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After a three day crossing from Melbourne on the Bahia Negro, I landed on Feb 23 in the pretty harbor town of Port Chalmers, which is right next to Dunedin, the “Austin of New Zealand” as I was told by a friendly barista at a local coffee shop. (There are dozens of them, and they’re all pretty good. Dunedinistas like their caffeine.) Darren Atkinson, an affable Brit doing his PhD on post-conflict reconstruction political party development in post-communist Afghanistan at the University of Otago here, was kind enough to take me in via Couchsurfing. And it was a bromance made in heaven. His own experiences in Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan and Pakistan made he and I a great duo for the week that I spent with him. Also crashing with Darren were Louise G., her brother Paul and his girlfriend Chelsea.
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339 Kms from Port Chalmers
DAY 12: DEPART FROM CHRIST CHURCH Explore more of the city if you got the time before leaving for the airport with beaming memories of this amazing trip.
207 Kms from Port Chalmers
In New Zealand every town has something to offer from adrenaline rush to laid back resort life, breath-taking vistas to tranquil lakes and breathing the pure mountain air to swimming in crystal clear rivers. And, if you have them all in one place then you have found WANAKA. Wanaka is a small town in Southland New Zealand and is an all year around tourist destination situated on the shores of the massive Lake Wanaka. With resorts overlooking scenic spectacles of lakes, mountains and rivers to quaint cafes, cozy pubs, delicious wineries and numerous restaurants serving cuisine to cater to your preferences makes Wanaka a perfect place to spend a few days on your road trip around Southland New Zealand. A great place to relax and appreciate the beautiful scenery Lake Wanaka has to offer or outdoor activities; get on to exploring the lake on a canoe and hike the mountains for a bird’s eye view of the lake and town.Wanaka is 50 minutes to an hours’ drive from Queenstown. There are high chances that it will take you longer due to the multiple scenic stops on the way and you wont be able to help your self but to stop and pick that camera up. You can check out our New Zealand Road trip itinerary for reference, HERE. If I am made to choose that one town in New Zealand I would love to come back to again, it has will always be Wanaka to experience glam-ping by its stunning lake.
202 Kms from Port Chalmers
Today take the drive to what can only be described as a spectacular look-out point. At 1000m above sea level one really does have a feeling of being at the top of the world here. Also en route will be a stop at the historic Church of the Good Shepherd, featured on all New Zealand postcards. You will arrive in Christchurch sometime in the late afternoon where you can take a city tour. Spots that will be marked on your map include: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, Christchurch Gondola, Re-Start Mall and New Regent Street. We will also recommend some great dining in the central city. Overnight Christchurch.
271 Kms from Port Chalmers
DAY 11: DRIVE TO CHRISTCHURCH VIA FOX GLACIERFinally coming to the end we got out on the road early in the morning today to cover fox glacier in PUNAKAIKI area on our way to Christchurch, which was around a 9-hour long drive.
327 Kms from Port Chalmers
DAY 6: MILFORD SOUND CRUISE/ FIRODLAND HIKE This day we headed to tour the spectacular Milford sound on a small cruise. We were lucky to have experienced wild dolphins, seals lazing on rocks and a stunning water fall. The cruise tour was an awe-inspiring visual treat.If you want, you can take up popular guided hike along the Firodland as well to witness their wildlife in the forests and more scenic beauty.