These are the maps of North and South Islands, and the places I visited. There are blogs on all these places and experiences separately, but this is the overview of my travel around the two vastly different islands that make up this unique country!
I left Australia and my family behind at the end of January and flew to Auckland from Sydney. A place that many people are curious about because it’s ‘so much like England’ (?!?!?), lots of European settlers and near to Aus for a visit (sort of!).
I was curious. I had heard all these things but I wasn’t prepared for the size of the place – looking small on the globe and compared to Aus but that is huge country!) nor for the ‘backward’ feel to it and the variation in weather.
An overview of my travel here goes like this:
Arrived Auckland 28th January 2016
· Naked Bus to Whangerai (fenguray) in the north east of the north island (£30)
· Naked Bus for £123 for the WHOLE TWO MONTHS travel, north and south island
· To Roturua and the hot springs and natural lava pools (supposedly a smelly place with the sulphur but little problem for me as I have little sense of smell really!)
· On to Napier and the Art Deco architecture there plus day trip to Hastings (also on Naked Bus!)
· On through Palmerston North as, on my way towards Wellington, having to stay in these places due to the full accommodation with a cricket game and Edinburgh Tattoo visit to the city!
· I stayed in Dottie Lottie caravan at Otaki and met a lovely lady who was hosting me there!
· Eventually on to Wellington, ready for my onward trip to the south island by ferry
· Picton was the arrival town and seaside holiday place on the South Island
· Then to Nelson (The One Ring that Rules them all …)
· Then to Abel Tasman National Park I wanted to visit for its views
· Over the island to the west for Greymouth and Westport (to be avoided!)
· Through the mountains down the island centre back across to Christchurch
· Down near the south to Dunedin (new Edinburgh) which I liked
· across the island to Queenstown which I loved and visited three times due to limited travel access
· Up to Franz Josef and Fox glacier towns and trips which was fantastic for me and my A level geography glaciation studies!
· To the famous glaciated fjord of Marlborough Sound
· Back over towards the east of the island via Tenaki Lake
· Up to Kaikoura and the whale watch I wanted to do
· Back to Picton, Wellington and up to Auckland