My Rejuvenating Road Trip Through New Zealand’s South Island

My Rejuvenating Road Trip Through New Zealand's South Island with Hasselblad Xpan II

Diary

My Rejuvenating Road Trip Through New Zealand’s South Island

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hooker-valley-track-hasselblad-xpan-II-panorama-panoramic-30mm-f5.6-5.6-fujifilm-velvia-100-RVP-film-photography-analog-135-ice
Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 100, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand

Healing, exploration, and adventure in one unforgettable journey

After recovering from a bout of diarrhea during our North Island adventure, my wife and I were thrilled to embark on our road trip through the breathtaking South Island of New Zealand. From Christchurch to Queenstown, we discovered a myriad of stunning landscapes, quaint towns, and unforgettable experiences.

Christchurch: A Serene Beginning

Our journey began in Christchurch, a charming city that offered us the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. We spent quality time together, strolling through the picturesque Botanic Gardens, capturing beautiful photos, and enjoying peaceful reading sessions on the lush green lawns.

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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo: A Taste of Paradise

Our next destination was Lake Tekapo, where we stayed for four nights. The lake’s dazzling turquoise waters left us in awe, while our cozy Airbnb provided the perfect environment for some home-cooked meals. During our stay, we hiked the stunning Hooker Valley and admired the breathtaking views of Lake Pukaki. The hike was a fantastic experience and one we highly recommend.

A visit to a nearby alpaca farm in Fairlie added a touch of whimsy to our trip, while savoring high-quality, affordable white wine from the local supermarket was a delightful indulgence.

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-lens-camera-pano-panorama-panoramic-30mm-f5.6-5.6-fujifilm-velvia-50-RVP-film-photography-analog-135-lake-tekapo-outdoor
Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Hooker Valley: A Breathtaking Hike

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hooker-valley-track-hasselblad-xpan-II-pano-panorama-panoramic-30mm-f5.6-5.6-fujifilm-velvia-50-RVP-film-photography-analog-135-lake-pukaki
Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 50, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hooker-valley-track-hasselblad-xpan-II-lens-camera-pano-panorama-panoramic-30mm-f5.6-5.6-Kodak-Ektachrome-100d-5294-film-photography-analog-135-bridge
Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH, Fujifilm Velvia 100, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f5, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand

Wanaka and Arrowtown: More Natural Wonders

Continuing our journey, we stopped in Wanaka to see the famous Wanaka Tree and enjoyed a restful night. The next day, we explored Arrowtown and the historic Cardrona Hotel before making our way to Manapouri.

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-lens-camera-pano-panorama-panoramic-45mm-f4-Kodak-Vision-3-5207-250D-daylight-ecn2-film-photography-135-cardrona-hotel
Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Cardrona, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Cardrona, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Wanaka, New Zealand

Manapouri: A Charming, Secluded Gem

Manapouri, the second closest town to Milford Sound, welcomed us with its quaint charm. We relished the opportunity to enjoy some beers and snacks at the town’s only local bar. However, our nemesis during this part of the trip was the relentless swarm of sandflies, which deterred us from lingering too long near the beautiful lakes.

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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Manapouri, New Zealand

Milford Sound: A Rainy, Magical Experience

Despite heavy rain, we set off early the next morning to Milford Sound. The downpour only added to the mystical atmosphere as we took a scenic cruise through the fiord, admiring hundreds of cascading waterfalls.

Queenstown: A Perfect Ending

Our final stop was Queenstown, where we stayed for five nights at a lovely Airbnb just outside the city. Our host was incredibly friendly, and we discovered that he had even visited Hong Kong before. During our stay, we ventured to Glenorchy to marvel at the exquisite landscapes and lakes.

Before leaving Queenstown, we couldn’t resist trying the famous Fergburger, which certainly lived up to the hype!

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-lens-camera-pano-panorama-panoramic-30mm-f5.6-5.6-Kodak-Ektachrome-100d-5294-film-photography-analog-135-jetty-glenorchy
Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Glenorchy, New Zealand
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Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294, Glenorchy, New Zealand

Our South Island road trip was a fantastic opportunity to recharge and experience the unparalleled beauty of New Zealand. Let me know if you’ve also visited the South Island or have any suggestions for our next trip!

All images were shot with the Hasselblad Xpan II, 30mm f5.6 ASPH (with centre grey filter) and 45mm f4 lens. I have used multiple film stock including the Fujifilm Velvia 50, Velvia 100, Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5294 and Kodak Vision 3 250D 5207.

Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-lens-45mm-f4-Kodak-Vision-3-5207-250D-daylight-ecn2-film-photography-analog-135-hut-lake-tekapo-NZ
Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-45mm-f4-Kodak-Vision-3-5207-250D-daylight-ecn2-film-photography-analog-135-trees-shadow-negative-space-lake-tekapo
Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Rejuvenating-road-trip-blog-diary-new-zealand-south-island-2022-hasselblad-xpan-II-pano-panorama-panoramic-45mm-f4-Kodak-Vision-3-5207-250D-daylight-ecn2-film-photography-analog-135-portrait-lake-tekapo
Hasselblad Xpan II, 45mm f4, Kodak Vision 3 5207 250D, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Have you been to New Zealand’s South Island? Share your favourite memories and travel tips in the comments below!

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