Travel Photographer: Our Honeymoon in New Zealand

Travel Photographer: Our Honeymoon in New Zealand.

This is a personal blog post, a collection of my favorite photos from our honeymoon in the South Island of New Zealand. John had been to New Zealand once before for work and it’s always a place I’ve wanted to go. We planned our honeymoon for the winter when my wedding season is slower. We were so exhausted right after our wedding I couldn’t imagine doing a honeymoon at that time. All I would have been able to do is sit on a beach. Since I knew we wanted to do some real adventuring and sight seeing going a few months later was better for us. It was perfect timing for weather there. We rented a camervan which worked as both a car for us and what we slept in at night. These are a collection of photos that John & I both took between a dSLR, point and shoot, and our iphones.


We flew into Christchurch and immediately headed up to Nelson. It rained most of the day but the views out the window were still gorgeous. We had dinner at Founders Brewery and it was delicious. Travel-photographer_001Travel-photographer_002Travel-photographer_004Travel-photographer_005Our plan was to spend the day at Abel Tasman National Park but it was pouring rain so after seeing the beach we started the drive toward the west coast in New Zealand. Travel-photographer_006Travel-photographer_007Travel-photographer_008Travel-photographer_009Travel-photographer_010Wicked camA shot of what our ridiculous Wicked campervan looked like. This first beach that we stopped at was made of pebbles. I haven’t seen a beach like that before!Travel-photographer_012Travel-photographer_013Travel-photographer_014Travel-photographer_015Travel-photographer_016Travel-photographer_017Travel-photographer_018We stopped at Pancake rocks, a crazy looking natural formation.Travel-photographer_019Pancake rocks in New Zealandtouring the Pancake Rocks Travel-photographer_025Travel-photographer_026Travel-photographer_027Travel-photographer_028Travel-photographer_029I have never seen water this color before!Travel-photographer_030Heading toward Franz Josef & Fox Glacier!
Travel-photographer_031We decided to try and go see Fox Glacier as it was a short walk from the parking lot. The glacier has receded so much that we could barely even see it. The cliffs that were there were much more impressive to me.
Fox Glaciercliffs at Fox glacierTravel-photographer_034Travel-photographer_035Travel-photographer_036Travel-photographer_037Swing bridge at fox glacierswing bridge in New ZealandThe gorgeous lakes heading into WanakaTravel-photographer_040Travel-photographer_041We went on a hike as soon as we got to Wanaka to see the views of the gorgeous town. Hiking in WanakaTravel-photographer_043Travel-photographer_044Campsite in Wanaka New ZealandMt Aspiring in the distance.

