Mountains and sheep part 2 – Exploring New Zealands South

I case you missed Part 1 of my travel diary, click here to indulge in pictures of breathtaking landscape and to mentally prepare for more to come.

Mt Cook

Last time I left you at Milford Sound, the place where the sea meets the mountains and tourists take the bus by the dozen to go for a quick boat ride among the sight of waterfalls gushing into the ocean.

To stay with the touristic theme, our journey took us further up north to…

HydroShark Queenstown (Photo Credit)

1. Queenstown
This city is called „The Adventure Hotspot“ and this is no exaggeration.
Want to go skydiving, Bungee jumping or rafting? Queenstown has everything you need.
Fancy a tattoo? There are tattoo studios by the dozen.
Looking for company? Bars and cafés for every budget line the streets and they are crowded by the party people pretty much 24/7.
Too wasted from last night but still in for some adrenalin? Go jet boat driving or ride the „Shark“ conveniently from the city harbor.
But if you are traveling with a baby? Don’t spend too much time in the city. You can do a lot of things when traveling with children, but staying out late and getting wasted isn’t one of them.

If you leave the city and drive to Glenorchy though, you are in for a treat. Set picturesquely at Lake Wakatipu it is a great way to start day trips exploring the mountains and even visiting „Paradise“, an aptly named piece of land which made an appearance in „The Lord of the Rings“ and thus was a must-visit for me.

Driving up to Mt. Cook

2. Mount Cook
Leaving the party crowd behind, we made our way to visit the „Sir Edmund Hillier – Center“ at Mount Cook, providing information about New Zealands most famous mountaineer and the Souther Alpes.
Only driving there is quite an experience: You drive alongside the most turquoise looking waters I have ever seen in my whole life with the snow covered mountains on the horizon, slowly drawing nearer. Make sure to stop and take pictures!

Hiking at Mt. Cook

Once you have arrived at your destination, there are several hikes waiting for you, suited for different fitness levels. We took a medium one, as we had limited time, and walked up to lakes with ice bergs floating and a great view of the Mount Cook glacier.
Is there anything more pretty than sunlight reflecting on a wall of ice?

Hiking at Mt. Cook

Crossing the mountains we headed for the West Coast, experiencing three different types of vegetation within four hours.
The alpine landscape gave way to dry and rugged steppe, wind-blown and wild, which turned into thick and green forest once again when you reached the coast line.
The further up north you drive from here, the more the forest gives way to stony shore.

Impressions of the shore I

Impressions of the shore II

3. Pancake Rocks and the seals
It is no secret that I have a big sweet tooth, so as soon as I heard of a place called Pancake Rocks I knew I had to go there.

Water gushing through the holes

Of course, the name refers to the shape of the rocks rather than the taste, but it still is an incredible place to visit. The ocean pushes in with all its might, gushing through holes formed throughout the years, and erupts in sky-high spouts, glistening in the sun light and covering you in sea spray. It is one of the places that shows you the force of nature spectacularly.

Wild and beautiful

A little further up north is the largest colony of seals on the West Coast, easily accessible by a coastal trail. The trail itself is a shorter trip (around three hours return) suited to people without much hiking experience, but offers a great view and isn’t too crowded, as most people just do the first 15 minutes to get a glimpse at the seals.

4. Nelson
After crossing the Souther Alpes once again, it was time to start exploring the northern part of the Southern Island.
Nelson, called the „Gate to the Food Trek“, is where we spend my 36th birthday indulging in a variety of excellent food before we drove up to the beach to settle for a camp ground directly at the water front.
Being born in February I rarely spend my birthdays sitting outside watching the ocean, so this was a treat for sure.

Crystal clear waters

If you don’t mind braving serpentine gravel roads, there are plenty of hikes waiting for you over there, and if you are in for some beach time, this is the place to be as well.
We went for the hikes most of the time, but happened to stumble upon out own secluded beach once and spend the afternoon there. There was literally no one around, so it didn’t matter that I hadn’t packed my bikini for the hike.
Another day, while crossing a beach to get back to our trail, we met a family with three kids that had set up their tent just at the beach side and were spending a week there. With the parents chilling with a book and the kids roaming the beach, chasing each other and splashing water it looked like the perfect family getaway to me.

The Marlborough Sounds

5. Marlborough Sounds
Time came to leave the beautiful and wild Southern Island and board the Interislander, but we decided to stay one more night at the Marlborough Sounds. Hidden among the trees, there are some pretty weekend getaways and very low-key campgrounds, which was exactly what we wanted.
Spending the night beneath the stars, no lights distracting from their beauty and no sounds except the waves and the wind was the perfect way to say Goodbye to New Zealands South.

