Tag Archives: South Island


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t  do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Friday, September 11, 2015

Our last morning on the South Island started with pleasant weather, there was nothing that lead us to believe that our ferry to the North Island would be any trouble. We had one of our most leisurely mornings getting ready, since the Interislander ferry terminal was literally less than a mile down the road from us in Picton.

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West Coast

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jacksons to Greymouth to Westport

It was raining in true West Coast fashion when we left Jacksons in the morning. Knowing today would be the longest day of the trip, we buckled down for the long haul—but it was not without a much-needed planned stop at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.

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Canterbury and Arthur’s Pass

There is no present like the time.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Inland Scenic Route: Canterbury and Rakaia Gorge

We woke up in Lake Tekapo around 6:30 AM and were on the road after filling up with gas again by 8:00 AM. The plan today was to drive the Inland Scenic Route (State Highway 72) through Arthur’s Pass. We had thought that today’s driving would be easier, at least the first part through the Canterbury plain, but it still had its surprises. In true New Zealand style, even Canterbury had its curvy, climbing and descending roads, more so than expected. By driving the Inland Scenic Route, we would bypass the Christchurch metro area. This part of New Zealand countryside is most like England with lots of pastures, farms, and lots of sheep, all backdropped by icy, snow-capped mountains—classic postcard views.

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Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo

The mountains are calling and I must go.

John Muir

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lindis Pass

We enjoyed our last Wanaka sunrise of the trip. We called our parents on Viber again, while we ate our breakfast in the campervan. We were all pretty sore from our hike the day before. The parents had done their own hike for Labor Day at Rosy Mound in Grand Haven. They even wore their Zeeland shirts, too! We have such cute parents. It was nice to hear their voice, and we had to take advantage of the free reliable Wi-Fi before continuing on our trip, since we didn’t know what the next place would be that we would get it.

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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Sunday, September 6, 2015

We left Te Anau in the morning, but not before Jessica and William said goodbye to two cute baby sheep that were being kept at the Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park, Sooty and Pinky. We were headed toward Wanaka via Queenstown. Wanaka had gotten on our radar via Instagrammer lebackpacker (real name: Johan Lolos), a Belgian photographer who had lived in Wanaka for some time. His photographs more than anyone else’s made us say we had go there.

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Doubtful Sound

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Saint Augustine

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Milford tour canceled

What a day. We woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, a bit earlier than what was becoming our usual time, because we were nervous about our Milford Sound plans. The weather was quite unsettled all night. We heard the wind and debris from nearby trees pelting our campervan throughout the night. Down at our elevation it was raining a lot, so we thought maybe the snow forecast wouldn’t be as much as was predicted. However, we know that the weather at higher elevations and along the Milford Road was likely very different.

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Te Anau

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

Lord Byron

Friday, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

Remarkable road

We left early Friday morning for Te Anau. The plans for this day were very loose, with the main goal of getting used to the campervan again and making it to Te Anau.

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Glenorchy and Paradise

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Far over the Misty Mountains cold . . .

Even though Thursday was technically our first full day in New Zealand, it felt like our second. We had packed more into the previous day than we had planned, partly because we had no idea how much jet lag and our 36-hour travel day would affect us. Adrenaline had a major role we think, for none of us felt too tired—though we did sleep very well. I think it helped that we arrived in Auckland before sunrise, and the day was naturally progressing. For instance, we thought we would have done the Skyline Gondola Thursday morning, but since we already did it the day before, we were free to head to Glenorchy first thing in the morning.

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Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

There . . .

After approximately 36 hours of non-stop travel, we finally landed in Queenstown, the starting point of our New Zealand journey. Queenstown is a old-mining-turned-resort town nestled in the mountains of the South Island region of Otago. The Remarkables are the adjacent mountain range to Queenstown, and boy do they live up to their name—they truly are remarkable!

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One month till the Real Middle-earth

Thirty-one days from now, we’ll be heading off the the real Middle-earth: New Zealand!

We’ve been planning this trip for a long time. As siblings, we always wanted to do at least one grand trip together after college graduation. Now that we are all settled with steady jobs and blessed with the time to do it, we finally booked our flights this past February.

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