I thought I’d compact our NZ travels into a few posts as we covered quite a lot in 9 days! We spent our trip in the south island driving around in a small campervan (which I wrote a bit about here). It was SUCH a good way to do it as we didn’t book anything apart from a couple of nights, which meant we could drive for as long as we felt like each day, and also had a little portable kitchen in which to cook our meals.
The flight from Melbourne – Christchurch was only 3.5 hours but with the time difference, we actually landed at 5am after a full day of work on Friday night, having had no sleep. We felt slightly like zombies but we were so excited, and got straight on the road through Arthur’s Pass, a stunning mountainous national park. There are loads of places to stop and go on short walks like the one we took to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls, with a scramble up a mountain to the view above.
We stayed our first night near Hokatika, by Lake Kaniere which was quite grey and drizzly but still beautiful. The next morning we went to Hokatika Gorge with its stunning milky turquoise waters and then onto Franz Josef Glacier. However the glacier has retreated so much that you actually can’t get that close to it anymore, and if I went back I would consider splashing out for the helicopter ride that takes you onto the ice itself. We camped by Lake Paringa and then the next day drove down through Haast Past through Mount Aspiring National Park to Wanaka, stopping at more waterfalls along the way and the amazing blue pools, which were SO clear and blue.
It was during a walk to Roaring Billy Falls (photo above) that Alex asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes! He had spent the last 4 months designing a beautiful ring with a jewellery maker, and even told my parents back at Christmas when they were in Australia. I couldn’t believe they’d all kept it a complete secret so well! We were on a total high for the rest of the day! It made the whole holiday even more special than it already was. X