Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway – Queenstown to Hokitika

Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway – Queenstown to Hokitika

Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway – Queenstown to Hokitika – Becoming Kiwi Day 13

Day 13 started off with us feeling much better after getting around 11 hours of sleep the previous night. It was also one of the nicest mornings to wake up to, with the sun burning through the clouds fairly early in the morning.  We left the Queenstown area and began driving the New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway. Due to the massive storms earlier in the month a few of the more mountainous roads were closed so we stuck to the main highway. It was probably the nicest day in terms of weather that we had on the entire trip.  We started in Queenstown and the drive to Haast was amazing. It is a fairly comparable drive to the Icefields Parkway drive in Alberta.

Picking Up A Hitchhiker

One of the highlights of the day for us was picking up our first ever hitchhiker Theo about an hour into our drive. Theo is a 22 year old from Israel who left his job as a sports journalist to take 6 months and travel. He was super friendly and it was a pleasure to share the 6 hour drive with him.

 

Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway

Our first good view of “real” mountains. It took 13 days, but we finally got to see them!

Views Along Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway

This was Theo, the polite 22 year old Israeli hitchhiker we picked up

Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway

We took a picture of Theo, and he took one of us, although he was a bit unsure about using our camera

mountains in new zealand south island west coast

The south island mountains reminded us of the Rockies in Alberta

Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway

Much like driving through the Canadian National Park system in Alberta, Driving The New Zealand South Island West Coast Highway offers many beautiful spots to stop along the way and enjoy the view

New zealand mountain lakes

Mountains and lakes as far as you can see

new zealand beach ocean

After we drove through/around the mountains we ended up on the ocean side, which was a beautiful spot to stop for lunch with Travel Bella

New Zealand driving west coast south island ocean view

After having mountain and lake views for the first part of the rive, we had wonderful ocean views the rest of the trip

road side cafe in new zealand by the ocean

These little trailer cafes were fairly common throughout New Zealand. This spot served ice cream as well, which was a nice treat on a warm sunny day

white rocks with writing on them off the highway in New Zealand south island

There were hundreds of these white rocks with peoples names and country of origin on them. It was a pretty neat spot

beach rocky area new zealand south island

More beach & rocky areas

road side honey stand in New Zealand

Honour system roadside honey stand! Don’t worry, we paid and waved to the camera

picking up a hitchhiker in new zealand

We dropped Theo off in Franz Joseph and got a selfie with him

hokitika suspension bridge over the hokitia gorge

We ended the day in Hokitika. This is the Hokitika suspension bridge over the Hokitikia Gorge.

The Hokitika Gorge

The Hokitika Gorge

 

You can see the rest of our trip here:

Exploring Auckland – Day 1

Driving The Coromandel Peninsula – Becoming Kiwi Day 2

Bay Of Plenty The Hobbiton Movie Set – Becoming Kiwi Day 3

Hobbiton Movie Set Evening Banquet Tour

Driving Around The North Island – Becoming Kiwi Day 4

Castlepoint Lighthouse Sunrise Lake Ferry Sunset

Alpacas in New Zealand – Becoming Kiwi Day 6

Sunrise Alpacas & Yealands Winery – Becoming Kiwi Day 7

Exploring Christchurch – Becoming Kiwi Days 8 & 9

Driving From Christchurch to Dunedin to Curio Bay – Becoming Kiwi Day 10

Cathedral Caves, McLean Falls, Petrified Forest – Exploring Curio Bay

Driving To Queenstown – Becoming Kiwi Day 12

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