18.2.20 Wellington, New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND: SOUTH ISLAND

It's coming up to a year since we ventured our our trip and I still haven't done all my blog posts. So this is to New Zealand for those of you interested, but mainly a little document of my time for memories sake.

My journey in New Zealand's South Island starts with the journey from Picton to Wellington. Regrettably very hungover, this journey was the longest in the circuit. The ferry over was early and I hung my head in shame, resting on the table missing all the sightings of dolphins on the way. We passed through Nelson, where I wish we could have spent some more time: and straight to Abel Tasman. A beautiful national park with lots of boat trips, walks and kayak trips. Of course it was another wintery night we spent drinking too much, running on the beach and doing cartwheels.

The next day was Easter Sunday so fortunately for our livers, it was a day of enforced abstinence of alcohol: all the shops stopped serving booze. We headed to Lake Mahinapua after a brief stay in Westport: stopping at a few spots to see baby seals (Cape Foulwind) and a quick walk to the Pancake Rocks.
Lake Mahinapua is famous on the Kiwi Experience route for it's dress up parties. The hostel is in the middle of nowhere, so the perfect place to party. We spent a few hours hopping between the lake and the beach: eventually settling to watch the sunset on the beach. This was hands down the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen: I truly felt we were on the edge of the world. That evening it was Easter themed dress up so my friends and I dressed as hot cross buns. We won a prize. It was a lot of fun as usual: and not a lot remembered.

 Franz Josef was a short drive through the rainforest. There isn't a huge amount to do in Franz Josef if you're on a tight budget like we were. There was the obvious glacier walks and helicopter rides and skydives. We had a pretty chill time here at the Rainforest Retreat. We had lovely sunny weather our first day so we sunbathed, went in the jacuzzi and got a relatively early night. The next day we went on a lovely (kinda tough because we weren't expecting it) hike in Okarito by the sea: we took a wrong turning though and very nearly could have been swept up by the tide.

After Franz Josef came Lake Wanaka. Stopping at the beautiful Lake Matheson (reflection lake) and Thunder Creek waterfall.  We only had about 2 days in Wanaka and it certainly wasn't long enough to do everything. We were all getting a little bit ill by this point but if we hadn't been so poorly; I would have loved to get up early and do the sunset hike up Roys Peak. We took a walk around the lake and saw the infamous "That Wanaka Tree." The weather was gorgeous and autumnal, you could see the town was preparing for the onslaught of the winter ski tourists. I would recommend based on friends photos I saw. We went to Puzzling World and I had what I would class as one of the best mango and orange slushies I've ever had.

Despite having a population of 15,800: Queenstown gets about 3.2 million tourists a year. It was clear to see why. We were all at our peak illness here (apart from Molly) and we did spent quite a few days hostel-bound watching netflix and crashing on beanbags: I felt sorry when a new person checked into our room because it was honestly like a sick bay.
Despite that we spent many drunken nights at the World Bar sipping vodka cranberries, chasing each other on the luge during the day and walking around the lake and the botanical gardens. The obvious choice for food is an infamous Fergburger but we much preferred the Devils Burger (and you got free chips too.)
We took a day trip to Milford Sounds which was long but we had got pretty good at sleeping on coaches by this point. It was a pinch me moment, I felt so spiritual and so thankful standing out on that deck: the water crashing around me. Gratitude doesn't come close to moments like that.

Queenstown was bittersweet in the end. It was the place we said our goodbyes to so many friends made along the way, as people seperated and headed back on their own solo journeys. It was the goodbyes which we found the hardest; no one had prepared us for it. The sudden thoughts of will I actually ever see you again?

The route to Christchurch was via Lake Tekapo. We stayed on a beautiful lodge on the lakefront. We got there early afternoon and Molly and I fell asleep on the stones by the water in some glorious autumn sun. Lake Tekapo is a UNESCO dark sky reserve: so it's an incredible spot to stargaze. That night didn't disappoint either. It was as magical as you can imagine and we all snuggled up under blankets listening to music as we watched the milky way.

We had a bit of a strange time in Christchurch. Our first Sunday, we spent walking around the botanical gardens. We got a nice brunch and enjoyed the stroll. Other than that we visited the art gallery and spent a surprising amount of time at the library.. Who would have thought Christchurch would be so good for its library??

I hope you enjoyed this summary of my time on the South Island it's long overdue for sure. I had a truly magical time in New Zealand and would give anything to do it again. This post is dedicated to those friends made along the way; you know who you are. xo

2 comments

  1. Your photos are unreal!! This sounds like an amazing trip, i cant wait to hear about more! Zoe xo
    delicate--musings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

thank you x

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