south island - Rob Padowski

about these photos:

In my visits to the south island I was overwhelmed at how much there is to see and do, and taking the camper van on the ferry to cross the often rough Cook Strait is always an adventure. I went whale watching from a plane and drove to see colonies of fur seals on the coast in Kaikoura. I spent time in Christchurch, still shocked to see the utter destruction the earthquake left behind.

Akaroa provided more unimaginable landscapes and Lake Tekapo never fails to impress. Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are so refreshing to see this day and age, real glaciers melting away but not as dramatically as all the others seem to be. And no visit to New Zealand should miss Milford Sound. Near perfect reflections of mountains in tranquil lakes simply astound.  From luging in Queenstown riding the gondola to the top to enjoying the peaceful and idyllic area surrounding Wanaka, the landscapes, vistas and views are unparalleled.

I visited New Zealand twice on my trip, first in May 2015 and then back again for more in late March/early April 2016. Both times I visited were in winter but that in no way limited the multitude of activities on offer. In my opinion the only way to travel in this country is in a camper van, as you can freedom camp and stay the night on a gorgeous desolate beach, next to a raging river bend or just about anywhere provided you're self-contained. The options are endless.

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