Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)


West Coast (Wild Coast), South Island, New Zealand

The very windy ferry ride

We’ve been ruined. I don’t see how there is any drive in the world that could possibly beat traveling south along Route 6. The mountains were the backdrop to every scene on the South Island, and they were so omnipresent that I instantly missed them the second we touched down in our next, decidedly less picturesque destination. Here’s a quick tour of the the week long journey South.

Marborough (Wine Country)

Saint Clair

We managed to sample seven wineries in one day before quitting (there was no spitting). Marborough is known for its sauvignon blanc, but they also do a fair amount of Pinot Noir and sparkling wines (read: champagne). My personal favorite was No. 1 Family Estate who specialize in sparkling wine and Tim enjoyed Cloudy Bay. But the star of the day was really the weather. It was 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, making a lunch at Herzog among the vines seem a little almost heavenly.

A little Rose instead?

Drive through Nelson

mussels? Yes Please

If you’ve never tried New Zealand’s green mussels, you should. We found ourselves constantly craving them and couldn’t wait to hit a place called the Mussel Pot that was entirely dedicated to the New Zealand Specialty.

After a tour of Nelson, and a quick stop in the oldest pub in New Zealand and one more wine tasting for good measure we were on our way to the sleepy coal mining town to spend the night. But not without a few more photo ops.

Franz Josef Glacier
The drive to Franz Josef was another great one.

The Truman Track

The Punakaiki Pancake rocks

a wet hike to the glacier

The weather changed when we arrived at Franz Josef (a place that gets twice as much rain a year as places like London) With a sprained ankle, the all day hike we had booked was upgraded to a helitrek which was then cancelled due to inclement weather. So, as happens so frequently in travel, our plans were foiled. Instead, we trekked up to the glacier in the rain and got a glimpse at the many waterfalls leading up to it.

Drive to Queenstown
The most spectacular views were reserved for the last day. Here’s a just a few of the views.

Drive, Tim, Drive

The greatest part of all was that the road led to the most perfect little ski bum/adventurist town…more on that soon.

May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.
– -Edward Abbey


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:44:14

    Great stuff, Robin and Tim. So were you in the same mining town where the 29 miners tragically perished last week? My heart goes out to those hardy souls. NZ is SO beautiful…I’m trying to talk Zac (aka “Mr. Budget”) into planning 5 weeks over Christmas next year, and your pictures might help me to make my case to him!! Love, Sarah


    • wheresbatman
      Nov 24, 2010 @ 14:53:01

      Actually we did stop in Greymouth for lunch – which is where it happened – but it happened three days after we left. It was really big news everywhere. I highly recommend taking as much time as possible if you do see NZ – I wish we would have spent a full month there.


  2. Elise
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 15:55:58

    Can’t believe the pictures! Gonna show my mom when I’m with her tonight, cause she’ll freak! Nice pants in the hike pic ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope they’re kept you dry!!


    • wheresbatman
      Nov 26, 2010 @ 10:27:27

      they didn’t – but I don’t know what pants would have – we were all soaked to the bone – the picture is deceiving it was raining fairly steadily. Aside from that your pants and I are getting a long fairly well.


  3. Jim Callahan
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 18:11:03

    Great stuff — thanks for all the info and wonderful pix. Almost feel like I’m there — almost. Love the Edward Abbey quote. Anyone for a little Desert Solitaire? All the best, Jim.


  4. missy
    Nov 24, 2010 @ 20:00:10

    I am impressed! You have been busy. Think of all you have ahead. I hope each place is better than the next. It looks amazing. What’s for thanksgiving dinner? I think you had mentioned you had something planned, but I forget. Happy Thanksgiving…Travel safe. Love you guys xoxo


  5. Ayngelina
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 13:13:10

    The wine tour in Nelson was definitely a highlight of mine. New Zealand is such a beautiful country – except Greymouth, nothing beautiful about getting stuck overnight in that place ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. The Bockhop Family
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 00:23:47

    Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving and that everything is going good for the both of you. Keep the informative and exciting blog coming, you are doing a great job with it and enjoy reading every sentence.


  7. Sarah Moyik
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 02:55:19

    The journey through Saint Clair sounds amazing….I am just amazed that you are doing all of this with a sprained ankle….You are a amazing!! : )


  8. kimberlydinan
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 16:41:19

    Looks amazing!!! I can’t imagine crossing this off of my itinerary. Thanks for the great post/info.


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