Kia ora! It’s holiday time! Any spare time I manage to wrangle will always consist of me hitting the road, in any and all directions.
This time has been a little different, a way in which I’ve conquered new things and learning to fend for myself. Solo travel is something I’ve always known to be inevitable but one of the things I’ve also rather feared! I’ve basically discovered that my need for companionship is quite large, especially when embarking into the unknown. In saying that, every day is taken as it comes and every day I learn to be a little stronger. I’ve only started small, I’ve got the rest of the world to go!
So my grand adventure is going to see me around both islands of New Zealand. I’m already starting with a biased opinion that there’s nowhere in the world quite like the South Island for its nature and its serene beauty, but I’m willing to stand corrected.
The city life
If living it large in the city is the game for you, There’s not any shortage of hustle and bustle in the south. That’s what I love about Christchurch, it’s big enough to have everything you’d need in a good distance but not so sparse that you cant stand back and appreciate the quieter side of it too when and if you need it. Adrenaline junkie? Queenstowns’ got you. You can either go and stand in awe of the towering snowy mountains that surround you (like me!) or jump out of airplanes, bungee jump, ski, swing off a canyon (not me!) or whatever takes your fancy! Pub crawl? Chill with the prominent student culture of Dunedin in the Octagon, the main hub for bars, restaurants and what seems like a lovely little time!
The country bumpkin
If you prefer the slower, not much of a care in the world approach to things, you’d want to follow my path and be at one with the hills and the sea, and without sounding too much like a hippie, take in as much of the nature around you. I made my way (albeit, quite fast) down to the Catlins, which a few hours drive through will take you on a course of its own exploring various waterfalls, lookouts, caves and as many hikes and trails as you can manage! I made my way around the coastline leading me to Slope point (see above), the southern most point of New Zealand, and definitely worth the drive and short walk. As much as I’ve embarked on this massive drive, and as cold as it is having entered into winter, everything has been so still and the sky has still been as blue as ever. The coastal drive ultimately led me to Milford road and after driving past hundreds of campsites and swerving past equally as many possum and native birds, I ended in Milford Sound. This is a place I thought only could exist in some sort of dream. There aren’t many words I can use to describe the calming serenity of the sound. Uncovering hidden waterfalls and seeing double on the mirror lakes made this my favourite location to date.
Things to come
This morning took me from Golden Bay in the Abel Tasman after spending a lovely night with my family, around the bay of Queen Charlotte, and although I’ve not been blessed with the best weather today, I can only imagine what the QC Sound would be like had it not rained, it was stunning as it was.
As I write this I am steadily cruising away from the South and gearing up to begin my Northern chapter, and seeing what the next island has to offer.
Excited for what’s to come, and truly humbled from where I’ve been.