[Travel Journal] Once Upon a Time in New Zealand

Yuzar Adetya Putra Ramadhan

Sometimes an idea could come anywhere and anytime. Back in 2014, a very beautiful year because I had been visited the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand. It came to our mind when breaking the fast, my family and I talked about a trip to New Zealand and decided to spent our holiday there at the end of July, right after Ramadan. Because New Zealand was located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons was different with the countries in the north of the equator that were being summer. It was also the right atmosphere when Jakarta was hot as hell, and New Zealand was in the winter.

We had a couple of weeks to prepare any purposes of our trip like visa, tickets and hotel bookings, also looking for information about New Zealand from some reviewers on the Internet. They said that in New Zealand it was a kind of journey with full of adventures for it wildness that was so beautiful. We departed around 8.00 pm Kuala Lumpur time with the tickets we bought from Malaysia Airlines. It route was Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur – Melbourne when we continued our trip with Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Queenstown. That is why we set off from Kuala Lumpur because the plane had to transit there.


Queenstown International Airport stamped my passport indicating I was allowed in the area of New Zealand. We were welcomed with very fresh and cool air. After taking our luggage, we immediately hired a shuttle bus to the hotel, which has been booked. We went straight to bed because we were very tired after a very long journey.

After a short break, about 6.00 pm we had the time to walk around the Queenstown CBD. The sky was dark because during the winter, the sun sets around 5.00 pm. We went to a shopping center and we hoped to find a restaurant there. Once there, we wondered why this place was so quiet, those shops already closed. Incidentally there was an officer there, and we asked him why this place was like graveyard, he told me that this place was already closed at 5 o’clock when weekdays and closed at 6.00 pm while weekend. Ah … so sad. We finally had dinner at McDonald’s.

We planned to visit the southern edge of the world, the Milford sound known as an extremely beautiful scenery. It failed because it was full booked, again … so sad. We all day just sat in the hotel since we were disappointed and did not know where to go. Just around the city alone with a car while looking for a restaurant that looks tasty.

The next morning after breakfast, around 9.00 am, we did not want to dissolve in disappointment, we with our rental car headed straight to the lake Wakatipu for fishing because my cousin really likes fishing. We fished salmon in the lake Wakatipu. Then we headed to a place called Skyline Queenstown. The venue is located on a hill and we headed up there riding the gondola. We mistook, we thought Skyline only had the scenery, but there are several restaurants and recreational vehicles such as Ludge and Bungy Jumping. Had thinking to try Bungy Jumping, but I was confused and would rather not to did it. We had lunch there and prepared a-far-enough road trip around 800km towards Christchurch. We set off around 02:00 pm after lunch, and arrived at Christchurch at around 11:00 pm. All we want was just put our head down on pillow.


We all woke up late around 1:00 pm with a hungry stomach. While looking for a place for lunch, we also did a city tour with our rental car. Alongside the way, there are so many ruins of building caused by the earthquake that rocked the city last February 2011, it was very sad to saw and you know the city’s population was very low, it made silence in Christchurch.

The next day, our primary goal was Kaikoura, a small seaside town that is famous for sea travel, with any luck we could have seen whales swimming in the sea nearby the beach in Kaikoura. The distance between Christchurch – Kaikoura about 180km that we took about 2 hours journey. All the way to Kaikoura, we were just amazed at the gorgeous of outstanding natural beauty. The air was fresh and clean, a very lonely road conditions, which grass green hills, trees with it golden reflections caused by sunlight, it makes it difficult to concentrate when I became navigator for my uncle who was driving.

Playing on the beach made time elapsed fastly, time has shown at 6:00 pm. We’ve had to go back to the hotel to prepare for the next trip to the Auckland tomorrow. We have to get ready and sleep on time because we used a plane in the morning to go to Auckland. We used the plane since Auckland is located in the North island of New Zealand while Christchurch is located on the South Island. We went back to the hotel and took time to had dinner on the way.


After about 2 hours of air travel, we arrived at Auckland Airport, the the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand. We did not feel really cold here, because temperatures in the north island was not as cold as in the south island. We dressed more casual. Unfortunately, Auckland was a big city such as Jakarta with it lifes, but Auckland was just clean, neat, and COLD.

Two days passed and today was our last day in New Zealand. I had to do the most amazing things. Then me and my cousin remembered while looking for information about New Zealand, there was also bungy jumping in Auckland, precisely in Auckland bridge. It was on the bridge which is it was water down there and we think it was not too daunting than in Queenstown. From a height of 40m above the water with backsound “Superman” by Five For Fighting, I DID IT. I finally did bungy jumping. When so many people said that was so stupid and crazy, it was, but I did not care. I just did it.

It’s time to go home! At Auckland International Airport, we passed the immigration officer smoothly without problems. It sounded the call for passengers Qantas Airways to Jakarta. We went home to Jakarta, heading our real life. Bye New Zealand hope to see you again.

Word count: 1.081




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