New Zealand’s South Island (Part 1)
I don’t do many ‘proper’ travel guides. Most of this weblog is about learn how to live geo-independently, how to realize eudaemonia and some poorly made jokes thrown rhode island stone tower in to maintain you awake. As a journey blog, I do only a few vacationer guides. The explanation for this is easy. I’m a nomad, and nomads are usually not vacationers.
However for 18 days, I went on holiday with my mother and father to New Zealand. We drove all across the south island of new Zealand. Our invented itinerary is, with no false modesty, the perfection of vacation planning. There is no such thing as a theoretical higher route around New Zealand’s south island. I’m about to make a lot of money on this itinerary, however before I do, I give it to you, free of charge, because I love you.
If studying about different people’s holidays bores you to tears (I personally hate it), then be happy to skip on to something extra universally fascinating. But if you need to discover New Zealand or see me in thrilling terror, look no additional!
(I break up this submit in two as a result of on account of its length. This publish options the primary nine days.)
Day 1: Arrival, i-Sites and Accommodation
We arrived in Christchurch with nothing booked. Turns out that there was not a single room out there in Christchurch, and thus we had to rapidly rent a automobile and begin our street trip instantly, driving to the small city of Methven where we slept the first night time.
Mum, dad and that i arriving in Christchurch.
Don’t be alarmed. For the remainder of the journey, we never had an issue rolling into city and finding a motel instantly. The truth is, booking an excessive amount of of anything in advance is a poor thought because it leaves you inflexible to alter your itinerary as you go along. You need to go away yourself free to escape a place early if the pitchforks come out or stay longer if you happen to fall in love with something or someone.
Your first place to visit in Christchurch and every other place you move by in New Zealand is the native i-SITE. These are tourist information locations, and they are indispensable. They assist you discover the very best each town has to offer, and might help book nearly everything from a resort to a hooker. (Okay, possibly not the latter, although I didn’t ask…)
Day 2: Mount Cook, Lakes and the Tasman Glacier
Two issues are important when travelling New Zealand: spare digital camera batteries and a car. Rent or buy one, however get a car. You want to have the ability to stop at all of the gorgeous scenery as well as some odd museums alongside the way.
One such museum is the Geraldine Vintage Automotive and Machinery Museum. If you’re into old vehicles and entrepreneurial machines, this place can be heaven. My highlights had been the Harley with a facet-mounted hearse and the outdated gypsy wagon. (I might so see myself residing my nomadic life out of that previous thing!)
Drive south alongside the jap aspect of recent Zealand’s mountain chain. You’ll pass two stunning mountain lakes. Make a quick stop on the lonely church at Lake Tekapo and the observatory on the hill, then continue past Lake Pukaki (not to be confused with Lake Bukaki, which is in Japan) up to Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. This can also be residence to the Tasman Glacier, the country’s longest glacier.
A glacier is like a frozen river, slowly flowing down a mountain valley till it melts into a normal river or lake. The Tasman glacier is best viewed from boat going up the glacier lake to the terminal face, the wall of ice where the glacier ends. If you’re lucky, parts of the glacier may have fallen off just lately and created baby icebergs.
It’s also possible to do an easy 20 minutes’ stroll to the Mueller Lookout, offering views of two other glaciers, a glacial lake and a cute little bridge.
Day 3: Moeraki Boulders and Dunedin
Your next destination is the city of Dunedin. Along the best way, stop by the strange Moeraki Boulders. These giant, nearly perfectly round, boulders mysteriously litter a seaside just previous Hampden. They take little time to see and they are worth the additional mile.
Dunedin is the namesake city of Edinburgh and you can sense the town’s Scottish heritage. Notable stuff to see in Dunedin is the gorgeous prepare station, the botanical backyard and Baldwin Road, the supposedly steepest road on the planet. (San Franciscans declare they have it, however come on! You can’t be as cool as San Francisco and quibble over who has the steepest road. Let poor ol’ Dunedin have it!)
Day 4: The Otago Peninsula, Tragic Castles, Albatrosses and Penguins
Before you depart Dunedin, check out the Otago peninsula. Take the high highway out, following a tall ridge and stop by Larnach Castle. What the castle lacks in size it makes up in tragedy. (I know; bum deal.) The owner had a number of children and wives die on him, and he shot himself after his oldest son had an affair together with his last spouse. Oh, and the son killed himself too. The castle is small, lovely and blessed with stunning views of the Otago peninsula from the tower.
Proceed to the edge of the peninsula to see the 2 extremes of recent Zealand birds. The albatross is the most important chicken around, spanning 3.5 meters wingspan. There is a uncommon colony of albatrosses here on the peninsula which you can go to. The blue penguin is the smallest penguin on this planet and can after all not fly anyplace. They waddle well, nevertheless, and you’ll see them waddle up from the sea at dusk to tend their chicks.
Day 5: Caitlin’s Coast, A Misplaced Gypsy Bus and an Ancient Petrified Forest
Hope your automotive is comfy as a result of at this time we drive the Caitlin’s Coastline, transferring from the east coast to the west coast through the south coast. Don’t fear, there is plenty of superior stuff to stop and take a look at on the technique to Te Anau.
