I visited New Zealand for a work trip some time ago and stayed on for a bit of annual leave. When my work trip ended my Dad flew in and we then spent about 5 or so days traveling around the South Island of New Zealand as a boy's week. This post is just a bit of a reminder (of older individual posts) and is sharing some photos from the trip from that time. Where I can I have included rough dates as a guide.
We started off in Queenstown where my work trip finished and decided to explore there a little bit, this included visiting the Skyline Queenstown to get to the side of Mount Ngongotaha with fantastic views of Queenstown, Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua, and the surrounding area.
Following a visit around Queenstown, we then visited Arrowtown to explore the area, including a look through the village and the scenic Arrow river which was a very short walk from the main town centre, due to time we were only there for an hour or so however, I had also visited earlier with work and did a scenic bike ride which was well worth it!
I had heard great things about Milford Sound, but because time was right we could only spend a day down there so took a fly-cruise-fly trip through Air Milford. This experience was absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend it as well as the team at Air Milford. If I had my time again there I think I would spend a little bit more time down at Milford Sound, as well as seeing Doubtful Sound and the surrounding areas.
Various pictures from the Fly Cruise Fly trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound and return.
After visiting Milford Sound through the Fly-Cruise-Fly, we then went onto Wanaka (and stayed at Lake Hawea), the place we stayed at was called the Hawea Hotel and was nice and a short walk from Lake Hawea. During our time here we took a look at Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, and I tried by hand at some Astrophotography (night sky photos). It's one of my biggest regrets that I didn't do any more night shots as the South Island is brimming with photography opportunities including at night!
Following our stay at Lake Hawea, we then drove for the day up to Frans Josef glacier and stayed at Punga Grove for the night, the following day we went out to have a look at Frans Josef Glacier. It was a bit of a walk from the car park to the Glacier but nothing overly difficult (I would not say I am the fittest), the walk was quite nice and the views were great. Again this was one of those places I wish I had tried to take some more night photos at but maybe in the future!
Following Frans Josef, we made our way up to Arthurs Pass Village via the Blue Pools, with the images below.
After we visited the Blue Pools, we made our way to Hotel Lake Brunner to stay the night,
Today we drove across the Island to Christchurch and flew out back to Melbourne. Overall visiting New Zealand (the South Island) was a fantastic trip and I found it such a beautiful and incredible place.
What I Would Change:
I wish I did a few things differently though (which may be in the future I would):
- Spend a little more time down at Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound.
- Spend a little bit more time up at the Glaciers (Frans Josef and Fox Glacier)
- Experience more of the Astrophotography and night sky photography opportunities of the south island, including the incredible Aurora's.