Photos fail to do it justice
Shortly after arriving in New Zealand I stopped taking multiple pictures at every stopping point.
I could not capture the exact cool turquoise of the lakes or the way the blue haze of the mountains looked as I gazed up at them during an early morning cruise on Milford Sound.
There was no way to have the right setting on my phone camera to show the glacier face at Franz Josef Glacier while still being able to pick up the yellow and mustard of the growth on the rocks around it.
In the end it was just all too difÅcult to capture in a picture the feeling of being in a place that seemed like it was at the end of the earth. New Zealand had a bit of everything. At times it reminded me of Austria with its luscious green countryside — although sheep instead of cows with bells littered the Åelds.
Heading over in early October, the snowcapped mountains were a reminder of the Scottish Highlands, although the bright blue skies and sun in New Zealand was a clear sign this was not Scotland.
Around Franz Josef on the west coast of the south island there was plenty to be occupied with other than the glacier itself — crucial, really, given a trip to the small town of Franz Josef more often than not is met with poor weather that grounds the helicopters that take travellers to the top of the glacier.
A rainforest walk to start the day almost had me forget I was across the ditch, not just taking a stroll in the Otways.
Wanting to see the glacier face, the 90-minute return stroll to the opening was a highlight, and for yet another time in New Zealand I stopped off along the way to reÅll my drink bottle at the bottom of a waterfall.
On a bleak day, the colours on the rocks reminded me of Middle Earth and movies set in another time when the land was less touched by humans.
It is no wonder Steven Spielberg chose to Ålm Jurassic Park in New Zealand, although that Ålming took place closer to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.
Taking a boat cruise along a water course formed by a glacier with big mountains on either side and countless waterfalls was enough to make me forget that an extra layer of clothing would not have gone astray.
New Zealand is less about cities and more about admiring nature.
But Christchurch had its own quirks and kept me well occupied for my Årst few days in New Zealand. Construction is everywhere as the city rebuilds after 185 people died in an earthquake in 2011 and the population of the city drastically dwindled.
Hagley Park, complete with Aussie Rules goalposts in one pocket, takes up a large chunk of the city and includes Christchurch’s botanic gardens. With superb weather during my time there I