After 5 days in North Island - all about the North right here, we continued our exploration of New Zealand to its breathtaking South Island!
Day 6: 10th October 2017
We rented 2 x 6-seater campervans from Star RV by Apollo to accomodate our 12-pax. As we landed at Christchurch Airport, a representative from the campervan rental company transited us to their office. The documentations and what-not took about 1 to 2 hours!
Our destination today was to Lake Tekapo, but first, we stopped by Mahan Supermarket & Halal Meat (about 20 minutes from the airport) to stock up on some groceries.
The view from the RV's window.
The trip to Lake Tekapo took about 3 hours and by the time we arrived at Lake Tekapo Motel & Holiday Park, it was already dark. We just had a bit of a glimpse of the lake at this point. The most memorable thing about this park is that, during our stay, the guys' bathroom was under maintenance, so we had to share the toilets and shower area with both males and females. I have never experienced a unisex bathroom before! We tried our best to minimise using the campervans' ensuite shower and toilet to avoid having to deal with any stinky outcomes.
My mom had a migraine, and I wasn't feeling too good either. Sitting at the back on the campervan was far from comfortable. The chair was too upright and the amount of swaying was a bit ridiculous. Honestly, I was not enjoying this part. Anyway, for dinner, my dad took the lead and together with the boys, barbecued some lamb.
Day 7: 11th October 2017
Woke up to the lovely view of Tekapo! After checking-out, we explored the breathtaking view of the lake right outside the park's gate. The water was crystal clear and I enjoyed just sitting by the lake very much ;)
A bit cloudy...
We visited the Church of the Good Shepard, and at this point, my phone was out of battery! Plain silly! I had to steal some pictures from the fam =D
Thanks Mak for this shot!
Had pizzas for lunch at Tin Plate Kitchen & Bar at Tekapo Village on the State Highway.
Headed towards Queenstown, another 3-hour drive. Checked-in at Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park. My brother, Am bought our dinner from a halal restaurant, Pedro's House of Lamb and we ate them at the common room at the holiday park. This is a very nice park, clean and tidy with great mountain views.
Day 8: 12th October 2017
Woke up very early and waited for our pick-up van for our Milford Sound bus tour. We were gathered at their head office at the center of town. The journey took approximately 5 hours to reach Milford Sound, with 2 picturesque stops along the way.
1) Te Anau for a toilet break.
2) Fiordland National Park for pictures.
We were very lucky with the weather because Milford Sound is absolutely stunning under the sunshine! We spotted seals sun-bathing on the rocks. You can view our trip to Milford Sound here.
Day 9: 13th October 2017
We had a quick walk around Queenstown in the morning. The campervans were sooo huge, we found it challenging to find parking spots for them. Another angry man (a bus driver I assume) was screaming at us for dropping off passengers at a bus parking spot. He thought we were going to park there. I don't know why the locals (especially those working in the tourism industry) were unable to talk nicely to visitors. *Shaking my head*
At Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park.
We bought some souvenirs here and interestingly, met an ex-Toowoomba sales lady at Kathmandu! She didn't remember us, but we took a photo with her anyway... Small world!
Stopped by Kawarau Gorge as my little brother Afian wanted to do the bungee jumping. Pressured Hasben to do it too, but failed... Haha! He's usually very keen to try these things... Hmm...
Very proud lad!
Back on the road again, this time headed towards Mount Cook. Bought some fresh salmon on the way and stopped by Lake Pukaki - another very very very beautiful lake! I have always loved lakes and dams, so never could get tired of them.
We reached Hookers Valley in the evening and planned to do some hiking (or walking, tbh) but the sun was already setting behind the mountains and the day was getting colder. Wouldn't want to risk anything especially with the kids.
And we jumped for no reason...!
So we checked-in at Glentanner Park Centre for the night.
Day 10: 14th October 2017
Took some morning pictures of the snow-capped Mount Cook. Wished we stayed here longer so we could do some hiking along the trails. Not sure if it is possible with all the kiddies though.
Headed towards Christchurch and again, stores were closing when we arrived - around 5PM. Unlike Asian countries, New Zealand's towns and cities are very quiet after office hours. Kuala Lumpur is alive up until 10PM, everyday! With the city emptying very quickly, plus the challenge of driving the huge campervans on the city's road, we decided to end our NZ trip by checking-in at our last accomodation, North South Holiday Park.
Kebab for late lunch at Christchurch!
It was a busy night, packing all our belongings and mom's extra Malaysian food (Brahmin, Maggie etc...), there was a whole luggage of them still! She had asked us to bring them all back to Australia. Anyway, packing for 3 kids + myself, needless to say, I didn't get much sleep...
Day 11: 15th October 2017
Dropped-off our campervans and boarded our Jetstar flight to Auckland. Here is my video of the ever-changing landscape as we flew from Christchurch to Auckland.
Waited for hours at Auckland International Airport for our Air Asia flight back to Australia. Coincidently, my family were also on the same flight which transited in Gold Coast before heading towards KL. Missing them loads!
- End of our New Zealand adventure! -