcano The national park that serves home to it, is relatively deserted but very beautiful still I decided to stay here for a night, and just look how beautiful it looked in the morning As you know such places can keep me forever, but it’s time for us to move on As we get closer to the ferry, let me delve into the local entertainment NZ is one of the world capitals for extreme sports, encompassing everything you can ever imagine or think of Rafting, paragliding, kite-surfing, the country is filled with bikes, and has one of the best mountain bike trails I, on the other hand, want to concentrate on two things First, are the speed boats, extremely agile and quick motor boats, that race around narrow rivers at pace, that would make you beg for a dose of Xanax You’ve been warned, people! If you are a less extreme type of person, there is other pretty speedy stuff too, the Blokarts! It’s like windsurfing but on the ground Best part about it, is that any age is fine here I do understand these guys Since the ocean is so very far (20km away), why bother, when you can ride next to your house…) By now, we have done over 1200km across NZ, reaching its the edge of the Northern island, the city of Wellington It is the most Southern capital in the world, but to call it a capital would be a bit of a stretch Although there is definitely a specific charm to it In short, Wellington is a city of coffee places, best flat white, museum of hyper realistic wax sculptures, a city full of dogs and incredibly strong wind I was meant to meet up with some guys who live here, but since we didn’t manage to meet, I’d like to introduce you to Denis, who I met back in Auckland Denis is from Irkutsk, Russia, but has been living in NZ for quite long now I was keen to find out why people move here – [Anton] Why did you move here? – [D] Many of those who come from first world countries, – come for the work / life balance – There are lots of people here from US and Europe, – They come here to enjoy life – Hence it’s not just those from developing coutries,
– that consider NZ their new home – It is important to everyone to have a healthy balance – between their professional and personal lives – This in my opinion – is why people consciously go for New Zealand – I am talking about those who move in, – because it is their decision – It’s an immigrants’ country, – and main difference if you migrated 300 years ago or yesterday Dan knows quite a lot about local way of life, and he even has a YouTube channel on it, that you can find by following the link below Morning It’s 6.30am and I am at Wellington’s ferry terminal, on my way to the Southern Island 1.5 hours later Let’s examine the boat, shall we? SHIP! The ferry has 10 decks, numerous lifts, a lounge and an observation deck, a shop, kid’s play area and a cinema, couple of cafes and a restaurant, where I met this couple from Moscow Still, it is on the open deck, where the interesting happens As we get closer, beautiful sights start coming at you from all directions, camera just doesn’t shut down, you start filming every single bit of it and then THIS HAPPENS! Ouch battery is dead Not a big deal though! He definitely has a bigger one Hello South Island! Welcome to NZ’s second island! It is bigger than the previous one, it is less populated and apparently it is much more beautiful too! We begin in the Marlborough region, a place packed with vineyards where apparently the best sauvignon blanc in the world is made I think most of you’ve heard of the wine called Marlborough Sun, this is where it is made guys! It is March now, which means that it is beginning of autumn in this hemisphere This is why we can excuse the burnt sceneries, that serve as a remainder of the blazing summer sun, but it is further down, when a completely new NZ came upon me I am finally seeing the same New Zealand, that I always saw in pictures! and this is what I saw! A hundred kilometers even further, and the picture changed again, now resembling Iceland even more whilst the roads, well they are just stellar and deserve a separate episode
By the time I reached a 2000km mark, it became absolutely clear why Peter Jackson selected NZ for Lord of the Rings This country is one big film set, that has everything you may never need, including the funky public, that you can come across in most random places Turns out these guys are here for a festival, but tourists also dress up for no exact reason Cars are pretty funny too NZ pesters with bright mailboxes, that are all mostly one of kind It’s like a national sport where your neighbours are your main competition in who’s got a better one After clocking another hundred kilometres, I reached the main mountainous region of the country These are so called Southern Alps Tekapo is a glacier lake with an extremely clear water So clear, that it’s bed can be seen from bird’s eye view Clear waters are typical for NZ, also home to the most clearest lake in the world The lake is based in Park Nelson, and has a clarity of 80m, just try to come to terms with it now! 80 METRES! Still, I am here not only to chill by the lake as this place is also called the Night Sky Reserve, meant to be a perfect place to star gaze According to the sky darkness scale, cities with a lot of light pollution are usually on 8-9, whilst this reserve is 2 or even 1 at times! It basically is the best place for night sight pics It so happens that I love such photography, and I sincerely hope that conditions tonight will be perfect for it, preliminary heading to a large local camping by the lake for a night By the looks of it, NZ is a very popular place among camping tourists People here love their camper vans! I think it’s time to show off my camper too, that comes with its own secret inside because you always have to be prepared! I carried this tent all across Australia and NZ, and I can finally make full use of it! The time has come! Eco Police Imma freaking pro! The only thing left now, is to find a perfect photo spot! There is an observatory on top of the hill, where I was planning to set my photo spot at But, both observatory and all the trails leading to it turn out to be locked out for the night Well, here are the pictures I managed to take This is the sky above Tekapo Lake What’s interesting, is that since we are in the southern Hemisphere, there are no little and great bear constellations The sky here is very different to what we see in Europe, with different stars like Sirius and Southern Cross Turned out that local fauna also loves the night sky, like this opossum that managed to climb even higher than me reluctantly observing the surroundings Sunrise above the lake was just astonishing! Juuuust look at this! Next morning brought good weather, giving me a chance to show you the observatory that I couldn’t climb last night Do you see those mountains in the background?
