Well, well well, what an exciting 3 weeks it has been since the last update, i litrally dont know where to start its been that cool!
So i left Sydney bound for cooler climates in Christchurch, and boy o boy, has it been a shock. The wether has been a little on the chilly side, especially climbing the glaciers. When i arrived back on the 2nd April, we stayed in Christchurch for about 4 days and manly just chilled out. We were pretty warn out from all the back to back tours. It was nice to meet up with Jess again and we ate nice Mexican and Greek food and hung out along the river avon, punting. Finally tour day began and we met our fellow friends for the next two weeks. We started by heading out of the flat plains around the Christchurch area and heading for the mountains stopping at Lake Tekapo for a few snaps. It was our first encounter of gorgeous blue water, so we were certainly impressed with what we saw. By night fall we had rocked up to our motel for the night at Lake Oahu, which was abit of a ski resort, without the snow, in about 2 months time it will be pretty packed out, so, we had it to ourselves and about 40 14year olds tearing around on a rowing school trip! The sunset was lovely and by morning we had packed up and moved on heading towards Milford Sound. We trekked through more mountains stopping at a few places of interest like the Mirror lakes (named for its reflections!). To get to Milford sound there were plenty of windy roads to encounter and luckily i had my trusty motion sickness bands on to keep an illness at bay. We arrived at Milford Sounds around 4 and set sail out to the open waters. There were many waterfalls to see and admire and wasnt long till we reached our destination. We moored up and hopped onto a speed boat to get a closer look. It was time for the red waterproof though as the chill had well and truely settled in. In the evening we chilled out and surprisingly had the best meal ever. The chef, who was a lady, might i add, cooked some amazing dishes so we went up for seconds! One of the lads on the boat took it a step further and ate 5 bowls of desert, although he was being egged on by some of the members of my tour. That night, we slept in little cabins and the swedish girl i was sharing with nipped out in the night to use the loos and saw a whale, which was pretty cool.
The next morning we set off back to Milford and made our way to Queenstown - the adventure capitol of NZ. Its so ace there. Theres evry kind of adventure sport possible. Off course the bungy jumps and sky dives are the most popular, but i wasnt in to them, so i did a...........Hang glide! An it was awesome - such much fun. You just fly round like a little bird, looking down on everything and its so peaceful. It was really weird being told to run as fast as you could off a hill, and then you are running and all of a sudden your feet aren't running anymore, they are just dangling underneath you! Luckily you have all these straps to keep you in place, but i had problems getting my feet in the strap for all of about 10 seconds and then it was just a lovely lovely experience just floating around for 10mins traveling 2.2miles. Air Argentina, then let me take control of the steering and i was in charge at that point. That was cool, especially when you had to rock forward over the bars a little and rock back and then you suddenly found yourself plunging downwards and then very quickly up again. It made my stomach churn alright! The landing was the best bit though. One minuate we were skyhigh and the next we had whized by all these trees and landed flat on the floor. Amazing! When we had gotten over all the excitement of that, we headed back to Queenstown for abit of Lugeing. Its abit like a tobogan. You just steer yourself down the mountain - 5 times over. It was ace as quite a few of us arranged to go together so for about 25quid, we got the cable car up and the 5rides. We even planned it so that we crossed the finshing line at the same time. Although, we had been warned that more people have accidents on the Luges than skydiving as people can get abit reckless. Its goes really fast with all the bumps and twists and turns. I even ran over a boys foot. Well, not right over, just nudged it abit. I did check he was ok, but, he didnt really answer! Opps! We had a wicked time in Queenstown and even managed to squeeze in 2 of the best burgers in the world. That is the FERGBURGER! Oh my gosh, they were huge and delicious. I had two, not one after another, no that would take some doing seeing as one was about the size of my hand - tip-to-tip! But the next day, we went back for more. The Southern Swine and the Lamby burger was my choice and both were as good as the other. We also, hit the town, in a very big way, by going to the Minus 5 Ice bar. It was so cool in there. All these cool ice sculptures and glasses made from ice with Vodka cocktails. I had a Kiwi off course and a copule of others, which funnily enough, i cant remember - wonder why? But it was awesome and such a great place to go!