Watching the sun rise over the Sounds
Sunrise over the Sounds again

We will be back!

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

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  • Oh my god, those photos… woah… As if I didn't want to visit New Zealand before, now I definitely feel like I have to!

    xo Naomi in Wonderland

  • Oh gosh, if only I had a transporter in my house to zap me right up to that glacier… 🙂 I love your hiking look by the way, you look ridiculously pretty and non-sweaty and shizzle.

  • Wow the place looks amazing.

    I love it.

    Great adventure


    Check my new post.

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin

  • Breathtaking view indeed! One question: how do you look so polished and elegant when you're HIKING? There must be some kind of secret I don't know about here LOL

  • idu

    Again breathtaking pictures Linda. This location is everything.

  • Maireem Maneje

    This trip looks so amazing! Also, you look so pretty in every picture I see you in 😀

  • It really was an amazing time. If I could I would go back there asap.
    Have you ever travelled to NZ?

  • Well, it is just a short flight from Australia, so it may be now or never for you during next year. And from NZ, it is just a short trip further to the Pacific Islands…
    If you start traveling there you might never come back again.

  • Well, out of the 400 sweaty pictures I took the one decent looking to put it up here 😉
    But you would have loved it there, mountains and ice and snow as far as you could see.

  • It was, I loved it there.

  • The secret is hiking with a toddler. You can't go much longer than 4 hours return, so the makeup is still in place.
    If we had gone on the long hikes for a few days straight, I wouldn't have bothered taking makeup. You have to carry it after all!

  • It is such a wonderful place to be…

  • That might well be because I carefully pick the pictures I upload…
    We had the time of our lives. Do you plan on traveling now you graduated?

  • Dressed With Soul

    Das Bild von Dir ist so wunderschön! Und ich seh einmal mehr, dass ich wirklich nicht nur von Neuseeland träumen und darüber lesen sollte, sondern es ebenfalls zu realisieren, dorthin zu reisen, wie Ihr es gemacht habt. Danke für die wundervollen Bilder!

  • Girl you look so gorgeous in that picture! Fab trip x

  • Omg those photos are beautiful!

  • Breathtaking ^^ Looks like an amazing trip!~

  • Looks amazing! Such a beautiful place! I can't wait to go their one day!

    Kristi |

  • Glamoury armory

    wow, what a beautiful place, this pictures gives me joy!! I hope you had a great time. xx Happy monday.

    Glamoury Armory Blog

  • Jaa

    These photos! They are postcard-worthy! Wow…. I would never want to leave! Spending the night without any lights (and internet and cell phone too?) sounds like what I need right now. Life's been too hectic on this side! Looking forward to seeing more photos! 🙂

    P.S. Girl… your skin is GLOWING in that picture! Perfect picture of you!

  • Great photos! I have not traveled for good 2 years so I am so jealous right now!!
    Dora NEW POST on Bangs Bang | Bloglovin | Facebook

  • Wow your trip is amazing! I went to Australia but never have chance to see NZ!
    I am a travelling and illustration blogger, so hope we can support each other Linda 🙂
    Already followed you on instagram, bloglovin', google+, all the social media you have, could you mind to follow me back?

    Have a good day 🙂

  • Анна-Алина Гевелюк

    Wow, view is amazing! Really great photos!

  • Swati Sharma

    the pictures are fabulous….

  • Wow, your pictures are amazing! It looks like a place I would love & I really enjoy hiking as well.
    Nati xx

  • Wow, that looks amazing. I would love to do something like this!! Man.. if only. Btw, your hiking shot (with you in it) is *perfection*. You look gorgeous. Who can look that gorgeous whilst hiking? :O You model, you. I'd love to visit Mount Cook and The Marlborough Sounds.

  • Oh wow, those pictures are gorgeous, Linda and that picture of you is stunning. You're a very good looking woman. How I wish we get the opportunity to visit New Zealand, looks like such a stunning place.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • I shared my secret below: Go short and slowly and blame it on the toddler. That way hiking will leave you looking well-rested and glowing instead of sweaty 😉
    But honestly, you really should go. I haven't seen similar landscapes here in Europe. Only Norway reminds me a little of the Sounds, but New Zealand is breathtaking.

  • If you are into hiking, NZ is a great place to go.
    What was the most distant destination you travelled to yet?

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you. Have you ever visited the Southern Hemisphere?

  • I loved Australia, but New Zealand was even more beautiful.

  • I know what you mean, I get restless after one year without traveling already.

  • It is a great way to unwind if you don't even have the slightest chance to switch on your phone.
    So sorry to hear you still are way to busy. Moving is always a handful! Are you at east planning a short vacation to destress?

