New Zealand Escapades

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.


Ohau Waterfall Walk


 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.

Lake Tapeko

New Zealand_Canterbury

New Zealand_Canterbury

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury_horse

New friend!

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury_horseback

Horseback views

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury_horseback

More horseback views

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury

New Zealand_Lake Tapeko Canterbury_Selfie

Super thrilled about the rain…

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

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.

New Zealand_Mount Cook 2
New Zealand_Mount Cook

New Zealand_Mount Cook_Selfie

Mixed emotions about the slippery suspension bridge

New Zealand_Mount Cook_Ducks

Slightly obsessed with this little duck fam.

Mount Iron


New Zealand_Mount Iron

New Zealand_Mount Iron

Power pose

New Zealand_Mount Iron

Skyline Stargazing


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.

Queenstown_gondola view

Gondola viewsss

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.

Queenstown Hill Climb

New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb

New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb

My sister being cooler than me.

New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb_Basket of DreamsNew Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb_Basket of Dreams

New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb

Rock art!

New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb
New Zealand_Queenstown Hill Climb


Queenstown White Water Rafting

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).

New Zealand_Queenstown_White Water Rafting

Gorgeous views at the end of the rapids.


Lake Wakatipu


New Zealand_Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
New Zealand_Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
New Zealand_Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
New Zealand_Lake Wakatipu Queenstown

Milford Sound

New Zealand_Milford Sound New Zealand_Milford Sound New Zealand_Milford Sound

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…


New Zealand

And that’s it… back to Aussie


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