This has been a tough year. Most people had some holidays planned that got rejected at the rim (excuse the NBA analogy, it’s the playoffs!) because of COVID. Some of those included overseas jaunts that may be 2-3 years off ever happening! Sorry Tim, New York New York will have to wait. Hopefully the Ricki Lake Show will still be airing so you can visit one of your favourite TV hosts. This has increased our wariness and levels of stress. I’ve certainly encouraged my team to take some time off, and I promise it has nothing to do with the ever increasing leave balances! ;).
Now is the perfect time to disappear for some R&R (if you don’t have kids) or a change of scenery (if you do have kids). It’s soup for the soul (hey I like that title, someone should definitely write a book). With overseas trips a non-starter, where can you go? We have one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, and we often take this for granted. I spoke with our crew at FIND to see if they have any inspirational ideas for NZ travel destinations. Here’s our list…
Me (Pete) – “for me it would be the Hawkes Bay so I could visit my favourite vineyard Craggy Range with my wife (and no kids). Nothing like enjoying a fine wine at the picturesque base of Te Mata Peak!”
Mark – “Coming to work is like a holiday for me mate!”
Sam – “The East Cape is a hidden gem, you truly feel like you’re in raw, old school New Zealand, it’s beautiful and everyone should do it.”
Danae – “Raglan is a place that I just love! The sea, the surf, the fishing, the friendly people. It’s a beautiful, wild place with tropical bush settings and amazing restaurants, cafes and shopping. It’s a closer option for Wellingtonians who want the beauty and laidback vibe of the Bay of Islands without the crazy drive.”
Julia – “I’d love to go to Tekapo, the largest dark sky reserve in the world, and stargaze ……”
Chris – “The lockdown and everything that’s happened this year has made me more appreciative of NZ. I’m just going to chill out at Shakespeare campground. Read a book and going for a swim now and then!”
Kendall – “I would love to do the Routeburn Track, which is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks to see the spectacular views of the Southern Alps, and then indulge in a well deserved beer at the end!”
Jess – “I went down to Stewart Island last weekend and would highly recommend as a place to visit. The trip starts with a scenic 20 minute flight from Invercargill to Oban and you can see the whole island – if you are lucky enough the pilot might ask you to sit next to them! You can take short trips out to surrounding islands which have the most incredible beaches and birdlife (Kaka, Kiwi, Weka etc). If you are there at the right time of year you can also see the Southern lights, we didn’t get to see them but the night sky is beautiful regardless as on a clear night you will see thousands of stars. I hear it’s also great for fishing and hunting but as a vegetarian these aren’t my favourite pass times.”
Sif – “Waitomo Caves is my favourite. Have visited 5 times over the years and every time it’s like going for the first time – So much to do and the locals are super friendly. If you haven’t been – it’s a crime!!”
Suze – “I’d love to revisit Great Barrier Island, this epic Island has so much to offer from beautiful beaches, natural hot springs, stunning sunsets, coastal walks and the clearest night sky you’ll ever see!”
You don’t have to take off a week, even a day or two will do you some good and your mental wellbeing will thank you for it! Whilst we’ve mentioned some more pricey destinations, you can still rock some pretty cool local day trips! If you can, let’s prop up local tourism.