Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Zealand Roadtrip: The South Island.

The road trip has commenced.

So far in our journey, we’ve pounded 2,068 kilometers of pavement in the car in New Zealand alone. We left Queenstown and journeyed up the entire west coast of the south island. It’s on the west side we saw lush mountains, the coast of the Tasman Sea, both Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers and cool attractions such as an incredible natural mystery known as the pancake rocks.

Then we cut east en route to Abel Tasman National Park and in one of those traveling moments of magic, we were able to turn a day hike in the park into an overnight backpacking trip. Abel Tasman is a National Park different than any I've seen in that its on the coast and very beachy. Finally, we were north enough that a beach meant a little warmth and sunshine as New Zealand closes in on Autumn and starts to get cold.

From there we shed our backpacks and traded them for wine glasses and real beds in Nelson and I have to say, it felt great. We stayed in the loveliest hostel I’ve ever seen in the heart of town and I found Nelson to be a less touristy version of Queenstown. There we also met up and had dinner with one of Tyson’s friends from Aspen who was there picking fruit for work. Ahh dinner not prepared on a teeny backpacking stove. Glory.

Finally, we spent an afternoon in Picton before boarding our ferry to Wellington and the north island. Teeny Picton was beautiful, but I don’t think we needed more than a few hours of loafing around the streets and the waterfront so this worked out perfectly. This particular afternoon in Picton though did mark our last moments on the south island of New Zealand. As the days ticked away we saw new towns and cities and Australia and Seattle loomed in the distance.
I feel as though I’m abbreviating so much of this piece of the trip…but alas, we are already through Cairns and another 1,300 kilometers into Australia in the car, so I am just anxious and excited to post on everything.

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