They are my next target! There are no high mountains in NZ, and most of them are below 4000m Still, this didn’t stop a local New Zealander, to become the first man to conquer Everest, which is now a true national pride This guy is even pictured on the local banknotes! Mount Cook, otherwise known as Aoraki is the highest mountain of the country and it is sacred of course! What makes New Zealand unique, is the diversity of extremely beautiful sights, in turn making it very hard to match Everything you may ever want to see as a traveller, is accessible within one single country, and this is definitely something one of a kind I could have opted for a plane tour of Mount Cook, but I simply didn’t have enough time for it In just 6 days I have done over 2.5k kilometres, slept for maximum 3-4 hours, booked hotels during refuelling, and ate mostly at petrol stations Yep, I just don’t have time to eat anywhere else, and an occasional Subway serves as an utter bliss There is simply no time for anything at all Moreover I just didn’t bring any food with me I have no cereal, no nuts, nothing! The pace I set to myself, turned out to be over the top, and this country deserves otherwise! It has to be examined slowly and heard attentively! Time to move on guys! Welcome to the cult place of all extreme lovers The AJ Hackett bungy centre It became the first commercial bungy centre in the world, running since early 80s Visitors come here from all over the world, to jump 40m down towards the Waikato River, and today I will do something that I ran from over my extensive TV career, and meet face to face with my fears! the biggest fear of my life! F&*K this! 5.30am on the clock, my last day in New Zealand, and I’m heading to the main attraction of this country We’ll see it from water, not the ground, hence we must change, pass quick instructions, and off we go to the kayaks! Main thing is not to forget your paddle! Now we are ready! Kayak is probably the most emotional way to see the NZ’s main sight attraction You feel absolutely tiny next to these massive rocks, plus you can get close to them, see the waterfalls and feel the majesty of this place! and if you are very lucky,
you’ll be able to see more than that Guys, it’s the penguins!!!! First time I see penguins in their natural habitat, apart from Australia where they were chilling on the beach Ridiculous! It was right next to us! My guide isn’t too happy with me, as I am filming most of the time instead of paddling, hence I’ll switch off for a bit Kayaks weren’t enough for me, so I took a boat ride to see this place once again! Milford Sound is the most popular fjord of NZ These rocks rise over 1km above water and everything next to them seems miniscule Boats and planes look like toys next to these massive rocks that in turn absolutely dominate the scenery There are tens of waterfalls here, and more so, this place is the most humid in the world! It boasts more precipitation than the Amazon forests, and it’s pure magic that it’s not raining right now, which is usually a daily occurence There is so much rain here, that even though this bay connects to the Tasman Sea, the first two metres of water are fresh! The depth of Milford Sound at times reaches 500m, meaning that even large ships can get close to the cliffs and I got lucky again! These 4 dolphins aren’t active right now, because they are sleeping Actually 3 of them are, whilst the fourth one is on the look out During sleep, one of dolphin’s brain hemispheres remains active, thereby allowing it to emerge for some air Nevertheless, dolphins aren’t the only locals Bye people! Best part about the excursion, is when the ship comes next to the waterfall This specific one is around 150m high, and shooting becomes impossible, as you get soaking wet within seconds including camera and the rest! This though, is the best move ever! Watch this! Yep, you can drink the waterfall water! Tastes like the waterfall water! There are just 4 fjord regions in the world, Norway, Chile, North America and NZ I guess you now know why! To me, Milford Sound became the most beautiful place, that I saw and experienced in this country This place is insane! I, for now, must return to the base! I simply don’t know how to translate the scale of it all on video These cliffs are truly immense! They overhang you like your parents when you behave bad I have nothing but swear words in my head right now, as this is just too immense and grand! Never seen anything like it! I usually do drone shots in such places, but even that is useless here You just won’t be able to convey the scale of it,
whilst to have any sort of result, you have to go at least a kilometre up, since these rocks are minimum 800m high At first they don’t look huge, but they are gigantic Nothing I can do about it guys You’ll have to take my word, that this is just ming boggling! Wanted you to hear this place as it is just overly calm! I guess I could have travelled even further, but enough is enough sometimes New Zealand is a travellers dream, because it comprises everything you ever wanted to see, in any of the countries around the globe! It’s all packed within this small country Beaches, volcanoes, mountains, ski resort, ocean, surfing, forests, it has it all, which makes this country absolutely incredible! Still, I encountered some issues It’s a personal problem of mine, since I didn’t really plan well, expecting to cover it all within 7 or 8 days, just like I did in Iceland, where one week and 1500km were enough New Zealand though is completely different, and it is best described by the signs on the roads Didn’t have time to shoot them, but here they are Nz roads are indeed different, and require much more time than you anticipate This then is a very precise definition of New Zealand You just can’t come and drive around all sights quickly Everything is scattered, and this country is more for campers and backpackers, than for those who just want to race around some of the sights It is for those who are ready to spend more than a day trekking the myriad of available trails It’s best to come here not for a week or two, but three or more, casually taking your time to enjoy the local nature and its tourists of course! I’d say it’s one of the most beautiful countries on our planet! Today, once I was done with the last location, I managed to eat in peace and actually enjoy my time! My lesson here, is to allow yourself time to relax and enjoy the surroundings! You should do it too, because it is definitely worth it! Visit New Zealand! Let’s get that heli! I should have gone for heli excursion! I’m off, ladies are waiting for me! New Zealand