It was so nice to wake up the first morning in the van and have our own space. It was initially foggy but soon it burnt off and we had clear skies.
We had porridge for breakfast before heading out for an explore of Castle Hill. It consists of some really odd shaped limestone mounds scattered across the landscape.
We continued along Arthur’s Pass which was unbelievably tight, steep and winding, with hairpin bends thrown in for good measure. The surrounding scenery was pretty mind blowing too.
Our next stop was Hokitika, a small seaside town. That evening we headed to a cave which was dripping in glow worms, it was magical to see.
The next day we headed to Hokitika Gorge, it was breathtaking. Once we’d crossed a swing bridge we were surrounded by the bluest glacial water that we have ever seen.
Later that day we had our first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier, which was unreal. It was amazing to walk towards the face of the glacier and look at this mass of ice.
That evening feeling pretty blown away by the days events we headed to Gillespies Beach to camp. We finally saw the magnificent Mount Cook looming over the skyline, a sight that we won’t forget anytime soon.
Our final drive of the week was to Lake Wanaka, a place we had read so much about. It was a super chilled out town surrounded by mountains and the famous Roy’s Peak.
We started out on the hike up to Roys peak early the next morning before dawn. It was quite a climb taking us 6 hours return. The views of the lake were just breathtaking in the early morning orange light, but I was getting alarmed at how much my fingers were starting to swell with every step we climbed.
We were so satisfied to reach the top, but I was also really happy to get back down,take my walking boots off and watch my fingers return to their normal size.
As a reward that evening we watched the sunset by the famous Wanaka tree whilst eating calzone. Walking the next day was a bit of a struggle.