In January of 2017 I finally made it to New Zealand. A long dream of mine became reality when I climbed the stairs onto a plane that took me to Auckland, New Zealand.
Everything about New Zealand is different. The air, the light, the feeling of open roads and pure freedom.
Even the colour of the sky or the sea seem to be deeper and richer then anywhere else I have been before.
For example the Huka Falls have the most turquoise water I have ever seen.
At the Volcanic Valley you have to give your nose a few minutes to get used to the heavy brimstone smell. If you get over that aroma, it is an incredibly colourful landscape to walk around. Carefully though, hot air and springs are coming out of the ground all around you.
I have been on the road for about a week when somewhere in the middle of nowhere this rainbow crossed my way. Have you ever had the feeling of deeply breathing and physically and mentally being silent? That calmness overcame me the moment I got out of the car looking far ahead, grabbing my camera and taking this one shot.
On the Road I drove by hundreds of cows happily munching their grass and thousands of sheep baaing all day long. I saw huge trees and funny Mailboxes on the road, all in a row like ducks and no house in sight.
My favourite place was Sandfly beach on the south island. Sliding down a hill of sand, my camera high up above my head in one hand and in the other my shoes, I landed on a abandoned beach.
Far from the stress of driving for days, I buried my toes into the sand and let the ice-cold water wash over my feet.
An penguin squeaked on a small sand dune behind me, making me realise a huge sea lion was surfing into the bay. Never in my life have I seen such an elegante entrance.
It sat down and watched me for a while, growled in my direction and then waddled on its way.
Nugget Point Lighthouse is in every travel book I have flipped through before my big trip to New Zealand. It is said to be a very touristic place, but since I love lighthouses I had to see it anyway.
Lucky for my and my camera, it was such a windy day, that there was hardly any soul at that special place on the southern tip of New Zealand. I spent hours there, just staring into the blue sea and watching the sea lions warm their bellies in the sun on the cliffs infront of me.
Since it was quite windy and cloudy that day, I was all by myself on Hump Ridge Track at Fiordland. It first takes you through a jungle and when you can’t imagine ever to see the sun again, there is a clearing and you find yourself infront of a long beach with clear blue water and millions of butterflies dancing around in the shrubbery next to you.
To give you a little impression on the dimensions and the light and the feeling of that area, here is a Picture of Milford Sounds from the top of the Gertrude Valley Lookout Point.
Gertrude Valley Lookout Track
Wanaka – Middle Peak
New Zealand and the whole trip changed me in a way I can hardly put into words. For the first time ever I spent five weeks far from anything I was used to. Sleeping in the car and staying at amazing camp sights was a new experience for me. I guess one of my favourite things was meeting new people. Because wherever I went, everyone, not matter if travellers on their own journey or a Maori at the hospital, is treated friendly and with respect in New Zealand. I never felt like a stranger. It felt like home.