Mountains and sheep – Exploring New Zealands South Part I

It was about time that I tackled the „Backpacking“ part of my blogs header, don’t you think?
And what better way to do that than to share with you this years biggest adventure:
Our trip to New Zealand!

Our first sheep, met in Christchurch.

Expect lots of pictures and a sudden urge of Wanderlust!

Beautiful landscapes wherever you look

1. Christchurch
Before the big earthquakes in 2010/2011, Christchurch was known as the „most British town of New Zealand“. After the destruction of the historical city centre, it now is a city under construction.
Bars and Cafés change places, moving out of buildings liable of collapsing, making it impossible to rely on your trusted „Lonely Planet“ and thus adding a very welcome sense of exploring to your stay.
The spirit you experience there reminds me a lot of the feeling I had when visiting Berlin shortly after it became capitol of the reunited Germany: A spirit of make-do, of improvising and excitement for the future, as well as the refusal to give up and just move away.

Construction going on everywhere

My favorite place had to be the Re:Start Mall. All the shops and cafés are housed in big containers, adding to the spirit of optimism.

Re:Start Mall

And while activities like pole boat trips on the Avon or relaxing in the beautiful Botanic gardens still are must-dos, make sure to check out to keep up with the ever changing art projects housed at demolition sites.

Hydrangeas in the Botanical Garden

2. Banks Peninsula
We left Christchurch going Northwest for some beach time. Akaroa, one of many small villages located at the beautiful Banks Peninsula, is home to the French community. It was there where the first French Settlers landed, mere weeks after New Zealand had been claimed by the British.
What a difference a day makes…
Apart from delicious, french inspired food and beautiful beaches The Peninsula is great spot to watch marine wildlife. Hector dolphins, a small and rare species, are living here exclusively.

Pretty beaches

Breakfast view from our campground close to Akaroa

3. Oamaru
Driving south, we headed straight for Oamaru to check out the Steampunk Headquarters located there.

Steampunk Headquarters

You may or may not know by now, but I am a big nerd and gaming girl, so skipping that wasn’t an option.

Throughout the whole victorian city centre you can find different installments, themed cafés and shops inviting you to dive in to this slightly dystopian version of our history. Or future?

Steampunk train


And even if you aren’t as into these things as I am, a visit to the Headquarters is highly recommended. You won’t find many of these places around the world.

Everything is „On Steam“

The Infinity Chamber, a mind-blowing experience

4. The Caitlins/Southern Fjordlands
Landscape took over as we drove further south. We skipped Dunedin, compared to Edinburgh by many, and headed into the wilderness via Invercargill.
If you are into hiking, this is the place to be.

Jagged coastline, an abundance of wildlife and primeval forest at its finest, all served with the view of the Southern Alpes rising at the horizon… What more could you ask for?
Of course, nature being nature, it rained seven days straight, but that didn’t keep us from exploring. There are many day-trip appropriate hikes that are easily done with a child, but honestly I can’t wait to go back there once Little Bean is old enough and go for the long hikes!

Fungus and moss on a tree
Day hike
Day hike
Lots of ferns
Mountains everywhere

5. Milford/Doubtful Sounds
When in the Southern Fjordlands, visiting one of the Sounds is a must-do. The Sounds are big fjords, offering overwhelming views, but they are also really touristy.
We visited Milford Sound, which is accessible by car (To visit Doubtful Sound you have to either book an overnight boat trip, highly recommended and very romantic, or go by helicopter).
If you go there, make sure you leave early to avoid the heaps of (other) tourists going there by bus, crowding the place between 11 am to 1 pm. That gives you plenty of time to go on short walks when returning, exploring a forest looking like the Fangorn from Lord of the Rings.

The drive up there has some breathtaking views

Sadly, there were no Ents to be seen during our stay there.

Looking out into the sound

Reminds me a lot of Norway

To make sure this post isn’t getting too long and boring, I´ll leave it here and will bring you part II in May, so stay tuned!

Have you ever visited New Zealand?
What was your last big adventure?

