Sunday, May 10, 2015

South Island Scenery – Lakes and Mountains

Mark and I are making good use of our camper van and are enjoying this particular style of traveling. We work first thing in the morning, drive to our new destination(s), do some sightseeing or exploring, run some errands in between, freedom camp based on where we end up that afternoon, and are exhausted after dinner. It’s a little bit like living on a boat, except, we don’t have to worry about the weather as much and we can just step outside to visit places. But, we still go grocery shopping, cook our own meals, buy diesel (way more than on Irie!) and are careful with water and electricity.

While we knew it would be relatively cold in New Zealand (escaping FP’s heat was one of the reasons we wanted to come here in the first place), we didn’t expect or realize it to be as chilly as it is. Yes, we have become wimps after eight years in the tropics! Although, sleeping in a metal box when it is freezing outside and seeing your own breath when waking up in the morning, would be considered cold by most. It is ironic, how in French Polynesia we wanted to stick our head in the fridge, because it felt nice and cold, and here, we want to do the same, because the temperature in the fridge feels nice and warm!

Enough talk. Here are some photos of our first week’s camper van trip in New Zealand’s South Island.

The Banks Peninsula:

Monument, palm trees and French street names in Akaroa

Decommissioned lighthouse in Akaroa

Akaroa's big, protected bay

The Banks Peninsula near Christchurch

Lake Tekapo:

Lake Tekapo

Church of the Good Shepherd

View of Lake Tekapo and surroundings from the Mt. John Observatory

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook NP:

Along the drive to Mt. Cook National Park

Hooker Valley Walk - snowy peaks

Hooker Valley Walk - swing bridge

Hooker Valley Walk

Hooker Valley Walk - 2nd swing bridge

Hooker Valley Walk - Mount Cook and the river valley

Hooker Valley Walk - popular trail with amazing views

Hooker Valley Walk - end destination: the glacial lake

View over Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook from our free campground

Camper view at dusk

Lake Wanaka:

Salmon farm on the way west to Wanaka

Peaceful Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka and the resort-like town, seen from the top of Mt. Iron

Visit to our friend Garth's parents in Alexandra

3 comments:

lisa dorenfest said...

LOVE you description of putting your head in the fridge because it is warm in there :-). And the photo of Mark working in all his layers made me bust a gut!.

I have that exact same picture of Banks Peninsula (great angle). Sadly we did not make it to Mt Cook so it was wonderful to see all your beautiful photographs.

Sadly (for me anyhow) we are sailing out of New Zealand on May 18th. It will be great to be afloat again but I am so going to miss this place. When I start clinging to the shore, I know it is time to set sail.

I think you and Mark should fly through Fiji on your way out of town.

Hugs,
Lisa

Liesbet said...

Thanks, Lisa! I am very excited for you, the Captain and the crew to be setting out soon. Happy sailing (and blogging)! xxx

Monique Williamson said...

Oh New Zealand, why so grey!? We used to just leave the milk outside in winter, because the fridge seemed kind of pointless. Garth would also leave leftovers from dinner just sitting around all night and put them away the next day (even chicken!), which took me a long time to get used to. I hope you still have all your fingers and toes, it's the stupid southerlies blowing straight from Antarctica that kill you! Great to see your smiling faces Xxx