This summer I backpacked through New Zealand with my two best friends for 5 weeks. We hitched, bussed and hiked across the North Island to Wellington and then flew across the straight to Christchurch and rented a car. We managed to drive the whole perimeter of the south island and still had lots of time for all kinds of adventures and a little off-season ski training!
Many regions of the island are designated as National Parks and World Heritage Sites due to New Zealand's unique geography, so scenic vistas and phenomenal hiking trails could be accessed right off the main road. We hiked and camped every day and made special efforts to see all the popular tourist destinations but also to go and explore some of the back-country trails.
Even while on the road I made special efforts to do a little extra training most mornings and afternoons. Since my bikes and rollerskis were at home I frequently headed out for runs or did a little strength training. The mountains of the south island were particularly convenient locations for long slow scenic runs, bounding exercises or intervals so i tried to do as many workouts as i could without access to equipment that I couldn't get into my backpack. I really looked forward to my morning runs because they gave me an excellent way of exploring the different places I found myself in every morning.
Some particular highlights of the trip included, hiking through the Franz Joseph Glacier, exploring the Fiordlands of the South Island World Heritage National Park, Tramping the beautiful Malborough Sounds, Hiking over the Bubbling Sulfur pits of Rotorua and meeting and learning from other world travelers!
The favourite activities of the trip included: Surfing, hiking, skydiving, jade carving, rock climbing, spelunking, swimming, and mountain climbing!
Here are a few picture of the trip. Thanks for reading!