Southern New Zealand

check out : instagram.com/architravelust/

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A road above the clouds, Highway to West coast . photo by: helen agustine

Southern New Zealand is the best place i have traveled so far, if you like adventure, heavenly nature, and adrenalin sports, you will love this island. I called it as a giant playground. We traveled from the north, driving down to the West Coast (South Island).

The first stop is Kaikoura, which is popular with the beach and the seals colony. Kaikoura means “meal of crayfish”, so if you go here you definitely have to taste the delicious crayfish!

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Hundred years corals, Kaikoura . photo by: helen agustine

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Hungry pack of seagulls, craving for food… lol – Kaikoura . photo by: helen agustine

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Fresh Crayfish . photo by: helen agustine

Kayaking with the seal colony in Kaikoura was really interesting. It was not just a kayak, but you will be kayaking with a seal colony. We were so lucky that we got to see some wild seals feeding one big black octopus while we were kayaking!! Not so many tourist could see this event. Sometimes if you are lucky, you can also have a sight of a killer whale.

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Seal colony . photo by: helen agustine

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Kayaking in Kaikoura . photo by: helen agustine

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Kayaking with the seal colony, Kaikoura . photo by: helen agustine

The second stop was Queenstown, here you can try the best adrenalin sports and a heaven for height lovers. Get ready for the biggest free fall : Nevis Bungee jump from a bridge (the highest bungee in the world with nature view ), Skydiving, Zip riding, you name it….

I tried Nevis Swing, and it was the world’s biggest swing (300m arc drop) above the valley, which successfully blowing my mind. The Zip riding was also so much fun, with 6x sliding down from the mountain top to the ground. At the top of the mountain you can enjoy Skyline Restaurant with delightful view of Queenstown.

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Skyline Restaurant, 400m above Queenstown . photo by: helen agustine

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get ready for a free fall, Nevis Swing . photo by Nevis Bungee

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conquer the world’s biggest Swing, Nevis Swing . photo by: Kent Alman

The third stop was Christchurch, a re-built city post-earthquake. In a special kind of irony, Lonely Planet named Christchurch number 6 out of 10 top cities to visit in 2013 after the earthquake, and number 2 in New York Times.

I went here when the city was re-building itself, a new complex of retails are built from painted and stacked containers, turn it to be a world’s design inspiration. There are so many art installations such as 185 empty white chairs on a park, as a memorial to the people that were taken by the earthquake. A transitional cathedral (called as Cardboard Cathedral) was established in 2012 after the earthquake, and called as “emergency architecture” of Shigeru Ban.

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185 empty white chairs as art installation . photo by: helen agustine

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container cafe . photo by: helen agustine

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a container mall . photo by: helen agustine

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Cardboard Cathedral – by Shigeru Ban . photo by: helen agustine

for more photos : instagram.com/architravelust/

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