It’s Friday the 6th today, our ninth day in New Zealand. When we arrived on the South Island on New Year’s Eve Day, we felt like our trip had really begun, because the guidebooks say that the most beautiful natural sights are here. Without having seen much of the North Island, I can’t really compare, but let me just say that we’ve both been stunned by the spectacular scenery around every corner.
It seems like everywhere we turn, there’s a waterfall, a turquoise river, jungle-like woods in every shade of green, wildflowers like lupine and foxglove in bloom, lakes, oceanfronts, and towering mountains with snow-capped peaks. New Zealand has it all. Oh, and add a glacier or two.
We spent New Year’s Eve in Nelson on the north coast of the South Island, and then drove along the shore to the Abel Tasman National Park on New Year’s Day. Much of the huge park is accessible only on foot or by boat, so we took a ferry ride along the coast for a bit.
Over the next two days, we drove down the west coast to Franz Glacier, via Westport. The view from our motel:
There, we did three separate hikes to two glaciers and a lake:
That was an exhausting but amazing day! It felt like we never got a chance to put the camera down – it was one incredible view after the next. And it just keeps going! When we left Franz Josef and headed for Queenstown, this was some of the scenery:
After arriving in Queenstown and checking into our Airbnb, we took a drive along the lake up to Glenorchy:
And this was the view on today’s hike:
Are you on sensory overload yet?? Couldn’t handle looking at one more beautiful thing? Join the club! And we still have twelve more days….