Holy Cow! It has already been nearly 2 Months here Down Under! People always say time flies….but boy oh boy does it! And, well, it’s time for one last CARPE DIEM… For the Easter Break in the last week of April, Raphael & I are planning a backpacker budget trip to New Zealand’s South Island–the home to countless national parks, some of the world’s last glaciers, glow worm caves, fjords, and lakes so turquoise they will make you cry. While the trip is surely not inexpensive, we are going to be strapping ourselves tight to a budget, to make this work! We have made it all the way to Australia, and we cannot turn back here (my motivation speech to my wallet)
Of course all of Australia proved to be so overwhelming we had let the trip planning go a bit longer than we should have, and missed out on a few opportunities to join tours! So, here we are planning to buckle our seat belts (tightly please) because I am going to be driving us around in a glorious camper van! We didn’t do it on the east coast…so I guess we will get our opportunity now. I guess what motivates us more this time is that none of the drives between our stops will be more than three hours, so it seems significantly more possible and feasible. On the other hand, on the east coast there were stretches of 7 hours with nothing to see but Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia (sorry if you are reading this and you are from Rockhampton).
We have spoken with countless travel companies to try to console any last worry or hesitation we have (some significantly more helpful than others) and it looks like this is happening!
Surely, going with a camper van requires much, much more planning, and we need to be prepared every step of the way! However, we aren’t the first ones to be making this journey, and we surely won’t be the last!
Here is our agenda…a work in progress all based on a return ticket booked out of Christchurch with a 11 to 12 day itinerary!
Day 1: Christchurch — Arthur’s Pass National Park
….I have to say I am getting really nervous looking at that road…
but of course I chose the most dramatic picture to make you nervous, Mom…I just had to console you with the reality of the driving looking more or less like this. Overall, slow and steady wins the race!
Day 2: Arthur’s Pass — Punakaiki Pancake Rocks for a hike and maybe a kayak
Day 3: Punakaiki — Fox Glacier for a Glacier Hike
Day 4: Fox Glacier — Haast Pass / Thunder Creek Falls for some wildlife spotting & hiking / biking
Day 4: Haast Pass — Lake Wanaka for Hiking or Kayaking for the day surrounded by pure nature and water (I envision myself to be that guy, standing there, with that view…)
Day 6: Wanaka — Queenstown: Who knows what mischief there is to get into there…but it is known to be a town with quite a lot of adrenalin…
Day 8: Milford Sound — Te Anau known for its Glow Worm Caves & Beautiful Hikes with Fall Colors (it’s fall here, and yes apparently the leaves change color)
Day 9: Te Anau — Queenstown
Day 11: Tekapo — Christchurch
Again, this is all a very rough guide, but we have been inspired by one of the many routes given on New Zealand’s tourism website. In the end, it looks like we will be refrosting ourselves in New Zealand with the site of snow in so many of these pictures!
We are wondering if we are missing anything! In fact, I am sure we are! So, feel free to comment below if you have any comments on our route.
Wish us luck planning!
Till Next Time! – C&R