After digressing slightly over the weekend, I’m back talking travel and over the next few posts, I’ll be whizzing around the utterly stunning South Island of New Zealand. With just a short time to see one of the world’s most beautiful countries, the open road awaits…
We spent just one short night in Christchurch but within minutes of setting our bags down at our hostel, a shudder went through the room. One quick search online and we found that yes, a 3.7 quake had just rippled through the city! It was definitely an interesting and memorable way to start the trip. Another standout memory is consuming the best butter chicken pies. This probably says a lot about me and, right on cue, my stomach has just rumbled enviously at the thought. Seriously though, Kiwis big up their pies and rightly so.
We were up bright and early to pick up our car. It was all going great until we turned up at the wrong branch of our rental company -oops.
Luckily they had a car available and within half an hour, we were driving away this pale gold number. We were on the road to Greymouth, a quick overnight stop before heading down to Glacier county. But rather than the town itself, the main attraction was the gorgeous drive through Porters Pass and Arthurs Pass. The further we got from the city, the greener and more dramatic the landscape became.
We must have pulled the car over at least ten times on the drive because honestly, it was just breathtaking. The steeply rolling, lush hills of the north had given way to mountainous terrain that you couldn’t look away from.
One of my favourite stops was at Lake Lyndon, a stunning lay by surrounded by sparse mountains and stunning wildflowers.
In New Zealand, surprises wait around every corner. You think that it can’t get any more beautiful and then you’ll be stunned all over again within minutes. To come around a bend in the road and see this mountain range rising up ahead of us was incredible.
The most hair-raising moment of our drive? A steep descent over the Otira Viaduct that made my stomach drop like crazy!
After hours of driving, we arrived on the West Coast just in time for pizza and a beautiful sunset. Not bad New Zealand, not bad.