This country is spectacular! Around every corner seems to be another landscape that looks almost unreal, like a portrait. The best way to do NZ is in a camper van. Also bring a tent and backpack for an entire month or two, so you have flexibility to sleep anywhere, do hikes when you feel like it, and just chill when you find a spot that you think is particularly beautiful.
People in New Zealand are into camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, environmental sustainability, protecting nature, etc. All good stuff. A lot of the towns reminded me of Bend, Oregon, where there seems be to more camping store than restaurants.
I was there 25 nights and only did about 70% of the south island. I’ll probably go back sometime with a group, buy a van for 2+ months and take my time. Here are my photos from the trip.
It is beautiful literally everywhere, but I particularly enjoying these experiences:
- Abel Tasman trek over 3 or 4 days camping each night
- Milford Sound
- Rock climbing near Takaka
- Day drive around Pelorus Sound
- Drive from Westport to Fox Glacier. Beautiful coastal drive with the pancake rocks to stop off at.
- Fox & Franz Josef Glacier hikes