I spent three weeks in New Zealand in March and April this year. Lizzy and I went on a massive road trip across both islands, starting in Christchurch on the South Island and ending up in Auckland on the North Island. The whole thing is documented pictorially on my Flickr stream and I could write for hours trying to describe the three weeks in all glorious the detail that such a great place provided us. But that might only be interesting for me and Lizzy, so instead I just want to sum things up. The following crams three weeks into just a few paragraphs so don’t expect daily detail – that’s all on Flickr!
Lizzy was already out there in Christchurch on the South Island when I flew in (a journey of over 24 hours going from London > Dubai > Melbourne > Christchurch) as she’d been in China and Australia the week before. It was the beginning of autumn out there and we had lovely sunny weather for starting our trip with a day exploring Christchurch on foot.
We then took the stunning transalpine train over to Greymouth, and hired our South Island car, driving via the Hokitika Gorge and Franz Josef glacier to Haast. From Haast we crossed over to Lake Wanaka and met friends before blasting off via Queenstown and Te Anau to Milford Sound for a misty cruise, and thence all the way back over for a weekend in the Catlins (including penguins and the most southerly point of the South Island), followed up with two nights in Dunedin and back up to Christchurch. Throughout the whole trip there was lots of mutual understanding about what we listened to in the car and many in-depth reviews of Kiwi chocolate bars, local snacks and fruit 🙂
We then flew from Christchurch up to Tauranga in the North Island where we spent three days with friends, hiring a new car and having a crazy time exploring hot water beaches and glow worm caves. We saw hot springs and boiling mud in Rotorua and Whakarewarewa before doing the totally epic Tongariro Crossing and making our way down to chill out in Wellington with more friends before rounding off the trip by flying up to Auckland, where, amongst other things, I turned 44.
New Zealand is familiar in the cities and spectacular in the countryside.It really is really, really green in a way that defies words, yet raw and terrifying when it comes to earthquakes, volcanoes and the faraway seas. It’s a welcoming melting pot of cultures and ideas and I really hope to go back one day.