Looking for honeymoon inspiration? Look no further! Real-life couple Frances and Tom had an incredible honeymoon in New Zealand, packed full of heart-racing activities, delicious food and stunning scenery! Bride Frances tells us about her trip of a lifetime and how it was all made possible by Buy Our Honeymoon…
Where did you go, and why?
We spent three weeks in New Zealand, travelling around both the South and North Islands. We flew into Auckland, straight down to Queenstown the next day and then worked our way back up to Auckland from there.
I had always wanted to go to New Zealand, and Tom had been before and loved it. We wanted our honeymoon to be a real once-in-a-lifetime experience, and New Zealand promised that. It was somewhere a bit different, with plenty to do and lots to see. Also we got married in December and wanted to go away soon after; going to New Zealand meant that we would get some sunshine for Christmas and New Year too.
What did you do there?
So much! As far as activities go, our first few days in Queenstown were the most adrenaline-fuelled: we went paragliding, jet-boating and white-water rafting on the Shotover River, which was brilliant fun. We spent Boxing Day sea-kayaking in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve doing wine and beer tasting tours in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay.
We trekked the 19km Tongariro Crossing (also known as the filming location for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films) and did something called black-water rafting, which is where you drift through underwater caves in a rubber ring and look at the glow-worms on the cave roofs above.
We also had some fantastic meals, especially in Auckland, and had an amazing ‘Trust the Chef’ menu on Christmas Day, where we ate course after course of delicious food on the deck of an old boatshed overlooking Nelson Harbour. And we did have some chill-out time — we enjoyed a sunny nature cruise around Milford Sound and we spent New Year’s Eve on the beach near Napier.
What was your most romantic moment?
Well it certainly wasn’t the moment when I was washed out of the whitewater raft at the first rapid, and had to be rescued by a boatful of strangers while Tom made jokes about how he had been clumsy and “lost his wife”!
We stayed in a fantastic, top-notch boutique B&B in Queenstown called The Dairy — we loved sitting out in the hot tub with a bottle of wine, watching the sun set over The Remarkables mountain range. It was absolute bliss and made any wedding stress, work stress and all the Christmas craziness we had left in the UK seem like a world away!
New Zealand is great for honeymoons because…
If you are looking for somewhere a bit different, and lying on a beach with lots of other honeymooners isn’t your style, you should definitely think about going to New Zealand. It’s great for people who like being active and having a range of things to do — and you can be as active or as chilled-out as you like; New Zealand has something for everyone. The people are genuine and friendly and the only downside is you really won’t want to leave!
Why did you use Buy Our Honeymoon?
We had been living together already for a year so didn’t need the traditional sort of household gifts. We knew we wanted to go to New Zealand but everything we wanted to do while we were there — to make the most of our time — would have cost us a fortune, so we thought that Buy Our Honeymoon was a perfect solution. It meant that people could buy us specific experiences, meals or hotel stays, which guests really liked because it was so much more personal than simply giving us money (which we really didn’t want to do).
Many of the guests who had been to New Zealand picked the trips that they had enjoyed most themselves. They also appreciated that we sent each guest a photo of us on our honeymoon (doing the specific activity they had bought for us where possible) with our thank-you cards when we got home. Without the contributions from Buy Our Honeymoon, we would never have been able to do everything we wanted to — and memories last a lot longer than towels and bed linen!