We left Queenstown Friday morning and drove up through the South Island through Lake Wanaka all the way up to Franz Josef. Road tripping through the South Island of New Zealand is like driving through a painting. Breathtakingly beautiful scenery!! It’s shocking how easy it is to drive in New Zealand…head out of town towards Lake Wanaka. After the stop in Wanaka, pass Puzzle World and make your next left towards the West Coast. Eventually you’ll end up in Franz Josef. Not one map was used.
(Taken from the car, while driving…perhaps not the safest buttttt it was SO PRETTY!)
The first tears of the trip were shed in Lake Wanaka when I got out of the car holding my Nikon D90 and it fell from my grip to the ground and the lens popped off and broke. My less than three week old, brand new 18-105 lens. CRAAAPPPP!!! I felt sick and out spilled the tears. I texted with my dad and he let me know there were Nikon locations in both Christchurch, Melbourne and Sydney and also, since I bought it with my Amex, they also may cover it. All did not appear to be lost, but Lake Wanaka is not my favorite town and I curse slightly our decision to stop there for what ended up being about 20 minutes. Folks were right…it really is just a pretty lake (okay gorgeous!) and a tinier version of Queenstown.
We drove through lots of very windy, mountain roads and over countless one-way bridges, which were trippy at first but I feel like I’ve become quite the master by now, and made it to the little town of Franz Josef around dinnertime. We checked into a motel…a room all to ourselves, with a kitchenette and heat (it was glorious!!) and turned in early for our early morning hike up a glacier. Driving through the South Island is a must do at some point in New Zealand!! It’s hard to even capture in photos the beauty of the country. Plus, it’s really fun driving totally opposite!!
(One way bridge into Franz Josef; South Island, as driven from Franz Josef to Christchurch)