I've been to a couple of places in this beautiful world but nothing took my breath away, like the south island of New Zealand. It is in no way possible to describe the feeling you get, traveling on this island - but I give it a try...
traveling to the end of the world...
I was lucky enough to travel around the world in 2017. When I went to New Zealand, I was flying in from the Fiji Islands so that trip was like a walk in the park. If you're flying from Europe it is kind of a pain in the ass getting to the home of the Maori, the Kiwis and the most stunning nature sights I've ever been.
I don't even know where to start right now. Actually I'm having goosebumps and my wanderlust is getting crazy while I'm typing this sentences. So my trip started in Auckland (North Island) where I visited a friend of mine but I wanted to get to the South Island as fast as possible. The crossing with a huge ferry from Wellington to Picton alone was one crazy time. On this three and a half hour ride you cross the Cook Strait. Lucky me, this day was pure sunshine. This trip can get pretty rough (don't even check out the YouTube videos!!)
My first stop was Greymouth, a small town on the west coast of the south island. You take one of the most beautiful coastal roads I‘ve seen in my life. Fern all over, mountains on the left, the sea on the right side. Stunning! Make sure to stop at Pancake Rocks. A place out of this world.
I could have spent days there but as usual there was so much to see and so little time. I took the road over Arthur's Pass to go to Christchurch. The city was still not totally rebuild after the huge earthquake from 2011. There's actually not really a lot to see there. The reason to be on the south island in New Zealand are definitely the breathtaking nature scenes. Next stop - Lake Tekapo - just to realize that this is getting more beautiful the further I go south.
lake tekapo and mount cock
From Christchurch it as a 3 hour ride on state highway 79 to go to Lake Tekapo. Trust me, it will take you longer, there is so much to see on the side of the road - you wanna stop every 10 minutes to take some stunning pictures.
The lake is meltwater fed by 4 glaciers. The water is like a mirror and the view you get from the church of the good shepherd will blow you away. But don't just stay at the tourist information center - go a little further south and you will find the perfect spot to get the lake and Mount Cook (also called Aoraki - the highest mountain of New Zealand) on one picture.
let's see the fiordland all the way south
150m high waterfalls running out of the mountain, looking like a little tap water. The mountains in the fiord are just crazy high and the wildlife is even crazier. Seals, dolphines, whales, penguines you'll see it all. The conditions on the road to Milford Sound can be tough. Make sure to carry snow chains if you're going in June or July and check the weather conditions on the NZTA. I was lucky - it was pure sunshine but still the drive there was pretty narley. The Homer Tunnel will scare the shit out of you but the view you get when you see sunlight again is just insane!
The fairy prices are quite expensive if you are on a low budget trip, but totally worth it. The trip is taking you out to the Tasmanian sea. If you are lucky you have a sunny day and will be able to see all the massive walls protrude out of the crystal clear water. An experience out of this world.
the end of the world and some crazy stones
You are already way south if you visit Milford Sound but there is still more to come if you keep driving. One of my favorite places in New Zealand was definitely the Nugget Point. Unfortunately the weather wasn't that good that day but this happens if you are traveling New Zealand in winter.
The platform with its lighthouse gives you a fantastic view over the surrounded rocky islets (the nuggets) and on sunny days you can enjoy the literally view to the end of the world. Next stop Antarctica!
Nobody really knows why, nobody really knows when but somehow nature decided to but some round shaped rocks on Koekohe Beach. The place is called Moeraki Boulders and it is again out of this world. Another scenery you don't wanna miss if you are traveling the south island of this wonderful country.