In October of last year while I was busy studying for final exams, Tra had an opportunity for an adventure. A few other Americans invited him on a road trip through New Zealand. All the way from Dunedin to Mount Maunganui and back. They packed five people (with all their luggage) in a tiny Fiat.
Tra took amazing photos on his trip and I just had to share them with you. I loved editing this crazy New Zealand landscape that I hadn’t seen in person for myself. Even though I was born in New Zealand and hold a NZ passport, I’ve really only seen a fraction of the country. Although after looking through these photos with Tra I feel like I was on the roadtrip myself.
This is part one of the trip from Tra’s perspective:
The first stop on the adventure wasn’t a particularly tourist heavy location. Mount Sunday sits in Central Canterbury and is most well known for being the filming location for Edoras, the capital of Rohan, in The Lord of the Rings. Mount Sunday is only accessible through a gravel road which guides you down into a valley. In the middle of the valley lies a giant rock, seemingly placed there intentionally. The walk to the summit is not long or difficult, but the view at the top is gorgeous. Because it is situated in the middle of the valley, you have a spectacular view of the whole valley all while being blanketed by the much larger mountains surrounding you.
While driving to the west coast of the South Island the group made a quick stop near the beginning of Arthurs Pass to visit Castle Hill. When I looked at the hill he imagined that a Titan carrying a bucket of gravel tripped and spilled the vehicle-sized boulders all over the hill and didn’t have the patience to clean up the mess. The landscape is littered with giant rocks just waiting to be climbed and explored. Climbers could visit Castle Hill every weekend for a lifetime and not climb the same route twice.
Before we made camp at Abel Tasman we wanted to visit Paparoa National Park and the Pancake Rocks. This was my first opportunity to see a Weka up close, which is a flightless bird that kind of looks like a cross between a chicken and a kiwi. While the locals view Wekas as pests, to someone who had never left the Pacific Northwest they were fascinating. The landscape of the park itself reminded me of Jurassic Park. The entire Northwest coast of the South Island felt like an entirely different island to someone who hadn’t spent much time out of Dunedin. It almost felt like a tropical island.
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