The South Island, Part 1 // New Zealand

We took a three-hour ferry ride to New Zealand’s south island. The ferry’s reputation preceded it as one of the most beautiful in the world, but also one of the most potentially treacherous. Thankfully we enjoyed all of the beauty, despite freezing temperatures, with none of the treachery.

Following our ferry ride in to Picton, we headed West.  For Part 1 of our South Island adventure, we headed to Cable Bay and Nelson before crossing the mountains to the West coast and passing through Punakaiki and Hokitika Gorge.  Here’s the shots:

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The ferry for both us and our campervan.
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Views from the crossing.
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Diverse scenery along the way.
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South island arrival in Picton!
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Our camper location for the night – beautiful Cable Bay to explore at low tide.
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The birds had a field day.
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The next day’s hike. Our campervan was parked down on that narrow strip of land between the bay and the Tasman Sea. Jon is a  little ways down the mountain next to the fence for perspective.
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Views from the top. We could see all the way across the Tasman Sea to snow-covered peaks in Abel Tasman.
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Super excited about the views… and the baby goats just ahead.
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Mama sheep and a cool tree overlooking the unreal bay.
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Obligatory pano.
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Serious wave crashing at the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki.
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The blowhole at the Pancake Rocks complete with rainbow.
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Water gushing in at high tide. Some of the roughest ocean we’ve ever seen.
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Crash!
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View down the coastline… with a wet camera lens.
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Rough and rugged.
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A lone walk down the beach from our camper site.
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Rough sea leftovers.
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Checking out some sea caves that were used by the Maori on their migrations along the West coast.
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The Maori would store their canoes in these caves for protection as the majority of this coast is covered in rocky cliffs. The power of the Tasman Sea to beat against the rock and create these caves is absolutely incredible.
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The bridge to hike to one of the caves.
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Cool old bridge. Cross at your own risk.
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Unique waterfall onto a beach that is only accessible at low tide.  Any other time and the water is pounding out the beautiful formations you see along the cliffs.
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Hokitika Gorge. SHOCKING water color.
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This is the real color. UNEDITED! Unbelievable.
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One of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.

This is a taste of our first few days on the South Island, which did not disappoint! We cannot get over the diversity New Zealand offers from rough seas and the unexplainable Pancake Rocks to vast caves and the unreal blues of the bays and rivers. Visiting New Zealand in November, the beginning of their Spring, allowed us to experience most of these popular locations largely on our own; it also meant numerous clothing changes every day with the weather variations. A happy tradeoff.

More adventures to come: glaciers, odd rock formations, waterfalls, lupine and Christchurch!

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2 comments on “The South Island, Part 1 // New Zealand

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