Uninterrupted conversations with lakes and rivers.
Shaking trees out of their slumber every time you laugh.
Hundreds of sheep behaving perfectly without human help.
New Zealand is like a photo essay. Everything is in perfect harmony.

We drove through the entire South Island over 10-11 days. The thrill of an adventure lies in surrendering to the unknown. Our quest for the unknown first took us to Lake Tekapo.

NZ Route map

Anyone who’s been to New Zealand (NZ) will tell you, you can’t go a mile without a water body. You can run, you can hide, but boy you can’t shake ’em off!! Our first love in NZ was Lake Tekapo. We owned that lake!!Reuben & I were the only touristy folks there. Imagine our joy… Going from a country with the din of 1.3 billion people and being transported to this idyllic haven – a lake, snowcapped mountains and only the mesmerizing sounds of nature. It was magical! We were ecstatic & wondered why we couldn’t spend all 2 weeks there. I think the resort sensed our predicament and decided to make it harder for us to leave. We’d get back to our room and find a bottle of wine or a cheese, strawberry and chocolate platter… It was a conspiracy!!

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With a heavy heart we bade goodbye to Lake Tekapo & headed towards Queenstown. We’d barely driven a km when we first sighted Lake Pukaki. Tekapo was forgotten in seconds! We’d found our second love & this one was way sweeter than our first. Out came the camera and we took some 100 pics before realizing we couldn’t possibly capture what we were seeing. You have to live that experience!!

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Our next stop was Gold Ridge resort on the outskirts of Queenstown. We would wake up to this 180-degree view of a gigantic lake again surrounded by snow-capped peaks! You cannot run out of things to do here. There is something for everyone. Nature junkies – Do not miss the Milford sound cruise. As you cruise through the sound, the captain takes you directly under the waterfalls so don’t believe them when they tell you it’s a dry cruise!! We loved it!!

When we’re young, most of us enjoy stupid, crazy things. Over a period of time, we mask our crazy side to conform with societal norms & etiquettes. Well! NZ just brings out the crazy in people!! Reuben & I have never been adrenalin junkies but we were jumping off cliffs and jet boating and laughing through a luge ride or quad biking. Boy I cannot describe that feeling. You’re just “free”!! Something stirs in you that’s been long forgotten!! Every sense awakens!! Just thinking about it makes me want to go back again.

Anyways, up next was Franz Josef Glacier. We stayed at the Rainforest retreat – Six acres of native bush surrounded by lush punga groves. I loved our self-catering tree lodge!! We weren’t fit for a glacier walk but our days were well spent walking along glacier trails, chatting up with an occasional mirror lake and enjoying a Tranz scenic train that eventually took us to Christchurch.

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I’d like to think we’ve covered a fair share of the globe, but New Zealand continues to be my favorite… Add it to your bucket list if it isn’t already at the top!!

Our Itinerary & Accommodation

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo: Peppers Bluewater Resort
Lake Tekapo to Queenstown: Gold Ridge Resort (Cover Milford Sound Cruise)
Queenstown to Franz Josef: Rainforest Retreat
Franz Josef to Greymouth to Christchurch

Activities

Milford Sound day tour with cruise – From Queenstown – Can’t recall the operator we used, but you’ll be spoilt for choices
Tranz Scenic train – From Greymouth to Christchurch
Jet boating – Shotover from Queenstown – http://www.shotoverjet.com/
Para Gliding – Queenstown – http://www.nzgforce.com/
Luge Ride- Queenstown – http://www.skyline.co.nz/queenstown/luge/

Recommendations

  • Best time to go: March to April
  • Ideal Trip time: 15 days

 

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