I visited the South Island of New Zealand for three weeks! I started in Christchurch, grabbed my hire car ( it was very ugly! ha ) and headed towards the west coast via Arthurs Pass. I stopped by Hokitika for a night to visit the Hokitika Gorge.


DSC00648Hokitika Gorge


From there I headed down to Franz Josef/Fox Glacier for three nights. Seeing the glaciers was absolutely amazing, even if they have receded a hell of a long way. It was kind of sad to see how much has melted really. While there I also visited Lake Matheson and one morning I had an absolutely perfect reflection of the southern alps – it was insane.


Weekly Wanderer you.theworld.wanderingLake Matheson at sunrise


After the morning at the lake I did a helicopter ride over the southern alps, landing up towards the top of Fox Glacier. What an experience! After the glaciers I headed down to Wanaka. Wanaka is a great little town. I hiked Roy’s Peak one day and did another hike to Rob Roy Glacier in the Mt Aspiring National Park.


DSC09880Standing on the edge at Roy’s Peak


Following Wanaka I visited Queenstown which was a great place. The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is regarded as one of the best road trips in New Zealand and I completely agree. It’s a must do!

After Queenstown I based myself out of Te Anau for Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound, two very naturally imposing and beautiful fjords. Milford Sound is especially beautiful. I visited there at sunrise with a perfect reflection and the peaks of the mountains glowing golden from the sunlight. It was an amazing morning.


DSC00508Milford Sound at sunrise


Following Milford Sound I checked the weather forecast for my next destination Mt Cook. It was going to be crap apart from the next day, and I was scheduled to stay in Queenstown. I spontaneously bypassed Queenstown and drove six hours to Mt Cook and slept in my car. The whole Mt Cook area is an internationally recognized dark sky reserve, completely free of light pollution. I was astounded when I stepped out of my car at 3am and saw the Milky Way as clear as I’ll probably ever see it. I then drove along Lake Pukaki in the dark and stopped at a lookout for sunrise. I was so stoked as the sky lit up this vivid pink over Mt Cook. I was so happy. It made the long drive there so worth it.


Weekly Wanderer you.theworld.wanderingPeter’s Lookout, Mt Cook at sunrise.


I relaxed a bit in Mt Cook and did a few hikes like the Hooker Valley track – I highly recommend it. I then drove back to Christchurch and stayed at a mates place that I met in Europe. I reluctantly came home the next day a very tired but happy man after the previous few weeks.


Best thingS you did AND saw?
  • Standing on top of Roy’s Peak
  • Lake Matheson at sunrise
  • Mt Cook at sunrise
  • Hokitika Gorge
  • Milford Sound at sunrise
  • Helicopter Ride over Franz Josef/ Fox Glacier


Most unexpected thing you did and loved?

Driving 6 hours to Mt Cook to star gaze. An amazing decision.


Foods to try

The Ferg Burger in Queenstown. It changed my life hahahaha.


Top 3 Must Do’s
  • Milford Sound
  • Mt Cook
  • Roy’s Peak


Photos you cant leave without
  • Milford Sound at sunrise (above – image 4)
  • Lake Matheson at sunrise (above – image 2)
  • The Wanaka Tree at sunrise (below – image 6)
  • Hokitika Gorge  (above – image 1)
  • Peter’s Lookout, Mt Cook at sunrise (above – image 5)
  • Standing on the edge at Roy’s Peak (above – image 3)


DSC09724The Wanaka Tree at sunrise


you.theworld.wandering would like to thank Jed for sharing his awesome travel adventures with our readers! To see more of Jed’s amazing photography follow his awesome travel adventures at:

FACEBOOK: Jed Forester Photography 

INSTAGRAM: @jeddafor

Weekly Wanderer you.theworld.wandering



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