Australasia

We Know Because We Go: New Zealand – South Island

Meet Sarah, an STA Travel Expert based in Glasgow, who this year got to check out the sights of New Zealand as part of her fam trip*. With a Kiwi Experience pass in hand, see what Sarah and you too could get up to whilst exploring this adventure haven!

Day 1  Christchurch, we have arrived! Bags dumped at the amazingly central hostel, it was time to get excited about the plans ahead with the rest of the team and fill up on food at the hostel’s restaurant.

Arriving in Christchurch

Day 2  
After a much-needed breakfast, we headed out on one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world: the Tranz Alpine trip. The journey from Christchurch to Greymouth takes you through impressive gorges and the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Get ready to take some enviable photos on the viewing platform.  Once we arrived at Greymouth, the KE staff took us to our lively hostel perfect for an after-hours party but fear not, the rooms are far away from the action if you want a well-earned snooze!

 

Tranz-Alpine train New Zealand

 

Day 4   You might think ‘bus transfer’ and subconsciously start snoring, but this one wasn’t one to sleep through. The scenery was insane and our driver spoke about the local history and each location, making it more than just a hop-on hop-off bus. Arriving in Wanaka, I couldn’t get over how amazing the landscape was (I’m feeling a pattern emerging here…) The lone tree of Wanaka was the highlight of the day; I’ve never seen anything like it!

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Day 6   Day six was all about Milford Sound. Our bus driver really knew his stuff, telling us the Maori beliefs of how the mountains and rivers came to be. He also knew all of the Lord of the Ring Spots, which for me, was a dream. Milford Sounds is voted one of the most beautiful places in the world: imagine scenes from the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit – mountains, mirror lakes, glaciers and forests. Even our driver who has been doing the route for over 8 years was stopping to take photos along the way.

 

Kiwi Experience Milford Sound

 

Day 7   Our last day travelling from South Island to Auckland. This bustling city was a great stop and the weather – positively tropical for us UK lot – was over 20 degrees!  The final night was spent drinking and socialising, the perfect end to a once in a lifetime trip.

 

Hooker Valley Kiwi Experience