South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand has some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. Especially the South Island of New Zealand! Here are some things I did on the South Island that I thought were great!
Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes. Punakaiki is the proper name but people refer to this amazing place as Pancake Rocks because they look like stacks of pancakes. CLICK HERE to read/see more of Punakaiki!
Glaciers. Fox Glacier [left] and Franz Josef Glacier are common glaciers that travelers visit – they are relatively close to each other and just a short hike to reach the front.
Franz Josef Glacier:
Queenstown. An adorable town at the base of a mountain and at the edge of a lake… sprinkled with charming cafes, elegant restaurants, and charismatic bars. Read more about Queenstown and take a look at my pictures HERE.
Arthur’s Pass. If you’re trying to get from one coast to the other on theSouth Island, then I would recommend doing so via Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s Pass cut in between mountain ranges which makes for spectacular views out every window of the car. Don’t drive at night because you’ll miss postcard-worthy scenery that pops up every five minutes.
Enjoy the scenery even more by going on tramping [hiking] adventures… find one that suits your physical fitness level ranging from super easy 15 minute walks to extreme four day self-guided adventures in the middle of the woods. Be aware, however, that the as the physical excursion increases, so does the price; even with the self-guided tours, you must pay for your accommodation in the woods which is a hut share with about 10-15 others as well as transportation there and back [because most of the really good tramps you either need to start/end across a lake and catch a ferry or start/end far from a town so you’d need to ride the bus].
If you’re thinking about booking a tramp, go to any information center when you arrive to New Zealand and they can call and book it for you. Even better would be to book it before you ever leave home because spaces fill up fast. The best and most common leave from Te Anau which requires transportation and accommodation fees that average about $50 per person per day.
Sadly, if you’re traveling on a budget, it’s really easy to be lazy and just stick to short walks. Fortunately, since New Zealand is so beautiful, you can’t go wrong no matter what you decide.