The muffin explosion!

11.11.2016 – 312,6 km

The Catlins are marvellous, even with a grey sky, the rainforest you find all around you will make you alive… and more than this!!!

Rainforest in the Catlins

The lake Wilkie is dark and give you the opportunity to see the different stage of the forest that will decrease until the sea border. Really amazing!

Then on the way the most photographed waterfalls of New Zealand.

The most photographed waterfall in New Zealand

At Owaka we had breakfast. The lady of the shop on the move told us that she would come in April 2017 in Italy, from Sicily to Valentino Rossi’s town to have a pizza. She is a fan!!!

Valentini Rossi’s fan

We arrived at Dunedin with a grey sky, no sun, so we had just a quick look of this beautiful city,

Marvelous Dunedin

a drive in Baldwin street, the Wrold’s steepest street

Baldwin street

and just drive in the Otago Peninsula until Portobello. I guess that Dunedin will worth at least a day, but we must move and we drive then to Oamaru.

Otago Peninsula

When we arrive to our family, we were really happy about our choice. Amazing location, warm welcome, great children, delicious Shefferd pie and lovely cats and dog. Then we started to play with the children. It made everybody laugh!with the pillow war, one shot total exploded one muffin! 😂😂😂

Our family in Dunedin

But we booked the Penguins view in the Blue colony and after dinner we just move to the show…

Time with children

Yes, the show, this is the right word. NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE AGAIN!!! The commentary was too loud and was completely scaring the penguins, people all over, too close with the animals that was waiting too long to come back to the nest. The tunnels that drive the penguins to the tourists!!! Please do not go!!! Better to wait and to see just one or none, in the wild and not scaring them like in this terrible touristic show!

We met then 2 scared penguins in the road to home… the road should be closed! Those are animals!!!

Penguin crossing the street

Milford sound

09.11.2016 – km

We decided to buy a full package with a cruise in the Milford Sound from Te Anau.

Waterfalls is everywhere after a rainy day

I do suggest to do the same thing:

The way to Milford Sound

1. You will have finally a day off from your drive and this is a great and amazing think

The “highway”

2. With many rental cars you would not be allowed to drive in this road. It is not so dramatic, but too busy, really narrow

Amazing waterfall

3. You would see everything with the right pace, and you would arrive “just in time” to get the best place in your boat!!!

Just on the “highway”

The “highway” to the Milford sound is amazing, breathtaking, the Sounds itself gorgeous!

Reflection lake

When we came back we had just a walk across Te Anau, really beautiful with the sunshine.

Starting point of the Milford Track

We decided to eat something with a good wine in a great pick nick area in front of the lake.

Drinking wine @ Te Anau lake

And then we saw the sunset with a little girl that was swimming with her dog while her mother was caressing their home sheep!

Family @ lake

And thence we came forth to see again the stars…

07 November 2016 – 335,5 km

And when you wake up in the morning and you see the sun after the heavy rain, your day could be only a great one!!!

An easy walk of about 2,5 km to arrive directly at 750m from the Franz Josef Glacier… Amazing!!!

Walking to the Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

The road to the Fox Glacier Town is really beautiful and we drove directly to the lake Matheson to see the reflection of the Mount Cook. You can see the amount Cook while you are driving!!!

Mount Cook
And now we are deep in the rainforest and then the sea, at Bruce Bay. Tasman sea, the ocean with big breakers.

Bruce bay

Then again rainforest, until lake Paringa, a breathtaking lake where people fish the Whitebait. The season last only 2,5 month, until the 14 of November. So we are lucky and the whitebaits really delicious!!!

Whitebait capital

After Haast, we will start a winding road to theHaast Pass (a little more than 500m height) to arrive in the Lake District!

Wanaka lake

Marvelous! I tried to make some shot, but the panorama are so beautiful and unique!!!

Lake Hawea

We spent the night in Wanaka, just relaxing and having some beer and wine.

Reflection at Lake Wanaka

What a marvelous day!!!

Family, gulls and a breathtaking Panorama

Ready to go?

Just arrived at Frankfurt airport.

Technology is all over! Self check in, self baggage drop off… I would really wonder why do we need to be so early for the flight, as I spent only 15 minute total with passport and security check!!!

My flight is at 17:15, so still some time remaining to eat and relax….

And then, ready to go!!!

Under the rain…

06 November 2016 – 340,4km

Today was a rainy day, but this is the west coast and the South Island…

We start from Cape Foulwind to see the Seal Colony; just few of them, but agai, a must to see. The panorama is breathtaking, with a long sandy beach and the rocks that are popping up from the sea.

Cape Foulwind

Two gulls are in the mating season and the male is dancing in front of the female. So cute!

Mating gulls

We had a stop over in Charleston, I guess 2 people city, not more, for a egg and bacon and then we drove through the coastal highway, the sea on the right, rainforest on the left… the perfect daydream

Driving trough the coastal highway

We visit the Pancake rock with a miserable stormy weather… the tide was low, so no splash inside the multiple holes, but the rocks itself were incredible. It really seams a multiple layers of pancakes!!!

Pancakes rocks

Hokitika is the city of the jade and the whitebait… nothing more.

Along the road to Franz Joseph there was raining cats and dogs!!! We also stopped because we were not able to see.

“Beautiful” weather

We just decided to spend our time just relaxing in the hot pools having a dinner and planning for the day after…

Relaxing at Glacier hot Pools

And then, as if by magic, the Franz Josef Glacier appears!

