Sukmawati Umar Litak
The New Paper
Feb 9, 2016
"New Zealand is beautiful. To me, it's just complete perfection."
Local personality Munah Bagharib spent a week in New Zealand in November last year to film an episode for Mediacorp Okto's newest travel series, MissAdventures, with co-host Carla Dunareanu.
During the trip, the two ventured across the 12 km Franz Josef Glacier, located on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.
They also visited "adventure capital of the world", Queenstown, where they tried out extreme activities including white water rafting, skydiving and also riding the craziest swing in the world
Munah shares with M her must-do list for adventurers who want to explore and have fun on the South Island.
SKYDIVING OVER QUEENSTOWN
One of the highlights of Munah's trip was having the chance to skydive from an altitude of 15,000 ft (4600 m) at a speed of up to 200km/h, above the alpine resort of Queenstown,
"Skydiving has been on my bucket list for the longest time," said Munah.
What made the experience even better was her "really cute instructor", Nick (see picture below).
"He was so handsome. I got a bit distracted while he was showing me the view," she said with a gleeful smile.
Munah and Carla both did a tandem skydive - where one is connected to an instructor via a harness during the entire experience - guided by the professionals at NZONE Skydive.
"The experience was magical. The view was crazy. The lakes were crystal clear and the snow-capped mountains were beautiful."
"It was something I never imagined I'd experience."
AT THE TOP OF BOB'S PEAK
To get a better view of Queenstown, Munah's advice is to travel to the top of Bob's Peak - you can do this either by hiking up the Tiki Trail or board the Skyline Gondola, a kind of cable car.
"When you stand at the top of Bob's Peak, you get a beautiful view of Queenstown: the town, the beautiful blue Lake Wakatipu, and vast mountains," described Munah.
"I just stood there for the longest time. Though it was freezing, the view was worth it and beyond magnificent. You can really just stand there and watch the world go by, plus the air was so fresh!"
At the top, there are fun activities for kids and adults like riding on the Skyline Luge and the Ledge Bungy and Ledge Swing.
At night, you can sit back and enjoy the nightly Haka performances or just stargaze into the beautiful night sky.
If you need a break from the thrills of Queenstown, Munah recommends exploring Walter Peak and going to the country farm.
"We took the TSS Earnslaw — a vintage 1912 steamship — to visit the Walter Peak High Country Farm.
"I thought the steamship was just for show and was actually a normal mechanical ship. But they really had boys like abang abang (older brothers in Malay) shoveling in the coal,"said Munah.
After crossing the picturesque Lake Wakatipu and passing The Remarkables mountain range that lies along its southeastern edge, visitors will arrive at Walter Peak Country Farm, which is open all year round for visitors who want to experience life at a farm.
"The colours were so vibrant. You'll feel like you just stepped into a fairytale.
"At the farm you can see sheep, cattle and even llamas. The animals will come crowding around you.
"It felt really nice to be back with nature."
At the top of Munah's to-do list for thrill seekers is the heart-stopping Nevis Swing.
"Adrenaline junkies, you have, have, have to do the Nevis Swing if you go to New Zealand, if not, at least bungee jumping. If you can, do both. On the same day. One after the other and then do them again," she said.
The swing currently holds the title for the World's Biggest Swing. It is suspended 160 m above the rugged Nevis River and swings 300 m out into the open at speeds of up to 125 km/h.
"If you think bungee jumping is crazy, you have yet to try this swing," said Munah.
"My favourite part of the swing is that you can go on it in any position that you want.
"You can choose to sit normally, like on a normal swing, backwards, upside down, upside down and backwards, alone or with a friend!
"I sat in the normal position with Carla, but if I do go back, I'll definitely try upside down facing the back.
"Free falling 120 m down and swinging out into the open totally took my breathe away."
Munah says that her experiences in Queenstown are something that she will definitely not forget.
"There are so many other things to do in Queenstown. Visiting once is not enough. You'll have to stay for at least a month or keep going back again."
Catch MissAdventures, premiering 10.30pm on Feb 10 on Okto.
MUNAH'S TRAVEL TIPS
Now that you've got your New Zealand itinerary sorted, it's time to turn your attention to some of the less exciting bits about travelling - packing and dealing with other tourists!
Munah's advice on ... dealing with unruly passengers in the plane
There's the passenger in front who reclines his seat back abruptly, taking you by surprise, and sometimes ruining your meal time.
And there's also the passenger at the back who presses their in-flight monitor so aggressively you get a headache.
What you are supposed to do is tell the passenger, as politely and civil as possible, to stop.
If it doesn't work, that's when you can start calling for help to avoid fights.
Munah's advice on ... how to get to the washroom when you're stuck in the window seat and your fellow passenger is sleeping
Try to wake the person up as politely as possible.
If the person is out cold and you really have to go, prepare to go into ninja mode!
Just make sure you do it as swiftly and as quick as possible to avoid any awkward situations!
Last but not least, you should aim to be as prepared as possible for your trip - what should you bring to prepare for insect bites, trekking and any other physical activity.
WATCH: Munah's top travel essentials
Photos: Munah Bagharib, Sukmawati Umar Litak
Video: Sukmawati Umar Litak