After our amazing trip on the north island, Jens and I arrived in the capital, Wellington. It felt strange to be in a big city again. From here we took the ferry to Picton, which is definitely a todo on you NZ Todo list! It’s not the cheapest way to hop islands, but the view is stunning! After our arrival in the small town, Picton, we rented a car to continue our roadtrip and explore the south island…
Small, but still big enough to do stuff and pleasant to look at. That’s Wellington. We only stayed two nights, but you can easily fill a week in the Kiwi Capital. Lots of bars and museums in town and the national parks are just around the corner.
Our small checklist:
- Weta Caves x
Studio created for the practical effects for the Lord Of the Rings
- Te Papa Museum x
Stunning and really interesting museum of New Zealand
There was an exposition about Kiwi soldiers fighting in WWI in Italy
- Mount Victoria
- Old St Pauls
We only did the first two, but this way we have a reason to come back!
After a chilly ride on the ferry, we made it to Picton where our iron horse was waiting. Slipknot, Gramatik, Halve Neuro… All our favorite artists blasted through the car!
After having traveled through Australia for a long time, long distances become relative. This feeling changed rather quickly when you hit the Kiwi roads. As you’re driving through the mountains most of the time, roads are curvy, so your average speed stays quiet low.
Similar to Iceland, riding a car trough this country is like driving from postcard to postcard… The transition from North to south on this island is eye candy. A couple of our mayor stops:
- Takaka – Totaranui
Hippie town, with a camp site on a stunning beach
- Franz Joseph & Fox Glacier
Two beautiful glaciers, but became sadly too small to hike on it by yourself. Only possible by helicopter
Small cultural town next to the coast
Charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River
Armed with our tent and our camping gear, we slept most of the times at DOC Campsites. But the weather gods were still not in our favor. Almost every day we were granted with cold showers from the sky… At the town of Franz Joseph, we slept in a small cabin of a campsite to dry out and recover. When you sleep outside and are constantly cold, a hot shower and a comfortable bed are like gifts from the gods.
That’s three references to gods so far… Maybe I am religious…
Wanaka was our last stop before Queenstown. The small city next to the beautiful lake is one my favorite places in New Zealand. With the sun in our neck, we put up our tent next to the lake and made our way to Roys Peak. Roys Peak is a mountain, standing between Wanaka and Glendhu Bay. It offers a full-day walk, with views across Lake Wanaka and up to the peak of Mount Aspiring/Tititea. Hiking up was fantastic with a stunning view as a reward. The walk down was a different story… As it’s a steep path, it’s quite painful for your knees… But at least, it didn’t rain for once!
From the moment we received our car, we were on the lookout for other hitchhikers! Off course we wanted to pay back the favor. As we drove out of Wanaka, we picked up our first hitchhiker and dropped him of in front of his door.
Queenstown, Munich from New Zealand. With the ski-slopes around the corner, bungee jumping, paragliding and centrally located on the south island, it’s a big touristic hub. Tourists from all around the world, working holiday travellers and party minded backpackers make sure that the bars are never empty. Jens is flying out back to London from here, so the obligatory last burgers and beers were on the menu!
These last two weeks hitchhiking and navigating through New Zealand were amazing! I don’t see myself doing this in the same way as with you buddy! Or I have yet to meet that girl 😉 Take care of the misses and see you both around Christmas!
The day after Jens left, was one of those Limb Bizkit – Break stuff days… Everybody should leave me alone for a day ;P
I still had the rental car for a few days, so I could do what I wanted…
Social mode activated and I hit the road again towards Mt Cook!