… Africa, Australia (+ New Zealand) and Asia

Christchurch to Te Anau

with 5 comments

The car has been rented and the journey is upon us. I have recently changed my return ticket to Australia (Gold Coast) from 31st of January to 21st of February. What I have seen so far simply do NOT allow me to stay any less. I will now try to give a brief summary of my route so far. Alex is a good driver indeed by the way 😉

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

I was stunned by the beauty of lake Tekapo when we got there. We are camping in lake Alexandrina which is a small part of Tekapo. Beautiful and the camping is for free. We spend the night with a couple of German graphic designers drinking gin and tonic and playing Uno. The next day we would do our first (short) trek around Mt. John Summit and the lakeshore. There is a space observatory on the peak and a cafe by the name of Astro Cafe. We will then meet Daniela a German girl travelling by her own.

Lake Tekapo to Aoraki National Park

On the road to Aoraki (Mount Cook) National Park I would reconsider my opinion about lake Tekapo. It was nice but lake Pukaki is just brilliant! The waters reflect the mountains so clear, that it seems it is the same picture upside down. I guess I will have to reaccess my Ooo’s and Aaw’s many times as I travel more in NZ. We are staying in White Horse Hill camping ground for two nights. In the two days to follow we do two hikes. The Hooker Valley track is an easy 3-hour track with marvelous views of rivers and the Hooker glacier and two suspension bridges – Indiana Jones style (obviously I am NOT referring to the last episode bliahh…). We meet the German couple again and they join us in our second hike here, the Ball Shelter route. Again a 3-hour hike including views on Tasman glacier and the Blue Lakes. The later even have icebergs in them! That’s where one understands the fact that our planet is warming up too fast.

Aoraki National Park to Dunedin

We are sad to leave Aoraki but we have to keep going. A town called Twizel is our next stop, more of a service stop than an objective though. We camp there for the night and the next morning we stop in Oemaru to see blue penguins and drink tea. We also stop to see the Moeraki boulders (a strange formation of perfectly round rocks on the beach) and we end up in Dunedin. I had information that there isn’t much there, but from a short walk I immediately like it. I spend the evening at the beach drinking beer and writing my diary. It is indeed very nice. Dunedin is also the capital of NZ’s indie music industry. The next morning won’t be enough to find it out though as for once more we have to keep moving.

Dunedin to Te Anau

We are off and after getting lost a bit and stopping in Clinton for a short picnic, we have to go back to Balcutha and continue our way down to the Catlins. The Catlins is a very pretty area just like the outskirts of Hobbiton (I imagine ;)). Sheep, cows and a calm landscape with tall trees is the main theme here. Many waterfalls here as well, of which we get to see one. Purakaunui falls is very nice but we are told that is more impressive after rainfall (logical). From there we pass on to Owaka but petrol shortage make us go back and camp at Kaka Point. Some times accidents are for the best though and there we see the sunset from the Nugget Point lighthouse, a brilliant sight to see. Next day we stop to Invercargill. I was not impressed at all by this city – sorry to say. We did have a pub meal there though as we wanted to drive all the way up to Te Anay and just chill – after all this driving and rushing. On the final kilometers to Te Anau, expectations are high. And not without reason. The Fiordlands were basically one of the main reasons for my trip to NZ afterall. With places such as the Doubtful & the Milford Sound the area is like taken out of a fairytale. Tomorrow we are off to do the Kepler track; a 4-day hike which is considered the modest but hardest cousin of the Milford track.

Until the next episode… wish me luck for the hike – it is going to be the biggest I have ever done!!!



Written by csm2mk

January 26, 2009 at 6:52 AM

5 Responses

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  1. Take it easy Mat.
    Don’t push it too hard
    Have a nice hike.
    Ke prosexe vre!!!

    Army Aviator

    January 27, 2009 at 8:35 PM

  2. luck ρε φίλε! Όση luck χρειάζεσαι! Κι εμένα μπρος πίσω Αλεξανδρούπολη, μ’ έφαγαν οι δρόμοι, αλλά δε βλέπω τόσο ωραία πράματα.


    January 29, 2009 at 8:37 AM

  3. The tireless Mateo finally arrived to the summit, took out his camera and lighted up a cigarret…


    January 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

  4. Ну New Zealand is a marvelous country, by the way, does anyone happen to know what the name of the country mean? Good luck with hiking.

    Scottish cottages

    January 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM

  5. Army Aviator -> Done and done… thanks
    Ocomments -> Filakiaaaaaaaa!!!
    Diego -> Yeah! Come and check it out! Or do the Alpes and you’ll get a similar feeling!
    Scottish cottages -> Abel Tasman a Dutch man was the 1st european to find NZ in the 1680’s he was from Zeeland in Holland.The Tasman sea is named after him. Thanks for passing! I hope you stay in touch!


    February 3, 2009 at 1:03 AM

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