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Domonkos Varga, the first-place winner of the IBS World Tour, who won a one-week-long trip anywhere in the world chose to visit New Zealand. Read the full story of a wonderful trip below.


'In the second round of IBS’ and Emirates Airlines’ world tour trivia competition, where I had to present a country, I started my presentation by saying that New Zealand is the country of contrasts. This turned out to be 100 percent true when I had the chance to visit this country.

In early November the day has finally come for me and my sister to start our journey to one of the most picturesque nations of the world. After having been flying for more than 35 hours we arrived in Auckland, the biggest city of New Zealand. We spent one week there exploring the city itself and the countless natural beauties of the North Island.

As for Auckland, I really enjoyed walking around the city. This busy metropole is a fusion of the heritage of colonialism, a modern city with skyscrapers and a breathtaking skyline, but also the motives of the native Māori people appear at several points of Auckland. However, we spent most of the time outside of Auckland although we did not really need to go that far from the city to experience unique and untouched nature.

As soon as we left all the skyscrapers behind and exited the outskirts of the city, the landscape was covered by rainforests and we sometimes even saw a couple of waterfalls. Auckland is situated right between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean so one is never far from the shore in the city of sails. No wonder, that most likely New Zealand’s most notable gastronomical elements are seafood dishes.

We also had the opportunity to visit several beaches of the region, every single of them being unique and showing another face of New Zealand. Since the country lies on the Southern Hemisphere, the weather was quite pleasant, comparable with the one around late spring in Europe. That is why we could swim in both the sea and the ocean and I even tried surfing for the very first time in my life.

We also had a day tour to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, where the scenery is just incredibly gorgeous. The best parts of this tour were the well-known Cathedral Cove, and Hot Water Beach where we had the chance to have a bath in the geothermal springs, coming up from the deep. What I also liked was that the hotel was right next to the harbour of Auckland, which was a very unique place, especially at sunset.

After an unforgettable week in Auckland, we took a 1-and-a-half-hour long plane journey to the exact opposite side of the country, the very south of the South Island, namely to the fantastic city of Queenstown. We did not count with this part of New Zealand being so different, but as I mentioned, we visited the country of contrasts. More precisely, we felt like flying from a Mediterranean country to somewhere in Scandinavia, but of course, that does not describe exactly how it was, since New Zealand could always surprise us with something new.

The first day we spent exploring Queenstown itself, which is surrounded by huge mountains and lies at a magical lake. Queenstown is nowhere as big as Auckland but we really enjoyed the atmosphere of this small town, surrounded by endless nature. We also made a day tour in this part of the country, when we travelled to the Fjordland National Park, which is probably New Zealand’s most valuable, picturesque, and iconic region. The ride itself was already incredibly beautiful since we were surrounded by enormous mountains, and rivers with extremely clear water all the time. Not only the water was clear but I have never breathed air, that was that clear. However, what we found at our destination, the Milford Sound Fjord, could not be compared with anything else. There we had a 2 hours’ boat ride in the Fjord itself while we could not look away from the fabulous scenery and the countless waterfalls. To one of them, we got so close with the boat that we got totally wet, but it was absolutely worth it.

My New Zealand experience could not have been any better and I am sure that I will not forget it my whole life. I have not only seen one of the most beautiful sceneries of the world but I could also extend my perspective on the world while talking to the locals, diving into the unique culture of the country, and experiencing 100% pure New Zealand.