New Zealand is a place where the imposing natural landscapes rule and sheep outnumber the locals six to one, so it’s no wonder so many independent travellers are so drawn to this pristinely kept country. Arguably the jewel in this country’s crown is the South Island, New Zealand’s wilderness backcountry and a place which has provided the backdrop to many big-budget movies. I spent a dreamy few weeks touring the sublime forests, towering snow-capped alps, unsullied beaches, unearthly blue glacier-fed lakes and unique fiords which have made New Zealand one of the most beautiful, unspoilt travel destinations on earth. Here is my South Island photos in BIG pictures…
Mirror Lake, Fiordland National Park
Franz Josef, Glacier Country
The West Coast
How to get around
There’s a number of hop-on, hop-off bus operators running in New Zealand both on the North and the South Island. I travelled with Naked Bus which offers low-cost long-distance transport services on a flexible bus pass (but separate one-off journeys are also available). They keep the costs low by offering a low frills service, so don’t expect too many luxuries, but I loved that the drivers always stopped at beauty stops en route to your destination so you can take photos. They also always ran on time, I found the online booking process very easy to navigate and I also got to travel with a friendly bunch of travellers – always a welcome thing when you’re travelling solo! For more information on this type of affordable travel visit Nakedbus.com
All photos taken by Becky Padmore with a Leica V-lux camera.