Road trip in the South island – 2nde part

On 7 December 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

You may have already read the 1st part of my road trip in the South Island of New Zealand. Here is the 2nd part of my favorites places, my impressions of the places visited.

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After our ascent of Roy’s Peak in Wanaka, here we are going towards Queenstown, THE city of the island which everyone talks about. The area is actually very beautiful with all the mountains, lakes and so on. Many extreme sports are offered in Queenstown, paragliding parachute jumpmountain biking or kayaking. Yes but, for me, Queenstown is (really) too touristy. Result, you certainly have the mountains but also the tourist buses that pass, cafes and restaurants mingle with (expensive) hotels and tourist agencies. So, I did not like it more than that. However, we spotted a beautiful area with my friend to watch the sunset (above left) and I must recognize that there still has lovely things to look all around!

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Despite the bad weather, we decide to still get to Milford Sound which is one of the most famous places on the island. The road is apparently one of the prettiest of the island, unfortunately with fog and rain we do not see much. No matter, after a night in a DOC campsite close to Milford, we start to cruise for 1:30 to see some fjords. We chose to do the first cruise of the day, which turns out to be a good idea because this is where we still see the best scenery. And in front of us, these fjords are emerging, the waterfalls are huge and numerous, a very particular landscape. A very good memory, but I admit that if I come back one day, I‘d like to redo the cruise on a beautiful sunny day to see these fjords completely differently (and see the famous reflection of Mitre Peak).

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We then set off again to Queenstown, as there is only one road, to go to Mount Cook, the highest peak of the country. Unfortunately, the weather is inclement there. So we decide not to make the journey there or do the walk and go directly to Lake Tekapo, renowned with its ancient church and colors. We sleep the previous night in a free campsite at Lake Pukaki, right next door. And in the morning, in the bright sun, we admire the blue of the water that is imposed on us in front of the mountains. The color is just supernatural, in reality due to the minerals in these lakes. A breakfast we will be remember! Taking the road to Lake Tekapo, so we admire the water, moving slowly, stopping a lot. Then we come to the 2nd lake with the water still as blue and snowy mountains behindmagic!

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Once my friend gone, my morale is a little low. So I decide that I need to clear my head with a walk and watching the weather forecast, I see the sun comes to Mount Cook. I decide to go there and do the walk (which takes about 3 hours return, with many photo stops and admiring the view), and I fell completely in love. The mountain is beautiful, the very present snow, and the lake at the end of the walk which is reached with the ice water and the reflection. Impossible to forget, even if I don’t like to classify things I see during my trip, Mount Cook is definitely one of my favorite.

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Then I decided to go down in the south of the island to see the National Park of the Catlins. The road is, for once, rather monotonous and time consuming, too bad Arriving there, I can observe a beautiful waterfall on 3 levels and Nugget Point. I also go searching for the penguins on the East Coast but could not find them, especially since the wind is too strong and it is difficult to stand, it becomes dangerous at times as I am close to falling. However, I am very close to some massive sea lions that impress me much.

I end my tour of the South Island in Christchurch with an evening with friends of the couple who welcomed me in Wellington. Their home is beautiful with stunning views of the valley and the surrounding mountains. And the evening is just great, the woman plays ukulele and her band comes that night to rehearse at home. So I see 17 Kiwis (3 playing guitar, 1 violin and others ukulele) who repeat many songs in front of me, with a very positive mood. A big thank you to them for their hospitality!

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