Tongablog

Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga

Happy Travels!

FYI– The South Island of New Zealand is INCREDIBLE!! Just being here makes us feel humbled by nature. We left Lake Tekapo and went over to Aoraki/Mt. Cook. At 3755m, it is the tallest peak in Australasia. The Maori name, Aoraki, means Cloud Piecer. It is absolutely mesmerizing and majestic. Seriously, I could have gazed at that mountain for days on end. Instead, we did an incredible hike thru the Hooker Valley. I really think it was the most beautiful hike I have ever experienced. We also hiked to the Tasman Glacier.. Next, we headed south to the Otago Penninsula. The roads were sosososo curvy, but provided beautiful Pacific views and quientessential rolling green, NZ hills. We stayed in a great little backpackers and then set off on a quest to see the seals, sea lions and penguins. Scot got some great film footage of the marine animals, so we’ll be sure to post it with the photos. Next we drove thru the Catlins regions and did some amazing waterfall hikes. We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at Lake Manapouri. I have never seen such a starry sky!! Our cabin at Manapouri was amazing.. we had a little wood burning stove and the most incredible lake view! At night, you could hear nothing except howling deer… I never knew deer howled, but apparently during mating season they get quite boisterous. We took a boat cruise down Doubtful Sound in Fiordland.. The boat was a bit crowded for our tastes, but still really incredible. Then we headed to Queenstown. It is a darling little town (nestled in between massive mountains and Lake Wakatipu) that reminded us of Vail or Aspen, Colorado. We caught up some with a girlfriend from Charleston who is living there, and I ate one of the best meals of my life. Venison!! Today we crossed the Haast Pass. The mist on the hills reminded us of the Smokey Mountains, but these mountains are much larger. We reached the Tasman Sea and will go see Fox and Franz Glaciers tomorrow. Nowhere else at this latitude do glaciers come so close to the ocean. The Maori legend behind them tells of a girl losing her lover who fell from the peaks, and her flood of tears froze into the glacier. After the Glaciers, we aren’t sure where we will explore next. We fly back to Tonga on April 13, and are truly enjoying every second we are spending here!! But we do miss our friends and family and hope all is well. Thanks so much for following our adventures:)

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