After a rough breakup a few years ago, I looked at…
The rain doesn’t stop on the West Coast of New Zealand. It pours and pours and pours. My trip onto the glacier was canceled due to inclement weather. Shoes were still still soaking wet. The giant bed in the hostel welcomed me with loving arms. My desire to lay around was very, very high. I thought about walking all the way out to Lake Matheson, but with the previous day’s soaking excursion still in mind, I wussed out and paid an old man a few dollars to drive me there and back.
The skies on the west coast of New Zealand were gloomy. It’d been raining on and off throughout the day. I finally made it to Fox Glacier after being cooped up on a bus all day. Never minding the threat of rain, I dropped off my gear at the Ivory Tower Lodge and laced up my boots. With plenty of daylight left to kill and a chance of my glacier trek getting canceled, I decided to go see Fox Glacier as up close and personal as I could get.
The waterfall roared beneath me. It didn’t seem that big. I’d rappelled off walls about a million and a half times before. Why should this time be any different? I gripped the rope in both hands, nodded at my guide, and headed down into the rushing water.
The frigid cold water blasted into my face. My feet slipped off the rock in my crappy, thrift store, “rental” boots. I couldn’t see. I swallowed a ton of water. It was my first time canyoneering and I thought I was going to drown.
I’d never been canyoneering in my life but it seemed like an exciting to do with no plans and three days in Wanaka. I discovered that there was a guide company based out of Wanaka and I was sold.
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!
Milford Sound is one of the must-see places in New Zealand, according to anyone who has ever heard of New Zealand. After coming off the Routeburn Track, I hopped on a bus to Milford Sound. The standard sound exploration is via boat cruise. I wanted something different; I wanted to work for my experience, so I booked a trip with Rosco’s Milford Kayaks for the Stirling Sunriser trip. I was going to kayak under a waterfall!