the sea with rolling hills as the backdrop

South Island of New Zealand – A Two-Week Road Trip

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Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, South Island, New Zealand
The Pancake Rocks

Again, the drives were so beautiful and still full of one-way bridges everywhere. One way bridges are good as they keep more nature from being destroyed but when you sometimes met cars it takes a while to be on your way again. I do feel like the South Island of New Zealand was more beautiful than the North but not by much. As we headed further South the colder it got. We made it to the viewing platform for the pancakes and blowholes. Rocks that were flat as pancakes. Blowholes with water crashing through. The sea was very rough. It was certainly no place you wanted to fall in.

A South Island Heli-Hike in Franz Joseph

Me on the ice-walk on Franz Joseph Glacier on the South Island, New Zealand
Sliding Through the Glacier

We were lucky eventfully. For two consecutive days, our Heli-hike was cancelled due to bad weather. So, we headed down to Queenstown and come back this way to try again. Yes, on our way back we were lucky it was going ahead. I was stoked, my first helicopter flight, and still the only one. However, I’m normally scared of heights but loved every minute of the 7-minute flight. It was so cool!

The walk around the glacier was also cool. There were different shapes of the ice, we even walked through an ice crevasse. There was fresh glacier water to drink. Perfect. The walk was amazing. A new experience and one that I enjoyed. And knowing that a helicopter was taking us back down was insane. On my bucket list is to ride in a helicopter again. I think they are great!! So, hopefully, one day I’ll cross it off.

After, working those legs muscles we took a well deserved relax in the spa hot pools. It is included in the price for the Heli-hike. Also, this meant there were showers!

A Cold Queenstown, South Island

How beautiful is Queenstown? So beautiful. This was my first time in a town that resembles what a ski-town looks like to me. Yet, the best view of the trip for me was entering Queenstown. We drove around a corner and there was Lake Wanaka on your right spanning a vast area with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. A new view of nature for me. Snow on Mountains. Who would have thought years later snowy mountains would be one of my favourite places to be. I, myself, was all about the sun. Now, I want to live Winter to Summer. This came about after my time in Whistler.

The view of Lake Wanaka with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop near Queenstown in New Zealand
The Best View in New Zealand

In the summer months, you can ride the lunge down the Mountain… we had a pass for 5 times. As ee caught the gondola up, the misty rain got worse. Next, was a chair lift. This was cold. Sitting there out in the open in the rain and wind. Also, this was very scary for me. It was my first time on a chair lift and I’m scared of heights. Nowadays my fear is not as bad. However, it was worth it for the ride down. So much fun but not fun enough for us to use all 5 tickets… it really was that cold up there.

How About a Sky Dive…

Me and the orange small plane used for Lake Wanaka Sky Dive, in Queenstown, New Zealand
Just About to Board the Plane

So, for me to even consider skydiving was a big deal but I knew I wanted to give it a go in Lake Wanaka. I had seen the pictures and it looked breath-taking.

However, after trying for the last three days, we were finally up in the plane. It took all my willpower to get into that plane. The scenic flight was incredible. Then it was time. My guide clipped me to himself. He asked if I was ready to jump. Silly question, the answer will always be ‘NO’. Then within two seconds, he tapped me on the shoulder. I took a deep breath thinking this was it. Time to jump.

Unfortunately, at the last second, we again had cloud cover, therefore, no jump. I did automatically relax but couldn’t help feeling disappointed that I couldn’t jump. To this day I haven’t got the strength to try it again.

Our Final Activity in Kaikoura, South Island of New Zealand

Well, so far all activities had been fun and all new to me and this was no different. New Zealand had brought a lot of firsts to my life. All things that I would have never known I liked. This is a major part of why I travel to learn what things I would like if I just tired them.

Again, we were lucky that the boat left the dock. Both the North and South Island of New Zealand are definitely a Summer destination unless you come for ski-season or holiday in Queenstown.

The day didn’t look good because the morning boats and helicopter couldn’t spot any dolphins. However, once briefed we set off in hope that they would come out to play. Normally, you can see them right of the shore in Kaikoura because it is very deep and full of sea life. However, we really had to go out to sea, it was choppy.

Also you can take a tour from Christchurch to Kaikoura!!

Time for a Swim…

Yes, I felt sea-sick again but luckily, we had caught up with some dusty dolphins. Just in time as I wasn’t sure how much longer I would have lasted. In I jumped, in a full wetsuit, head covered too. Yet, I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold. My chest closed up so I had to take a minute, catch my breath, and go again. The joys of asthma.

Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand
Swimming With Ducky Dolphins

In the Water with Dusky Dolphins…

This experience will live with me forever. I still remember it like it was yesterday, however, it was over 5 years ago now. Swimming with all these dolphins playing around us was magical. If you spin in a circle the dolphin swims around you. I was trying to be as quick as the dolphin. Impossible but it was fun trying. I was splashing so much that I managed to fill my snorkel with water. So, I guess that forfeited the game, therefore the dolphin won. Remember, only by forfeit. What a day to remember, forever!!!!

Last Stop was Christchurch

This was a shock seeing a city so flattened. Seeing the huge deviation first-hand the earthquakes had was heart-breaking. Christchurch was once bustling with people, full of buildings. Not this time the ugly side of mother nature played a huge roll in bringing down this city. Four years on and buildings still needed to knocked down. Construction is happening everywhere you look from fixing the roads to building whole new buildings. Well, pretty much everything needs to be re-built. This was a very sad experience and a sobering one.  

What an incredible experience on the South Island of New Zealand. Definitely, an action-packed and fun-filled road trip. This country has to make your bucket list. There is just so much to see and do. We only touched the surface.

Also, I spent a week in the North Island, you can read about it here.

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