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

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  • I love New Zealand. I spent a year there in 2002-2003 and lived and worked in Christchurch. I couldn't believe the earthquake – all those beautiful buildings destroyed including the Cathedral. Your post brought back a lot of good memories x
    Becca | theBeautyInbox

  • Your pictures are beautiful and I love how varied New Zealand is! Tell me more about the Infinity Chamber!

    And you know I am not really adventurous so I can't even think of my last big one!

  • i've always wanted to travel nz 🙂 thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

  • I'd love to visit New Zealand one day 🙂 Looks like such a beautiful place xx

    Brenda BusyBee | Makeup Revolution Highlighting Palettes Giveaway

  • Wow i would love to visit this place soon


    Check my new post.

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin

  • Oh wow, Linda…these pictures are absolutely stunning especially picture no. 2 and the last one. Seriously breathtaking. I have a friend who migrated to NZ and I have been meaning to visit her. Reading this post made me determine to do so once my little one is slightly older.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • oh sweet lord that is SO gorgeous..every single one of those pictures. Glad you had such an amazing time. I wish it wasn't a world away from me 🙁 Some of the pictures look like theyre from lord of the rings lol Very cool!

  • and I see that you did talk about Lord of the rings in there:) Missed that!!

  • Yes, my husband went there before the earthquake and didn't even recognize the city. We talked to a lot of people about their experience and I was impressed with the attitude people had.
    Have you seen pictures of the Cardboard Cathedral? Such a creative way to deal with the insecurity and disputes.

  • Have you watched any of the X-Men movies? And do you remember the chamber Xavier goes to to look out for new mutants?
    It is similar in the way that you step onto what looks like a platform, into a chamber covered in mirrors. These lights are coming down from the ceiling, but with the lighting and the mirrors you can't tell where they start or stop. After a few seconds you feel like you are floating among a sea of stars.
    It is absolutely beautiful!

  • It is well worth the trip.
    Where did your last travels take you?

  • Do! New Zealand has everything you could be looking for, and the people are incredibly friendly.
    Where else do you want to travel to?

  • It really is worth going on a red eye flight. Do you travel often?

  • It is very important to have friends around the world, that makes going on trips way easier! If you ever want to visit Germany, make sure to drop me a line 😉
    We thought about migrating there, too, but decided against it after we had Little Bean, as we just couldn't take her away from our families.
    But spending the time there made me regret this a little. It is truly beautiful.

  • I am a big LOTR fan, so I just had to check which places had been used in the movies. But to be honest, wherever you set foot looked like it had been made to be in a movie.
    The trip was exhausting, two red eye flights and 26 hours of traveling in total, but it was so wort it.
    Where did your last trip take you?

  • What a BEAUTIFUL location! I can't wait for part two 🙂 Happy Wednesday!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  • I actually visited Germany for two weeks during World Cup 2006! However I was only in Esslingen and Stuttgart, had no time to go elsewhere. Nevertheless it was one of the best vacation of my life! The scenery was spectacular and it was also my first introduction to H&M. I honestly plan to visit again and I will definitely email you when the time comes, Linda. xx

  • Aaah I se. Precious. precious. thats how much i fly to get bck home to India if I want to visit family there so I completely feel your pain, except that theres nothing like this in India so I cant justify the 26 hour travel bahah. We last went to Costa rica this winter. It was nice but it was dry season so wasnt as lush as I had hoped it would be!

  • These are seriously some amazing impressions of New Zealand!
    Especially the Steampunk HQ in Oamaru appeal to the geeky side of me ^_^

  • Maireem Maneje

    I've always wanted to visit New Zealand! lovely photography darling <3

  • Not so much this time due to work time constraint.
    But i will soon.

  • So pretty!


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  • Woah, those headquarters, muchos coolios! And the fjordlands look amazing, so beautiful.

  • I definitely want to visit NZ someday, this is going to be so helpful! I definitely want to go to all the places where they shot Lotr. :p
    I didn't realize so much of Christchurch is still under construction.
    The fjords are beautiful, remind me of Norway as well. It's so peaceful and calm. 🙂
    That infinity chamber looks amazing! I think there's a similar installation in Dubai right now, so stunning!

