A cold hello from New Zealand

It’s been a while since our last post, but we haven’t forgotten about our blog and you guys! Australia kept us busy and we will eventually share some stories and pictures about it as soon as we get a chance to catch up with our posting activity.

We’re now in New Zealand, enjoying some stunning scenery and travelling across the country in a cosy portable home :) Soon after having arrived in Christchurch we picked a previously booked rental campervan and so our road trip began. I guess this is the best way to enjoy New Zealand’s most unique features: its landscapes and its natural beauty.

A picture we took yesterday during our trip to 'Paradise', a semi-deserted area 20 kms away from Glenorchy, near Queenstown. Some of the places in 'Paradise' were used as locations in 'Lord of the Ring'

A picture of our camper-van taken yesterday during our trip to 'Paradise', a semi-deserted area 20 kms away from Glenorchy, near Queenstown. Some of the places in 'Paradise' were used as locations in 'Lord of the Ring'

The camper-van was cheaper than we thought and its rental price includes full cover in case of accidents and other inconveniences. Once we can sleep and cook in the camper, we don’t have a lot of extra expenses (apart from grocery, fuel and camper-van park fees) – which helps a lot keeping our budget under control. On top of that we are completely free to make our itinerary day by day and change our plans as we see fit. To complete the package, we also bought a Vodafone USB stick that enables us to connect to the Internet (and therefore to the outside world) as we move from one place to another. We couldn’t possibly ask for more :)

As our Facebook followers know already, we first drove a campervan in Australia (we did a rental-relocation from Sydney to Melbourne) and we simply loved that experience. Not only is having freedom and flexibility great when travelling, but also Australia and New Zealand have great roads, infrastructures and facilities for campers, which make your life (and your road trip) easier.

We are now exploring the south island and we quickly came to the conclusion that our initially planned 10 days won’t be enough to fully enjoy the spectacular sceneries this country has to offer. Therefore, we might extend our stay by few more days, even though the cold temperatures (the winter is just starting on this part of the world) are challenging us after more than 6 months travelling in the tropics.

Anyway, here are few pictures of some of the places we have seen so far in our road trip. This is just an appetizer as we have the feeling that we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’ and the best part has to come. In fact, for a start, tomorrow we are going to Milford sound and from the pictures and reviews we have seen, it seems one of the most stunning places in the world. We are also planning to head to the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers after this, which promise to be pretty amazing sights – way ‘more amazing’ than what we’ve seen so far.
We hope to be able to do more posts and share more pictures in the next few days so stay tuned!

Large spherical boulders like this are found along some parts of Koekohe Beach, near Moeraki, in the eastern coast of the south Island. These boulders are commonly referred to as Moeraki boulders. We were lucky enough to arrive there at the end of the day, just a few minutes after sunset, on our way to Dunedin. The beach was almost desert and that contributed to enhance the surreal feel.

Large spherical boulders like this are found along some parts of Koekohe Beach, near Moeraki, in the eastern coast of the south Island. These boulders are commonly referred to as Moeraki boulders. We were lucky enough to arrive there at the end of the day, just a few minutes after sunset, on our way to Dunedin. The beach was desert and that contributed to enhance the surreal feel.

A group of 'Moeraki boulders' by the see

A group of 'Moeraki boulders' by the sea

Taiaroa head lighthouse, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin. Taiaroa head is popular owing to its mainland breeding albatross colony. The morning we took this picture it was freezing cold and particularly windy.

Taiaroa head lighthouse, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin. Taiaroa head is popular owing to its mainland breeding albatross colony. The morning we took this picture it was freezing cold and particularly windy.

Albatross flying over Taiaroa Head. Albatrosses are very big birds and their wings can reach up to 3 meters in length.

Albatross flying over Taiaroa Head. Albatrosses are very big birds and their wings can reach up to 3 meters of length.

One of the many scenic views which is possible to enjoy driving across the Otago peninsula.

One of the many scenic views which is possible to enjoy driving across the Otago peninsula.

Sandfly bay, Otago Peninsula. In Sandfly bay it is possible to spot penguins (but you have to come either before sunrise or near sunset) and sea-lions. The car park is a 40 minutes walk away from the viewing points - the cold weather and the strong wind put us off so we decided not to venture into the beach. We wouldn't see any penguins at that time of the day, anyway. But some guys who were on their way back said they saw some sea-lions. We preferred to enjoy the view and then ran back to the warm comfort of our portable home.

Sandfly bay, Otago Peninsula. In Sandfly bay it is possible to spot penguins (but you have to come either before sunrise or near sunset) and sea-lions. The car park is a 40 minutes walk away from the viewing points - the cold weather and the strong wind put us off so we decided not to venture into the beach. We wouldn't see any penguins at that time of the day, anyway. But some guys who were on their way back said they saw some sea-lions. We preferred to enjoy the view and then ran back to the warm comfort of our 'portable home'.

Butchers Dam, on the way to Alexandra, central Otago. We didn't plan to stop here, but it was the end of the day and when we saw this place from the road we just knew we had to stop by and take a few pictures :)

Butchers dam, on the way to Alexandra, central Otago. We didn't plan to stop here, but it was the end of the day and when we saw this place from the road we just knew we had to stop by and take a few pictures :)

Another one from the pictures we took in Butchers dam.

Another one from the pictures we took in Butchers dam.

Lake Hayes, Central Otago. Another one of those non-planned stops on our way.

Lake Hayes, Central Otago. Another one of those non-planned stops on our way.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. This picture was taken from one of the many scenic lookouts on the first part of the way to Glenorchy.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. This picture was taken from one of the many scenic lookouts on the first part of the way to Glenorchy.

One of the mountain ranges that surrounds lake Wakatipu.

One of the mountain ranges that surrounds lake Wakatipu.

Diamond Lake, Paradise, Central Otago.

Diamond Lake, Paradise, Central Otago.

Another shot from our trip to Paradise yesterday.

Another shot from our trip to Paradise yesterday.

A scenic view of a creek running in the middle of Paradise, with mountains as a backdrop.

A scenic view of a creek running in the middle of Paradise, with mountains as backdrop.

A picture of the same creek but facing the opposite direction from the bridge.

A picture of the same creek but facing the opposite direction from the bridge.

A bird's eye view of Queenstown. We took this picture a couple of hours ago from the skyline gondola viewing point.

A bird's eye view of Queenstown. We took this picture a couple of hours ago from the skyline gondola viewing point.

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3 Comments

  1. Reply
    Megan June 13, 2011

    Looks like you’re having an awesome time over there! Hopefully the ash cloud isn’t interfering with any flight plans you might have (though I guess that would be an excuse to stay longer…!!). Love the photo of Lake Hayes in particular.

    • Reply
      Emanuele June 13, 2011

      Thanks Megan! Even though we’re loving New Zealand, we hope the ash cloud doesn’t interfere with our plans to spend our wedding anniversary in Fiji on the 27th :) Fingers crossed!

  2. Reply

    [...] only exception was Queenstown, which is where we were when we wrote our last post. As we were advised against driving to Milford Sound on the basis that the road may be icy and [...]

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