A week ago Tim and I returned from a 2-week stint on New Zealand's beautiful South Island. All I can say it: amazing. Scenery, scenery, scenery. Everywhere you look, amazing scenery. Picture the scenery from the Lord of the Rings: huge snow capped mountains, beautiful blue lakes, fern-filled rainforests, sheer-walled fiords, big old glaciers, rolling hills, giant gorges, more waterfalls than you've ever seen, winery after winery, miles and miles of grazing land (minus all the elves and dwarves and stuff, plus more sheep).
While we were there, we rented a campervan (RV for us Americans) and toured around the island, generally following Colleen and Steve's itinerary of sight-seeing, hiking, pie-eating, etc., but with a few additional adventures of our own.
It was a lot of driving, and, since it was New Zealand's autumn (May 1 is the transition from summer to winter seasons, tourism-wise), we had some chilly nights huddled together in the campervan, but it was so, so worth it. Expect lots of landscape photos over the next few weeks- I'm still sifting through them to find the gems, of which there are many.
Anyway, here's Tim drinking his morning coffee in our campervan (rented from Kiwi campers, whom we have mixed feelings about for reasons to be described in a later post!) after our first night sleeping in it. We had arrived in New Zealand (Christchurch, specifically) mid-morning after a long red-eye from Singapore, waited in the customs line for approximately forever (they are quite thorough there!), then spent some time renting the van and stocking up on food and stuff, and then we were crashing hard, so we didn't make it very far on our first day. We ended up camping at the Peel Forest Department of Conservation (DOC) campground, which was lovely.