Destination of Choice: New Zealand, South Island, Self-drive
I guess the worries my friends had for my trip are not groundless but indeed a bit superfluous. I have made friends from people from Holland, Germany and Israel during the trip. And 1/3 of my trip was accompanied by hitchhikers and these newly made friends.
I was lucky because I was travelling in clockwise direction around the South Island. If the journey had been planned differently, I would not be able to carry it on. The reason is because during the first week of my arrival, the only bridge connecting Franz Joseph glacier and Greymouth collapsed due to a storm. It took them about one week to build a temporary one, so by the time I reached there, the road had been opened.
Comfortable hotel accommodation had been proven indispensable and worthwhile due to the fatigue accumulated from everyday driving.
I have more or less covered most of the suggested activities and detours recommended in your travel guide. They are absolutely worthy of the extra time and energy.
In general, I am extremely pleased with this well planned journey organized.
Thank you very much for the superb planning.
Jannis JZ Chen