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NEW ZEALAND

Road tripping the South Island

Story by Julian Bialowas July 18th, 2015
This past June Lisse and I made the trip overseas to road trip the South Island of New Zealand. A destination that has been on both our bucket lists for quite some time. We spent just over a week on the island venturing through cities, towns and forests, over mountain passes, around lakes and along the coast.

(ps. For the first time ever I made an effort to capture video alongside photos, check out what became of that below.)

arrival

We flew into Queenstown via Sydney and made our way straight to our amazing Airbnb in Kingstown to recoup after the 24 hours of travel. (Would highly recommend staying here upon your arrival. Link here.) Before retiring for the night we dined at Rata back in Queenstown, which I would also highly recommend.

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Towards te anau

The next morning we woke up early to coffee and fresh eggs before jumping in the car towards Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, and Milford Sound.

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It didn’t take long to stumble upon sheep—a lot of them.

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The views at Te Anau Downs.

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Fiordland National PARK

Can be summed up in one word: Waterfalls.

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TOWARDS WANAKA

After spending the night at Milford Sound and exploring the Park we looped back around through Queenstown to make our way to Wanaka.

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(Insane views of Lake Wakatipu from above Queenstown)

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Driving the Mountain Pass from Queenstown to Wanaka.

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MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK

We spent our first day in Mount Aspiring exploring the backcountry roads and trails before jumping over the pass to the coast. The road was rough, but the views were so very worth it.

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TOWARDS HAAST

After roaming through the backcountry roads we made our way back over the Pass towards Haast—a World Heritage Site consisting of wild Rainforest and Coastal views.

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franz josef glacier

The highlight of our trip, and an activity I would recommend partaking in is venturing up to Franz Josef Glacier. (I know I’ve been vocal in the past about Hiking > Helicopters, however this definitely won me over for the occasional trip to the top via a chopper.)

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Our Guide, Josh, of Franz Josef Glacier Tours, gave us a wild 3 hour tour of the Glacier. (Plethora of ice photos to follow.)

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TOWARDS CHRISTCHURCH

As soon as we stepped off the Helicopter we were back in the car to make our way over yet another Mountain Pass towards Christchurch.

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FULL CIRCLE

After spending two days exploring Christchurch (Which is an amazing city filled with great food, art, and culture) we sped back down to Queenstown. After making some mandatory stops at a few eateries and stores we hit another backcountry road into Mount Aspiring National Park before jetting off to Australia for a night. All in all New Zealand gets an +A in our book, and we can’t wait to head back in the Summer to hit some trails.

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Footnote: Photos shot with an iPhone 6 and Nikon D610. Processed with VSCO,
New Zealand