A Travellerspoint blog

Mt Cook to Lake Ohau

South Island

We fished in the morning by the Pukaki canal and then drove up to the Mt Cook reserve. The views of Mt Cook when driving along this road are unreal.

We did two short walks, 1 to a view point of Mt Cook which unfortunately was covered in cloud at this point and 1 in the Tasman Valley which has a view of the Tasman glacier.
There are longer walks you can do here which end at huts you can stay in but they were all booked up, maybe next summer we can do these walks as I think the views from further up would be great and star gazing up there even better.


We drove back down the scenic road, through Twizel for supplies and then about 20mins out of Twizel to Lake Ohau.
This again was a very beautiful lake near a canal, but it was so windy so we didn’t spend much time exploring it.


Posted by Louisejhcowan 15:27 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Lake Opuha to Lake Pukaki

South Island

We spent Boxing Day here fishing in the lake. The weather wasn’t great so we also watched films in the van.
On 27th we got up and drove to Lake Pukaki.
This lake has the most amazing view of Mt Cook and is also bright blue in colour.
We firstly drove to Twizel which is the nearest small town to stock up on supplies, then we drove back towards the lake and found a place to park right next to the lake with the great views of Mt Cook!


On 28th we did a walk up Mt Mary which is on the east side of Lake Pukaki. The walk started meandering through pine trees and alpine grass and we climbed up to the top of Mt Mary which had good views of the lake and Mt Cook. The walk was about 18km but only hard when we started to climb. We then drove back to Twizel for a well deserved pint and an ice cream. It was a beautiful day and very hot.


We then found another freedom camping spot at the bottom of the lake and on the Pukaki Canal for the night. We spent the evening fishing in the canal, we still haven’t caught anything yet!

Posted by Louisejhcowan 12:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged fishing lake campervan pukaki Comments (0)

Tekapo to Timaru to Rangitata River

South Island

We received an email recommending going to the Rangitata River to fish so decided to head there today. This meant we had to go back on ourselves but we felt it would be worth it.
We stopped at Timaru on the way which is a big town/small city to pick up fishing equipment and Christmas food!
The drive to the river was miles up a gravel track but the scenery around us was stunning. This is where some of the filming for lord of the rings took place.
We kept going up the road hoping to find a place to camp near the river. It felt like we had been going for miles and we finally found the perfect place. It was beautiful! We could have stayed there longer but there was no phone signal and we wanted to speak to our families for Christmas.
We spent the evening fishing at our camping spot and when we got up in the morning we drove further up the gravel track to fish further up the river.
We were the only people there. We walked along the river basin and to the different tributarys.

In the afternoon we back down the track and to a lake called Opuha where we parked up next to the lake and cooked Christmas dinner.


Posted by Louisejhcowan 23:06 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)


South Island

We explored Lake Tekapo by walking up Mt John.
Mt John is a hill above the lake which has an observatory and it’s a famous place to look at the stars.
The Mckenzie’s basin (the area we are in) is well known for some of the best star gazing in the world due to no light pollution.
The walk took about 3 hours and we started by going along the side of the lake and then up to the observatory. There were some great views from the top.
We stayed in the same camping spot again that night.


Posted by Louisejhcowan 22:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hiking tekapo vanlife Comments (0)

Christchurch to Tekapo

South Island


So after 22 days in a campsite near Christchurch building our van (Bessie) we finally hit the road.
We decided to head to Lake Tekapo (about 3 hours from Christchurch) based on recommendation and we thought it would be a nice place for Christmas.
As we drove out of Christchurch it became apparent how sparsely populated NZ is, we found lots of fields and tiny towns.
Once we got into the McKenzie basin the scenery became beautiful. A bit like the Lake District on steroids.
The road to Lake Tekapo drops in from a height and the first glimpse of the lake is amazing as it’s so blue! All the water comes from glaciers hence the colour.
We went for a drink at the local pub and then drove about 10mins out of Tekapo to a freedom campsite.
As we have joined the NZMCA (NZ’s version of the caravan club) we have a list of all the camping areas we can go to for free or a small fee.
The campsite we stayed at was in the middle of nowhere, near a canal and river with great views of the valley.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 22:50 Archived in New Zealand Tagged campervan tekapo vanlife Comments (0)

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