A Rare Sight Mt Cook / Aoraki, South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook / Aoraki, is usually hidden in clouds. Everyone, including the Lonely Planet, told us not to get our hopes up and be prepared for clouds. Driving to Mt Cook Practically since the day we arrived on the South Island, we observed the weather forecast for Mt Cook and it…

Beaches, Lookouts, and (no) Albatrosses Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand

The rugged, steep Otago Peninsula is one of the only few peninsulas on the South Island’s east coast. Although right in front of the city of Dunedin and easily accessible, the peninsula – probably due to its hilly terrain – is only lightly populated. Driving is on narrow roads, along steep hills, and around impossibly…

Waterfalls and Paua Shells The Catlins, South Island, New Zealand

Not too many travelers go further south than Te Anau and Milford Sound. Those who do, however, and travel between Invercargill and Dunedin, have the possibility to take the scenic route through the Catlins and are rewarded with amazing beaches, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. And lots of gravel roads, yes, that too. The southernmost…

The Icing on the (Carrot) Cake Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

Another must-do in New Zealand, apart from a visit to a glow worm cave, (and to the west coast), is a cruise on Milford Sound. Getting to Milford Sound Although Milford Sound is the most accessible sound in the South Island’s Fiordlands, ┬áit’s still a long way from anywhere. The drive from the closest town,…

The Glacier or What’s Left of It Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast Pass. South Island, New Zealand

Franz Josef glacier on the South Island’s west coast is about 12 km long. Once, it reached the Tasman sea; today, it finishes about 19 km from the ocean. Franz Josef Glacier It’s more than 10’000 years ago that the glacier reached the ocean. It’s not so long ago however, when the viewing point, that…

Go West Coast Wharariki Beach, Westport, Punakaiki. South Island, New Zealand

After crossing to the South Island by ferry – a wonderful journey across the Cook Strait and through Queen Charlotte Sound – we drove along the South Island’s north coast all the way to the beginning of the Farewell Spit at the northern end of Golden Bay. Wharariki Beach The spit can only be visited…