Sometimes the best adventures come from a whim, and this trip was one of those. Despite owning a travel brand, I admit that I have been pretty slack in prioritising travel the last couple of years. While there have always been places I've dreamed of exploring eventually, it always felt a bit too hard to leave the business, which was growing rapidly - plus I just didn't want to be away from it! My partner, Mitch, and I were chatting one night and realised that we had the glorious ten day stretch of Easter/Anzac Day public holidays coming up, and decided to book a trip to New Zealand.
With only ten days to explore the South Island, we opted for a Kiwi Campers campervan - and am so glad we did! Road-tripping the South Island really meant we could see the sights properly and feel like we were out in nature as much as possible.
Our trip started with a flight into Christchurch, and a night here before we could pick up our van the next morning. From there we hit the road to Wanaka, about a five hour drive - via Lake Tekapo and Lindis Pass. We based ourself at the Glendhu Bay Motor Camp for two days, and this was the perfect way to explore the beautiful Wanaka.
Our third day in NZ we drove out to Rob Roy Glacier in the Mount Aspiring National Park, an epic half-day hike with views of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes.
From here we headed south to Queenstown, a little over an hours drive away (via the Cardona Pub of course). Queenstown was absolutely beautiful, I've never seen landscape so stunning. Driving along the water with mountains as far as the eye can see behind it, was just amazing. After exploring here a while, we headed a bit further south to Glenorchy, another incredibly beautiful town.
From Glenorchy, the Routeburn Track was only a half hour drive. We really loved this hike, taking anywhere from four hours to six days depending how far you wanted to go.
After Glenorchy we headed back to Queenstown, and spent a night camping at Moke Lake, a conservation campsite that we recommend highly!
From here we headed to the west coast, and spent our time cruising up through Fox Glacier, Franz Josef and Greymouth - where we stayed at a beautiful campsite right on the beach, something I was missing after being in the mountains for a few days. We wanted to make it to the Abel Tasman National Park, but just didn't have enough time - we couldn't believe how fast 10 days were flying.
Another highlight of the second half of our trip was the incredible wine region that is Blenheim; how you're ever supposed to choose which winery to go to is a mystery, there's more than you could ever get through.
We also spent a night at Kaikoura, a coastal town set to the backdrop of snowy mountains - it was beautiful. There was a real surf and cafe culture here, which was quite different to what we'd seen at the other towns we'd passed through.
Ten days absolutely flew by, and there was definitely a lot we missed, but any tiny piece of New Zealand you get to experience is well worth it, I would go back in a heartbeat.
We were fortunate enough to be able to take a few of our very favourite brands on the trip with us; brands all defined by quality, craftsmanship and authenticity. Mitch and I hiked in our Blundstone boots, spent days by the water in our Akubra hats and explored towns with our Millican bags. If you're looking for excellent travel gear to join your adventures (along with your Tasi of course), be sure to head their way - we loved having them along on our New Zealand trip.