  • Thank you, we really had a great time.
    Do you travel a lot?

  • You won't be disappointed, it is a lovely place and the people there are so kind.

  • It really was.
    Have you been there?

  • It was even more beautiful in real life. Do you like traveling?

  • Thanks Cat.

  • Das solltest Du wirklich tun. Es war ein großes Abenteuer und mehr als einmal habe ich mich bei den Vorbereitungen gefragt, ob es den Aufwand wirklich wert ist, aber die Antwort ist definitiv Ja!

  • valeriesdays

    Waouh ! Stunning pictures ;). I've never been to New Zealand but I think that it could be the style of country that I'll love (a lot) because the nature is spectacular !! xox

  • You are making me blush. Can you imagine how many pictures I had to go through to find one I was willing to upload?
    NZ really is a great place, and it was worth saving our money to go on this trip. Only problem now: I desperately want to go back there!

  • If you want something similar in Europe, think Norway. If you like it there, you will LOVE New Zealand.

  • Such beautiful photos! I can't get over how gorgeous the landscapes are 🙂

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  • patternoftaste

    New Zealand has a truly stunning nature and you look awesome hiking, haha :))

    Have a great day!
    Anna x
    Pattern Of Taste | Our Youtube channel

  • Jamie RS

    amazing photos! and the place looks like a paradise 🙂

  • Allure Obsessed

    Such an amazing place… OH, how I wish I could go. xx


  • Ohhhhh…. and yeah I know, I just have to visit New Zealand while I'm there.

  • Zahra Suleman

    Ah looks amazing! I need a holiday haha

  • Was soll ich sagen, es ist einfach nur traumhaft schön und atemberaubend. Man ich hoffe das ich das auch mal zu Gesicht bekomme. Auf Skydiving und so werde ich verzichten 😀 Wie schön wäre es dort zu leben. Das Meer, die Berge und ich bin wunschlos glücklich.


  • Gorgeous pictures and you must have been such a head turner in NZ! <3

  • Lauren Scorzafava

    Those photos are breathtaking! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  • Anne, these pictures are so breathtaking, I could look at them all day long! Its been SO long since I actually took a real vacation, but I'm living vicariously through you at the moment 🙂 And that picture of you at Mt Cook – stunning!

  • Oh my god – this brings back so many memories! I feel a bit teary looking at your pictures. I hope I can get back to New Zealand in the near-future x
    Becca | theBeautyInbox

  • Wow what a beautiful place! Lovely


  • Jaa

    It's in the plan! As soon as I have extra time! 😀

  • I did a 3 week road trip through NZ but I had to skip Mount Cook. I am still sad about that. Beautiful pictures!

  • new Zealand is beautiful..i wanna visit someday 🙂

  • It is so worth it.

  • 3 weeks just isn't enough. What was your favorite place?

  • We had a great time.

  • That place has touched me deep inside, I hope I will be able to return there someday, too.

  • I already miss it.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the place I live at, but traveling makes me feel alive.

  • You are welcome. Have you ever been to NZ?

  • My daughter was, and it got worse when we headed on to Singapore. We had so many girls stop us asking for a picture with her, it was kind of scary.

  • Ich liebe auch beides, und die Möglichkeit alles in einem zu haben ist wirklich einzigartig.

  • I feel you.

  • It was a dream vacation.

  • We had a great time.

  • It was just a short hike, to be honest, but we had a great time.

  • You should have seen it first hand, I could have just sat there staring for hours and hours.

  • Shannon

    OMG I'd love to go there some day! It looks like a lord of the rings movie!


  • WOW Wow wow how beautiful! Those pictures look unbelievable!!!

  • You should have seen it live. Every time I thought it couldn't get any better, I was surprised by yet another breathtaking view.

  • The LOTR movies were shot there, and you feel like you were transported to Middle Earth. Minus the Uruk-Hai, which is a good thing.

  • i have always heard NZ is so bful
    and these pictures are splendid 🙂

  • They are right, NZ is beautiful.

  • Amazing photographs! New Zealand looks incredible!
    Sophie Jenner
    Check out my latest blog post here! X

  • I know! I want to go back and see more. Everything was so different. I did really like Queenstown though 🙂

  • Well I am not a party girl and still loved it 🙂 😉 We only stayed for a few days though and I think that was enough.

  • It was such a great time. Have you ever been there?

  • I will give it another go someday, when the kids are old enough to stay up late.

  • I bet! No I've not been there but hope to one day 🙂 I'm a little scared of flying and it would be a long flight from the UK wouldn't it! X looks amazing tho for sure X

  • I guess a sleeping pill would be in order if you are afraid of flying. It sure is a long flight but so worth it.