Franz Josef Glacier

The end of the world…

05 November 2016 – 566,4km

Takaka is an hippie town and the organic market is every Saturday. You can find really great and delicious product, people are peaceful, happy and smart and worth for sure a visit!

Takaka Saturday market

The same I should say about Pupu spring, the cleanest spring in the world. A short track drove us through the bush full of fern until the spring. The water is so pure and crystal clear!

Pupu spring

When we arrived to Westport, after 270km, we were quite depressed about the weather and the ugliness of the city… so we decided to leave our luggage at the hotel, where you can feel as being in Biennale

At “Biennale” hotel

and to drive 100km more in the north to visit Karamea… the end of the world!

Driving to Karamea…

The road to Karamea is winding, with plenty of house to sell and a great spectacular path through the rainforest, 

Inside the rainforest

then appear an improbable city, where there should have been a petrol station… but closed!!! So tank before!

Petrol? Available in 100km

All the people wear plastic boots and should remove their shoes to enter into the supermarket…

Take off your shoes at Supermarket

Close to the beach of Oparara, a men with his child on a Quad, driving like crazy taking the dog out for a run through the beach…

Dog walking

We drove to the end of the road, with a foggy and variable weather, with the complete feeling to be close to the end of the world…

Driving to the end of the world

Just few people, some houses, and the magic of being at the end of the world…

The end of the world
Kohaihai Beach

Cook strait… welcome in South Island!

Arriving at Picton

03 November 2016 – 357,4km

Driving around Napier is really strange, it seems to be arrived in a Charlestown movie!!! The city was completely destroyed by an earthquake and rebuild in the 30es. Worth a visit!

Napier city center

The road between Napier and Wellington is simply gorgeous, full of vineyard and pasture… every corner should be immortalized, but then you need really to spend your whole life in New Zealand… sounds good, isn’t it?

On the highway to Wellington

I was thinking that Wellington was a terrible city, basically because of the weather… but we found a beautiful sun, with blue sky, lovely temperature and wind. I love Wellington, I guess that is my favorite city until now… the one that I would choose if I ever decide to move in New Zealand. Great shops, full of life, pub and I would have love to see the great explosion of night life… unfortunately I plan to move on, passing through the Cook strait… next time then!

City center harbor

I must say that if you have a car and you will travel with Interislander ferry, you should arrive 2 hours before the departure, in any case not later that 1 hour before! Unbelievable!!! A waste of time, but the cruise it’s magic, spectacular, fabulous! We did it around 17:00 and we arrived in Picton at 20:30 just few minutes after the sun set. Really amazing!!!

Interislander ferry at Wellington bay

The north coast of the South Island

04 November 2016 – 398,1km

I must say that this part worth at least 2 days.

Picton is a little town that seems to be painted on a rock.


From here you can drive the beautiful and winding Queen Charlotte Drive. A must to to and see, as this 30 km that drives you to Havelock, are full of scenic lookout on the Sounds.

Queen Charlotte Drive

I do suggest ask to drive a part of the road to French Pass. Very demanding, but with spectacular view. We just drove until Okiwi Bay.

Okiwi Bay

Then we continue until Nelson. I do not know why, it could be the weather or other, I did not like at all Nelson. It is a flat city with some industry and wineyard. If you need to stop, don’t choose Nelson!

Havelock, the world Capital of the green mussel!

And then we start driving thorough the “Hell” to arrive to the Golden Coast… magic!!! Takaka, where we slept, is an hippy town.

The “Hell”

We spent the full afternoon visiting the north part to Wharakaiki beach. Spectacular, breathtaking! And if you have more time, I do suggest a walk to discover the tongue of sand of Cape Farewell. We just saw it from Puponga. Amazing!

driving to Puponga
Wharariki beach
Farewell split
Wharariki beach
The red sunset along the way to Takaka

Then we are at the Mussel inn, to try the green mussels, homemade beer and the pavlova cake. Everything completely organic!

Pavlova cake
Green mussel

The whole “champagne” day

Champagne pool

02 November 2016 – 290km

Waiotapu is only 30 minutes drive from Rotorua, but a must to see!

opal pool

We arrived around 8:45, the park opened at 8:30. We waked the first loop, until the Champagne pool, the most known attraction of the reagion.

Devil’s pool

Amazing, all the park is spectacular, and you must stay over there at least 3 hours!!! Please keep always in mind that the Lady Knox geyser is on his top at 10:30 punctually every day, and you need to go there with the car around 10:00 to get the best seat. The show will last from 10:30 until 11:00 and it is a must to see!

The other 2 loops should also be done, in my opinion… in any case you could spend in Rotorua the complet stay of your New Zealand! So amazing!!!


We decided to have a quick look of the Huka fall and the lake Taupo.

Huka Falls
We did not spend so much time in lake Taupo because of rain, but as in any place in New Zealand, you could stay there at least 1 week doing every day something new!

Acacia Bay – Lake Taupo

We spend the end of our day in a winery, the Mission estate, one of the best of New Zealand. Please be advice that the cellar and the tasting is available until 17:00. Anyhow you could eat at the gourmet restaurant of just taste some cup of wine in the grass I front of with a good and tasty selection of cheese and home made bread!

Mission estate
Already tipsy
Cheese, homemade bread and wines

Oceania, I’m coming!!!

In few days I will be in Frankfurt airport ready to leave for my first trip to Oceania.

I will fly via Shanghai to Auckland where I will take another flight to Kerikeri to visit Bay of Island!

I will try to post every day, some information, picture and story.

Follow my dreams!!!