South Island 2020
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
On the 23rd of March 2020, a number of my friends and I were unfortunately let go from our company (Thanks Rona). They projected that they would not be able to support us without the business going bankrupt. The travel industry took a massive hit as New Zealand had shut its borders and announced a 5-week national lockdown from the 25th of March.
The weeks passed and New Zealand successfully eliminated the virus. We moved down to Level 2 on the 13th of May, opening up the country again with 0 cases. My friends and I decided since there aren't any jobs being advertised for designers; let's go travelling and explore our wonderful backyard!
Our economy had been at standstill. And with great travel deals being offered to encourage people to go out (and spend $$$), we couldn't miss out on this opportunity to have a spontaneous adventure around our country.
Feel free to listen to the South Island 2020 Playlist whilst reading. Curated by yours truly.
I went travelling with my super talented friends! Check them out:
Graphic design and music producing aficionado.
Professional campervan driver and microwave rice connoisseur.
Talented digital & graphic designer. Part-time stock image model.
Loves animals unconditionally even though she might get an allergic reaction.
Kaknika Som Ek
Amazing graphic designer, photographer/videographer.
CEO of "losing" her things and then finding them 2 minutes later.
Days 1-2: Christchurch - Kaikoura
Picking up our home for the next 2 weeks
With Arnie behind the wheel of Big Berth, we conquered the South Island in style and comfort. We landed a great deal with the Maui Motorhome - Costing us only $85NZD/day (incl. full insurance). GO ON and #GetMovingNewZealand!!!
Days 2-3: Kaikoura
Kaikoura Seal Colony / Freshly caught fish & chips and crayfish
Head over to Cods & Crayfish in Kaikoura for some super succulent crayfish. Freshly caught in the morning then grilled and doused in a juicy garlic butter sauce - Just for you.
Days 4-5: Kaiteriteri - Abel Tasman National Park
MASSIVE SHOUT OUT to Gavin & Zoe Alborn from Abel Tasman AquaTaxi, for giving us a lift back to Marahau. Thank you so much for your kindness, hospitality and the great nuggets of unique wisdom about the Abel Tasman environment from the perspective of a local.
Days 6-7: Maruia
Kawatiri Historic Railway Walk / Maruia Falls / Maruia Hot Springs
There was no WiFi or phone reception at Maruia Hot Springs, so it was the perfect chance to just disconnect from the world and enjoy living in the moment. With 24-hour access to saunas and hot pools, we soaked up the hot sulfuric spring water and let go of all our worries.
Day 8: Hokitika Gorge - Franz Josef
Day 9: Franz Josef Glacier - Fox Glacier
Day 10: Lake Hawea & Wanaka
Day 11: Mount Aspiring National Park
Blue Pools / Fantail Falls / Thunder Creek Falls
Day 12: Lake Tekapo
Lindis Pass / Mt Cook via Lake Pukaki / Church of The Good Shepherd / Tekapo Springs & Ice Skating
Day 13: Queenstown
$99 Scenic Flight Tour at 10AM / Bye Bertha, Hi RAV4 / Chill & Cookie Time
Day 14: Glenorchy - Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu Boat Tour / Lunch with Ro & Steph / Spontaneous Wine Tasting
Day 15: Auckland Bound (Home Time)
Cheers New Zealand!
Thank you for making it to the end of the post!
Thank you New Zealand for doing your bit during lockdown and getting us down to Level 2 (Now Level 1 at the time of writing this - We kicked Rona's butt!!)
Thanks to all the crazy cool locals we met along the way.
Thanks Air New Zealand for flying us,
Maui for the sweet campervan deal,
Bookme NZ for some great deals on experiences,
Maruia Hot Springs for treating us like royalty,
Gavin & Zoe at Abel Tasman AquaTaxi for the lift back to Marahau from Apple Tree Bay,
Wet Jacket Wines & Gibbston Valley Winery for the informative wine tasting paired with great banter,
and Milford Sound Scenic Flights for showing our South Island's dramatic landscape from up above.
Thanks to my travel buddies - Kaknika, Catherine and Anthony.
Here's to many more adventures.
#SupportYourLocal #BackYourBackyard #NewZealandTourism
All photographs copyright Jason Wahid 2020 unless credited.