South Islands by Emma Orchard
This little mission began at the most northern point of the South Island in New Zealand.
Fresh off the car ferry with one 1989 Mitsubishi chariot named Carmen, four friends, a whole lot of camping gear and ten days to see as much of the South Island as we could. We decided the best way to tackle this was to slide down the west coast, and trek back up the east. With no real plan, we set off. The South Island is a highly concentrated and diverse array of landscapes. From white sandy beaches with crystal clear blue water, to dramatic snowy mountain ranges straight out of lord of the rings and all in a 5,000km coastline.
Our time spent in Milford Sound located in Fiordland National Park at the southern point of the west coast was for sure a peak. I thought Yosemite or Zion were the coolest Parks I’ve ever been in, but was stoked to realize those two ain’t got shit on Fiordland. With only one way in and out of Milford Sound through a mile long tunnel you really feel like you are in another world. However, this brings me to a pit of the trip. There was an INSANE amount of sandflies. These things were relentless and not only annoying but actually hurt when they bite. You know those cartoons with the smelly kid who has flies bussing around is head, imagine that.. but a swarm of them!
The night we camped at Purakaunui Bay (PK Bay) in the Catlins was one to remember. This is one of the most insane beaches I’ve ever been to and the surf was just as good – THANK GOD we had been struggling to find some decent waves so was stoked to pull up and see some nice clean lines, and so were two very energetic surfers from Spain and a crazy Canadian. Our set up was something straight out of your favorite surf film. Pumping waves, tents on the beach, an epic bon fire, and an old couch we found in the bush - which was in surprisingly good condition. What followed was the most insane stories I’ve ever heard. Lets just say Mr Cananda has 9 lives and is your go to guy on how to do a solo trip through South America.
A roadie ill never quite forget.
Instagram // @emmaorchard