2 Weeks On The South Island, New Zealand
After spending two weeks in the North Island, it was time to move onto the South Island! I was pleased to find out that the majority of friends I had made in New Zealand would also be coming along. We planned to head down to Queenstown where we'd all be able to celebrate Christmas together.
At 6am wake-up call in Wellington meant only one thing; it was time to catch the ferry over to Picton before making our way along the coast to the Abel Tasman National Park. After a late night in Wellington, it was fair to say that none of us were really up for a bumpy sea crossing and I think the majority of us fell asleep on the cushions pretty quickly. As we approach Picton, there is already a clear difference in the scenery and it's beautiful! After a dinner of fish and chips by the water, I sorted my things ready for the following day's adventure; half a day of kayaking and half a day of hiking. The kayaking was amazing, a three hour paddle along the coast where we spotted penguins and seals, and then we had a five hour trek back to our hostel through the park, past incredible beaches and over wooden bridges. That evening, all of us headed to the beach for an incredible sunset.
Before arriving at Franz Josef, we stopped at Westport and Nelson Lake, which was actually one of my favourite views during my two weeks in the south island. We also stopped along the Tasman shoreline a couple of times, once at Pancake Rocks. Upon arrival to our destination, we heard that our helicopter ride to the glacier could be cancelled due to scheduled bad weather. We spent the evening in the local bar where it was all you can eat pizza and all you can drink bear followed by some group games. Sadly the next day we were told that our Ice Explorer trip was cancelled and with only another night here, we won't have the chance to reschedule.
Again, unexpectedly Wanaka was one of my favourite stops. We spent two days lounging by the lake and admiring the incredible views, and two nights at the local bar before moving onto the karaoke place!