It’s the last day of the adventure. Last night I checked in for my flight and tonight I fly back to the Netherlands. I chose to spend my last money on a seat with extra leg space, because I enjoyed that a lot on the flight to here. I’m not really looking forward to fly 25 hours again, but I’ve got a lot of movies and books, so I think I’ll manage. I was thinking that if I watch the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings again, I’ve already covered about 18 hours, but I’m not sure yet what I’ll do.

Just like yesterday morning I start the day with lighting the fireplace. It feels like a nice thing to do to start the day with. Then I have a shower and breakfast and finish packing my bag. It feels like a great victory when I’ve packed everything in my backpack. I think it’s never been so full, but I’ve managed to take almost everything with me. I still need to put my laptop in my hand luggage, but I first need it for writing this last post. I’m listening to the music of The Shire and I know that there is one place I’ll miss the most. It has been a great adventure and I’m thankful for the great time I had here in New Zealand.

This afternoon I’ll drive back to Auckland, return the car and go to the airport. I thought about what would be a good way to finish this blog and got the idea to write down my personal top ten things of this adventure. So here we go:

New Zealand Top 10

1. Visiting Hobbiton (both times, but mostly the visit at night).
2. Camping in Rivendell.
3. Hiking at Mount Cook.
4. Staying in the Hippo Lodge in Queenstown for a week.
5. Visit Dunedin and do a journey by train through the mountains.
6. Camping at Bay of Islands.
7. Hiking in Edoras, Lord of the Rings land.
8. Climbing Mount Doom.
9. Learning to surf.
10. Having breakfast at the beach.

Thanks to everyone who was part of this adventure, both here and back home following the blog. I’ve met many great people during my travels and visited beautiful places. I believe that traveling is a great way to discover new things, about yourself and the world you live in. This journey wasn’t always easy, but I’m happy with how things went and have collected many new good memories.

When I return the car to the rental company and see the same lady again, it feels like it’s been much more than seven weeks. It seems like a lifetime ago that I started the road trip here. As I hand over the keys of my campervan I slowly start to realise that the adventure is over. Even though I’m looking forward to go home and see my family and friends again, I also feel some sadness that it’s over. It has been a great time here in New Zealand and a journey I’ll never forget.

I get back tot the airport and go on my way home again. I could write many words now about how horrible the flight back is, but I want to finish this blog on a positive note. I just want to strongly recommend everyone to never fly with Malaysia Airlines, it was the worst customer experience with flying I’ve ever had. After a big delay and over 30 hours of traveling I finally arrive in Amsterdam and am glad to be back.

It takes a long journey to get to New Zealand, but I think it is worth it. If you love nature and hiking, you’ll have a great time there. It’s a country with beautiful nature, some places wild and untouched by humans. You can go on great adventures and live close to nature. You can see most of the country in about five to six weeks and like many others I recommend to spend at least as much time at the South Island as at the North Island. I’ve seen most of the country and had great adventures. I’m not sure if I’ll ever return to New Zealand, but it’s for sure a beautiful part of the world worth a visit at least once in a lifetime.