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown. Travel-photographer_049One of my top things I wanted to do in New Zealand was bungy jumping. We initially were going to jump from a bridge but last minute decided to do the Nevis Bungy, the highest bungy in New Zealand at 143 meters. It was exhilarating and I loved it. John wasn’t as excited as I was as you can see in some of the photos but he still enjoyed it once he did it.
Travel-photographer_050Travel-photographer_051Travel-photographer_052Nevis Bungy jumpingTravel-photographer_054Nevis bungy jumpingTravel-photographer_056We then did the Nevis swing together which was fun but not quite as thrilling as the bungy. Nevis swingWe also went jet boating after this. It was an adrenaline filled day. We had two days planned for Queenstown and it was supposed to rain most of the second day so we packed everything in the first day. It didn’t end up raining the next day so I dropped into a Crossfit gym while John went to check out some famous dirt jumps. Travel-photographer_058Travel-photographer_060We then took the gondola up the mountain for a hike. There were a ton of these mushrooms along the way. I’ve never seen one like that in person. 1100The views from up there were amazing. Travel-photographer_062Travel-photographer_063Travel-photographer_064Travel-photographer_065view at the top of Queenstown gondolaTravel-photographer_067John’s friend Wiley has started this company called Rumpl. They make amazing blankets that are so much more comfortable than sleeping bags. We used one in our campervan and another one later on our backpacking hike. Rumpl in New ZealandWe we first started talking about our honeymoon in New Zealand John mentioned he wanted to go to Milford Sound. It was a place that he wasn’t able to go to the first time but we have a magnet of it on our fridge at home. When I looked it up I saw that they have this amazing backpacking trip there. The first day I tried to look it up there wasn’t anything available but when I looked it up again there were two tickets available for a date in March which ended up determining the dates for our honeymoon. We were so fortunate to be able to book it as most people book it over 6 months in advanced. It’s a one way track and only 40 people a day can start on it in order to protect and preserve the environment. The first day started with an hour ferry ride to Glade Warf where the track started. Travel-photographer_069Te Anau DownsMilford Track Ferryferry to Glade warf for milford trackGlade WarfTravel-photographer_074Travel-photographer_075Travel-photographer_076The first day walk was only about an hour and a half to get to the first hut, Clinton Hut. The scenery changed every so often going from rain forests to open prairie and beautiful mountains. The only downside were the annoying sandflies that attacked your ankles and feet. It kept us on the move as we couldn’t stop for long before they would start biting. Clinton HutWe first tried to go down to the river but the sandflies were so bad we couldn’t stay for long. Once the sun went behind the mountain it got cold quick. Travel-photographer_078Travel-photographer_079The stars were so amazing that night! You could see thousands of stars and even see the Milky Way with your bare eyes. Travel-photographer_080That morning we were all woken by these crazy kea birds. They made wild sounds and would jump around on the roofs. They loved putting on a show for us. Kea birdsTravel-photographer_082Travel-photographer_083The next day was a six hour/10.5 mile walk. The majority of it was pretty flat but the last hour was pretty uphill. We had a few stops at some small lakes and reflections. Travel-photographer_084This little bird was entertaining and was showing off for us hopping around. Travel-photographer_085Travel-photographer_086All of the water on the Milford Track was so gorgeous and clear. We could see every rock in the water and the occasional fish. They even encouraged us to fill up our water bottles at the rivers as the water was clean enough to drink without being treated. Travel-photographer_087Travel-photographer_088Travel-photographer_089Travel-photographer_090Travel-photographer_091Travel-photographer_092Travel-photographer_093View of Mackinnon PassTravel-photographer_095Travel-photographer_096Mintaro HutMilford Track HutsIt was forcasted to rain the next day when we would be crossing Mackinnon Pass. Because there could be a lot of clouds and the view could be obstructed some people decided to head up the pass that evening to see the views. I passed on going as I was pretty beat from that day. John headed up there with Hannes and Yannick, two guys from Germany that were part of our group of hikers.
Hiking Through Mackinnon PassTravel-photographer_100Kea Bird in flightThe next morning we set out for Mackinnon Pass. The rain wasn’t too bad when we were in the trees. Travel-photographer_104Travel-photographer_105The rain was really light as we got out of the tree line.Travel-photographer_107Travel-photographer_108About ten minutes later the rain got much worse and I was so sad that I wouldn’t be able to see the views from the top of the pass. Travel-photographer_109Travel-photographer_110We waited a few minutes and it cleared and it was incredible.
Travel-photographer_111Travel-photographer_112Travel-photographer_113Travel-photographer_114Of course the rain started again and we were pretty wet and cold by the time we got to the shelter.Travel-photographer_115Travel-photographer_116After it started to clear a little we left the hut and headed down the other side of the mountain. I was so glad that it rained because it caused hundreds of waterfalls to fall down the mountain side. Travel-photographer_117Travel-photographer_118Our honeymoon in South Island New ZealandTravel-photographer_120Some waterfalls even crossed our trails that we had to walk through. Travel-photographer_121Travel-photographer_122Travel-photographer_123Travel-photographer_124Travel-photographer_125Next up was Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand. We were able to leave our packs at a shelter and take the 1.5hr walk to see the falls. Travel-photographer_126Sutherland Falls New ZealandJohn decided to walk behind the waterfall. It seemed like a great idea at first but he just ended up soaked and he said he couldn’t even see anything from back there. Walking behind Sutherland FallsTravel-photographer_129Travel-photographer_130Dumpling hut and RumplTravel-photographer_132We started out the last morning thinking the views just couldn’t be as good as what we had seen.
Travel-photographer_133Travel-photographer_134This had to be one of the most breathtaking spots I’ve ever seen with the mist and perfect light.
Travel-photographer_135I ran around to the bridge so that John could get a photo of me on the bridge. Travel-photographer_137Travel-photographer_138John also captured this gorgeous reflection shot that I didn’t even see!
Travel-photographer_139Travel-photographer_140Giant Gate Falls was one last waterfall we saw on our way to the end at Sandfly Point. Travel-photographer_141Travel-photographer_142Sandfly Point We ended at Sandfly Point and took a short 20 min ferry to Milford Sound. Travel-photographer_144The iconic Mitre Peak at Milford Sound.Mitre Peak in the Milford SoundTravel-photographer_146We had to take a 2 hour bus ride back to where we left our campervan in Te Anau. The views were pretty crazy driving through Glenorchy. Glenorchy New ZealandThe last few days we drove down to the bottom of the island in Invercargill, through The Catlins to Dunedin then up the east coast to Christchurch. Travel-photographer_148John got adventurous trying to get some pics of some sea lionsTravel-photographer_149Travel-photographer_150Waipapa point in the CatlinsTravel-photographer_152Another favorite stop was at Cathedral Cave which we could go to during low tide. Cathedral Cave in the CatlinsHandstand at Cathedral CaveTravel-photographer_155Travel-photographer_156We also went to Nugget point. The lighthouse and rock formations were really cool looking there. Nugget point in the CatlinsNugget Point in the Catlins New ZealandWhen we got to Dunedin we made sure to check out the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street. Travel-photographer_159Travel-photographer_160The Moeraki Boulders were another sweet stop along the way back to Christchurch.  These natural boulders are millions of years old and were really cool to see. Travel-photographer_161We had to get a few more pics with our  Rumpl.Visiting the Moeraki bouldersRumpl blanket at the Moeraki BouldersTravel-photographer_164Moeraki BouldersTravel-photographer_166Travel-photographer_167Travel-photographer_168The last stop along the way was to Castle Hill. These rock formations were gigantic. Travel-photographer_169Castle Hill in New ZealandTravel-photographer_172Travel-photographer_174Travel-photographer_176Travel-photographer_177In 2011 Christchurch was hit by a major earthquake. The city is still in major construction. We found this cute mall with every store made out of shipping containers. We have been obsessed with shipping container homes so it was cool to be able to walk through everything.
Travel-photographer_178Shipping container mall in Christchurch

This trip was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon with John! New Zealand is such a magical place!

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