The Wild Side (of New Zealand)

Set apart from all things “tourist” NZ has a wilder side. One has to look deeper and travel further to find it.It’s well worth the search. On the north island the Poor Knights Islands sum up wild for us. More of them in a future blog. In the south the west coast and alpine passes are stunning and in some cases still pretty wild.

wild mountains and icy blue rivers

wild mountains and icy blue rivers

Staying away from the tourist traps you can find incredible indelible walks;majestic mountains and trees to die for. Names like Tuakura,Kuripaka, Kauri and Mamaku melt off the tongue whilst mountain tree ferns adorn each spare nook and cranny. Driving along many of the south-western NZ roads feels like driving down a New York cityscape, swapping out the ferns and trees for the skyscrapers!

Franz Joseph glacier must have been an incredible sight 25 years ago but today you can view little more than a sludgy icicle unless you can afford around $400 USD to take a helicopter and a guide up. The valley it’s in still spectacular though.

Finn made a special tribute for us at the bottom. A fitting end to a gorgeous hike.

I fell in love with Wanaka. We are already planning for a two month house swap- come 2017. Yes, I know- it has tourists, however it also has an amazing lake and perfect outdoor life with winter sports thrown in. Almost a perfect mini-Africa. Some will hate me for that.To end here’s a couple of my faves that sum up the diversity and beauty of my 2 week trip around NZ with Ryan and Finn.

We had great fun travelling in our van, a present from Ryan’s parents. It made a difference to be travelling with a home- especially when travelling on the ZAR ( the rand ). Thanks Roger and Cynthia!

All in all we had some good tramps and got together with some good friends. that’s New Zealand.


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