Well we arrived in New Zealand safe and sound and very heppy to have finally arrived in Christchurch! We arrived really late at night and luckily the airport shuttle took us straight to our door, after a small situation with the room that we booked (i.e the guy gave us the wrong room with no sheets or key and a smelly guy, so of course we woke him from slumber land to sort it!) we finally got into a nice big double bed for a long long sleep!
We spent the weekend just relaxing mostly and arranging how we were going to see the south island. As a few of you know we hired a campervan for a week for dirt cheap price, so when we went to pick it up we couldn't grumble too much about the graffiti that was all over it. In the design of black sabbath we drove around with "beauty is in the eye of the beer holder" written on the back, people stared of course, we waved to other campers who had hired from the same company (there seemed to be a mutual embarassment between all those that hire) and it was truly the most fun we have had since starting our travels. We started our journey by heading to Mount Cook (part of the southern alps) and its the tallest mountain in Australasia (or so Adam says). We got to Mount Cook early evening and it was frezzing! So being true campers we wipped out the gas stove and a pack of sausages and made our dinner! We found somewhere to park up for the night, we shivered throughout the whole night even though we slept fully clothed with a sleeping bag each and 2 blankets! Waking early we set off on a misson to do a few tramps (thats what the kiwi's call trekking, we arent tramps honest!) We started with theshort Kea Walk which lead you to the Kea Point Lookout where we got to see mount cook in full bloom! Most of the mountains were covered in snow and when we heard a low rumbling noise we looked up to see an avalanche on Mount Cook itself! It was such a spectacular sight and being quite far away we were in no danger we just got to watch and hear one the most amazing sights so far! We set off on another tramp but unfortunatley due to a previous avalanche we couldnt get to the top, so climbing back down we did another short trip into Hunter Valley and then left it at that for the day. After lunch (sausages again) we headed for the wonders of Queenstown.
Queenstown was great but very expensive, looking into staying at campsites we found it was the same price we paid per day for the camper but each! So us being cheap and skanky we parked up outside the nice campsite, drunk beer and nipped in to use their toilets a few times in the night! Between people banging on the camper whilst walking past (obviously its a hilarious thing to do) we did manage to get some sleep, but had an early wake up call by the traffic warden, he warned us its illegal to park there so we made a quick getaway feeling pleased that he never saw our faces (due to the curtains) but then realised our van was rather distinctive! oopps! That day i managed to pursuade adam to do the neccessary things of cleaning our clothes and sending postcards, after that we took a drive to a place called Glenorchy (on Carmens (my Aunty) suggestion). It was a really quiet little viallage and upon arriving Adam wanted the local beer and i wanted tea in the cute cafe, so of course we deicided not to argue about it and did both! (we were good and did take a walk in between though). So that day being over we found a different street to park on, but this time we out smarted the traffic warden and got up earlier than him! Our task for this day was doing the Ben Loman walk a massive hill they have in the centre of Queenstown that has go karts and a cable car running up to the top (according to Lonely Planet it was half hour on the loop track, Great!) An hour later, hot and bothered and REALLY cursing Lonely Planet we made it to the top, proud of our achievement we took the cable car back down as it was quite cheap and it was curtesy of Tracey (thanks again!). So we left Queenstown For Wanaka but not before we sneaked back into the same campsite and used their showers and hairdryers! All for free! haha!
Wanaka was a much less touristy place than Queentown and we found a great and cheap campsite to stay on! Luckily we timed it well so we were there for part of the Wanakafest (their town festival). Which on our last day had a lacal market and activities for children and was great fun to see the locals in their element. We however were in our element the day before when we went to puzzling world. It had a massive maze that was 2 storeys high and you had to find each corner and then back to the start. We first attempted the difficult challenge but loosing alot of patience very quickly we opted for the easier challenge and had so much fun trying to complete it. Me and Adam were always laughing and being quite lighthearted about being lost in an adult maze, but most other people were very serious, very few smiled and im sure i never heard anyone else laugh! oopps! We moved onto the illusion room next where there were holographics and odd pictures that looked like one thing and then if you look longer and closer you saw other things in it (see if you can get any from our photos). Also the hall of following faces was great, we never felt stupid following the instructions which ment holding one hand over your eye and walking sideways! After that we headed for the wonky room and it was hilarious tryna stand up straight, and complete the tasks inthere without falling on your bum! Then it was the big and small room so take a look at the video and that will explain all! It was a great day full of fun and frustration both for kids and adults! Trying to leave Wanaka on our last day we jump started the car as we thought the battery was flat and headed on the 4 hour journey to Omaru.
So hitting the east coast just for one night in order to see the rare yellow eyed penquins come up the beach for the night, they were really small (see if you can see them in the photos) but quite cute as they climbed all the way up the hill and into the bush quite near us! Leaving there for the supermarket we found our car wouln't start again (now we were cursing it) we jump started it for a 3rd time and made the 2min journey to our campsite where it again cinked out! Getting really fed up we called out the AA (and yes that is what they are over here too) and it turned out to be loose terminals on the battery so all was finally well!
Rising up as late as possible we headed back to christchurch, the campsite we found there was less than desirable with (sorry if i offend anyone) gippos everywhere, and really dirty freaky looking kids who should have been in the exorsist or summat! We settled down for the night regardless and it wasn't long before the neighbouring caravan kicked off in true trampy fashion. I would never repeat the language used and then after a brief storm out the guy cam back to his girlfriend for another shouting match and then a physical fight! We left pretty soon after that started and checked into a dorm room in Jail!
When i say Jail i mean an old historic jail that was run from 1874-1999 and is now backpackers accomodation. We got to see a real jail cell all set up and the double room we stayed in hadn't been altered in size since it was a cell. There were real drawings from one the last inmates (willie two worlds) lol! and we even got to have our picture taken with our prisoner number! During our time back in Christchurch we went to see the sights of the city by walking the tram route that had been set up! hen we headed on a great tin can of a bus to Nelson to stay with Carmen's friends Dom and Louise!
Hiring a car (which may as well have been a boy racer mobil!) we headed to just outside Nelson to Dom and Louise who were very kind and let us stay at theirs while we headed towards Abel Tasmin for some more tramping! After a couple of really great home cooked meals we certainly had energy to do anything! We took a boat to the first stop at Abel Tasmin after taking a detour to split apple rock, we got off at Anchors Hut and walked the 12km back to the start. We saw no one for the first 2hrs of walking and had the most amazing lunch on the beach! The walk was fantastic and we saw some really beautiful and breathtaking scenery, and if that wasn't enough for a day on the way back we went to Rabbit Island and walked along the beach in the afternoon sun. After having fun skimming stones and relaxing we headed back to the house and Louise russled up another great meal for dinner! Their daughter Helena kept us well entertained throughout our time there!
Well this is finally coming to an end, sorry to keep you all reading for so long! We are now in Auckland, staying with my Aunty Carmen and her great family and are beginning to make plans for our stay up here, which includes lots of well needed rest!
Lots of love to all, we miss everyone lots as usual!
Sam and Adam