We have been up to so much since the last time we checked in with you. We picked up our little camper thing and headed south. We have stoped off in some lovely little towns and villages in the south island. We have been pretty lucky with the weather too.
We went inland to see Mount Cook and some beautiful lakes around there. We stayed the night right on the shore of Lake Pukaki and watched the sun set over Mount Cook. We then headed back to the east coast to Dunedin where we had to pay a visit to the Cadbury factory. Loads and loads of new types of chocolate bars that we don't get at home. We visited a Yellow eyed pengiun colony which was very cool. We got really close to them. Also went to an Albatross colony but didn't get to see any adults which was dissapointing. The wildlife here is very cool to see as you are driving along.
We spent a day driving around the Catlins coast. There was lots of natural beauty here including lots of waterfalls. Our next major stop was Fiordland, Milford Sound. This was a great place. We took a cruise along the sound (which is actually a fiord). At the end of the cruise they took the boat under a waterfall and we all got soaked. It was an amazing experience, the water was so cold as it was a snow and ice fed waterfall. The only thing that spoils this area was the sandflies. They are horrible thing which bite you, but the bites seem to last for two weeks and they are much itchier that mosquitos.
We also spent a few nights in Te Anau a lovely little lake side town. We carried on up the west coast to the Glaciers. There are two just 20 km apart. Fox galcier and Frans Joseph Glacier. We decided to do a guided walk onto the Frans Joseph Glacier. It was so big, you don't realise until you are at the face of it. It is also melting really quickly which is quite alarming to see. There are big waterfalls running off the face of it. Still they think it is moving half a metre a day! We climbed up the front with a guide who was carving out the steps for us with a pick axe as we went.
Our last stop on the South Island was Karamea where the Opara basin is. This was another place of beauty with a lovely forest leading to massive caves and arches. The caves here are home to New Zealands largest spider, lucky we didn't come across any of them!
We got the 3 hour ferry crossing over last weekend. We were really lucky with the weather and the sea was really flat. That crossing has a reputation of being bad. We spent a few days in Wellington seeing the sights. It was Easter Sunday so alot of the things were closed, but we still did alot of the things we wanted to do. We went up to Napier which is famous for it's art deco buildings. We only spent a day there looking around as we are running out of time to see everthing we want to see. We went straight to Taupo which is famous for it's skydiving. Yes we did it, we jumped out of a plane at 12,000ft!!!! MUST BE MAD. I have never been so scared sitting on the edge of the plane is the most nerve wracking bit. The freefall was for 45 seconds and then they open the parachute at 5,000ft. It was really really good.
We are in Rotorua now. We went to a thermal wonderland yesterday where the earths crust is really thin. There are lots of bubbling mud and sulphur coming up out of the rocks. It's really a bizzar place. There is steam coming out of the ground everywhere. We are going to a traditional Mauri village tonight, I think they do the Haka! Just over a week left in NZ now then off to Fiji. Hope everyone is ok.
Carey and Liam xxx