South Island - heading north24/10/2011
The best thing I can tell you about the South Island is that it really is more breath taking then I had ever imagined anywhere could be, and both of us were choked with emotion for the beauty of the place on more then one occasion. Imagine driving through your favourite part of the cotswolds or lake district then turning the corner and seeing snow capped mountains and crystal clear blue lakes.
There were differences between our south bound and north bound trips though and the highlight was without a doubt Mount Cook. We nearly missed it out and what a mistake that would have been! We love mountain walking and lakes. Mount Cook has all in abundance (oh and hot showers - as I said already, hot showers is a big event when you are camping for almost 6 weeks). For reference we did the Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier/lake walk (Seth's route, which certainly wasn't the marked one but was worth the work) and the Sealy Tarns track which was stunning but hard work and not well marked at the top session so be careful and follow the foot prints when in doubt. However although Mt Cook stands out as the best, it should also be said it wasn't exactly an oasis in the desert, more like finding a bit of solid chocolate in a fantastic chocolate cake. A summary of our trip north...
- - Dunedin - we saw sealions but not pigeons
- - Oamaru - we saw pigeons, we hope the seals didn't
- - Mt Cook - stunning, breathtaking and stunning
- - Mt Hutt - well worth the detour
- - Nelson - laid back
- - Abel Tasman - raining but with hints of lovely
- - Nelson Lakes - 1092m ascent tramping worth every step
For anyone reading this and thinking of doing a similar trip I would say
- - Stop thinking and start booking
- - Stay on DOC sites when possible - they are all in the most stunning locations and more then worth missing out on a hot shower for
- - Get a good tent and even better insect repellent
- - Have cash for activities but 99% are available for free if you spend a bit of time working out how
- - 3 weeks for the south island isn't long enough!