This past November/December I had two dreams come true. The first was an opportunity to dance with The Royal New Zealand Ballet in one of my all time favourite ballets. The second was taking advantage of being in New Zealand and venturing off to explore the South Island. New Zealand is world renowned for being one of the best locations on the planet for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It had been high on my list of places to see for many years, so after a couple of successful performances I had to head South. I first flew from Wellington to Christchurch as Queenstown was outrageously expensive but I also wanted to make a circular pattern through the centre to the South and then back up the West Coast. I was going by car the whole distance. I picked up my car and immediately left for Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. The next day I spent hiking through Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and found out why so many people recommend doing the Hooker Valley Track. Simply stunning! Then I was off to Manapouri as I had an overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound/Fiordland National Park. That absolute took my breath away but nothing could prepare me for what I experienced the day after that. I finally saw Milford Sound and it was everything I was hoping for and more. Being one of the greatest natural wonders of our world, it is the perfect example of how photos, videos and everything else we have made cant do it justice. Driving into the park takes you on a journey that starts off spectacularly beautiful and only gets better from there. The final decent out of a high mountain pass tunnel was like decending into heaven. From there I went back North discovering Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea and passed through Mt Aspiring National Park before settling in at Jackson Bay. My last full day I drove North passing by Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier and spending the night in Arthur's Pass. It was one of my all-time favourite road-trips and I have been left with only the best impression of New Zealand. People always say that Kiwis are some of the nicest people on the planet and I found that to be true but another side note is that my fellow tourists were also a very pleasant bunch. I met so many people from around the world, as I usually do on these types of adventures, but this bunch was different. There was a much stronger sense of support and curiosity coming from these people. Ive never had so many fun and inspiring conversations with so many fellow travelers about where they are from and what they plan to do in New Zealand. Everybody was pulling together to help each other get the best experience they could out of their journey. It really was a dream come true and I now wear my All Blacks jersey with a great sense of pride. I loved New Zealand and I really hope to return someday soon! The only thing that could have been better was to have more time!
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