South Island | part 1

Okay. So now that I’ve written all about driving I can get to the actual fun stuff. (I think) 

Anton and I started the South Island in Picton. We rented a car and headed west toward Abel Tasman. Blah blah blah you know that part. 

As we headed out we realized how we were completely free to do whatever we wanted to natually we stopped at the first cool bridge to take a swim. The water was this incredible green color and we got to jump off of some small cliffs. Anton was convinced he had seen photos of people jumping off the bridge but the water was like 2 feet deep under the bridge so yeah… I wasn’t about to test that one. 

We continued on to Split Apple Rock which is essentially just a giant boulder in the water that has split in half. We hiked down to the beach and as we came out of the trees we were amazed that we had the entire beach to ourselves. We ended up swimming out to the Rock and doing some climbing on it. I of course decided to kick a big Boulder in the water so my foot was bleeding but I mean really, could you expect any less?

We swam over to some cave-like things and had a nice view of a bird that had got caught in a line and was now hanging there dead. So sad.. I don’t even know why I just told you guys that. 

I kept kicking little sea animal/shell things off the rocks which was quite disturbing.

That night we stayed at a cabin hostel called Old Macdonalds and it actually had farm animals everywhere. 

The next day we planned to climb in takaka then go to Arthur’s pass but after some thought we figured it would be best to just head south. We picked up some hitchhikers (see previous post) and ended up in Punakaiki where we got to check out the Pancake Rocks.   

 We may have accidentally climbed over the barrier and got down into the rocks so we could do some climbing on them which was pretty awesome. 

That night we camped at the beach and got to watch an increible sunset. I decided to get closer to the water and of course got soaked in all of my clothes. I’m pretty good at the whole ocean thing. It was so nice to camp out by the beach again. 

Next we headed to Franz Josef which is a little village. We hiked up to a glacier which was pretty amazing. I said that “I am much more of a do-er than a see-er”

I get much more enjoyment out of an adrenaline rush or activity rather than observing something from afar. So, of course the next waterfall we saw I had to get in even though it was already cold out. I stood under the waterfall for way too long and was SOAKED. I was basically walking in little lakes in my shoes. 

As we headed out from the hike we would say ‘yeah it’s raining pretty hard that way’ and they would all panic and start to put away their fancy cameras. But, you know we did the right thing and told them we were kidding. 

That night we played card games at the hostel while it was pouring rain. The hostel offered free soup and when you’re backpacking you wouldn’t believe the flock of people in line for anything free. So funny. 

The next day we were supposed to take a helicopter into the glacier to do hiking and ice climbing but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the weather. Such a bummer but we continued on to Wanaka. As we drove, there were huge boulders in the road and mudslides with pouring water. So yeah.. Probably good we weren’t ice climbing in the glacier I suppose. 

Wanaka was amazing. It reminded me a lot of Montana. The first night it was still pouring rain so I went to the cinema by myself. It was a cute, quirky cinema. The chairs were old couches, airplane chairs, dentist chairs, cars and other crazy objects. Halfway through they had an intermission with homemade cookies and ice cream. It was so much fun. 

That night we met another Anton from Sweden. What are the odds. (Apparently Anton is the most common Swedish name so odds are high I guess). 

The next day was a tough one. Anton and I planned to hike Roy’s Peak. I had been looking forward to this hike for so long. As we began I noticed my legs weren’t feeling so great. We didn’t get too far up before I knew I needed to stop. My legs felt the way they had before my surgery for compartment syndrome. I immediately had to take off my hiking boots and move my feet around. I was pretty devistated and thought that could potentially be the end of my hiking and my legs. I decided to keep positive and Anton carried on with the hike while I headed back into town. 

That afternoon we went climbing indoors as it was raining again. It felt so nice to get back on the wall. 

I met a bunch of people at my hostel that night and we played games then went to play pool at a local pub. They had a wood fire and it started to get cold so I took initiative and went and grabbed firewood and restarted the fire. (Dad would be proud) meanwhile everyone was concerned that I wasn’t gonna be able to do it and our waiter actually thanked me. Definitely had the Montanan come out of me there. (And of course I was wearing a flannel.. Classic)

The next day we took photos of the Wanaka tree and headed off to Queenstown which deserves a whole post to itself.

I am going back to Wanaka this week and I WILL summit Roy’s Peak no matter what. 

That’s all for now. 

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