As the famous beverage advert almost goes. A week has already passed in a blur of stunning scenery, epic mountain passes and a thousand comedy moments in the big sleeping truck. Somewhere between high speed jetboating, more relaxed boat trips through fiords, glow worm caves and innumerable photo stops we’ve covered a thousand kilometres on the South Island.
Now we’re going to kick back a bit as it has become obvious that three weeks doesn’t even scratch the surface of this fantastic country. We’d like to spend less time on the tourist trail and a little more time exploring. Our biggest regret so far is not pushing on one night to stay at the side of Lake Gunn on the road to Milford Sound.
The whole camper van experience has been great fun. It works fantastically well with kids and while the big camp sites are cheap, clean and convenient, being totally self sufficient provides the perfect opportunity to just park up in a DoC rural site and enjoy the solitude. Except for the kids of course who seem to have embraced the whole experience with the kind of cheery noncholance that we could all do with a bit more of.
We’ve less than a week left on the South Island and have started to cull our list of things to do. And that leaves plenty of time to head out to the Franz Josef Glacier, dive into the hot springs at Hamner and wallow around with dolphins in the sea at Kaikora.
Heading over to the North Island, I’m really looking forward to the Te Papa Mauri museam in Wellington. The kids are looking forward to it as well, as I’ve promised them they can return to splashing and giggling in return for looking intelligent and interested in some history for an hour or so.
There are so many things we’re not going to have time to do, it seems I’ll need to find a grandmother to sell or rent out hides for “cabbage watching” so we can come back. Right now, with the warmth of the summer and the New Zealand people, this seems like the best place in the world to be 🙂