Highlights of New Zealand’s South Island

Mt Cook 22Oct092
Despite the sometimes difficult conditions, Mount Cook National Park is an exceptionally beautiful place to visit. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to interact with the stunning scenery; there are various alpine walks beginning near the village and approximately three hours return.

Grp dep Mt Cook2
With my group here at Lake Tekapo, it’s about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. Facing north across the incredible turquoise-coloured lake to the mountainous Southern Alps. The Lake reaps its intense milky-opal colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.

Church of Good Shepherd (3)
On the shores on the lake you’ll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd which was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district and a popular photo spot for visitors.

Looking out of Church of Good Shepherd2
Looking out from the Church of Good Shepherd whereby the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake.

Beautiful scenery doesn’t matter which way you look when motoring along.


SAM_1104 (2)
Forest walk along the Haast River.

forest walk haast river2

kEA bird2
The Kea bird would have to be one of the naughtiest and most mischievous birds on the planet. It’s the only truly alpine parrot in the world and gained early notoriety among settler farmers for attacks on their sheep – and has a total disregard for car tyres! Innately curious, Kea are attracted to people wherever they enter its mountainous domain and are especially friendly.

Fox Glacier2
Fox Glacier – a bit cooler here for sure as it descends from the Southern Alps down into a temperate rainforest – just 300 metres above sea level.

Milford Sound 4Feb11_2
A day out on the Milford Sound with lunch is a must.

SAM_1127 (2)
The most common Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, which is translated as The Land of the Long White Cloud and again evident today on Milford Sound’s stunning waterway.


Grace at Lake Hawea (3)
A quick stop at Lake Hawea with its mirrored finish and glass-like surface.

Enroute Mt Cook2
Heading towards Dunedin. The weather in NZ can be as changeable as a teenager’s mood.

Baldwin St Dunedin2
Baldwin Street, Dunedin – steepest street in the world.

Engine chg turnaround2
New Zealand’s original great train ride. Developed for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, the Otago Central Rail Trail follows the former Otago Central branch railway line and part of Nga Haerenga. The Taieri Gorge Railway offers unique and panoramic views over an ever-changing scenery. There is a licenced Café and bar on board and live commentary on all trips.

Flightseeing tours are other ways to optimise your time here.


Flying over The Remarkables during the summer months give you an idea of how majestic they really are.





Coming into Queenstown to land.

NZ  Orig Bungy Jump AJ Hackett2
The home of Bungy at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre, 43 metres of pure adrenaline to help your heart start to pump and adventure is what the Kiwis are renowned for! After my flight, a trip out to AJ Hackett’s Bungy Jumping bridge wasn’t enough to convince me to end the day here – in a gulley. Love to watch the others though …