There is no feeling quite like the excitement before taking a trip. Yes, you may know where you are staying, you may have a vague idea of what it is going to be like, but the rest is the excitement of the unknown. For me this trip is one of a returning visit, to a place I used to call home. The most beautiful land I have ever been lucky enough to visit, New Zealand.
As I board the plane for what is the longest journey one can take from the UK, I smile, I cannot wait. A 26-hour journey fills many people with dread. For me, I can think of no better way to cut off from the world and enjoy an abundance of movies, music, sleeping, food and drink (well it would be rude not to start the trip off with a little New Zealand wine tasting). Suddenly a notification comes on to my screen ‘Wifi trial on this flight, click to log in.’ No way- I shudder, the only place you are free from connection and another reason I love to fly. Safe to say I did not take up Air New Zealand’s offer that flight.
My first adventure is a journey on the TranzAlpine train. My fingers are crossed for blue skies and when I open my curtains from my hotel in Christchurch I am not disappointed, what a stunning day. As I board the train heading for Greymouth and take my seat, my first thought is ‘where can I go on the train to take me to the fresh air?’ Yes, the views are stunning from behind glass, but I would rather not have a photograph with my reflection in it. I walk to the front of the train and I am delighted to find an open cabin, yes, it is pretty cold, but I don’t care. I find myself glued here for the duration of the trip, which takes around four hours; for the whole journey there is not one moment which isn’t filled with something stunning to look at.
The views are spectacular, Autumn is here and everywhere there is an abundance of colours; reds, yellows, greens, browns then the occasional stark turquoise of the glacier-fed Waimakariri River. I feel slightly overwhelmed to take in so much beautiful scenery all in one journey. The description of the journey states it will ‘take your breath away’ and this could not be more accurate. Many holidays to New Zealand are self-drive and it is so nice to have this element of the trip purely to absorb the views.