For the next leg of the trip we met up with my sister (who was studying abroad in Melbourne) in New Zealand. Looking through these pics made me super nostalgic – the natural beauty was breathtaking here.
Hidden waterfall where the seals drop their pups off for daycare while they go hunt. This little guy on the right put on a full blown dance recital for us in the water.
Mount Cook is in the Southern Alps and is New Zealand’s highest peak. We hiked around the mountain – it was a complete weather change, it even hailed at one point.
I wish that I had more pictures from the next portion of the trip, but it was more of an experiential moment that can’t be photographed. This area in NZ is one of the least light polluted, offering AMAZING views of the night sky. So we took a ski lift to the top of a mountain, where we had dinner and then bundled up in winter coats with hot chocolate for some star gazing.
I love all things celestial and am fascinated by the sky so this experience was particularly magical. This night was especially clear – many shooting stars and constellations to be seen.
View of the city from the top.
Obviously I didn’t take this photo either (my camera/photog skills didn’t allow me to capture the night sky) but it was seriously incredible.
My sister and I were itching to do something adventurous so we decided to go white water rafting. I have to say the drive to the starting point was the most anxiety producing part of the experience. Direct quote from the bus driver/guide: “If we were in America, it would be illegal to drive on these roads.” Casual.
We were hoping for a little more intense rapids, but the experience was still amazing. There were trees growing out of the sides of the hills (very Lord of the Rings-esque) and the water was ice cold and so clean that you could actually drink straight from the river. There was a tame part where we were allowed to jump out and swim for a bit – shockingly my sister and I were the only ones to take advantage.
For tame rapids, I still managed to sustain an injury. At one point a rapid hit our raft and we moved in toward some rocks. I put my oar up (the way we were instructed to) but something went wrong and the end of my oar smashed into my ring finger. It immediately blew up and frankly looked horrifying. The solution? To ice it in the river until we got to the end. I just couldn’t avoid adding some drama to the trip (it wasn’t broken and healed just fine).
We went here on a rainy day (turns out like 97% of the days here are rainy) but when they aren’t this is what it looks like…