Ben and Sarah (that's me!) on our honeymoon, at active marine volcano White Island
After our relaxed, outdoor wedding, my wonderful husband Ben and I took some time out on our honeymoon in New Zealand.
The term honeymoon is derived from the English hony moone dating back as early as 1546. Thankfully during modern times we have moved away from the need to “share some private and intimate moments... (to) ease the comfort zone towards a physical relationship...”! Quote courtesy of Wikipedia.
If you elope in nature; have an intimate wedding with close family and friends; or if you choose to have lots of people witness your marriage: we highly recommend taking some time to celebrate just the two of you, after your wedding. It's so delightful to be able to relax, take in the moment and truly enjoy each others' company.
Just like your wedding, honeymoons can take many forms. You can honeymoon close to home; visit parts of the country you've always wanted to experience; or you can go the whole hog and book an overseas adventure. The main thing is to do something personal to you both, that you truly love.
We both love NZ and the kiwi people, and had visited many-a-time before we met each other. The combination of epic landscapes; adventure activities and tasty local produce, beer and wine is perfect for us.
Here is a selected taste of our New Zealand adventure honeymoon.We started in Wellington, explored the top of the south island first; then headed up the eastern-ish side of the north island; to finish in Auckland.
The dazzling Blue Spring in Waikato makes you feel so pure. The water is used for the majority of New Zealand's bottled water yet the area still feels relatively pristine. The short 3 hour walk takes you through farmland with rolling hills alongside the Waihou River to Blue Spring.
Queen Charlotte Track
Whilst we didn't attempt the full 70km Queen Charlotte Track, we caught glimpses of it's coastal and forest splendour. This 3-5 day bushwalk or mountain bike track is firmly on the list for our next adventure.
Beach smoothed rocks, Port Underwood
We enjoyed and explored the finer details of the landscape, basing ourselves in Port Underwood, Marlborough Sounds.
White Island Tours, active volcano
We joined White Island Tours exploring New Zealand's most active volcano. An action packed boat trip and zodiac ride to the island was just the start. What an incredible feeling to be so close to the force of nature! Spewing sulfurous gasses and bright yellow deposits assault the senses. The guides were super knowledgeable, passionate and engaging during our six hour tour.
Kayaking to Lochmara Lodge
We survived on two counts: dodging the Inter-islander Ferry, in a two person kayak (aka “divorce boat” hired from Wilderness Guides, Picton). Being so close to the water with hardly any sounds, was just magical. Lunch and bushwalking followed at the delightfully quirky wildlife recovery and arts center Lochmara Lodge.
The peak of Mount Robert, Nelson Lakes National Park
Choosing just one national park to visit was indeed a challenge. We visited the shores of Lake Rototi surrounded by imposing mountains, before tackling the Mount Robert Circuit in Nelson Lakes National Park. Deciding we hadn't quite had enough for one day, we walked to Whisky Falls, only to find the name misleading: there wasn't actually whisky at the end...
Tasty Local Produce
Dinner at the Green Dragon Inn, Hobbiton
A slight variation on the local produce theme, the evening banquet tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata is not to be missed. Eat like a Hobbit in the Green Dragon Inn whilst drinking real ale from ceramic mugs. An added benefit of the evening tour is there are less people around, allowing you to get more of a true sense of the world.
The Vines Village, Marlborough
The Vines Village (specifically The Vines Village Cafe and Express kitchen) creates literally the best chips in the world! Nestled in the Marlborough wine region, this collection of arty boutiques practices sustainable initiatives with a family focus. The kids will love the sculpture garden, miniature yachts bobbing on the pond and friendly chickens.
Juicy grapes at the Hawkes' Bay Farmers market, Hastings
Hawkes' Bay Farmers market, at Hastings is one of the oldest and largest farmers' markets in New Zealand. The variety of local produce is staggering, accompanied by funky live music. Highlights included traditional German doughnuts, Damson gin and fresh grapes in paper parcels.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into our New Zealand honeymoon full of adventure, glorious landscapes and tasty local produce. If you would like to see more of my New Zealand photos, you can purchase my book “Rivers to Swim, Mountains to Climb”.
Lots of love, Sarah x