The first few stops are nice, however not wonderful. The Nugget Lighthouse stands atop some dramatic cliffs. It’s a pleasing stroll and price a glance. The Puranakaunui Falls are nice trying falls positioned a short stroll via a rain forest. Once more, nothing spectacular, but worth the stops.
The Gypsy Bus is easy to overlook. It’s not mentioned in any guidebooks and if it weren’t for a helpful lady at an i-SITE, we would have missed this priceless gem. The gypsy is a mad inventor of ingenious little machines and a true artist. Coming into his area is like strolling into a magical world. Many of the little machines are interactive and come alive whenever you wind their tiny cranks. Pure magic and an unexpected joy! Made me really feel like I had sidestepped into Burning Man. To not be missed!
The petrified tree stumps by Curio Bay is 170 million years outdated. I hope you gasped while you learn that, in any other case return and re-learn it. 170,000,000 years old. Evaluate that with Christianity, an infant at a mere 2,000 years outdated. This zero.17 giga-yr fossil was created when a volcanic eruption flooded a forest financial institution with silica mud. Every little thing beneath the surface petrified by means of silification, literally turning tree to stone.
Day 6: Doubtful Sounds and Glow Worms
From Te Anau, there are two cool issues to do.
The primary is a visit to Uncertain Sound, which is not a sound but a fjord. A fjord is an inlet from the sea into a valley created through glaciation, which is the case here. But who cares how they had been created; they are stunningly lovely in any case.
Uncertain Sound is remote, and the tour there goes across the Manapouri lake after which over a gravel road by means of mountains and past a hydro plant (which you enter as a part of the tour), so regardless of the boat trip by the sounds taking only three hours, you’ll be gone all day.
Within the night, you can take one other boat to an area glow worm cave. I wrote about glow worms earlier than after i visited the Waitomo caves on New Zealand’s north island. There are fewer worms in the Te Anaui cave, however the cave itself is superb to walk via. It is an ‘active’ cave with lots of water dashing by means of canals and down waterfalls. Actually, I loved the cave greater than the glow worms.
Day 7: Milford Sounds
Another day, one other misnamed fjord, this time Milford Sounds.
The highway itself to Milford is worth the journey, even without the fjord. It goes by means of spectacular changing scenery, from fields via forest and up mountain passes. There is even a tunnel.
Milford Sounds is much easier to get onto than Uncertain. Simply drive as much as the terminal and seize the primary finest boat. They depart every 15 minute or so. Milford Sounds is a bit narrower, steeper and shorter than Doubtful Sounds. It is far of a muchness which one you see, if you happen to solely see one.
You’ve gotten simply enough time in someday to do Milford Sounds from Te Anau and then drive to Queenstown.
Day 8: Queenstown, Jet Boats and Bungee Swings
Queenstown is the adrenaline capital of the world. It was here that bungee jumping was invented, and the craziness has since then spun right out of management. The primary thing is still bungee leaping, however I tried two different issues.
Wish to get into the Queenstown swing of issues The Nevis Swing is the newest Queenstown activity, a brand new version of the bungee jump. You fall 70 meters into a 0.3km wide arc throughout a valley. You are able to do it sitting ahead or backwards. I did it hanging the other way up. Sufficient discuss. This one is best defined via a video. (Please disregard the incoherent blabbering about the final scene of Batman; I was on an adrenaline high.)
The swing is fun, however it’s over shortly. You don’t have time to commit the expertise to reminiscence, so consider if you want to spend that type of money.
Jet boating entails a jet boat (duh) and a slim river. You zoom alongside the river and giggle with horror as the ‘captain’ drives inches from the cliff faces lining the river, sometimes throwing the entire boat into reverse and doing a 360-diploma pinhead turn. There are three firms doing this, having red, yellow and orange boats. Go along with the crimson one as they ‘own’ probably the most exciting (see: harmful) part of the river.
If risking life/sanity isn’t your factor, there are a couple of less excessive pleasures to be had in Queenstown. How a couple of spherical of Frisbee golf via the botanical backyard Or visit the coolest lady ever buried
Day 9: Arrowtown, Wanaka, Puzzling World and Wine Views
Arrowtown is a gold rush town with a cosy important road, previous buildings and attention-grabbing remains of a Chinese language settlement from the times of the gold rush.
The street from Arrowtown to Wanaka goes over a mountain and affords spectacular views. Wanaka itself is equally lovely, mainly because of the lake on which shores the town lies. For really spectacular views of the lake and the city, drive up to the nearby Rippon winery. While there, strive the native wine.
Probably the most enjoyable you’ll have at present, you’ll have at Puzzling World. The illusion rooms will twist your senses until you’ll imagine something, after which it is time to problem yourself to the grand maze. Do you suppose that mazes are solely difficult for kids Good. Go embarrass yourself. I practically didn’t make it out once more. Finally, drag your tattered satisfaction to the bathroom and carry your spirit with the funny mural in there.