Tag: Franz Joseph Glacier

New Zealand – 2 weeks on the South Island (Part I)

New Zealand – 2 weeks on the South Island (Part I)

Here is the next part of our New Zealand adventure. This was the first out of 2 weeks on the South Island:

Day 7: A ferry ride and some scenic lookouts

After 3 and a half hours on the ferry, we arrived on the South Island. The drive to our next stop Marahau at the edge of Abel Tasman National Park gave us a preview of how beautiful it was going to be. We had some amazing views on the way and also hiked up Cullen Point Lookout.

Day 8: The Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Another day of hiking, but thankfully it wasn’t so steep today. After checking out Split Apple Rock in the morning, we took a water taxi to Anchorage Bay and hiked the last/first part of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. Rain forest, beaches, bays, the views were so beautiful!

Day 9: Exploring Golden Bay

We spent our second day in Abel Tasman driving further north to explore the Golden Bay Area. We first hiked to Wainui falls, another beautiful waterfall, and then drove all the way up to Wharariki Beach. The hike to the beach was beautiful, as was the beach itself. We saw some cool rock formations similar to the ones at Australia’s Great Ocean Road and a couple young seals.

We finished the day with a barbecue on the deck of our AirBnB, overlooking the ocean. Summer is the best.

Day 10: Down the West Coast

On day 10 we did our longest drive, from Marahau all the way to Franz Joseph. One great sight on the way are the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Nature is really incredible.

Our Airbnb was half an hour away from Franz Joseph in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never seen so many stars in my whole life! The Milky Way is really beautiful. Pictures from Thorben’s star photo shoot will follow 🙂

Day 11: Glacier Country

In the morning, we did a short hike to see Franz Joseph Glacier. It was pretty shocking seeing all the signs with “in 1950 the glacier ended here” when you could barely make out the glacier in the distance … This is the closest we could get to it, anything else needs to be done by helicopter.

After a short detour to a lookout at Fox glacier, we wanted to go see the glacier from above and then jump towards it. Sadly, our skydive was cancelled due to bad weather (read: clouds).

Day 12: Road to Wanaka

During the drive to Wanaka, we got some rain for the first time. After lunch, Tammy and Felix did a brewery tour, while Thorben and I braved the drizzle to go see the Wanaka tree, New Zealand’s most photographed tree. It’s quite cool, just a pretty tree growing in a lake.

In the evening, the weather got better, so Thorben and I could sit outside for our Valentine’s Day dinner and stroll along the lake afterwards.

Day 13: My favorite hike of the trip

The weather was great again the next day … so we hiked! Tammy and Felix chose Roy’s Peak, but after my knee stopped cooperating earlier in the trip, Thorben and I opted for a less steep hike. We did the diamond lake trail up Rocky Mountain. It’s a beautiful loop trail with around 500m altitude change. I think we made the right choice because it was really quiet, the views were amazing …

… and we even had the peak all to ourselves (after the people, who took this picture left).

Afterwards, we went to see the Wanaka tree again, in much better weather.  We stopped for some ice cream and drinks in town and then drove to Queenstown, our next stop.

Day 14: Kiwis! And Burgers! And Skydiving!

We only had a day in Queenstown, but definitely made the most of it. In the morning, Thorben and I went to the Kiwi Birdlife Park. It was a really cool experience! We watched the conservation show with some native and introduces species and then got to see many native birds, including 2 kiwis. They are really cool and much bigger than I imagined.

For lunch, we went to the famous Fergburger to see what the hype is all about. The wait to order was about 10 minutes, plus another 15 minutes for our food. The burger was really good, I thought (maybe not good enough to wait any longer), and the lake view we chose for our to-go lunch made it even better.

In the afternoon, we jumped out of a plane. Have I mentioned it was insane?

… and that was week 2 of our trip! Tammy had to fly back to Shanghai that day, so for the drive to Manapouri, there were only 3 of us left.