  • Dressed With Soul

    Oh, in Neuseeland muss es einfach wunderschön sein, ich danke Dir sehr für Deine herrlichen Bilder in Postkarten-Qualität! Leider war ich noch nie in Neuseeland, obwohl ich auch über dieses Land sehr viel gelesen habe. Ich bin überzeugt davon, es würde mir super gefallen dort – die Natur, die Menschen und vor allem dass es dort nicht überlaufen ist. Wer weiß, vielleicht komme ich eines Tages doch noch dorthin? Liebe Grüße von Rena

  • Jaa

    Your pictures are breathtaking! Hopefully I'll be able to visit those places some day. So jealous of Syl. She lives in NZ and this is what she sees everyday!!! Hmmph! 😀

  • I went to NZ just a few months ago. We spent the Christmas in Auckland. Isn't this island just fantastic. Your beautiful photos bring back wonderful memories.

    <3 <3 Mahshid مهشید

  • Traveling is my passion, I hope I never have to stop.

  • Aw, too bad. Did you do beach vacation in Costa Rica?
    The one great thing about these flights was I finally got to see some movies I had missed in cinemas.

  • Do that. Stuttgart isn't too far off. Do you have family there or why did you choose that part of Germany?

  • It was breathtaking, pictures just don't do it justice.

  • The moment I heard about it I knew I just HAD to go there. I love the whole Steampunk clothing and stories, the twist on history and the rusty darkness.
    Are you into Steampunk?

  • It is well worth the trip.
    And thank you. Do you plan on traveling once your exams are finished?

  • Thank you.

  • Being an outdoorsy girl, you would love it there. You can even go skiing, although not as much as in Switzerland, obviously.

  • They made it a point after shooting to leave as little traces as possible, so you can visit the places, but will find things looking totally different than they dii in the movie.
    If you know the movies well, you will feel the resemblance more than you see it.
    Of course there are guided tours to be booked everywhere, Citi is a great source of income for the people living there.

  • Man soll ja niemals nie sagen. Die Reise lohnt auf jeden Fall.

    Es leben wirklich so wenig Menschen dort, dass man es am Anfang kaum glauben kann. Hier im Rhein-Main-Gebiet ist es ja wirklich voll, da ist der Kontrast unglaublich groß. Man gewöhnt sich schnell an die Weite und die Ruhe, das Zurückkommen ist da dann deutlich schwieriger.

    Was war denn Dein bislang exotischstes Reiseziel?

  • Her instagram pictures leave me green with envy every time. One consolation is that the makeup there is ridiculously pricey, which would be a major downside if you actually moved there.
    But Thailand is beautiful, too! I remember my vacation there a few years back, it was such a great trip and I will definitely have to go back and see the north this time.

  • I spend hours going through my pictures sighing and indulging in sweet memories. It was such a great time.
    Such a beautiful place!

  • Wow, just googled the Cardboard Cathedral – it's beautiful!

  • I had some friends living there hence the visit but next time I travel, it'll be different parts of Germany, no sure where yet but I love quieter parts instead of huge cities. 🙂

  • And so unique. People there have a great way of dealing with their experience.

  • Kate

    I've never been to New Zealand. Some of the scenery in your photos looks so beautiful, and I love the story of all the rebuilding going on in Christchurch. Sounds like such an exciting place to visit. x
    Kate Louise Blogs

  • Gorgeous photos. I have a couple of friends living or travelling in NZ – such a beautiful country, I'd love to visit!

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  • I definitely find the whole idea behind the Steampunk movement quite fascinating. As I'm also really into Cyberpunk and the whole concept of coming up with a hypothetical future, Steampunk interest me as well – only that it's more like a hypothetical history ^_^

  • It really is. if it just wasn't so far away…
    What was your most exotic destination so far?

  • I should have done work and travel before i had a real job and a family, but I was too shy to do such things and now I regret it.
    If you get the chance to meet up with your friends, do so! It really is worth the long flight.

  • Thanks Linda! I definitely take that to heart.. there's always something in the way, be it money or jobs or a family! But recognizing that helps.

  • Kate

    My honeymoon was spent in Dubai and the Maldives – both very different and both totally amazing! x

  • New Zealand looks amazing and I love the photos!

