South Island

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March 16th 2008
Published: March 16th 2008
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 Video Playlist:

1: Jani's long waited Bungy jump! 62 secs
Its been a very hectic two weeks. We left Dunedin and drove to the Fiordlands. We stayed in Te Anau and the next day drove to Milford Sound. The drive there was pretty amazing itself with stunning views but when we eventually got there that view Mitre Peak and the sound was priceless. We took a 2hour cruise in the sound and then drove back and camped somewhere in between the Sound and Te Anau.

Next up was Queenstown, the home of all sorts of extreme activities. The drive there was quick as it turned out to be everywhere in NZ, atleast after Australia… We had big expectations of the town but it turned out to be just another real tourist trap. It was a tiny town cramped with overprized shops and way too many people. We camped outside of town and the following day drove to Kawanau Bridge, the home of Bungy jumping. This was a thrill as you can see from the video and pics.

The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown was a great one with curling roads between green lush vegetatated hills. Lake Wanaka did not disappoint and was beautiful. This was our last pitstop before hitting the West coast, where there are no supermarkets and very expensive petrol, so we geared up with noodles and pasta and headed to the Glazier country.

Drive over the Haast pass was beautiful even with the weather we had. There were waterfalls on every hill and spot and a rainforesty feeling about it. And then all of a sudden you were right next to the ocean. A heavy rainfall came upon us when we did get there and visibility was maybe maximum 20meters.. So our drive to Fox glazier was very slow. The rain never stopped so we decided to try to find a camping site and try and go the next day. We did have better luck, not AS much rain so we went to see Lake Matheson, where on a (very rare) clear day you could see Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman, and Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers. From the pics you can see that we didn’t see too much but we still enjoyed the short walks we did.

One of the rare sights on the West coast we got to see without rain were the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. They were something pretty different as you can see in the pics.

Then we drove to’rds Abel Tasman National Park with a couple of stops such as Lake Rotoroa, on the way. We based in a town called Takaka and had our best meal in NZ there in a restaurant called Dangerous Kitchen. If anyone is in the neighborhood it’s definitely worth a visit! Abel Tasman, Wainui Falls and Whaihoro Pupu Springs were our destinations and all worth a look. The Golden Bay area in general was a very nice area, but as most of our trip so far, it was ruined with the constant rain we had… After this we went pass Nelson, a good size town on the north shore of the south island to the French Pass area and stayed overnight there. A very beautiful area with very high hills darting straight from the ocean with neon green ocean waters, or that’s how we saw it for a brief moment when the sun came out for about 10 minutes in between the rain clouds… Then it was off to Picton and a ferry ride to the North Island and Wellington.

We really did like the South Island. It was fun to drive on the curly mountain roads and the scenery of spectacular even with the clouds being very low and visibility being what it was. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times it did rain quite a bit. We didn’t have a single day without rain on our roadtrip on the South Island. We hoped for better weather for the North Island.

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