Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Zealand: Part 3 of 3

Catch up with my New Zealand travels with Parts 1 and 2!

This is it, guys: the home stretch of New Zealand picture-heavy posts! Sorry to have been clogging your feeds with these posts. (And THANKS to those who've looked and commented and encouraged me to keep on sharing my travels with y'all.)

Day 17: TranzAlpine Train, Greymouth

Today we woke up bright and early for a train ride through the heart of the Southern Alps to get to the west coast of the South Island! The TranzAlpine is ranked among the most beautiful train rides in the world, and pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you can sort of see why:

Three hours later, we arrived at our destination, the mining town of Greymouth on the West Coast.
Me, overlooking some land just east of coastal Greymouth.

Day 18: Franz Josef Glacier

The next day, we traveled down to our next stop: Franz Josef Glacier, the most visited glacier in New Zealand. A view of the glacial valley from a high vantage point:
Sadly, global warming has reduced the size of the glacier to the smallest it's ever been:

But my favorite place at Franz Josef was Peter's Pool, a quaint little place a short walk off the main trail, where the still water perfectly reflects the glacier and surrounding mountains. We got there in the late afternoon, when the light was at its nicest:
Hah! You thought you'd finally see a picture of the boy? Sorry; there are students reading this blog. So I put a smirky face there instead. *smirks*

Day 19: Wanaka

Wanaka, Wanaka, Wanaka. The boy and I composed songs (some of which were to the tune of Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song"...) to honor this gorgeous and relaxed up-and-coming lakeside town that was probably our favorite stop on our trip.
We decided to forego hikes in favor of playing by the lakeside for the whole afternoon, ending the day with gourmet pizza and a gorgeous sunset:
I could've spent days here, and on one of those extra days would've tried out skydiving, which in this region is considered especially beautiful. So yeah, talk about perfection.

Day 20: Queenstown

It was with reluctance that we boarded the bus the next day. But we had a schedule to keep and several more stops to make... such as the first commercial bungy site in the world--A. J. Hackett Bungy, off the historic, restored Kawarau Bridge over the Kawarau River. Is that truly the color of the river?
Yes. Yes, it is.

I didn't go bungying because it was so prohibitively expensive there, but it's definitely near the top of my bucket list, so one day... one day...

We arrived in Queenstown, the adventure capital of NZ, in the early afternoon. The hostel was situated right at the edge of Lake Wakatipu, facing the Remarkables mountain range:
Remarkables is right. A view of Queenstown from the viewing platform at the top of the cable car ride.

Day 21: Milford Sound

This day trip to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound was loooong (13 hours total: 5 hours driving each way, a two-hour cruise in the Sound--geologically, it's technically a fiord; the early English explorers got it wrong--an hour built in for photo + bathroom stops, etc.), but so worth it. Even the very drive there was an unforgettable experience in itself:

In fact, I may have enjoyed the ride to Milford Sound more than I did Milford Sound itself--though I certainly didn't complain about getting to see them all!
This is the first view of Milford Sound I got, right as our bus turned the corner.
That's the boat we took for the two-hour boat ride. Dead center is Mitre Peak, the most photographed peak in Milford Sound, and the most distinctive.

Day 22: Lake Tekapo

There are no words to describe this place. A hike up Mt John offered these views:

Nighttime around Lake Tekapo was equally stunning, first a sunset that lit the mountains and skies in colors of fire, and then a nearly flawless view of the Milky Way and a zillion stars at night.


Lake Tekapo was our last new stop on our trip. We arrived back in Christchurch the next day, and spent a final day there before flying back. My whole time in New Zealand was just one of those nearly perfect trips, and exactly my kind of place. Extraordinary views, few people, cool weather, lots of nature opportunities. I would go back in a heartbeat. If you ever want to go, just call me up.



  1. Every picture looks like a postcard! I can't think of New Zealand without thinking of Flight of the Conchords and all their NZ jokes, but seriously, that place is gorgeous. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip with smirky boy. :)

  2. WOW! I feel like I want to go for a month and just backpack around, staring in awe at my surroundings. WOW AGAIN!! I can't wait to visit... *puts pennies in piggy bank*

    1. Yep, that's what I did the first time, and that's what I do for any subsequent times I manage to make it back there. I want to go backkkk.

  3. wow those are some beautiful pictures. I always think of the LOTR being filmed there too :)

    1. I now want to watch the LOTR movies (for the first time!) having been there and seeing how beautiful it is. I go about things in reverse. :P

  4. So beautiful. I would love to go to NZ and Aus. Jealous :-)

  5. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! They definitely make me want to go to New Zealand, and soon. My favorite part? The bungee jumping, which I'm deathly afraid of, but do want to try to do one day!

    1. I've always wanted to do bungee but didn't go through with it in NZ because of the money. However, even my bf who wasn't into bungee at all before the trip had changed his mind after seeing people do it and now wants to do it sometime. :) I'd say that NZ is pretty good at getting people to do crazy things they never thought they'd do!

  6. These are all so beautiful! I so hope I can go there someday. I'm glad you had such a great time.

  7. WOW and here I though that these pics can't get any better. I love the pic of a sunset! So pretty. I think I'm more and more curious about New Zealand. Great post once again :)

  8. I have enjoyed your pictures so much, thank you for sharing them so generously with us. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand, so this bit of travel through your lense was immensely appreciated. Looks like you had a gorgeous trip! I think your day trip to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound was my favorite part of your pictures.

    1. It's one of my dreams now to return to Milford and do the Milford Track, the multiday hike that runs through the same land and sights as that drive does. Stunning, right?! I can't get it out of my head, felt like I was in a fantasy movie while I was there. (Oh wait... that IS the appeal to NZ to many...!)

  9. These are all just too awesome. Those views of Queenstown are amazing. I couldn't even imagine living in a city like that. Wow.


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...