Wanderlustress

Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Campervan Trip on South Island, NZ – Day 3

We could have stayed in Franz Joseph another day and hit the hot springs and just relax, but the prospects of even more beautiful scenery and possible clear skies as we head south made us decide to move on.

The rain seemed unrelenting and under normal circumstances or in any other place, it would have really dampened our spirits for travel. However, the grey muted lighting and lifting clouds in such dramatic landscape made the scenery otherworldly to me. Since my husband did all of the driving, I could really look around and enjoy the multitude of passing streams and bubbling creeks as we drove over them along what seemed like an endless string of one-lane bridges. I marveled at the icy green to turquoise blue of the water rushing beneath us, and I tried to snap the blue-green winding river next to us out the campervan’s window without much success.

Leaving Franz Joseph for mountains and (hopefully) sunshine.

Leaving Franz Joseph for mountains and (hopefully) sunshine.

Leaving the rainforest for the coast.

Driving out of the rainforest.

As we approached the town of Haast, we stumbled upon a salmon farm where we stopped to pick up some fresh fillets to grill for dinner. You can’t see it in the photo, but the fish pond is fed by a creek of cold mountain water rushing down from the high peaks above. How perfect. The cafe’s menu had me salivating and from then on I was addicted to smoked salmon eggs benedict for the rest of our trip.

Fresh salmon, yum!

Fresh salmon, yum!

Then not too much further ahead, we turned the bend to find the rugged western coastline of South Island in the heart of Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area.

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Look a beach! Let’s stop!

Look a sliver of blue sky in the background!

There’s a sliver of blue sky in the background!

A jumpy girl happy to be out of her car seat.

A jumpy girl happy to be out of her car seat.

I loved the rugged textures against the rough sea backdrop.

I loved the rugged textures against the rough sea backdrop.

It was a nice pit stop on the beach and we considered camping here, but again, we decided to press on and head inland to get as close to Lake Wanaka as we can with the few remaining hours of the day. And as the previous days driving proved, there was so much more to see that did not cease to amaze. Driving through Mt. Aspiring National Park immediately inspired me to plan a return trip to one day to hike it’s trails. These shots I snapped while whizzing by in the campervan do not do the scenery an ounce of justice, but believe me, it was dramatic and stunning.

Dramatic low clouds against steep peaks.

Dramatic low clouds against the steep peaks of Mt. Aspiring National Park.

First snow along the peaks, shrouds of low clouds, icy blue waters. Amazing!

First snow along the peaks, shrouds of low clouds, icy blue waters. Amazing!

There are a lot of bridges on South Island.

There are a lot of bridges on South Island to cross all the mountain rivers and creeks.

I could not get over the green icy waters of the creeks.

I could not get over the green icy waters.

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2 comments on “Campervan Trip on South Island, NZ – Day 3

  1. eomollo
    May 22, 2013

    Amazing, thanks for the cool photos i’m thinking it’s well worth it to come see where i’m from.

  2. the images are beautiful, but those genuine smiles stole the show! great post! z

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