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Hiking the Incredible Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Inside a crevasse on Franz Josef glacier

There's something beautiful about seeing mountains in winter, when the snow is fresh and thick, the skies are blue but the air has a bite. The cold seasons in New Zealand, and especially on the South Island, transform the rolling green landscapes we all know from those films into icing sugar-dusted peaks instead. I was told that 60% of hikes going up onto Franz Josef Glacier are cancelled due to poor weather, so as we drove to the area, my eyes were firmly on the skies.

Travelling by Ferry Between New Zealand's North and South Islands

View of Marlborough Sounds from Cook Strait ferry, New Zealand

The day I boarded the ferry over to New Zealand's South Island, I wasn't feeling too pretty. A 6am departure meant getting up super early, but it also meant leaving behind beautiful Wellington - a city that I had shown some serious love the night before in the form of many, many gin and tonics. I don't know what it is about boats but they make me much more nervous than planes. A few weeks before I'd travelled on an overnight ferry from Tasmania to Melbourne and remembering those 11 hours of rough seas certainly didn't put my mind at ease.

Why I Felt at Home in Wellington, New Zealand

View over Wellington, New Zealand

I absolutely adore New Zealand. The month I spent there flew by and I feel like I hardly even scratched the surface of what there is to explore. However, despite recommending it to anyone who will listen to me, I struggled to imagine myself living there. That is until I arrived in Wellington.

The Nevis Swing, Queenstown (or, The Most Bloody Terrifying Thing I've Ever Done)

The world's biggest swing

By the time I reached Queenstown in New Zealand, I'd already spent three weeks in the country exploring various tiny towns as well as large cities. The country pulls in adventure tourists, promising adrenalin-rushing activities for wannabe thrillseekers, but to be honest, I was visiting for the stunning scenery more than anything else. Over my time there I had been caving, hiked on a glacier and been on many a boat trip, but the more I saw my fellow travellers indulge in increasingly crazy shit, the more I found myself wanting to try something too.

24 Hours on the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Otehei Bay, New Zealand

The day I landed in New Zealand, I wasn't in a great mood. I was alone in a country I'd never visited before, 11 hours ahead of everyone I know, tired and massively homesick. I had booked a quick trip to the Bay of Islands so I could experience a little bit more of the north of the country before heading south from Auckland, but I was in the shittiest of shit moods.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review