Since my baby brother was turning 21, and since Rohan had never been to NZ, I thought it appropriate to organise a trip through the stunning South Island. 

We drove counter-clockwise, starting in Christchurch, with our main stops being Greymouth, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, Wanaka, Queenstown, the Catlins, Dunedin, and Mt Cook, and finishing up back in Christchurch.

We visited old friends, made new friends, discovered new things about ourselves and about each other, and took enough photos to fill a gallery!

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Meet Freddy - our Mighway (replacement) campervan! (the first one had transmission issues, and we were held back a day...)

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Castle Hill, Canterbury

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Sunset at Punakaiki

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Freddy, our replacement campervan, had some technical issues on day two of our trip right before we left Greymouth. While it was being repaired, we decided to have a walk around the town where my father spent his.

Rohan decided he needed a new hat, so we went into Alf Harrison's. The gentleman was so lovely and chatty, so I had a gut feeling I should ask him if he knew my grandfather (whom I never got to meet) - turns out he owned the chemist next door and they knew each other quite well! So well, in fact, that he still remembered where the house my father grew up in was.

Life has a funny way of handing you sneaky little gifts...

fox glacier

Within 5 minutes of walking into the head office of Glacier Helicopters, we were being rushed to the next available helicopter and flown over Franz Josef Glacier, landed and set free on the top of the mountain, and flown back down over Fox Glacier!

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Moody morning view from our Fox Glacier Top 10 Holiday Park camp site

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Driving from Fox Glacier to Haast and need a real coffee? Help out this little guy (plus it was super tasty)

Driving from the Glaciers to Haast

Driving from the Glaciers to Haast

Watch your step at Fantail Falls - the river bed is overrun with carefully placed rock stacks!

Watch your step at Fantail Falls - the river bed is overrun with carefully placed rock stacks!

gates of Haast

Gates of Haast

Boundary Creek

Driving long distances through NZ isn't so bad when the pit stops are what dreams are made of - Boundary Creek Picnic area on the shores of Lake Wanaka

lake wanaka

The water was so warm and so shallow for so far, I didn't have my swimmers but I just couldn't resist - Lake Wanaka

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Ahh Roy's Peak Track - we left at 4.30am in the pitch black, took waay too much gear, it took 3.5 hours for these two unfit fools to reach the first peak, but BOY WERE WE REWARDED!?! The most AMAZING sunrise, the most amazing view, and the most amazing hiking buddy this broken lady could have asked for xx

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Showing Rohan around my favourite place in the world - Arrowtown

 
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queenstown

Looking back at Queenstown from Glenorchy-Queenstown Road

Peaceful sunsets and distant storms... Glenorchy from Glenorchy-Queenstown Road

Peaceful sunsets and distant storms... Glenorchy from Glenorchy-Queenstown Road

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glenorchy
devils staircase

We found a place called Devils Staircase, but it was actually rather heavenly

Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau

Moody roads on the way to Milford Sound

Moody roads on the way to Milford Sound

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We got the last tour of the day with  Southern Discoveries , which included a picnic meal and a tour of their  Discovery Centre , and getting drenched by not one but two waterfalls!

We got the last tour of the day with Southern Discoveries, which included a picnic meal and a tour of their Discovery Centre, and getting drenched by not one but two waterfalls!

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milford sound - rohan
milford sound - zara
milford sound - moon
freddy milford
moody misty mornings in Milford Sound calls for moody misty self portraits

moody misty mornings in Milford Sound calls for moody misty self portraits

field milford rohan

Anyone recognise this field on the way in/out of Milford Sound? (hint - Lord of the Rings)

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catlins beach - zara

Overlooking Tautuku Bay from Florence Hill Lookout in the Catlins

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Cathedral Caves, the Catlins - only available at low tide, but totally worth the wait

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Petrified Forest at Curio Bay had dinosaur loving Rohan losing his sh*t

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McLean's Falls, the Catlins

whistling frog

When travelling through the Catlins, go visit my dear friends at the Whistling Frog Cafe and stay next door at the Catlins Kiwi Holiday Park - we stuffed our bellies with delicious traditional pizza and crisp wine, and watched the aurora from our back window of Freddy!

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Nugget Point Lighthouse

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Looking back at Dunedin on our way to Larnach Castle

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Exploring the gardens of Larnach Castle

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tunnel beach

Tunnel Beach is truly a sight to see - in the 1870s, Mr Edward Cargill commissioned a tunnel of stairs be cut out of solid rock so his family had their own private beach!

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Rohan had never been close to a sealion, so I took him to the Mole at Aramoana on Otago's Peninsula

Rohan had never been close to a sealion, so I took him to the Mole at Aramoana on Otago's Peninsula

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Moeraki Boulders - no one quite knows how they really got there...

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I sit in this rock every time I visit...

I sit in this rock every time I visit...

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The Hooker Valley track is the most popular hike at Mt Cook - and for obvious reasons

The Hooker Valley track is the most popular hike at Mt Cook - and for obvious reasons

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Mt Cook, as seen from the shores of the Hooker Glacier melt lake (yes, those are icebergs - and one rock)

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Whether you're facing Mt Cook or the opposite direction, the view is stunning

mt cook sunset
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Sunrise over Lake Pukaki (from the side door of our campervan - honestly, freedom camping is the sh*t)

church

Something different for the Church of the Good Shephard on the shores of Lake Tekapo

chch

The last time I was in Christchurch was a few months before the initial early morning earthquake. Seeing most buildings either knocked down or condemned just had me on the verge of tears the whole time... But the city is recovering, and still worth a visit!

And here's where we finish - until our next big adventure x