New Zealand Camping Adventure

February 2010


In February over Chinese New Year we embarked upon another epic adventure, this time down to New Zealand to escape the cold wet winter weather in Shanghai. We decided to rent a camper and drive around the South Island. The place was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time on our trip. We made many many good memories we will never forget. I will let the photos speak for themselves!



From Shanghai to Queenstown, New Zealand

We flew from Shanghai to Queenstown, New Zealand via Seoul, South Korea and Auckland, NZ. It made for a very long day (and night!) but what we found when we got there was well worth it. Queenstown is a beautiful little town in the South Island of New Zealand where we started our camping adventure. See the beginnings of our trip here.





Camping Day One:
From Queenstown to Milford Sound

We picked up our camper (which we later nicknamed the 'Kiwi Mama') at the airport in Queenstown, stocked it up with food at the local grocery store, and hit the road bound for Milford Sound. Milford Sound is located in Fiordland National Park on the southwest end of the South Island. It is a remote and beautiful place. See more of Fiordland here.





Camping Day Two: 
At Milford Sound

We stayed an extra day in Fiordland because it was so beautiful and plus we wanted to take a boat tour on Milford Sound. The boat tour was one of only two things that we had really planned to do on the whole trip. The rest of the time we took our time and let the schedule fall where it may. The weather cooperated for our boat tour and we saw some fantastic sights. See Milford Sound and our second night of camping here.





Camping Day Three: 
At Wanaka

From Milford Sound we drove straight back through Queenstown all the way north up to another town called Wanaka. Here we found a great 'holiday park' where we could get fresh water, recharge the RV's battery, wash our clothes, and take a long hot shower. The Glendhu Bay Motor Camp turned out to be a great little oasis in itself with the beautiful lake, surrounding mountains, and with plenty of rocks for the boys to throw. See more of Glendhu Bay here.





Camping Day Four: 
At Mt. Cook

We left Wanaka and drove further north across some very arid land to Mt. Cook which is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It was amazing how fast the land changed from lush and green to dry and scrubby and then back to green again. We were also amazed at how beautiful Mt. Cook is and how sharply it rises out of the surrounding countryside. See the beauty of Mt. Cook here.





Day Five at Mt. Cook

The second thing we really wanted to do on our trip was to take a flight and land on the Tasman Glacier at Mt. Cook either by airplane or by helicopter. Grant asked for us to go by helicopter since he had never ridden in one so we opted for that. The flight was breathtaking and we got to see a part of the New Zealand countryside we could not have seen any other way. See photos from our flight here.





Camping Day Five: 
Back at Wanaka

After our big morning at Mt. Cook we decided to spend our last night of camping back in Wanaka were we knew we could relax and let the boys unwind. It turned out to be the right thing to do. More rock throwing in Glendhu Bay is here.





Auckland Before Going Home to Shanghai

We said a fond farewell to the Kiwi Mama at Queenstown and flew to Auckland for a couple of nights before our long trip back to Shanghai.  We thoroughly enjoyed the RV camping and would do it again in a heartbeat. It is a great way to see the land, have the conveniences with you, and all the while having a great time. New Zealand is a beautiful place and we can't wait to go back again someday! While in Auckland we got to see one of our old friends from Yonezawa who had moved to New Zealand. See the last part of our trip here.





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 All images Copyright © 2010 Thomas Nord