South Island Road Trip - Vol. 4

Last couple of days in the South Island and we managed to squeeze in a gorge, two lakes, a majestic waterfall and a little bit of west coast as well!

After an amazing day on the glacier we headed off to Hokitika. Despite being a last minute plan, as we were trying to figure our way back to Christchurch airport, it ended up being one of our best memories.

Lake Mapourika

Lake Wahapo

Three hours  later -with several pullouts to take photos and enjoy the view of farmland, lakes and the mountains along the way, we reached Hokitika gorge. The first sign of what was to come was glimpses through the trees, until we arrived at the swing bridge. We walked a little further across the bridge to get closer to the stunning river and the sheer ravine. The waters were turquoise blue surrounded by lush native bush, and the bright blue skies we were lucky to have above us were making the whole experience even better.

Hokitika Gorge

Our home for the night was a lovely airbnb at the little town of Hokitika. Our hosts were David and Glynnis, a sweet elderly couple who rent their extra bedroom, what a perfect way to meet new people from all around the world. Their home was next to the beach so we managed to pop out and watch the sun setting before heading off to dinner. The next morning we had our homemade breakfast whilst talking to David (with the occasional appearance of the family dog) about his travels around the world. We carefully placed our pin on their wall map of visitors before saying goodbye, what a joy being the first ones from Greece in their lovely little home.

Next and final stop before Christchurch airport was Arthur’s Pass and the Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall. The snow-fed waterfall plunges 131 meters into a canyon near Arthur’s Pass Village. It took us over 40 minutes to reach the top but the view was definitely well worth the hike.  Its Maori name is Hinekakai, taking inspiration from its beautiful threads of water. The long white streams of this waterfall resembled the white thread of dressed wharariki (mountain flax) prized by Maori weavers. Thus the falls were named for the ancestress Hinekakai, famous for the quality of her weaving.

Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall

Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall

Castle Hill

We reached Christchurch airport around six in the afternoon and we were back to Wellington  by nine. What an eye-opening trip that was.

There’s no time for post holiday blues though, as we are hitting Greece in less than a week and we couldn't be more excited. Stay tuned as there will be  lots of bright blue, Aegean posts coming your way!

Thanks for reading.