Before Meghan met Harry there was another love in her life. It’s started with a New and ended with a Zealand.
It may be hard to believe if you didn’t bump into her at your local dairy, or if your cousin’s friend’s brother didn’t meet her at the pub, but before she was on the journey to royalty she went on a journey to discover New Zealand. With the advice of Gabriel Macht, her Suits castmate, Meghan rented a campervan, and ticked off locations from the South Island to the island of Waiheke. Chronicled on her personal blog, The Tig, in a post entitled “My love letter to all things Kiwi”, she declared her love for New Zealand, calling it “one of the most beautiful countries in the world”.
If you’re blushing because you’re a proud Kiwi or are green with envy because you’ve always wanted to visit the fish and chip clad shores, read on. Meghan is about to make you want to sell your possessions and rent a campervan, stat.
Meghan described Queenstown as “a stunning place to arrive”. She visited restaurants like Botswana Butchery and Vudu Cafe and Larder, calling them “standout”. If you’ve just gotten rid of those red glowing cheeks, you can welcome them right back. “I relished the kindness of the people and the beauty of the land,” said a gushing Meghan.
For all the cookie and movie fans out there, you have a special friend. Meghan visited Cinema Paradiso in Wanaka, calling it “a precious and quirky little theatre that serves fresh baked cookies while you watch a movie from a hodgepodge of sofas”. The multi-talented Duchess even went fly fishing! Meghan described Wanaka as “less touristy and equally as beautiful as Queenstown”.
Meghan’s Handy Tip
Meghan shared some travel tip gold: “All over NZ are i-SITE Visitor Information Centres where you get all sorts of information. You pop in and they’ll tell you the best nearby campsite, local intel, park info, etc. Many people don’t book accommodation in advance—you can book places to stay through i-SITES, and the people who work there are super friendly and helpful.” We think she’s smitten (and so are we!).
Franz Josef Glacier
Meghan not only enjoyed the scenery of New Zealand, but took time to get to know its Māori culture too. When she reached Franz Josef she did the Glacier hike, learning about its history along the way. “The Māori name for the glacier is Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere (‘The tears of Hinehukatere’). According to Māori legend, Hinehukatere persuaded her lover to climb the mountain with her. Being a less-experienced climber, he fell to his death, and the glacier was formed by Hinehukatere’s endless tears.” A fan of history and wildlife, Meghan then drove up the coast, noting the “handsome fellas” (aka seals) on the way.
Coming right out with the ultimate statement of love, Meghan called Marlborough “a definite win”. She enjoyed the selection of wineries, singling out Hans Herzog and Kim Crawford, and even revealed her love for the green-lipped mussels, and fresh baked bread. After being busy with activities on the road, Meghan was glad to get some time to relax in Marlborough, saying, “It’s a respite from the constant adventure of the road trip.”
Kaikoura and Akaroa
Having already shown her love for seals, Meghan took the chance to swim in the open sea with dolphins, highly recommending the experience. “Don’t be scared. Just say yes. It’s magical and otherworldly, and you become acutely aware of how intuitive, engaging, and playful these beautiful creatures are. It was an unforgettable experience.” Meghan also suggested visiting the charming township of Akaroa, favouring indulging in a cassoulet and bottle of Ma Maison’s house plonk.
After proving herself as an adventure woman, Meghan ended her trip in a little more luxury on Waiheke Island. She described the Island as a “sleepy little beach island peppered with wineries, quaint shops, and the nicest people you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing”. Always one for fun activities, Meghan enjoyed some food and wine at Mudbrick Winery, swimming in the sea, foraging for clams, and cooking some fresh New Zealand cuisine.