New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most stunning places we have ever visited in our travels. There’s so much unmistakable beauty and sheer grandeur of the landscape. At moments you can feel your humanness feeling so fragile and utterly insignificant when standing before a thousand meter tall cliff of hard rock that has been there for 350 million years.
Driving through the ever changing landscapes of this place you can start to imagine how awestruck the early Europeans were when they first arrived to New Zealand and before them the indigenous Maori population. The latter’s influence on the names of places, mountains, and rivers can be found throughout the North and South Islands. The stories behind the names are pretty fascinating as well.
The Fox Glacier’s English name stems from some English Aristocrat whereas the Maori name, Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere, talks of the lost tears of a loved one heartbroken over the death of her lover. To the Maori there’s sacred places throughout the islands. As one explores the landscapes you start to realize the importance of nature to their culture and spiritual being.