So after all of Queenstowns adventures, we left the beautiful town and headed to an even more chillier destination of the Fox Glacier. We got there in the evening and went out to see the Glow worms in the forest. All we had were the crystal clear stars above us leading the way. It was pretty scary and to be honest i was ready to go home before we had even turned off the torches. But, i took a deep breath and held on tightly to the person in front of me's hoodie, and stepped into the forest. It was so so black. All we could see were the glowing lights of the worms around us. It was amazing though, but i was absolutley petrified- especially when people kept mentioning Blairs Witch and other equally scary horror stories. I was grateful to be wedged in between the person in front of me and behind, so not to get lost and was glad to come out alive at the end of it. What an experience! Although, i could have said that about the accomodation we were staying in. One of the Swedish girls i was sharing with, had the delightful exeperience of her bed breaking while she was in it and all the planks of wood falling out of their slats! They were then upgraded and me and Marie were left to make sure that it didnt happen to us in the night. I can safely say, we both slept on the bottom bunk and no tradegys occured! So, next day was the Fox Glacier HeliHike! Whooopy! This was so cool. Freezy, but cool! We went up by helicopter from about a 2miles away from the bottom of the glaicer and were given thick socks, gloves, leather boots and the essential clamps! We flew around the glacier for a few mins and then touched down onto the ice. It looked stunning with all the blues and whites. There were crevices everywhere, which were scary as you had to be careful not to fall down them. But first of all we had to get used to walking around in the clamps and the essential walking stick. It was like walking on glass and yu had to dig your feet in to make sure you didnt slip. We walked around for a bit then went through some crevices. They were so amazing as they were so blue and icey! But pretty wet. The sun soon came up over the mountain and started to melt away the top layer of ice making it all slushy and wet to walk over. But that was good. It just meant that we got even more wet going into the holes. We had a go with the ice pick and took a few 'explorer' pics then after 2 and a half hours of being up on the ice, one of the girls in our group, deceided that she was brave enough to jump into the water! So she did, three times in fact! She was a crazy american might i add, but jeeez, she had some balls! It was freezing out there. Well, we got quickly back to the warmth courtesey of our heli pick up and warmed up! It was so good out there, such a highlight of my NZ trip and highly recommended!
That afternoon, we headed onwards to Flock Hill Sheep Station where they filmed Narnia. We did stop at the odd town or coastal view, but arrived into the cosy cabins of the sheep station. The open fires and the MTV was greatly appreciated. We soon sank some wine and had a party back at cabin number 4, ours as it so happend, but it was all good fun. We had been gearing up for an entertaining night, especially as we had been told that it was called Thirsty Thursdays. A themed night named by the locals as a way of the local framer, who litrally live in the middle of know where to get to know a few of the tours which come in and out of the place. But only a few farmers showed up. So that was a disappointment! In the morning we were ready to watch the anticipated Sheep Show. I thought it was going to be re-enactment of Babe, but no such luck! Instead it was a really good and informative show of the herding of the sheep with the sheep dogs. They were brillant running around, left and right getting these sheep from know where and putting them in their pens. I was so impressed. I was even more impressed to find out that the wool is then sent over to Italy to make Merino wool suiting. Very cool. He also informed us of how they sheer the sheep and what effects climate change has had on the wool. The less rain there is especially in Australian wool, the less plants there are for the sheeps to eat and so the stress makes their wool weak and less popular to buy! Anyway, i enjoyed it! We then went onwards to Christchurch once more for a few hours in the city. We managed to get to the Arts Centre and the Gallary which was cool as it was free. Then watched epic movie with a cuppa before bed time.
