I’m filling my first week in New Zealand with sheep, car rides, and hikes all day everyday with my friend Morgan! New Zealand is so pretty!
I flew into Auckland and spent 1 night there. Then flew to Christchurch the following day. The thing about New Zealand is it’s so Cold! The temperature has actually dropped to half of what it was in Asia. And everything is so expensive especially compared to Asia where $15-10 is an expensive meal and here it’s quite cheap. The other thing is I’m surrounded by white people instead of Asians. Even though I stopped in Malaysia for a week where life was a mix of Asian and western I feel as though I’ve been dropped in a different world. Time has gone so fast, I can’t believe my 3+ months in Asia are finished.
The first day when my new friend and travel buddy, Morgan, arrived we met up for dinner with her new friend she made from right off the plane for dinner and we walked around Christchurch city. In the city there’s actually not that much going on. There’s a lot of construction everywhere, lots of coffee shops, stores all the normal things you need in a town. We stayed in a historic jail that was turned into a hostel. It was ok, but fun to say we spent a night or two in jail. We decided to rent a car and so we will be driving on the left side of the road for a couple days now.
So the thing that’s great about Morgan is that she makes me feel like one of best versions of me there is. She brings out the good, energetic, happy side of me. I’ve laughed more with Morgan in the first full day with her than I have in a long time. I’m really happy to have a friend like her who’s up for adventures.
We picked up our little old blue car and started driving south. We stopped at Timaru for a quick coffee break and to go for a short walk to check out the ocean. Next we stopped at Oamaru for another break. We tried to go view the penguins but they weren’t out since it was the middle of the day, we walked around the town a little bit but again there wasn’t much too it. All of these towns are super tiny and quaint. We pent the night in Dunedin, which is actually a pretty big city. Initially the drive from Christchurch to Oamaru didn’t seem like much, it was all flat farm land and we were surrounded by lots and lots of sheep. I’ve never seen so many sheep! And everything is so green. There’s also lots of giant hedges around everywhere which is so strange to us. From Oamaru to Dunedin the drive changed a bit to more curvy roads that went up a hilly countryside instead of a flat one. The winds are stronger, there’s a drop in temperature, and our ears keep popping. It was all really beautiful especially at the end of the day between driving next to the ocean and between the hills. I actually really like driving in New Zealand.
The days are so long that everything seems to get mixed up. Dunedin seems to be a busy city but mostly only because there’s a major university there so all the college kids are out and about. After waking up in Dunedin we got in the car and drove down windy roads on the otago peninsula to go see the views. We headed to sandfly bay and went for a quick walk to see the view and the sheep. Then we drove to tunnel beach we’re we took a walk down a very big hill to the ocean. Here we were able to go through a little cave tunnel to get to a small rocky beach. The next stop was Te Anau. In reality it’s been a whole lot of driving in the first days.
After getting to Te Anau we took a walk around part of the lake right in front of our hostel. We walked part of the Kepler trail, this trail would actually take 4 days to complete so we only did a tiny part of it that was close to our hostel for the night. It’s very beautiful, the snow covered mountain top are right on the other side of the lake from us.
In Te Anau we ended up booking a tour to go out to Milford Sound. The drive up to Milford Sound was incredibly pretty, and some of the roads got to be really narrow and windy. The drive is great but most of the time there’s only one radio station or none at all. Milford Sound is actually a fjord because it’s carved by ice. It was once again, incredibly pretty despite the weather being pretty cloudy. With the weather being ok, we actually got to see a ton of waterfalls that we actually wouldn’t have been able to if it had been sunny as they are most prominent when it’s raining. It only rained a little on our tour and we grateful for the shelter we could find inside the boat when we got too cold to stay on the deck. Milford Sound is beautiful, it’s these super tall cliffs with lots of moss, trees, and it meets the ocean. We also saw some lazy seals hanging out on the rocks!
On our last day in Te Anau we took another walk on another part of the Kepler Trail. After a walk on the wrong path we initially turned around because everything seemed pretty dead and not really worth the walk. After getting back to the car park Morgan discovered we had taken the wrong path so we went on the real Kepler track. This part of the track was all in the forest covered by moss. There’s so much moss in this forest! I really enjoyed it.
After our last walk in Te Anau we drove 2 hours to Queenstown. Once again this drive was incredibly pretty and scenic. We stopped at a couple places on the road to stretch. Queenstown is super touristy, and it feels like a ski town, there’s tons of adventure tours to book (like skydiving and helicopter flights), and it’s know for its nightlife. In Queenstown we walked around the city for a little bit. We got some fish n chips, went to a couple bars, tried some ‘Speights’ NZ beer and had a great time talking to some guys from Nepal. Back at the hostel we met Kyle in the hostel who decided to try to help me fix my hair, which was super sillyz. Kyle is from New Zealand so Morgan and I asked him all the questions that we can think of about New Zealand.
It seems like all we do is drive and walk. But in reality this is all we do! But there’s nothing wrong with this. All the towns along the way are really small.
New Zealand is great. The land is pretty, it’s covered in green fields that are covered in sheep. Once in a while we see some cows or deer but 95% of the time when we look outside it’s fluffy white sheep. I definltiy underestimated the sheep population of New Zealand. There’s almost always mountains in the distance or right next to you, the further west we go. The air is so crisp and clean, not polluted at all like all of Asia was. New Zealand is such a pretty country!