Since I’ve finally finished my posts on each of the 18 days I spent on New Zealand’s South Island, I figured I needed to find a way to summarize the experience in a shorter post than the ones I wrote for each day. So, here’s the South Island in 10 Words (with a few more of explanation thrown in…)
Coming back from a natural disaster like 2011’s devistating earthquake isn’t easy (or quick), but Christchurch just made Lonely Planet’s 10 cities to visit list for 2013. While that may be a little overoptimistic, I have no doubt the Kiwis will rebuild the city to it’s former glory.
On an island where the ocean is never more than a 2 hour drive away, sunrises and sunsets over the water are not in short supply, when the weather cooperates.
Hector’s Dolphins are the world’s smallest dolphins, and I had the opportunity to swim with them near Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, a little more than an hour outside Christchurch.
The Kiwis love their sports, and my friend Andy is no exception. We were able to take an impromptu tour of Dunedin’s state of the art new Forsyth Barr Stadium, home to Rugby’s Highlanders. It was one of the only indoor natural grass stadiums in the world.
On an island of dramatic scenery, The Catlins, located in the obscurity of the southeastern corner of the island, continue to fly below the radar of most tourists. The area is full of remote lighthouses & coastlines and some of the most beautiful waterfalls anywhere.
As I mentioned frequently in the posts about the South Island, this is one of the rainiest spots on the globe. The upside to all of that moisture is the amount of green everywhere, both in the fields and forests.
There is no way any visitor can make it to New Zealand with reading (over and over again) how beautiful Fiordland National Park in the island’s southwest corner is.
Ok, so it’s not really a word to describe the island, but I heard it used so often to describe the Kea, a high-altitude parrot with a propensity for mischief, that I just had to use it. I bumped into this one near The Homer Tunnel on the Milford Sound Road.
I found the serene beauty of Doubtful Sound and it’s inlets to be one of the most calming places I’ve ever visited. The area is so remote that the lack of development keeps in a one of a kind nature experience.
Getting the opportunity to fly over the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and to do a snow landing in front of Nee Zealand’s second highest peak, Mount Tasman is an experience that still gives me goosebumps thinking about it today.
It’s onward to the North Island in my next post!