Well it has been a long time! I'm in the Cook Islands now, but this is a quick entry to update my travells around NZ (internet is v expensive here). I'll put an entry on for the Cook Ilsands in a couple of days (it will make you all v v jealous)! I loved NZ but I have to admit that I was ready leave after my month there. It was a beautiful country (especially the south), with fantastic people, but I got bored of the cold grey weather and I was very excited about going to warm up on the Cooks.
Franz Josef heli hike - I've uploaded photos of this already. It was a great experience and we were very lucky to have good weather. The ice formations on the glacier were such amazing shapes and they were so blue. As you can see from the pictures, we had to wear some funky climbing gear for the hike but in fact it wasn't that strenuous.
Lake Matheson - We walked to the lake to photograph the reflection of Mount Cook in it. This was one of the many veiw points that we visited, but it was extra special cos the weather was perfect, so the photos were just like postcards. Apparently it is really rare for there to be no cloud around Mount Cook, so we were very lucky.
Puzzle World at Wanaka - we had loads of fun here because there were loads of funny illusion rooms and stuff to do. I'm going to load up some photos of me holding the 'Leaning tower of Wanaka'.
Cadbury World tour in Dundedin - This was brilliant and we got loads of free chocolate. It was interesting to see how chocolate was actually made and they showed us a tonne of liquid chocolate being poured down a vat. The smell of it was amazing! I was a bit disillussioned about how the make easter eggs though. I thought that there would be some magical process, but actually they just use these crap plastic moulds!
Far South of NZ - I added a curcuit of the far south on to my Kiwi Experience pass and I was very pleased that I did. We went to the Catlans and saw loads of brilliant wildlife. My favourite were the sea lions - they just flopped around on the beach and they let you get really close to them. The were very funny, just flopping around and chilling. I have videos of them that I will try and upload. The beaches in the far south are truely amazing because they are beautiful and absolutely desolate. We spent quite a bit of time collecting shells and my family will know that this is a secret passion of mine (sad but true)! We collected some brilliant coloured Paua shells.
Curio Bay on the south coast - I jumped off the bus here for a few nights because it was so nice. It is a tiny place with nothing around it but that was exactly what I needed. After 3 weeks of being surrounded by people on the Kiwiw Experience bus 24/7, I was looking forward to a bit of isolation. The hostel was amazing - it was so new and nice and right on the most fantastic beach. It only held about 10 people, and was cut off from the rest of the world, I would definitely reccomend it. I went for a long walk up the massive beach and I was literally the only one on it. They have the petrified forest and rare yellow eyed penguins at Curio Bay, so i spent some time enjoying that as well.
Milford Sounds - We had pretty good weather (but cold ish) travelling down the South Island, however, it turned pretty rubbish when we travelled back up and we saw a lot of rain. We stayed over in this tiny place called Te Anau, before our day trip to Milford Sounds, but the wearther was so bad that the trip got delayed and we got stuck there! Apparently the road to Milford was closed becasue of a huge avalanche risks (I flater found out that it's one of the most dangerous roads in the world!). Anyway, on the day that we eventually got to Milford Sounds they had the worst weather so far this year! Milford is meant to be spectacular and I'm sure that it ususally is - but not on the day we went because we couldn't see a thing throught the rain! I wasn't too bothered because the trip was free for us and we had been pretty lucky with the weather until then. In fact, it made Milford quite adventerous.
The following day, I was due to fly out of Christchurch to Auckland, so I stayed over in Queenstown again for one night and left the following morning. However, when I got on the Kiwi Experience bus, the driver said that we may not get through because it was snowing badly! And snow it did - it was really hairy going through the mountain ranges but we got through and I was dropped straight to the airport to jump on my flight.
Bay of Islands - When I got to Auckland, I did the final bit of my Kiwi ticket, which was to the Bay of islands. It was a 3 day trip and it is a beautiful part of New Zealand. We traveled up 90 mile beach in a special bus and it was really weird because the beach is actually classed as a highway! We visited Cape Reinga and stayed over in Pahia. I enjoyed the trip, but I was really looking forward to warming up on the Cook Islands by this point.
Anyway, I stop blabbering on now because I have to get back to the beach and this is costing me a lot! I'm going to upload a lot of photos later.
I hope that you are all ok and missing me a lot!
Missing you all
PS - there's no spell check on this PC, so you'll have to excuse my poor typing!