If you’ve come to New Zealand, looking for rocks, then look no…
While prepping for my solo trip to New Zealand, I tossed in my personal climbing gear into my backpack. I knew there was awesome climbing to be had outside of the three major cities I’d be visiting. I wasn’t sure how I’d find climbing partners, but I didn’t want to risk not having my stuff with me like I did for summer OR.
Endless googling proved to be fairly fruitless, so I ended up mostly winging it in the Southern Hemisphere. Fear not, I put together a little guide so you aren’t stuck without climbing partners in New Zealand like me!
My trip to New Zealand was my first ever international solo trip. Well, my first real big solo trip, ever. The idea of figuring out transport from destination to destination was really daunting. Really, really daunting. Normally I’d be okay with renting a car but factor in hours and hours of driving and the whole driving on the other side of the road thing and that idea died pretty quickly. I hate driving, except for the fact that I can sing along to my favorite country songs.
I considered hopping on the Kiwi Experience for a good period of time as it touched a little bit of everything I wanted to do. As I kept researching, my itinerary ended up diverging from the trip’s itinerary, and frankly, I like the outdoors more than I like being outgoing. After booking my huts for the Routeburn track, I said hell with it, I’ll figure out how to travel around the South Island without a car. To my surprise, it was surprisingly easy.
When I booked my New Zealand airfare, I kind of balked at the price. To compensate for being a lazy bum and paying extra for a nonstop flight, I decided to do everything else on the cheap and opted to stay in hostels. I’d heard great things about hostels and making all the friends. Somehow I managed to be really bad at doing the hostel thing and only really used the rooms to sleep and store my stuff, because activities. But here’s a roundup of the places I stayed at so you can pick your accommodations accordingly.
Day one of my solo trip in New Zealand began with touching down at 8am on Christchurch. I’d found a climbing partner on Mountain Project before I left but the weather wasn’t quite cooperating. My new friend picked me up from the airport and we headed to Godley Head to a hike a little loop he’d found in a guidebook somewhere. We hoped that it would clear up enough for us to head to a crag and get some routes in.