Tag: Road Trip

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.

New Zealand bound

New Zealand bound

Chinese New Year is just around the corner – the year of the pig will start next week – and so is our next trip. We have 3 weeks off and together with 2 of our Shanghai friends we’ll rent a car and drive more than 3,000 km across NEW ZEALAND!

After landing in Auckland, we have 1 week on the North Island. Our plan is to do the following:

  • A tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set
  • See the glowworm caves in Waitomo
  • Explore Rotorua
  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing (if weather permits)
  • Visit Wellington

From Wellington we’ll take the ferry over to the South Island and there we’ll have another 2 weeks to …

  • Spend 2 days in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Drive down to Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier via the Pancake Rocks
  • Spend a day in Wanaka/Mt. Aspiring National Park
  • See Queenstown
  • Cruise both Milford and Doubtful Sound
  • Hike at Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo
  • Drive to Christchurch to fly back to Auckland and spend 1 day there

We leave tomorrow night. I. Can’t. Wait.

Kangaroo Island to Melbourne Road Trip

Kangaroo Island to Melbourne Road Trip

After Kangaroo Island we took 4 days to drive over 1,000 km to Melbourne with many pretty spots on the way. The weather wasn’t the best but we still had a good road trip.

Day 1: Kangaroo Island to Hall’s Gap (580 km)

Our road trip started with a big travel day. We drove to the port, took the ferry and then drove 580 km to Hall’s Gap, which is in the Grampians National Park. By “we drove” I mean Thorben did all the driving 🙂

Day 2: Grampians National Park to Port Fairy (160 km)

In the morning I sent Thorben to hike up to the Pinnacle by himself while I was busy sleeping in and coughing.

After he got back we drove to different lookout spots where you never had to walk more than a kilometer for a pretty view. We did the Boroka Lookout, Reed Lookout, the Balconies and MacKenzie Falls. The weather wasn’t the best, I’m sure it’s even more beautiful when the sun shines

In Port Fairy we walked along the beach to a lighthouse and if it wouldn’t have been for the wallabies we saw it might as well have been Spiekeroog (a tiny island in the north sea) 🙂

Day 3: Port Fairy to Apollo Bay (200 km)

Day 3 was when we drove the most famous part of the Great Ocean Road and hit all the major scenic viewpoints including the Bay of Islands, the Grotto, the London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and of course the Twelve Apostles.

Day 4: Apollo Bay to Melbourne (200 km)

The last stretch of the trip wasn’t too exciting. We wanted to stop at some beaches and surf towns but it was drizzling most of the time. We did however make a stop at the Great Ocean Road chocolaterie and got some goodies 🙂

Australia, here we come!

Australia, here we come!

Tonight, we’re getting on a plane to Sydney and then we’ll travel around Australia. Here is what our trip will look like:

Our 3 week Australia itinerary

  • 4 days in Sydney with a day trip to the Blue Mountains (if the weather is good)
  • 2 days in Adelaide
  • 1 day drive to Cape Jervis
  • 3 days on Kangaroo Island
  • 4 days road trip to Melbourne with a stop at Grampians National Park and a drive along the Great Ocean Road
  • 2 days in Melbourne
  • 4 days in the Red Center to see King’s Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta
  • 2 more days in Melbourne

On the map you can see what distances we’ll cover:

That means this blog won’t be updated for a while but lots of pictures and more details will come when we get back 🙂