As it turns out… two full weeks is nowhere near enough time to discover even the southern region of New Zealand’s South Island…
New Zealand has been a bucket list item for us and this year we made the decision to make this trip come to life! It 100% reinvigorated our adventurous selves and we cannot wait to plan our next trip back, although the jet lag is real… (we have a great fix for this feel free to ask!)
We landed in and flew out of Queenstown where we rented a car to drive around and spend a few nights in Wanaka, Dunedin, and then drove through the Catlins and southern tip of the island before heading back to Queenstown.
Queenstown first impressions… very touristy… people paragliding off Queenstown Hill… adventurous…. and a little intense.
From Queenstown to Wanaka we took a small detour to go hike the Rob Roy Glacier Track and would I recommend it?? A resounding YES!!! It was a bit more intense and longer than we thought but so worth it. The view was so pretty and the hike really felt like a great worthwhile workout. PS when you think you’re near the end of the upper lookout just keep going – you’ve got a while still. Bring plenty of water, we ran out!
You will pass through Wanaka on your way to this hike and LOTS of wildlife on your way to Mt. Aspiring. In fact you will actually probably walk through a herd of cattle and sheep on your way to the trailhead. The water? Crystal clear blue gushing water down from the glacier creating an intense heavily streaming river…. just amazing. Then you meet the most Instagram-able suspension bridge, it’s really a sight to see. All throughout you get glimpses of the amazing glacier!
Wanaka is apparently known for their amazing weather, perfect temperature and lots of sunshine! we stayed at a place with a view and fell in love with the city. Easy to park if you rented a car and even easier to enjoy yourself wherever you might end up.
Tunnel beach was an amazing experience and it was incredibly easy to hike down (getting back up is a tiny bit of a workout though). you crawl down into a tiny staircase and pop out at the beach, stunning views both up top and down on the beach. Something about the roar of the waves crashing in feels dangerous, exhilarating and therapeutic.