Venus visits: New Zealand

Hoping to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, I decided to take a road trip through the stunning countryside of Christchurch, New Zealand. Even though I was apprehensive at first (having never been on a road trip), I quickly fell in love with the turquoise-coloured lakes, grassy green plains and snowcapped mountains. The scenery was truly majestic. Every single location I’ve visited looked straight out of a postcard - even the random stops we made along the side of the roads to stretch our legs were absolutely stunning. 

Here are some of the places I’ve visited on the trip. I do hope these pictures encourage you to spend some time in nature this holiday season! 

Castle Hill - Limestone rock formations that resemble an old, run-down stone castle. My first unplanned stop for the journey.

Castle Hill - Limestone rock formations that resemble an old, run-down stone castle. My first unplanned stop for the journey.

Avalanche Peak, Arthurs’ Pass National Park - Definitely not a hike for amateurs. I did not finish the hike but this was the view I was rewarded with a little more than halfway along the journey.

Avalanche Peak, Arthurs’ Pass National Park - Definitely not a hike for amateurs. I did not finish the hike but this was the view I was rewarded with a little more than halfway along the journey.

Franz Josef Glacier - I took a 1.5 hour walk to come within 750m of the glacier’s terminal face. Since 2008, the glacier has been in a period of retreat and has lost about 800m in length. Even though glaciers go through natural cycles of advancement and retreat, it is unlikely that the Franz Josef glacier will advance as the climate warms. I’m just really glad to have seen it while it is still substantial.

Franz Josef Glacier - I took a 1.5 hour walk to come within 750m of the glacier’s terminal face. Since 2008, the glacier has been in a period of retreat and has lost about 800m in length. Even though glaciers go through natural cycles of advancement and retreat, it is unlikely that the Franz Josef glacier will advance as the climate warms. I’m just really glad to have seen it while it is still substantial.

Blue Pools - The famous crystal clear blue waters on the Makarora rivers. The blue is a result of light refraction on clear, icy cold water.

Blue Pools - The famous crystal clear blue waters on the Makarora rivers. The blue is a result of light refraction on clear, icy cold water.

Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka - Framed by the Southern Alps, the lone tree is a willow tree in the middle of the lake that grew from a hacked off branch from nearby willows. A symbol of determination?

Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka - Framed by the Southern Alps, the lone tree is a willow tree in the middle of the lake that grew from a hacked off branch from nearby willows. A symbol of determination?

Roy’s Peak - It’s a long hike that takes about 6-8 hours but there were plenty of sheep grazing and doing the hike along with me.

Roy’s Peak - It’s a long hike that takes about 6-8 hours but there were plenty of sheep grazing and doing the hike along with me.

Mount Cook Village - The village sits in the shadow of New Zealand’s highest mountain. I did not attempt to scale it but I did spend the afternoon in the visitor centre/museum reading about the courageous people that successfully scaled the mountain and those that lost their lives while doing so.

Mount Cook Village - The village sits in the shadow of New Zealand’s highest mountain. I did not attempt to scale it but I did spend the afternoon in the visitor centre/museum reading about the courageous people that successfully scaled the mountain and those that lost their lives while doing so.

Lake Tekapo - The lake is famous for its striking turquoise colour. I had a quick picnic by the lake then drove up to an observatory nearby to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful lake and the village.

Lake Tekapo - The lake is famous for its striking turquoise colour. I had a quick picnic by the lake then drove up to an observatory nearby to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful lake and the village.