It turns out New Zealand withdrawal is a thing. It’s crippling, it’s heartbreaking, and after five months of waking up in a cold sweat screaming "Tekapo!" into the void, I figured it was probably time to scratch that Kiwi itch again. This time I won’t be alone though. Introducing Traveller #2 - Zach Dyson.
We’ll be kicking around the South Island for two weeks in our camper van, “Samwise Vangee” (*hold for applause*), starting and finishing in Christchurch. The idea is to head clockwise around the spine of mountains that run straight up the middle of NZ, but beyond that we’re pretty flexible with where/when we shift around.
So where to first? Of course stop one is Lord of the Rings related - we're off to Edoras! The drive itself isn’t too far, but the second half is completely on unsealed roads (readers of my blog last year will remember that this is where I ripped the waste water pipe off my van), so it can be pretty slow going. Naturally we stopped in at a few places along the way to get our first taste of fresh air though.
It still baffles me just how quiet some parts of New Zealand are. Once we reached the rough road, the only noise we could hear was coming from our boots crunching on gravel. That, and the obnoxious noise of the drone I sent up into the air, which was still clearly audible three kilometres away. An hour of slow driving later, and we reached our destination - Mount Sunday.
As we pulled into our accommodation for the evening - a small off the grid campground a few kilometres down the road - we were welcomed with a massive storm front, turning the blue skies we'd had earlier into an incredible mix of red and yellow. It came and went fairly quickly, leaving us with a great opportunity to also get some night photos over the mountains.