South Island


The ferry ride from Wellington to Picton is pretty darn spectacular. The scenery is absolutely stunning. Also being so close to setting foot on that beloved South Island again makes me giddy. Both the North and South Islands are beautiful and I highly recommend visiting both islands. I just can’t help having fallen in love with the more rugged South Island. On this photo you can see the first features of the South Island, as you come from the north. It also helps that the first glimpse is of the Marlborough Sounds, one of my absolute favourite areas in New Zealand.

Published by Alive and Trekking

Dreamer. Adventurer. Traveller. Geek. Idealist. Nature. New Zealand, Nordic countries and the Arctic.

16 thoughts on “South Island

  1. We took the ferry from the South to the North Island and I was so looking forward to seeing these amazing views. But it was foggy the whole way and I spent the time catching up on emails. We couldn’t see a thing! Your photos make me think we should do this trip again and hope for better weather. Are you there again at the moment?


    1. That is such a pity! I’ve heard that the crossing can be quite rough as well. You just never know up front. The first time I took the ferry was at night (it was the cheapest with a campervan) so I didn’t see a thing!

      I wish I was in New Zealand, but I’m at home mostly working. I’ll get back down there, no doubt 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My son is study biology in Sydney unto the end of November. My husband and I are about to make the journey from Charlotte, North Carolina USA for a visit. About three weeks from start to finish. Our son Sam has a break the last week of September and we plan to fly together over to New Zealand. Before that we will have been visiting between classes with Sam and making a weekend trip or two with him perhaps to the reef in Australia. Thought about Brisbane or Melbourne but want to use time wisely and flights as well. I could use some information on Things we should see/do in Australia as well as info about flying into Auckland and renting a car, staying in the hot springs area of Rotarua where I’ve made reservations. I hope that area is full enough for Good day trips for my adventurous son and husband. I’m a little worried about the reef trip for my husband who used to get sea sick. Help?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How awesome that your son is studying in Sydney! And what a great reason to visit Australia!

      Melbourne is a nice city and there is heaps to do in and around. Not sure how long you plan to stay in Melbourne, but I highly recommend doing the Great Ocean Road. Also great options are Healesville Sanctuary, Yarra Valley vineyards, or closer the the city you could visit St. Kilda.

      I don’t have any suggestions about Brisbane itself, but if you’re keen on exploring the area and have time to do so, then Noosa is a very good choice. I loved that place.

      I always get motion sickness, but it hasn’t stopped me from going out in a boat, ever. Maybe take some anti-motionsickness pills? A trip to the reef is definitely worth it.

      Flying into Auckland is just like flying into any airport, nothing special, so I’m sure you’ll be just fine! I’ve only rented a car in New Zealand once and that was with Jucy Rentals New Zealand. Very friendly and relaxed company to rent a car, in my opinion. Rotorua is lovely and there are heaps of activities. I’ve not been to the hot springs myself, so I can’t help you there. Experiencing Maori culture is a must do, in my opinion. I highly highly recommend Tamaki Maori Village. Whakarewarewa Village and Ohinemutu Marae are also worth a visit. As for adenturous activities…what about Zorbing? I remember a Zorbing place not too far from Rotorua so maybe that’s an option?

      Hope this helps, if only a little bit. Don’t worry too much, as Australians and Kiwis are friendly and helpful people. I hope you’ll have an amazing time and if you have any further questions, just let me know if I can help! 🙂


      1. This is very helpful. The distance between areas is vast and with limited time I want to make the best use of it with the most efficient flights from place to place. Having Sam in school during the week changes our ability to spend much time in each place. If it’s worth it for us to stay longer than a weekend somewhere I suppose he could fly in to join us for things that would interest him more than others. I’m a bit overwhelmed trying to plan. Things like should we get round trip to and from Sydney and then worry about short flights once we’re there or to plan specifics ahead and reservations etc. oh my. Makes my head swim. Have you been to Wellington? Seen northern/southern lights? Can we do cairnes in a long weekend if he skips class on Friday?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, Australia is absolutely huge! My personal opinion is, that I’d rather have more time in fewer destinations than running around trying to see everything.

          As for flights: I don’t know. If you have limited time it might be worth looking at suitable flights ahead of time. Might save some money too and prevents disappointment if there’s no suitable flights at your preferred date or time. When my mom and I went to New Zealand last December/January, I booked everything ahead of time (also it being the school holidays in New Zealand) and it made for a stress free time because we knew where we were staying (we had four weeks in total).

          My tip for planning is making an Excel sheet with all the days and dates of your trip, when you’re flying in and out and how much time you have in between. For me, it helped heaps in puzzling together an itinerary and gave insight into what was feasible to do in the time we had and what we were comfortable with. We didn’t want to run around, spending every night in a different place. We also didn’t want to drive more than 5-6 hours a day.

          So say you’re in Sydney for x amount of time, what can I do and see. There’s the Blue Mountains, beaches, the Opera House, and maybe you fancy a visit to Taronga Zoo. Same thing for Melbourne, in x amount of time I can do the Great Ocean Road, hike in the Grampians, maybe visit Healesville Sanctuary etc. It all depends on what kind of travel you want and how jampacked you want it to be.

          Wellington is a cool city, one of my favourites in New Zealand. Cairns in a long weekend, depends on what you want to do. Are you planning on flying there? It’s a 20 hour drive from Brisbane. And maybe think about if you want to stay in the big cities or rather enjoy exploring the countryside, or a little bit of both.

          I have a blogpost about how I prepared for my New Zealand travel in 2015. It’s called ‘How I prepared for my travels’, under the category Travel and then My two cents. Maybe there’s something in there you couls use for your planning?

          Good luck! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I will definitely look at that blog post. We hadn’t planned on a car in Australia but do plan to get one in NZ. With limited time we planned to fly from
            Sydney to a few places and trying to decide most important spots. Reef area? Brisbane or not? Melbourne or not? Go to Melbourne and do day trips? How. Bus? Hop on hop off? Tour? We are such an independent auto society in the USA it’s sad to say it’s a bit unnerving to not have that easy freedom. Also Australia is so huge. It’s like how much time do we want to spend flying around. Need to see and do absolutely the most important. Include or leave out what. What should our hiker climber son do without us and such. Would he enjoy Melbourne area? Hmmm. All your input is so helpful. Thanks so much.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You’re welcome! Yes, it’s a lot to think about and to decide what fits best for you and your family.

              If you’re son is into hiking, there are heaps of options! Kosciusko N.P, the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Grampians near Melbourne, the Tongariro Crossing near Rotorua.

              There are many many options for doing tours in Australia (NZ as well). And it’s a country that’s used to visitors from overseas. I’ve never had an issue getting around without my own car.

              Glad I was of any help 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t remember which company I used to get out the reef. It was so long ago! I did a daytour to Daintree N.P., so rainforest yes, but I didn’t take any train.

              Liked by 1 person

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