When most people think of Australia, two of the most common things that come to mind are Koalas and breathtaking coastline. If visiting Australia is on your bucket list and seeing these two things are dreams of yours, then you will absolutely love the Great Ocean Road in Southern Australia. I mean, how can you not with the word “great” right in the name! Seriously though, the Great Ocean Road is much more than a coastal road, it is a national treasure. Not only does the road pass thru Australia’s iconic Shipwreck Coast and provide a look at some of the country’s most stunning coastline, but it also allows visitors to get up-close to some of Australia’s most beloved wildlife in the wild.
New Zealand has an abundance of breathtaking national parklands, especially on the country’s South Island. This is what has made the South Island of New Zealand one of the top destinations for travel photographers and travel adventurers from around the world. Out of all of the beautiful parklands the country has, the most well-known may be the stunning Aoraki\Mount Cook National Park. In addition to being the home of Mount Cook, which is New Zealand’s tallest mountain, it is also home to the Tasman Glacier, which is the largest glacier in New Zealand.
There are a lot of amazing adventures to be had on New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound and the Milford Track is something that every traveler should experience, the city of Wanaka is home to quite a few of New Zealand’s most infamous hiking tracks, and the city of Queenstown is known across the globe as the “adventure capital of the world”. However, none of these adventure locations in New Zealand are quite as unique or as special as the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers on the west coast of the South Island.
There are a lot of incredibly beautiful places on New Zealand’s South Island, but few other places on the island can match the number of incredible hikes and visa viewpoints that you will find in the Wanaka area. Located on the shores of Lake Wanaka, which sits just at the foot of the stunning mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park, the city could not have been placed in a more beautiful area. This is why travelers from around the world flock to New Zealand each year to enjoy the beautiful views and amazing hikes in and around this wonderful city.
Rudyard Kipling, the acclaimed writer of the jungle book and travel adventurer, once called it the Eighth Wonder of the World. That is a sentiment that is shared by almost everyone who visits Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island. Famous for its towering mountains that meet the ocean to form one of the most beautiful ocean sounds that you will find on this planet, Milford Sound continues to attract droves of tourists each year.
The Milford Track may not get the press that the Inca Trail gets, but from someone who has visited both Machu Picchu and Fiordland National Park, I can assure you that both of these hikes go thru some equally stunning landscapes. Both of these landscapes involve epic mountain ranges that are bordered by rainforests. Just like the Inca Trail, the Milford Track takes you thru the mountains and rain forest and leaves you speechless at the beauty.
We must have banked some good karma because today could not have possibly been a better travel day. We woke up in Te Anau to the sound of rain and immediately feared the worst for our tour of Milford Sound. However, they day would have a much more pleasant finish than we ever thought.
The past few days have been fun, yet interesting travel days. Weather is always a big factor when you travel and this trip has certainly been no exception. If you let it, the weather can beat you down and absolutely ruin a trip.
Today we continued our tour of New Zealand and moved from one absolutely gorgeous landscape to another. This stop was in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, which is known for its stunning vistas, massive glaciers, and excellent hiking trails.
We got up early today because today was the day we got to tour the incredibly beautiful Great Ocean Road. What started out as a rather ho-hum adventure quickly turned into one of our more memorable experiences on this trip and an adventure that we will always remember.