In the depths of New Zealand winter and 5 months pregnant where should one head?...the South Island of course! Whilst spending the early part of our marriage living overseas, I ashamedly had to admit to many foreigners that no in fact…I haven’t visited there (referring to many beautiful places in the South Island). In June, Josh and I took our 5 month old alien to the South Island for 3 weeks and putted around in a campervan. It’s not just for rich retired folk! One day was spent scaling Avalanche Peak on Arthur’s Pass. The 1,100m climb took us 6.5 hours round trip and sufficiently turned my legs and pelvis to jelly! The beginning of the climb was spent in dense fog and we questioned turning back a couple of times. We pressed on because of the promise of a great walk, despite zero visibility and then…HELLO…we pushed through the clouds and BOOM! What a view!
The cloudless sky above Arthur’s Pass revealed the summit and a glacier! Our own private glacier! While earlier on the trip we stopped into Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, to have a private unexpected glacier after a 3 hour ascent, ranks tops in my life experiences.
We settled next to a pile of snow (yes SNOW!! A complete novelty for Northlanders) and enjoyed a sarnie in the sun watching the Glacier.
A Kea joined us at altitude and while you need to recognise them as a native ‘pest’ you’ve got to be impressed by their dexterity with a zip! That night I could barely move off the squab in the van but my jelly legs wrangled enough power to plod outside with Josh and two other travellers we’d met on the roadside. One chicky from Ireland and a bloke from Czech Republic. We’d all pulled in to a camper stop with a stone hut and Josh and Czech bloke had built a roaring (legal) fire.
We toasted stale bread and enjoyed a Czech tipple (well I didn’t due to the 5 month alien in my puku) but it turned out to be the cherry on top a fantastic day.
If you want to plan your Avalanche Peak adventure, find out more at the official page here
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