Heading South : NZ South Island
In KANO, it is no longer a secret that we love roadtrip.
And this one is our biggest roadtrip just yet (probably our biggest trip this year).
We were heading south to New Zealand's South Island. One of the best roadtrip destination in the world.
We choose Christchurch as our starting point, but we were heading straight away to the legendary Arthur's Pass, one of the most scenic alps road in New Zealand. Along the way we stopped at Castle Hill, a rock climbing paradise, as well as a scenic landscape that inspired the movie set of 'Lord of the Rings'. As we made our way through Arthur's Pass to the West Coast, the landscape changed from high alpine to coast line, flatland and into the glaciers land of Franz Josef.
Early morning in Franz Josef, we made our way down to the town, to go on a helicopter ride to the Franz Josef Glacier. It's going to be a short ride, but we've been hearing great stuffs about the heli ride in Franz Josef. So, after about 15 minutes wait, our helicopter came to pick us up. And well, well. it just doesn't get any better. We can have a bird eye view of the whole glacier, and landed on the top of it. We managed to shoot some great photos for the view is just magical.
Our next stop for tonight will be Wanaka, but on the way there we will be passing through Mt Aspiring National Park, and also Haast Blue Pool. The scenery on this route are mostly high snow peaked alpines. It was sort of our first real taste to the southern alps. A scenery we never get bored to see.
The thing about roadtrip is that the flexibility that we have. That is why we always love roadtrip. This time especially in New Zealand. The road was mostly empty and the nature is just insanely beautiful. So we made so many stops just to take photos.
As we touched down in Wanaka, we made our way to the town to enjoy the vibe. Wanaka is known for its world class ski resorts, and also a very chill town for backpackers. There has always been arguments about which town is better between Wanaka & Queenstown. But we are not here to judge. We like it in both towns.
Very early in the morning, 4.30am. We woke up for a sunrise hike on Roys Peak. We have seen many awesome pictures on social media, so we are determined to get the pictures as well. The weather forecast looked good, despite the freezing cold, the sky would be clear in the morning. The hike took us a good hours one way, and the view from above when the sun rise was just mind blowing.
After the exhausting hike, we spend some times chillin' by the lake, and then we saw that infamous 'That Wanaka Tree', and obviously we took our chance to take photos of that super cinematic tree during the colorful autumn day.
Our next stop would be Queenstown, through Crown Range. The road through the mountains is always special.
Once we arrived, we take a good rest after long days on the road. In the evening we had a BBQ feast at the Flame. They had the most amazing BBQ ribs and steak in town. Definitely worth to check out while you are around.
During our days in Queenstown, we also made a day trip to Milford Sound. Cruising around the fiord, with all those glorious mountains and waterfalls. But for us, the highlight was the Milford Road. Possibly the best road we have ever driven on.
Every corner of the road, hide something so amazing that what should be a 1,5 hours trip became 2,5 hours. But it was worth it.
As we continue our roadtrip, we need to go back north towards Christchurch. We decided to take a different route, to visit Mount Cook and Tekapo.
Both place are the 'World's Dark Sky Reserve' which basically means one of the darkest place on earth, and that also means awesome night sky. Although in NZ the night sky has always been awesome, these 2 places are something special.
Mount Cook is probably my favorite place in the world. I've never been to a mountain area that is so beautiful, yet very accessible in the same time.
You don't have to be a professional mountain climber or hiker to enjoy the beauty. Although if you are up for it, you can go to do some more technical multi days hike as well here.
We did the Tasman Lake and Hooker Valley trek. Tasman Lake trek took only a few minutes, and you will get a close view of Tasman Glacier and all the big peaks all around. While Hooker Valley took us about 1 hour to reach the base of Mount Cook, with Hooker Glacier and lake with icebergs all around. Overall great easy hike.
New Zealand has been treating us well.
All the natural beauties, a great long roadtrip, friendly people, and all the easy access to all the places.
Our biggest trip just yet.
And we are already thinking about coming back real soon.
Are you joining us next time?