In less than a month I will be embarking on a new adventure. The objective is to explore New Zealand and Sydney, Australia with the intent to film a documentary showcasing the adventure activities one would be able to do if visiting this region of the world.
Due to the fact that this will be winter time in the Southern Hemisphere some of the activties we would normally want to do will be closed or greatly reduced, but there are still many exciting possibilities available, some of which wouldn't be possible at other times of the year.
Our itinerary will take us to some of the most well-known cities and regions of New Zealand, including Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Queenstown, and Milford Sound.
June 5-8, 2012
We will be leaving on June 5 from DFW Airport. The flight will take us to Los Angeles and Sydney for short layovers before we arrive in Christchurch on June 7. We will be passing through Christchurch later on the trip, so for our first stop we will only be spending 1.5 days. This will give us an opportunity to customize ourselves with New Zealand culture, city-life, and recover from our long flight.
We are planning to rent a car for the majority of our stay in New Zealand to give us greater flexibility and access to the country-side. It will also allow us to travel at our own pace. After researching I discovered that the bus system is very good, but in the end won't save us very much money and will limit our options.
June 9-10, 2012
With our rental car we will head towards the interior of the country to the Lake Tekapo area. Our plan is to do some hiking on the Mt. John Hike as well as a few others. Based on pictures I have seen it is a beautiful region with rolling hills and mountains. We are hoping to do this portion of the trip in order to beat the weather. New Zealand is very far south and snow is likely and could potentially close trails and alter our plans. Another reason that personal transportation will be more efficient than buses.
June 11, 2012
We will spend two days at Lake Tekapo and then move on to the city of Twizel to tramp around Lake Pukaki. Our objective here is to do the Ben Ohau Hike. Like Lake Tekapo the pictures are magnificient and if there happens to be snow in the area I can only imagine it would look that much neater.
June 12-13, 2012
One day in Twizel should be plenty and then it's on to Mt. Cook/Aoraki. Here again will be more hiking, but in this area there is the Tasman Glacier. In our two days we would like to do the Glencoe, Key Pointe, and Governor Bush Hikes, weather permitting.
June 14-15, 2012
Traveling between Lake Tekapo, Twizel, and Mt. Cook are less than an hour apart, but for our next destination we will be driving 140 miles to the southeast coastal city of Dunedin. Dunedin is a college town which influences the culture of the region, especially the music scene. Here we hope to see the architecture of the city, possibly experience the live music scene, and the Otago Peninsula where there are sea lions and penguins.
June 16-19, 2012
Our next destination, Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, and to some people, the world. Here you can do a number of thrilling, heart-stop activities. They include bungee jumping, paragliding, hangliding, hiking, rafting, skiing, and taking a ride on a jet boat which speeds down a local river at 60 mph or more. Due to the weather we are planning to hike in the area, jet boat, and either hanglide or paraglide. I'm not sure which would be more fun and worth the money, but both will offer similar views. It may come down to weather and what people recommend, maybe I'll do both.
June 20, 2012
After four days in Queenstown we will drive 62 km down one of the most scenic roads in the world to Te Anau. I imagine that by this point there could be snow in the area, which would only make it that much more beautiful. Having our own car will allow us to take our time and really enjoy it to the fullest extent.
June 21-23, 2012
We will spend the night in Te Anau and then continue to Milford Sound. Here we intend to rent a kayak and explore the Sound and the fjords. We will also take the Jucy Cruize boat to get different views of the area. There are hiking and biking trails in the region, so that is part of the plan as well for our three day stay.
June 24-25, 2012
From here we begin backtracking to Queenstown and may spend the day skiing or continue to Wanaka. In Wanaka is Diamond Lake which we plan to hike around and have a day of rest.
June 26-28, 2012
Our next stop will be Franz Josef/Fox Glacier area. During warmer times of year you can hike on the glacier and down into crevasses, but during winter you can only hike on top. We plan to do just that at the Franz Josef Glacier. We will also hike at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and take a helicopter ride over Fox Glacier. I've never been in a helicopter so I'm really looking forward to this. To see the mountains from above sounds really cool to me. It should be great.
June 29-30, 2012
Just up the road is the town of Hokitika. I have scheduled two days here. It is along the coast and surrounded by mountains, so ideally we would like to hike, kayak, and see the small town. I've read that it's a neat place to visit and worth a few days.
July 1-2, 2012
We will now drive across the country, 246 km, to Christchurch. This will allow us to experience Christchurch a little more and see the things we were unable to see on our first visit. We will drop off our rental car, and get a different one. It sounds strange, but it's due to the fact that we need to drop it off in a city that our original rental company doesn't have a location.
July 3, 2012
We will make a short trip north along the coast to the city of Kaikoura. There is a peninsula here and you can swim with dolphins and see other sea mammals.
July 4-5, 2012
From Kaikoura we will go to Nelson Lakes National Park. Here again we will do some hiking, specifically at the St. Arnaud Range. This is a two day stop.
July 6-9, 2012
Heading north we will go to one of the most famous and popular multi-day hikes in the world in Abel Tasman National Park. We will drop off our car in Nelson and then take a bus to Marahau. This can be a 3-5 day hike, but we will be doing it in 2.5 days. We won't be hiking the entire length, but instead spend the first half day of the hike kayaking along the coast then hiking to set up a base camp. On day two we will keep our base camp but hike further up the trail. On the final day we will hike back to the start and take a bus back to Marahau.
July 10-11, 2012
Without a car at this point we will stay overnight in Nelson and take the bus the following morning to Picton. Picton is the site of the ferry to Wellington and the north island. Before we head north for the second half of our trip we will spend a day and a half seeing the city and parts of the Queen Charlotte Track, another multi-day hike. We obviously won't have time to do it all, but we will at least try to hike a short portion of it.
Everything we do will be filmed as a documentary. It will explain the places we visit and the things we do or see. We will be taking this footage to create a short promotional video with the intent of showcasing the activities people should expect to do if they were going to be visiting New Zealand. We will also be taking each city or region we visit and make a more detailed commercial-like promotion, for example, just Queenstown or Milford Sound.
If you would like to contribute to our project and help make it possible please visit the link below to our kickstarter page. It explains in more detail what we hope to acomplish. I am hoping to raise $500 to offset some of the costs and guaranteed rewards are offered for your support.
Adventure Travels Documentary Project