Postcard: Lupine Blooms in New Zealand

29 Mar Postcard: Lupine Blooms in New Zealand

Photo by Sabine Bergmann.

I have never frolicked through a field of flowers as I did on Te Waipounamu, New Zealand’s South Island.

We were rolling smoothly along an empty highway in the Mackenzie Basin — the central terrain between charming Christchurch and adventure-capital Queenstown — when the countryside around us abruptly flushed with multicolored carpets of lupine. Our tires crunched to a stop on the side of the highway and our feet padded briskly down a grass gully to one of the meadows bursting in bloom. My friends vanished between bunches of pink and purple, while I waited, my chest tightening with joy.

Then I was off at a jog, my feet spilling over one another as I wove between the colors. My trot was punctuated by moments of decision as I darted around bouquets: this way, that way, this way, that way. It was an awkward dance, accompanied by the panting of my breath and the swish of my pants, until the lupine thinned, and I could pick up my pace. When my path widened, I reached out both arms, my fingertips grazing the soft columns of flowers on either side, until I broke through the blooms and onto bare grass, where I flopped onto my back to catch my breath beneath the clouds, fingers tingling.


The best time for lupine-viewing is late in the year, in the weeks before Christmas. But you can frolic in New Zealand year-round on these Adventure Collection journeys:

Bike, walk or adventure with Backroads

Explore with GeoEx

Design a custom journey with Off the Beaten Path

Join a small group nature adventure with Natural Habitat Adventures

Enroll in NOLS’ spring semester to study culture, sailing, kayaking and backpacking


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Sabine Bergmann
Sabine Bergmann is the Adventure Collection’s Managing Editor. As a professional writer, traveler and conservation activist, she writes for a dozen publications, including Wired, Sierra, Ethical Traveler and The Best Travel Writing series from Travelers' Tales. She’s done some pretty crazy stuff, like mountain biking from the Andes to the Amazon, spear fishing in shipwrecks and serving in the US Peace Corps. She's based in a little yellow house in Berkeley. Read more about Sabine at
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