J and I spent ten days being tourists in our own beautiful backyard, working our way up the West Coast.

After four days in Queenstown staying with J’s family we made our way north on the 4th.


We stopped on the Haast Pass route to walk the Blue Pools boardwalk, a bushwalk leading to swing-bridge overlooking the pools at the mouth of Blue River. We had a very quick, VERY icy dip and then got back on the road.


After a stop for whitebait fritters, we continued to Lake Paringa, the tiniest campsite right beside the lake.



The next day we started the Copland track, an 18km walk through forest, across riverbeds, and below mountains. We arrived at Welcome Flat Hut after about 8 hours and immediately went for a soak in the 40 degree thermal hot springs around the corner.


After heading out the next day (only 5.5 hours this time, downhill was a treat!) we headed to Franz Josef glacier for the night.


The next morning we made our way up to Punakaiki and camped near the beach. The pancake rocks walk was incredible, a path suspended above the cliffs with incredible views of the rock formations.


Our last stop was Split Apple Rock. We stayed with J’s family right above the bay (the house RIGHT above the rock in the photo below – what a treat) and spent two days swimming, fishing, paddle boarding and eating our weight in real fruit ice creams. On our last morning, a pod of about 40 dolphins came up near the boat to say hello which was MAGIC.


We drove to Picton, took the ferry home, and off to work the next day we were…


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