South Island in 3 weeks

Currently, I’m traveling the South Island of New Zealand and I wanted to shortly share my itinerary with you. The plan was to do it in about 3 weeks and it worked out pretty well.
My boyfriend and I came with the ferry from Wellington to Picton and decided to travel towards the clock around the island.
We started off in the Abel Tasman National Park, where we spent about 4 days hiking and kayaking. If you would like to know more about my Abel Tasman adventure my article got published on Travelicious.com and you can read it here.

Our next destinations were Westport and Greymouth. A favorite here were the Pancake Rocks and Cape Foulwind, which was home to a big seal colony.
Followed by the beautiful little hippie town Hokitika we visited the Hokitika Gorge, a beautiful bright turquoise river/lake with a huge swing bridge and rocks located in the water.

With quite a long drive after, we ended up in the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Unfortunately, we had rain that day and found out for budget travelers like us, there isn’t much to do on a rainy day. Luckily the next day was better and we could do the Franz Josef Glacier Valley walk. About an hour walk led us to the fascinating glacier, unfortunately, it will be melted in a couple of years.

Our next stop was the Wanaka and Queenstown region, the places I was most excited of. My favorite place in Wanaka was Lake Hawea, it’s the sister lake to Lake Wanaka and just stunning. The whole scenery is just breathtaking and definitely worth a couple of days stay. As well we climbed up the Roys Peak, 1700 meters high, by far the hardest hike I’ve ever done. Though it’s so worth it! To be honest, I was a little bit disappointed with Queenstown – everyone is just loving it here, but if you don’t plan on spending heaps of money, there isn’t that much to do. We tried the famous Fergburger, at 9 in the morning, just to not have to wait for hours in the queue, like it’s supposed to be at lunch and dinner time. It was nice, but not that nice, that it’s worth all the hype.

We drove towards Invercargill after, where we started the Catlins, a nice coastal track, with the opportunity to see fur seals, sea lions and blue penguins, the world rarest penguins in the world (unfortunately, we didn’t see any). Heaps of nice rainforest and waterfall tracks, as well as beautiful beach landscape. We did the Catlins in 3 days, but you probably could do it faster as well.

The town we are in right now is Dunedin. I was positively surprised of this city, heaps of free stuff to do, like museums, gardens, art galleries, markets and it’s home to the world’s steepest street, the Baldwin Street. It’s quite big, but not too busy and has all the shops you find in a big city.

The end of our journey will be Christchurch, where we going to apply for jobs and planning on staying for the next 5 months, to save up for our southeast Asia adventure.
Most of the time we stayed in DOC Campsites (Department of conservation) which were about $8-$13 a night, but we also found some free ones. Here and there we booked ourselves in Holiday Parks to have a nice hot shower and charge our phones, laptops, etc. up. I will write more posts about the particular places in the future.