I’m finally traveling New Zealand – my dream ever since seeing it featured as the landscape of Middle Earth! The landscape here is so diverse and beautiful that the simple act of driving has become a joy, and the destination is no longer the priority; finding pleasure in stopping at the most scenic spots along the way.
My journey across New Zealand begins on the South Island. Flying into Christchurch with only a vague plan, I rent a car, a tent, sleeping bag and cooler, and drive south.
They say the western coast is the most beautiful, so I suppose starting on the eastern coast is for the best so that I’m not spoiled. Even so, I found it quite lovely. In particular, the drive around the peninsula near Dunedin (Duhn aydin) was amazing.
Continuing down and around, I begin my camping stint in the Catlins near Slope Point, the southernmost point on New Zealand’s South Island, only 4803 km from the South Pole!
There I encounter many other fellow travelers, and I don’t feel lonely at all, despite being a solo traveler. I was able to meet and hang out with a group of German travelers on a working holiday. The evening also happened to have a beautiful sunset, so I tried to take a couple pictures.
Moving up the island along the border of the fjordlands, I decide to camp alongside Upper Lake Mavora, a location that was prominently used in The Fellowship of the Ring film when Frodo and Sam leave the Fellowship near the falls of Rauros. Highlights here include a wonderful view of the night sky and a great lake in which to take a dip. It takes nearly 40 minutes by car from the nearest paved road to get to this campsite, so it is sparsely populated and of course, has no light pollution.
Upon waking, I make my way back along the winding dirt road back to civilization and point my car towards Queenstown, wherein I plan for the next stage of my New Zealand journey.