Hello everyone! Please forgive the cheesy title 😉 but since our departure to New Zealand is now less than a month away we’re very excited about it! So leading up to our departure we thought we’d do a little post to bring you along with us as we plan our route around the country.
We’ve kept our plan fairly flexible in regards to both the route and what we will do when we get there, as we want the freedom to be a bit spontaneous. However we decided that having a broad idea of where we’d like to go and then exploring our options when we get there was the best way to approach things.
So far we’ve planned a rough route around the south island so we’ll probably do a second post like this one over the coming days once we’ve tackled the north island.
We’ll be departing London Gatwick and arriving into Christchurch airport after three separate flights totalling about 30 hours (Ben is quite a nervous flyer so this could be interesting for a start!). Once there we’re actually spending our first night in a hostel that used to be a jailhouse and sleeping in the old prison cells, where we’re hoping the practice of locking people in has been phased out! We’ll pick up the campervan the following morning and get on our way good ‘n’ proper.
We will probably spend up to a week in and around Christchurch and have a few things lined up that we reckon will be a lot of fun, which I’m sure we will write about when we’re there. We also want to explore the nearby Banks Peninsula, which is a small network of rivers and lakes that looks like a lovely place to take in some scenery and views.
The plan is then to drive down the east cost to Dunedin, which has been described as the ‘Edinburgh of New Zealand’ as it was founded by Scottish settlers and apparently shares much of a similar feel to it’s Scottish counterpart (ironic that we’ll be going to the New Zealand Edinburgh on the other side of the world before the actual Edinburgh right next to home!). There are various small towns and villages on the east coast that we plan to stop at on the way to Dunedin, where hopefully we will get a chance to see lots of wildlife, both on land and marine, as well as get a taste of what it’s like a live in the more secluded areas of New Zealand.
From Dunedin we’ll head west across the centre of the region known as Otago and set our sights on Queenstown and the surrounding towns/areas where we will again likely be spending the better part of a week exploring, relaxing, taking part in activities and possibly braving a bungy jump if we can summon the necessary courage!
After Queenstown we’ll head up the west coast and take in some of the stunning scenery and make a few stops off at local towns as we head north. There will hopefully be lots of opportunity for treks around the hills, lakes and national parks that litter the west cost and many photo opportunities!
The last leg of our journey on the south island will be heading right back across the country to the east coast to Kaikoura where, with any luck, we’ll do some whale watching as we’re informed whales can be spotted year round. We’ll then drive up to Picton and get the ferry across to Wellington where the second half of our journey will begin!
So that’s our rough plan so far and we’ll do another update once we’ve had a good look at the best places to go in the north island. We hope you enjoyed this post and we also hope you enjoy following us as we attempt to actually live out our plan in just under a month!
Ben and Jess 🙂