Postcards from the South Island, New Zealand
It’s only taken me like 4 years of writing a blog to finally get up another post about NZ. I mean, I did live there for like the majority of my life!! It was oh so nice to finally visit again, like I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t been back for awhile as the fam lives in Australia now so I’ve been going there instead.
But it was most definitely time to hit the motherland and I was so glad that I did as it really made me fall back in love with my home country and make me want to visit much more frequently. After our trip to Tioman Island, we headed down to Singapore before then flying over to Christchurch, NZ.
We chose Christchurch for two reasons, one my bestie lives there and she was joining us on our trip, and two, I wanted to fly direct to NZ as it is such a pain having to change in Australia. As Wellington (where I’m from) has such a tiny airport, you can’t fly into there from many places. So we thought we’d do a little road trip up the South Island.
So we hopped it over and after meeting Hannah at the airport and a quick pit stop for a shower, got straight on the road!
First stop – Hanmer Springs
As we had just come in off our flight and landed really early in the morning, I wanted the first day to be a pretty relaxed one! We headed across to Hanmer Springs which is less than a 2 hour drive from Christchurch – an easy first drive.
In Hanmer, we did the thing which everyone does – went to the hot springs! ‘Cause after a super long flight, all I basically want to do is lie in a very hot pool and relax. It was the best decision. It was chilly in NZ when we visited so we ran quickly from the brisk cold into the steaming pools. The pool complex has a heap of different temperature pools and ones which contain different minerals. The hottest one was my fave!
After a takeaway pizza and a relax, I was asleep by about 8 o clock – pretty good going for a first day! The next day was the main day where the weather was forecast to be rubbish. So we got up early and did a hike up Conical Hill. We only got a little bit of a rain but mainly got a great view which was so worth it.
We then jumped in the car for the main driving day – all the way up the middle of the South Island to Nelson. It’s such a beautiful drive but the weather was horrible – including hitting actual snow on the mountain pass. However, the sun luckily appeared for our next stop!
Second stop – Nelson
I had been to Nelson a couple of times previously but wanted to spend a bit more time here. Especially as I thought it’d be one of the places where we’d be likely to get good weather! We mainly spent our time in Nelson eating and drinking, which as we know, are my two favourite things.
We did a food and wine tour which was okay – nothing I’d highly recommend but going to the wineries was awesome. I love NZ wine but only started drinking it after I had moved to London, so I hadn’t done any NZ wineries! Basically sacrilege. So I made up for it in our limited time in Nelson. We had some gorgeous seafood, wandered down some stunning beaches and visited one of the best craft fairs.
Third stop – Abel Tasman
On our last day before heading to Wellington, I really wanted to spend some time doing a little wander in the Abel Tasman. This is one of the great walks in NZ and although I’ve done it a couple of times before, it is so stunning that I wanted to go again and take Paul! We only had half a day but managed to do a good 4 hour walk – 2 hours in and 2 hours back. We stopped off at one of the beaches for a little rest before turning around.
It really reminded me of how much I love walking in NZ. It honestly is one of the best places ever to walk – there is basically something stunning around every single corner. I really would like to go back and walk the entire thing!
So after a little tiki tour of the South Island, it was time for us to head to Welly. I did want to get the ferry but it was SO expensive. I was shocked as we used to get it all the time! So we jumped on a tiny tiny plane and flew across the Cook Strait back home. More of that in another post!
Have you been to the South Island? Where was your fave spot?