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Vanlifers NZ - Queenstown to Picton

Well, after 3 days in Queenstown, sadly, it was time to move on. We needed to book the ferry for our way back to the north island, as the ferry was closed for one week due to the earthquake we were afraid of losing our tickets that were booked to go back to Brazil, that would be 10 days later that day. So, we started an amazing trip back to the north island. First stop, the small city of Arrowtown. It’s really cute and organized city, with some stores and restaurants. We didn’t stay too much because the rain came back. We continue until Wanaka. It’s a beautiful place, with a big lake and snow in the mountains, even at this time, summer. We were planning to sleep around there, but we didn’t find a free place to sleep. It was too windy and we just ate bread with tuna for lunch, as it was hard to cook.

The south island is wonderful!! Most of the scenarios that we see in movies and pictures of New Zealand are in the south island.

So, we started to look for a place to sleep after Wanaka. We found a camping area where you can park there and fill a form and put 8 dollars by person inside a bag and put these in a box. There is no one there to check if you paid or not.

Next day we drove north in a way to Nelson. In New Zealand if you see a gas station is better to fill your tank because you never know when you will gonna find another one, the cities are not that close from each other. We spent the whole day driving, I mean, Duca was driving and I was looking the amazing scenery and taking pictures. We passed by mountains with snow, beaches, glacials… The landscape varies a lot.

We stopped by Fox Glacier, we walked until part of the trail but it started raining and I went back to the van. I read that when it rains in that area the level of the river can go up, then I was worried about crossing a river do go back. Duca went until the end of the trail, but there was not much to see, as the glacier is getting smaller and smaller over the years. We found another place to sleep, around another lake, Lake Ianthe Matahi Camping Ground, the city was Hari Hari. That night was really cold and Duca had another migraine crises.

Next day, when the sun came and it warm us up, we flew our drone, Duca flew it by himself for the first time.

We discovery that the best place in New Zealand to charge batteries and use your computer and internet is the public library. Almost every city has one and they are really good.

We stopped by Pancake Rocks. I have read about this place in many guides and I was curious to know. There were too many people there and we didn’t stay too much.

The west coast is amazing, with lots of mountains, curves, different tones of greens… every curve that we turned we didn’t know what to expect. It’s wonderful to see, but you can get tired of so many curves and it’s not the best choice to go through this way if you are in a hurry. As we had time, we enjoyed the ride. In one of these curves we found a good place to sleep, another camping area to fill the form and leave the money, the place was Lyell Campsite to Lyell Saddle Hut.

Next day we went to Nelson. This city is known as the city with a good weather. But, considering the days that we spent there, in my opinion, that’s was not a good weather, it was too windy. The city is cute, with lots of sailboats. During these 3 days we spent there Duca finally went kitesuf, we made a barbecue, went to a spa, slept one day in front of the beach, and other day in the middle of the city in a car park … and then we went to Picton, the city where the ferryboat departs, and we slept in the main road of New Zealand, because we were still worried about having another earthquake. We could lose our flight to Brazil, that was some days later.