    Sarah |

  • Err wow. The beaches look great.. but then you shared the Infinity Chamber and I was sold. How amazing!! I must visit. Oh, and the post wasn't boring at all 🙂

  • OMG. I am stunned by the beauty of all the places you've been and am especially amazed about steampunk headquarters. There's something abotu steampunk that makes me weirdly happy and excited 😀 I wish I would've been able to go with you. It's awesome to see that people don't give up on their town and come up with cool ideas like the container mall thingy. Thank you so much for sharing ♥♥♥

  • There was so much to see there, I could have spend another seven weeks without getting bored.
    To be honest, I am more into Fantasy than Steampunk, but it exited me nevertheless. The shops and the clothing sold there kept me busy for hours!
    Where was your most exotic destination so far?

  • Visiting the Infinity Chamber was a mind-blowing experience. I totally agree: You must visit!

  • Thank you.
    It really is a beautiful place. Have you ever thought of visiting there?

  • Wow, that sounds great. Did you scuba dive or snorkel at the male dives?

  • Thats true. But you can travel with a toddler, so I´ll take full advantage of that now.

  • Usually I am more into Fantasy than Steam- or Cyberpunk, but being able to walk through the headquarters was amazing. I have some friends that do Steampunk here in Germany, they would have loved it, too.

  • Kate

    No, but went out on boats to see the dolphins, plus you can paddle in the shallows there with so many fish, even baby sharks. Pretty cool! X

  • Yes I have. But I am from Europe so New Zealand is quite far away!

  • The most exotic one probably was Tunis, because it is far away from where I live, but to be honest I enjoy exploring the country I live in (Germany) a lot more than traveling somewhere else. People often forget that every country has awesome places to discover and you don't need to fly several hours by plane to find something breathtaking.

    Fantasy is lovely, too! But Steampunk shops and clothes, oh my gosh. Glad I wasn't there, else I would probably be poor now xD

  • What a beautiful place! One day I'll hopefully get to see New Zealand in person, it's definitely on my "want to visit" list now.
    Rubi | Instagram | The Den |

  • You really should go there. I have traveled quite a lot, but this place took my breath away.

    Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Did you ever go to New Zealand?

  • Naja, in Deutschland haben wir auch wirklich viele schöne Ecken. Ich bin gerne in den Bergen oder oben an der Küste, aber manchmal muss es doch einfach ein bisschen weiter weg sein, zumindest für mich.
    Wo in Deutschland ist denn Dein Lieblingsziel?

  • It is, weh had to do two red eye flights from Germany. On our way back we stopped in Singapore for four days, that made traveling much easier.

  • Oooh, baby sharks! That really sounds pretty cool.

  • Momentan will ich unbedingt mal wieder in die Tropfsteinhöhle in Attendorn. Dort war ich vor 17 Jahren mit meiner Grundschulklasse mal und war so beeindruckt. Ansonsten habe ich eigentlich kein bestimmtes Ziel. Am liebsten fahre ich durch die Gegend und entdecke dann zufällig kleine Schätze an Orten. Vor einer Woche erst habe ich auf dem Weg in den Wald einen Zwischenstopp gemacht und ganz plötzlich einen ziemlich alten Burturm entdeckt. Sowas liebe ich einfach ♥♥♥ Als ich in Nürnberg gewohnt habe, war förmlich jeder Gang vor die Tür ein Erlebenis, aber jetzt hier in NRW ist das schon ein bisschen schwieriger 😀

  • Da habe ich Glück, hier im Rhein-Main-Gebiet gibt es landschaftlich viel zu entdecken. Ganz großartig mit Kind, da hat man keine so langen Wege.

  • thanks for sharing you experience ! It is my boyfriend and I dream to go to New Zealand in our life time. 🙂

  • I have always wanted to go, too, and Mr. Loca didn't mind going a second time, so we took the opportunity and made it happen.

    It was really worth the long flight!

  • wow must have been so exciting ! Have you seen the hobbit town town?

  • No, we decided against it as we would have needed to book a guided bus tour and we didn't want to do that.