So here we go on with the South Island of my New Zealand journey. We arrived by ferry trough the Marlborough Sound in Picton. The first view of the South Island was already the rough nature in all it’s beauty.
Here I have a map for you guys so that you can better follow our roadtrip and kno where all the pretty places are.
After a little drive we arrived at a beach. Such a paradise we didn’t expected. Almost tropical. The Beach is in Kaiteriteri not far from the Abel Tasman National Park. So we did spend this sunny day at the beach.
Next stop was the Abel Tasman National Park. We just had a day walk, but if you have the time, grab a cayak for one way and come back by feed. This must be so cool. But do not expect that you will be alone with all the nature around for a few days. Many backpackers are hiking this famous walk.
That’s why we just hopped back in our car and traveled down the West coast. This coast. So stunning. The weather was good, the road gold and the coast wild. You just have to taste it.
We drove to the pancake rocks. Too bad it was ebb tide, but if it’s high tide you will see a firework of water coming out of all the holes in the rocks. Almost like a geyser. So we just saw the rocks, but already amazing. Called pancakes, because, just have a look, they are layered like pancakes.
Further south all the huge glaciers were crossing our way. Sad, but many years ago they actual would have crossed the highway for real. They reached the sea. But now in our greenhouse world they are so little. I mean, still huge. Because of the clouds we couldn’t see any summit, so huge. We walked along a river to get to the glacier. First we were at the Franz Josef Glacier and at the next day we saw the Fox Glacier and went to the near by mirror lake, but it was too cloudy.
But the walk around the lake was still stunning. We saw moss covered under so much water running down from the rain that it looked like a tiny waterfall. Also we saw a blue little mushroom.
After a little bit of driving we had to cross the southern alps. We decided to drive the Haast Pass. Such a beautiful mountain drive. We passed large rivers and we saw huge in snow covered mountains.
We passend Queenstown and Te Anau. By the way, Queenstown is a very beautiful little city and the place for adventure sports in New Zealand. With little streets and surrounded by mountains next to a lake. When we arrived in Queenstown you could already see that autumn was already there. Beautiful trees covered with red leaves.
Further south leaving Te Anau behined the magic of the country got us. Lonely mountains were getting clother and we arrived at a place where flat grassland adjoins a large mountain range. The highway leaded directly into the mountains.
When we passed the range we could see into a valley covered by trees all around. Our first stop was at a river where the water left such a smooth stone formation behind.
After the beautiful river we arrived in Milford Sound. Where salt water from the ocean was so strong to causing erosion a few kilometers into the country and some fjords were build by the ocean water. Huge snow covered mountains and the flat water were meeting each other so beautiful you can’t even imagine. The clouds were dancing around the summits and the sun was shining so strong. Around the corner a very tall waterfall was going down and some tourists were getting in a boat to see this beauty from as near as they could. The mountains reflected almost perfect in the calm sea. This view topped everything. What a stunning countryside.
But we had to drive on. Back to Queenstown because it’s the only way to Milford Sound and back. Our roadtrip leaded us around more mountains and a lake, along vineyards with the sweetest grapes.
We arrived at the highest mountain, the Mount Cook also called Aoraki. We just had a look at a parkside of Lake Pukaki after a long day of driving. Glad we did. Aoraki looked amazing and also the Lake Pukaki was so pretty in blue.
At the next morning you could barely see any summit arround. No more of Mount Cook. That’s why we only could hike little boardwalks. They were still special, because we saw some little icebergs floating on a lake near a glacier. But than the rain came and the countryside was grey and unpolite like the weather. Everything was covered under a grey layer oft dirt.
And so we drove further up north again and stopped at the next lake, Lake Tekape. The biggest tourist attraction here is a little church infront of the lake and in summer you can find a lot of pretty flowers.
Next day, the clouds were gone, we lucky girls. The church looked so pretty and in the windows you could see the mountains reflecting and there were still some flowers blooming in the sun. What a beautiful day we ended with some white Tim Tam, what a highlight in our poor backpacker life. Poor, but wait, we were so rich seeing all this beauty.
We headed on to Christchurch and we had to see that we weren’t poor at all. We arrived in Christchurch in April of 2011 just after one big earthquake. The streets were cracked, buildings broken and nobody on the streets. Behind a fence we could see all the fresh ruins.
We had no reason to stay. It was to sad. So sorry for all the people who lived in the broken houses.
So we arrived at our last destination on the South Island. Just next to the highway at the east coast we could see some seals in the stormy sea. The real mermaids sitting on rocks right to the ocean.
We drove back north into the fog to hop on the ferry back to the North Island. Running away, leaving the winter behind us.
And that’s how the journey ends. Grey and rainy. But if you would like to read more about the greener Island of New Zealand head to Part I of my roadtrip adventure. Hope you all like my travel post. The next one will follow, so stay tuned to get some sun.