For our last day in New Zealand we hopped onto a ferry to Devonport, a navy base near Auckland. Along the way, we saw a double rainbow and even a pair of dolphins which swam right up to our ferry. With the perfect weather and all these little lucky encounters, we really couldn’t have asked for a better holiday.
Devonport is filled with charming cafes and bookshops – just the sort of place to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. We also explored Devonport’s residential areas, which all had perfectly neat and trimmed lawns (probably because most of the residents have a military background).
In the evening, we sat by the shore to watch the sunset one last time.
It has been a month since our journey to Middle Earth, but some memories are still as fresh as yesterday. People ask me about the trip, but in all honesty it is difficult to describe in words. I want to tell of the endless chains of snow-capped mountains reflected onto a watery mirror of blazing blue; there were fiery autumn hues and a sky so high you could see Infinity. But just as much, I want to share the memory of the people, whose love for the great outdoors is evident to all. There is a lot of respect for nature in New Zealand, and much attention is paid to preserving the incredible beauty of the land. I wish the same for the rest of the world.
So what’s next for us? We’ve got a few more countries lined up right now on our Exploration List, but this is hardly the end of our love affair with New Zealand. There is still so much to go back for – diving off White Island, tramping through the Great Walks (when they bring the bridges back), becoming a licensed paraglider, watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon…
For now, we’ll be content with the memories – and massive kudos to Air New Zealand for putting together such a thoughtful prize that made our journey through Middle Earth absolutely unforgettable.