After 8 hours of hiking up and down vulcanos on the Tongariro Crossing, we headed straight down to Wellington to get the ferry the next morning. And off we went to the South Island! The ferry crossing itself was exciting as none of us could remember being on such a big ferry!
Once we arrived on the other side, our first stop were the Pancake Rocks and blow holes on the west coast. They are quite a drive away from Picton, where the ferry docks, but we’d quickly learned on the North Island that no car journey seems long if your with too good mates who are just as crazy as you! Something which helped a lot on the larger South Island. We managed to go all the way down to Milford Sound and up again to Picton in just a week! After the Pancake Rocks we drove further down the coast to Hokitika where we had been told to visit the Gorges…which we forgot after spending half the day in the warehouse there to stock up on blankets and long undies for the nights which were becoming ever colder as we headed south.Thankfully on our way back up we remembered to stop off on Hokitika again and visit the Gorges this time! But back to our southbound drive, our next stop was the Franz Joseph Glacier, where a 1.5 hour hike will take you within 750m of of this decreasing natural phenomenon! Pictures along the way showed how much the glacier had melted over the last decade, which really was scary to see and is also the reason you can’t get onto the glacier itself anymore, except for with a helicopter. Then we carried on to Queenstown where Sophie and Becky decided to not only wash their clothes but also themselves in the absolutely freezing lake…no wonder it was cold after having seen the glacier the water came from! But isn’t it amazing what two crazy girls can persuade each other to do! 😀 Our last big stop was then Milford Sound, but more to that in the next post!