It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve seen “the mountains”. The mountains in SE Asia were covered in jungle, with spiders the size of my face. We climbed a mountain in Tasmania which, though somewhat satisfying, it didn’t really scratch the itch. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest gave me a thirst for the hills, and it’s not easily quenched.
New Zealand is full of mountains. None are as high as Mt. Rainer, but what they lack in size is made up in drama. Glaciers cling to impossible cliffs and plunge miles down valleys stopping just short of the sea. It’s a great place to look upwards and its sprawling vistas couldn’t be more welcome to me.
The country is comprised of two main islands uninspiring called the North Island and South Island respectively. The vast majority of New Zealanders live on the North Island which has a gentler climate. The South island is cut in half by the long chain of the Southern Alps. It’s a harsh place filled with puffed up sheep and gnarled trees. Thanks to the Christchurch earthquakes the meager populations of one million is rapidly shrinking, leaving this already wild place even emptier. It’s a nature lovers dream and with the one month we could devote to New Zealand we gave it all to this Southern beast.