Tue 6th Jan we left Franz josef and headed down to Queenstown. Lovely breakfast stop by Lake Matheson with views of Mt Tasman. Just after we left there a crazy woman jumped out infront of the bus so we stopped. She had been called from a motel a little way back and they had told her to flag is down as the bus was leaking diesel over the road! How lucky are we that someone stopped us. So Mike jumped out and found yes a big puddle of diesel. Oh no are we going to have to sit here and wait on another bus......no. Mike used to be a mechanic so out come his boiler suit and before we know it hes under the bus fixing it and 20 mins late we are on the road again....sweet as. The Scenery on the way to Queenstown was truely stunning. We stopped at The Kawarau Bridge before Queenstown. This i the sight of the forst commercial bungy jump by AJ Hackett. After watching a vidoe about the oringins of bungy and then watching people throwing themselves off the bridge me and Claire decied to sign up...ahhhhh!
We arrived in Queenstown and awaited the arrival of Jen and Jess. All i have to say is i apologize to the guys in our dorm as we did scream alot when they arrived. That night we went for dinner and a teapot!(a bar sells cocktails in a teapot...why not)
Wed 7th Jan we went to Milford Sounds on a day trip which was included in our magic pass. Stopped off at Te Anau for breakfast then on to Milford. It took us about 5 hours to get there. Unfortunatly the weather was drizzly but it was still fantastic especially all the massive waterfalls. The tunnel you go through to reach Milford was hand dug and it look like it was dug yesterday, very rough looking and the bus just fits in it. The driver told us that in the summer there are traffic lights working at each end changing every 15 mins but in winter its a free for all. So he said if someone see his big bus coming towards them they have look of fear as the reverse quickly back through the tunnel. We took a 2hours cruise around the sound. Claire wasnt sick. We also some wild Kea parrots and we ahve been told these parrots are pest that will rip off your windscreen wipers. It was a very long day on the bus but well worth it.
Back in Queenstown we headed for a Ferg Burger with Jen and Jess. We had heard about this place since we arrived in NZ, it is meant to be the best burger in the country. To full appreciate it you must look at the photos. I had a Big Al 1/2 pound of meat with bacon cheese and salad.....mmmmm amazing and i finished it all off. Def the best burger ive tried.
Thursday 8th Jan BUNGY DAY........ Jen and Jess came along in the bus to see us jump. We were weight and then off up to the bridge. It was mega windy and the couple in front of us took more that 3 attempts to jump off so we decided just do and jump. Smile for the camera and try and not look down but on the dvd you can hear me say ohmygodohmygodmohmygod! and jump.......screamed but Claire kept screaming then it was all over. Pretty cool thing to do especially together. That night we went to the Minus 5 Bar which is a bar made of ice and had a few cocktails. Claire and i thought it was cold ven with our big jackets on. Of course of Canadian friends thought it was nothing and not cold at all.
The next few days we spent in Dunedin. Jen and Jess met us there. The main attraction in Duedin is the Cadbury chocolate factory and the Speights Brewery. We vistied the choclate facory first and it was the most expensive choclate fountain i have ever seem. Because it was a weekend they only offered short tours so we watched a video and then saw a rather large choclate fountain. Later on we went to Speights for the brewery tour. Keith was our guide an older man but what a laugh he was runnign up and down the stair and screaming and he seemed to like to tell me all things he knew about Scotland... very stange. Then the best part the free beer about 6 free samples then let loose on the taps. Lots of free beer later we went to a scottish pub and had some food the bar also had IRN BRU! Sweet as! Randomly we met a group of people who were sat next to us in Ferg Burger in Queenstown, small world. A few more beers that night and we stole a nice speight hat off some guy in the karaoke pub and then home to bed.
Monday 12th Jan we were off to Lake Tekapo, unfortunatly no buses go that way except Magic so Jess and Jen tried to get on our bus it was too expensive so they hired a car and would meet us there. We stopped off at the Moraki Boulders. Then onwards to LAke Tekapo. The lake was crystal clear blue and very pretty with the mountain behind it. We all went kayaking that afternoon on the lake. At night we sat and watched the moon come out and looked at all the stars.
Tuesday 13th Jan we piled into Jen and Jess hire car and headed to Mt Cook National Park. Walked up to the Tasman Lake to see the glacier,he water was very dirty. While driving to the visitor centre mt Cook decied to peep put from behind the clouds.
The next few days we spent in Christchurch, our hostel was on the main road so rather loud. Jen and Jess had their campervan now so we had a BBQ by the beach and then went for a paddle. We took a day trip to Hanmer Springs in the campervan. Only problem was that there were no seat for me and Claire in the back so we had to lie down on the bed, both of us fell asleep. Hanmer Springs is a hot spa resort so we went for a soak in the hot pool for a few hours even though the weather was very hot. On the way home we had to hide from the police...twice. Two car accident on the road meant there were police about everywhere so me and Claire hide under the blankets so we wouldnt be seen. That night we rented a karaoke booth and sang our hearts out for 2 hours so much fun.
We said goodbye to Jen and Jess two days later as thet needed to get their campervan to Auckland by the 20th.