Next day we were heading east up the coast to Nelson. We stopped at a winery for some morning drinking - we tried 7 varietys and was a little tidderly on the bus. I bought a lovley Gustwastraminer, which no one else liked, which suited me just fine when i came to drink it! We stopped at Kaikoura and then arrived in Nelson for sunset. The next day was another fun action packed day. It gave us a chance to be in and around the scenery by Quadbiking this time. We whizzed up the mountain, i was behind the frontman leading the way and it was totally wicked. Pretty hair raising at times going round some pretty steep curves and especially as i had been warned of how many people hurt themsleves with these things, But it was all good. We stooped for tea and biscuits and admired our dirty dusty faces and carried on up the mountain. We discovered that our leader, had previously owned a milk farm for 13 years and decided to sell it all off and do quad biking instead. He had made 3 million and he was cruising around on Quad Bikes all day. We were very envious, but, we were having a pretty good time! Before we finshed, we had the chance to do 3 laps and we belted it round. I had sheep crossing in front of me across the dirt track, which added to the excitement. Then back through the rivers getting more went until we had all well and truely prefected the monobrow look. It looked particualary fab with my eighties style jacket they had given me! That night, i polished up for some dinner at the Smugglers Inn in Nelson and ate some yummy local green lipped Mussels. They were divine. I was starting to realise that New Zealand has it all, adventure, scenery and great food!
After that, we said our goodbyes to the south island and sailed across the sea to the north landing in Wellington. I took a seasick tablet which meant i passed out for 1 and a half hrs of the 3hr journey, so it went by pretty quickly! We had an afternoon free there, so we mainly wandered around the wharf and i met an old school friend, Carly, for a few drinks were we swapped traveling stories. Then next day, we headed on the long 9hr journey to Rotorua. It was pretty dismal as it rained the whole entire time. We had been pretty spoiled with the weather in the south island, so rain wasnt welcomed! We finally got there to the Marae, and old Mauri home, almost like a temple and there had been a power cut. So we had to carry on with the ceremony in the dark. It was pretty spooky! We had learned an old Mauri song, basically run, rabbit run. But had to sing it to the elders to be welcomed into the tribe. The ceremony then came to a close half and hour later and we then had to kiss all the elders by touching noses. It was quite a serene thing to do when it was in the dark, but very exciting. They told us about the Mauri history and pointed to the various symbols in the carving sof the building. It was nice to see some culture and hear about it from a local. We were given dinner and played cards the rest of the evening before, all 30 of us went to bed in teh Marae. We didnt sleep to well really. Maire was too worried about the fact that where we were sleeping is where the corpses are laid to rest during the tonguye service in the mourning stages of an elder. So she was worried of them! The next day, we upt and left by nine and made our way to stinky Rotarua. Boy did it stink. Its a town that suffers from a lot of geo thermal activity, so the sulphur is pretty horific. You cant really escape it anywhere in the town and its bad, real bad! We headed straight to the cultral village and were given more information on how the Mauri people live, before watching a show and seeing all the hot springs. Next it was time for some fun. We went Zorbing, which basically means going down a hill in a ball. But it was more like being in a washing machine being flung around all over the place. It was so fun and wet and you end up in a big tangle at the bottom. It was great fun, then we had some chill out time in the mud baths at Hells Gate! Slapping on abit of mud and letting it dry out then plunging into 40 degree heat pool. It was very relaxing in deed! After all that, we went out for a group dinner and drank my vino, went bowling and clubbing. Pretty busy for one days work!
Next day, feeling a little worse for wear, we headed north towards Auckland and then onto the Bay of Islands. It was so pretty up there. We went for seafood dinner and then sialed back over the bay. The next day was sailing around the island on the boat with the dolphins and catching some rays.
Ive spent the past few days wandering round Auckland. Its big and well, its chilly and the bridge climb was fun and going across the bay to Devonport.Finally our trip had come to an end. I loved every minuate of it and was sad when it all finshed. New Zealand is awesome, so diverse and so much to see and do. It rocks!
Hope this is enough for now. Miss you, love you, Adele x