Blogs from South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


After having some fish and chips and paua (abalone) fritters, a coastal Kiwi favorite, we drove several hours up and over the beautiful mountains running through the backbone of the country. We stopped at the alpine hamlet of Hanmer Springs before dropping down onto the desolate west coast. We were quickly finding there is more solitude to be found on South Island, with long stretches of uninhabited and inaccessible coast. It wasn't until the 1960s roads were built and these areas were even easily reachable. We spent the night boondocking outside of Hokitaka before moving on to the southern Alps and glacier country. We stopped at Franz Josef glacier for a quick hike through the rainforest to a viewpoint of the glacier, but the clouds and rain from that morning had socked in most of the ... read more
Mt. Cook cold plunge
Shotover Jet
The Routeburn Track

We drove to Mt. Cook National Park for Easter Day. This park is home to the largest peak in all of Australasia, Mt. Cook, and 72 glaciers. The park is equidistant between Christchurch and Queenstown, which we quickly learned means it's overrun by hordes of daytrip tourists. We hiked the busy main 3.5 mile trail on the Hooker Valley trail to Hooker lake. It was a warm and sunny day so the swim in the glacier lake I planned on was not entirely unpleasant. The water was a brisk 37 degrees but it felt like all of our cold plunge training culminated in this one moment to sit on some icebergs and to a crowd of 100+ spectators. We were traveling a bit ahead of schedule at this point so I decided to keep on cracking ... read more
Best campsite!
Wandering albatross

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Kaikoura March 29th 2024

We flew early to Christchurch in the South Island from Auckland after a terrible night sleep in a beautiful boondock spot along the bay just minutes from the city center. Unfortunately some partygoers decided to get raging drunk and were smashing beer bottles during the night. There's always one night of idiots while boondocking, let's hope that was it for the trip. We picked up our beautiful 17 ft. Toyota campervan that would be our home for the next 11 days. It was a huge upgrade for us, our first van being functional but this being cozy and luxurious by comparison. We drove a few hours north up the coast ending at the seaside town of Kaikoura. This town is one of the best places on earth to snorkel with dolphins in the wild and the ... read more
The perfect camp spot

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown February 29th 2024

I'm leaving Queenstown after three months. Three months.....somehow it feels like it has been both less and more than that. Time passed in the blink of an eye, makong it unbelieveble that it's actually been this long, nur there are so many memories packed into these three months that it feels like it has been much longer. Leaving Queenstown and the people I met behind is really wired, especially, because if I return in the future most of them will be gone aswell. That's the thing in a city full of travellers, there is always someone leaving and someone new arriving taking their place. I am now sitting in the bus to Dunedin and I am equally as sad about leaving this chapter behind as I am exited for the adventures ahead of me. I'll spent ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown January 30th 2024

The day after my last post I went cannoying. While it was very fun I was a little disapointed that there were alomost no water slides we could go down, a lot less opportunities to jump down cliffs and a lot more abseiling than the website made it seem. The guide told us that this is, because the canyon changed during the covid years and the jumps and slides they used to go down are not save anymore, so there is abseiling instead. Which also meant longer waittimes, because abseiling ten people takes longer than all of them jumping down. It was still very fun and a great experience with amazing views. A week later I was supposed to go river surfing but because I mixed up the dates I had work that day. Luckily they ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown January 6th 2024

My my does time fly...... I've been working and living in Queenstown for seven weeks now, but it dies but feel that long at all. Besides my job at the hostel I've also started working at a restaurant. So I'm working around 60h every week. The days I work the morning shift the hostel and the evening at Blue Kanu I crawl out of bed at seven work for 8½h have an between 30min and 1½h of free time in which I also habe to get ready and walk to my evening shift and then get back to the hostel between 11pm and 12:30am. So when I'm only working the afternoon shift at the hostel I spend my morning catching up on rest. Same on my free days, in which I also do stuff like my ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown November 28th 2023

It's been three weeks and I had the beginning of a new psts sitting in my drafts for like half that time. Anyway here a rundown of the things that happend since the Milford Sound cruise: I lost my wallet in Milford Sound and only noticed after we had driven two hours out of the national park. 16 hours later I got it back thanks to really nice Australiens that brought it to the next Police station. Another day later we made our way to Queenstown. Ina spend thursday afternoon charging her portable charger in a cafe for her hike and I walked around Queenstown. In a bakery I found german multigrain bread that after two months of toast almost brought me to tears. Besides that I won a 50 dollar discount for indoor skydiving, which ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island November 22nd 2023

On Sunday we left Hamilton and drove the beast to Auckland. It rained all the way but we made good time. We had to go looking for a petrol station as we couldn't see one at the airport. Finally drove out to a BP and filled up. Interestingly diesel is much cheaper here than petrol. Once we returned the car we went into the terminal and waited to board our plane to Christchurch. The flight lasted just over an hour and we disembarked and picked up our car. We drove into the city and found our hotel, Quest on Cambridge. This was very close to the main shopping area. Once we had checked in we walked up to the Bridge of Remembrance over the Avon River. It has been at least 25 years since I had ... read more
Rebuilding the Cathedral
Old Post and Telegraph building
On the tram

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 21st 2023

Tour Day 43, Cruise Day 43 – Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours) - Cross the port hills to the village of Sumner and head into the city center of Christchurch. Here you'll board an open-air kiwi double-decker bus (weather permitting) for a fun and informative 45-minute tour of Christchurch. You'll discover why Christchurch is known as 'the Garden City' and is considered one of the most English cities outside of England. Learn about Christchurch's fascinating history from pioneering days through modern times. View some of the areas affected by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and learn how Christchurch is now preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings. Your guide will share aspects of the exciting vision and plan to rebuild and restore the inner city, and will interweave the experience with stories and up-to-date information ... read more
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Timaru November 20th 2023

Tour Day 42, Cruise Day 42 – Alpine Lakes & Mountains Scenic Drive (8 hours) - Travel by coach through a landscape of crop, sheep and beef farms en route to the Mackenzie Basin. Here, the landscape and farming change dramatically. It is the domain of merino sheep and iconic high-country stations in a landscape dominated by the Southern Alps and glacial lakes. Pause at Lake Tekapo -- a remarkable turquoise lake with brilliant views of the glacial valleys that feed it. Don’t miss the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd (1935), whose altar window frames a postcard-perfect view. Traveling to Lake Pukaki, you cross one of the many bright-blue hydro canals crisscrossing the Mackenzie Basin. Lake Pukaki is surrounded by big country and borders the eastern slopes of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – named ... read more
Alpine Lakes & Mountains Scenic Drive
Alpine Lakes & Mountains Scenic Drive
Alpine Lakes & Mountains Scenic Drive

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