If you haven’t, here’s PART ONE
Christchurch experienced a series of unfortunate earthquakes in 2011. Evidence is throughout the streets in broken walls, blocked off streets and cracks in houses. For tourists, this meant NO HOSTELS. For us, in November 2011, the search for the hostel was hopeless, although, I do recommend Jailhouse.
Right near the city, Te Oka Bay (pictured below), is gorgeous with really black sands and cloudy aqua water.
It would have been perfect had there not been a rotting animal carcus on the beach.
Akaroa wasn’t too amazing, but there’s a good camping spot at Caton’s Bay, right at the beginning of the peninsula.
From here, we headed to Mt. Sunday near the town of Mt. Somers. It’s where Edoras is in Lord of the Rings. It’s down what Kiwi’s call a shingles road, which just means an unpaved road.
From here, the two famous lakes Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki will blow your mind.
There are very limited accommodation options around the lakes, and basically no camping space, so it would be important to book ahead or be prepared to spend money.
Travel Tip : Showers.
If you’re camping/backpacking, showers become really important. Actually any contact with water is awesome. Legal places to shower include airports, public pools/spas/thermal pools, gyms. Less legal places to shower include caravan parks where the showers are located FAR from the reception, large scale hostels (where showers are in blocks and not private). SOME petrol/gas stations have showers as well.
We once got caught by caravan park owners using their showers for free/illegally. My friend was yelled at whilst he was in the shower, and the owner waited in the drive way for me to return to our car. He informed me that he had called the police and there was little I could do but insist that we were going to stay there overnight and just couldn’t find the owner. This is the importance of showers FAR from the reception.
Stay tuned for Part III : Timaru to Te Anau (the south of the south)