Kia ora (“hi” in Maori)!
I spent the most beautiful days traveling around the South Island and now that I am enjoying some rest I thought I’d put some words together and tell you all about it.
The very first big challenge of the whole trip was trying to squeeze all my stuff into a 60 ltrs backpack. After 6 months in Australia I accumulated too much stuff I didn’t really need so had to throw away a few bags of stuff. But that’s part of the beauty of being a backpacker, you realise how much stuff you’ve accumulated that you do not need.
Packing was fun and created lots of excitement. It was really happening, I was leaving Oz after 6 months to travel to New Zealand! WOOP WOOP
Must say I didn’t sleep much the night before leaving, and that was probably because I was too excited to fall asleep. I actually woke up before the alarm went off, squeezed the last few things in my bag and dressed up quietly and left my house in Sydney.
The journey from Sydney to Christchurch was quite sweet. I also fell asleep all the way through but during the 5 minutes my eyes were open I was kept quite well entertained… the picture below was taken over the Tasman sea which devides Australia from New Zealand.
Day 1- Christchurch – Ōtautahi
Christchurch was one the cities mostly damaged by the earthquake of 22 February 2011 (6.3 on the Richter scale) which caused 185 deaths. The whole city has been predominately destroyed and now under re construction. The picture below represents just one of the numerous example of buildings destroyed by this powerful earthquake.
During my day in the city, I also paid a visit to the earthquake memorial situated in the city. The empty chairs represent the 185 victims of this terrible disaster. Quite a powerful way to represent the enormous tragedy of natural disasters like earthquakes.
Natural disasters produce lots of fear in the population and are very hard to forget. Usally people try to forget what happened by creating some peaceful spots around the city in order to ‘go back to normal’. Christchurch city centre is an example of this, there are lots of cute cafes and shops and nice flowerbed to decorate the city.
Lake Tekapo– one of my favourite places in South Island. The lake is situated in the Mackenzie district and covers an area of 83 square metres.
Day 2- Queenstown (Tāhuna)
Cute small city sitting on the shores of lake Wakatipu. The atmosphere of the city is extremely chilled and pretty good vibes all around. Highly recommended- buy a drink from the local liquor shop and sit underneath the willow tree in the middle of one of the main squares of the city (strictly until 10 pm!)
The city is also perfect if you are a passionate of adrenaline sports. If you want a quiet one, take the “gondola” up to a lookout point and enjoy the beauty of the city from above. Hopefully you will be lucky with the weather as I was…
BUT, I wanted to experience something different so this is what I got up to…
…and it was amazing….
…thanks Brandon for making me flying!
Day 3- Milford sound
I really enjoyed the trip to Milford Sound. Very long way, about 4 hours drive from Queenstown, although totally worth it. If you like this type of nature and the colours you are going to love it!
Milford Sound is one of those places that you need to see at least once in your life. Sounds like a cliché but trust me, it’s true.