tourist tuesdays: new zealand with louise!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

hi friends & happy tuesday! im excited to introduce you all to louise, a fabulous blogger who hails from the other side of the world! her blog is so fun and always has awesome pictures!  today she's gunna take us on a fun roadtrip through new zealand ... a place i've always wanted to visited.  so grab your coffee, sit back, relax and set your inner tourist free!


Hello EDBAT readers! Pleased to meet you. I’m Louise and I blog over at Coffee Table Journal ( I’m so happy to be here today to share my travel tips with you as I’m a big travel junkie and love to reminisce about my experiences, only I haven’t blogged about ANY of them yet. So I am pleased to say that this is officially my first travel post. May it be the first of many :) 

I love a spa retreat as much as the next girl, but one of my favourite types of holidays to go on is a camping trip. I had never camped in my life (except for at a music festival when I was 18, which I wouldn’t exactly call ‘real’ camping) up until I was 22 - and I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. But now, if theres a trip where camping is involved, i’m on it like Captain Oates! 

Which brings me to my guest post today where i’ll be telling you all about our magical road-trip through New Zealand. 

Bo, my fiancee (back then, my boyfriend), and I had been living and working in Australia for 3 months over the summer and we were determined to add as many new places to our travelling repertoire, and this just had to include a trip to New Zealand, somewhere I had been dying to see. 

NZ isn’t a huge country. Geographically its about the size of Colorado, but for those who don’t know its split into 2 islands: North & South Island. Imagine that! The land is pretty vast and theres plenty to see, so if you read up on your where and what to do’s, you can plan a route (highly recommended). So how do you decide which Island to visit right? Well, you could do both... but you’d be spreading your time pretty thinly if your on a tight timescale like we were (we only had 7 days). Luckily, Bo had visited NZ before and so was able to customise our trip perfectly in order for us to fit in all the places and things that we wanted to see and do, as well as miss out anywhere that wasn’t going to add anything to our trip, thus making the most efficient use of our time there. After looking at all the possibilities, we were leaning more heavily towards South Island, and so thats were we went. 

So.... how to do it: 

Getting about: 

As far as i’m concerned, there is no better way to see New Zealand than to take your own driving tour. There are many options for this, but we chose a breezer and used this company. This is a popular choice of transport here as NZ is on the backpackers trail and quite frankly, i’m not really sure how anyone else really gets around. I’m sure there are ways, but driving is by far the easiest way to get from a to b! Plus, it’s not a difficult country to drive in and the roads, in parts, are deserted: you could be driving for hours without seeing another soul. 

Where to go: 

That is the question! We had chosen South Island based on the places that we really wanted to visit and the sheer beauty that it boasts. Our route after arriving in Christchurch, took us from the east coast to south west inland, then back up the east coast. Every single place we visited was worth the drive. Our first stop was Lake Tekapo, almost bang in the centre of South Island. After a fairly dull drive through flat farmland, we began to break into interesting territory just as twilight came. We set ourselves up for the night and wandered into the town for dinner, before deciding to turn back and just make our own. The clouds cleared and we got the most amazing star-filled sky, so ended up just sitting outside with a bottle of red wine and some music. It was a really special start to our holiday. We woke up to a beautiful bright spring morning with blue skies reflecting on the cobalt waters of the Lake and prepared for our drive to Lake Wanaka via Mount Cook . We drove to Mount John Observatory, one of the best places to star gaze, and got outstanding views of the Lake. We then drove on towards Mount Cook, the highest Mountain in New Zealand, and took pictures of it from the shores of Lake Pukaki, then drove up into the small resort & visitor centre and had lunch at the glacial Blue Lakes before heading to Wanaka to camp. Following that, we spent 2 nights in Queenstown, which was my favourite spot. Theres tons of activities to do there, its full of energy, great eateries and its simply stunning. From there we went to Milford Sound and then had a marathon drive back up the east coast to Christchurch. 

What to see/ do: 

Our itinerary was packed for the whole week. We’re a pretty adventurous couple and we like our holiday time to be spent as actively as possible, so we spent each of our days visiting new places, doing something outdoors with a lot of driving in between. New Zealand is fully equipped for those adrenalin junkies and dare-devil travellers who live on the edge. So if you want to white water raft, bungee jump or sky dive there are options to suit everyone - from curious, to just.plain.crazy- its not something you need to book in advance as you will find numerous agents in town through which to book all of the above. 

We took a power boat ride from Paradise (actual name of town) up the Dart River then wet suited up to begin our Funyak adventure - our own inflatable kayak, which we paddled back down the river in, amongst the mountains. We pulled over to the side for a buffet lunch in a wooded copse, and went on a little walk through ancient woodland, before meandering on downstream. For a true Lord of the Rings experience, go horseriding in Glenorchy through the foothills of the NZ Alps and go Kayaking in the dramatic and haunting Milford Sound. On your way, you can stop and view the Iconic Mitres Peak and take a walk through the gorge. On our way back we stopped by a beach (I forget the name) where we saw the ancient Mouraki boulders which were pretty neat - but I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to see them. 

Where to eat: 

The beauty of being on the open road is that you can stop to eat whenever and wherever you feel like. As we had a campervan and spent a lot of our mornings driving, we often ate on the go and stopped at random places for lunch. However, there are some spots in Queenstown that are musts. First off, Fergburger: this place is famous. You must try. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but boy I was tempted by these babies. Everyone who goes to QT must try a Ferg. It’s like a rite of passage. Winnies is another one that sticks out. It had a cosy feel and the food and service was great (it also has an opening roof!!) We both had one of their famed gourmet pizzas and all I remember is that it was delish! (sorry, I don’t have any pictures as this was long before I realised how cool it was to take photos of my food!!) 

Where to party: 

Queenstown is party town, no questions asked. This is where you will find a host full of worldly young travellers and revellers. There’s so much life, activity and beauty surrounding Queenstown. It’s small, but it packs a punch! I wish we had had longer there. 

World Bar: Shots served in teapots. Need I say more?! 

If you ever plan to visit Australia then you must make time to visit this magnificent country, even if you are short on time. 

Happy travels!


thanks so much for sharing, louise! i can't wait until i can visit new zealand - hopefully sooner than later.  enjoy your tuesday friends.  


Robyn said...

7 days! wow-that was a flying visit...did you sleep?

Louise♥Coffee Table Journal said...

Thanks for having me over Kelsey. Robyn - yes we did. as well as you can sleep in a camper van, that is. It was tight, but you can definitely see a lot of NZ in a week if you're smart :-)

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