Our final leg of the month long holiday in New Zealand sees us driving up along the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. A rugged, tempestuous landscape, we explored glaciers, wetlands, wild water bodies and finally, crossed Arthurs' Pass back to Christchurch. In Part 2, we bring you with us over Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers by helicopter; and to Hokitika and a spooky campervan park where the kids swear they saw a phantom handprint pressed against the roof of Swiftly...
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On our second day in Queenstown, we took a bus ride through the mountains and Te Anau to Milford Sound, where we enjoyed a leisurely cruise, and a breath taking flight through the snow capped mountains back to town.
Our adventure continues in a 3 part blog on Queenstown...where we rode a gondola, a luge, a bus, a ferry, some horses, and even a biplane! In this 1st instalment of 3 parts, you'll see the ooey, gooey, crispy tacos we had, as well as our ride down the Skyline Luge. As an added bonus, lots and lots of bras...Read on to find out why!
After Aoraki/Mount Cook, we drove down to Lake Wanaka, which we were told, was beautiful. As usual - honestly, New Zealand, are any of your lakes NOT beautiful?
En route: Twizel and Ahuriri River
We drove past Lake Pukaki again on our way Southward, through Ben Ohau, and Twizel where we had a wonderful stopover and lunch. Check out Anais' cookie that's larger than her face!
There were also some interesting shops in this small town, including this one that sold curious room sprays...and no, I did not test them to see what they smelt like, although now I wish I had! I must have been under the weather that day not to have done so...
Along the way to Wanaka, we also chanced upon the Ahuriri River and its banks swelling with Lupine flowers. We simply had to take more family shots before heading off again toward Wanaka.
We bagged a lovely spot at Lake Outlet Holiday Park, a quiet, well supplied campervan park by the lake and we decided to head into town to check out the activities there. Not being super keen on crowds in Queenstown, we went ahead with a GoJets Wanaka Jetboat ride as we had been told that the waterways in Wanaka were much less crowded.
The GoJets team can pick you up from the Wanaka i-Site (tourist information site) on Ardmore Street or arrange a courtesy vehicle from your accommodation.
True enough, we pretty much had the whole river to ourselves! After a safety briefing, and a cheeky grin, the boat pilot Patrick asked us to hold on tight, and we found ourselves rushing down the mighty Clutha River. We went past several gold mining areas, the source of wealth in this area many decades ago.
The highlight of course were the 360 degree spins. I'm pretty sure Pat took it relatively easy on us, given there were 3 kids, but he really needn't have! The kids LOVED it. In fact they kept clamoring for more spins!
Kudos to the GoJets Wanaka team for giving us a wonderful trip. The ride lasted around 1.5 hours, but it felt so much shorter, as we were having oodles of fun! Highly recommended!
We stopped off for a nice lunch - the kids wanted Subway...go figure...so we found a nice cafe next to Subway where we would watch them while we had our meal.
After that, we took a quick walk along Lake Wanaka and let the kids have their time in the playground while I took a nap in the campervan nearby...
We did not have much time in Wanaka, as our itinerary was quite packed, so the next morning, we just managed a quick walk by the lake where we were camped. A beautiful rainbow greeted us, as we braved the cool, strong winds whipping through our hair. That said, we were incredibly lucky that none of our activities had thus far been derailed by bad weather.
Just before we headed off, Dany met a fellow drone enthusiast!
After a quick chat and exchanging notes on their drones, and a test flight, we were on our way to Queenstown...!
Driving through the lake district of South Island New Zealand, amidst a purple and pink splendour.
14 hectic, crazy days of having 5 people stuck in a large van, without sufficient water. Thankfully the beautiful, awesome locations and oodles of family fun made this an unforgettable experience!
A charming, slightly spooky old school house between Auckland and Hobbiton was our Airbnb stay for our 4th night in New Zealand... definitely a unique experience that was out of the ordinary!
A day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary, home to unique NZ native birds. A dream come true for this "fake Kiwi" girl who grew up reading about these lovely creatures. And her family!