A big warm welcome to you all from the land of the kiwi, lambs and all things black. Yes, we have arrived in New Zealand. As we will be travelling around New Zealand over the next 12 days we have decided to do a few short journals of where we are and what were up to, so you are all up-to-date! As our phone is an Australian mobile it doesnt work out here so obviously we cant accept any messages or phone calls - sorry guys!
We landed in Christchurch and within five minutes of collecting our bags, we hit our first attraction - the Antarctic centre. As Christchurch is the main terminal to the Antarctic we thought we had better see what all the fuss is about. First stop in the centre was a replica of the New Zealand base on the Antarctic which was an insight into how they worked and how little comfort they actually have out there - none!
Our next stop was a simulated Antarctic storm, where you actually get a real feel for how cold it is and the conditions people have to put up with on the antarctic. The temperature within the room is set at around -10 but you can play with the wind chill and get it down to -25! Thats when the storm hit and my god it is freezing! The wind makes it feel about 10 times worse than it is, but it basically makes your face, hands and legs numb - even worse if your dumb enough to wear shorts!
The exhibit also has penguins, caves and snow buggies, all of which are present everyday things for people out there. We finished up having a Haggalund ride, which is basically a real snow buggy still in use in the Antarctic today. After going through an exhilirating purpose built adventure track we ended up submerged in a 3m deep pond, luckily the Haggalund is waterproof so we survived fully intact!
After our adventure we finally headed to our hostel for our overnight stay - to try and get our stuff ready for the tour around New Zealand. We rose early the next morning to catch a coast to coast bus to Greymouth and we were treated to some of the most amazing views, there is only one word that sums up its beauty and thats "wow", its totally diverse, one minute its flat, the next mountainous, the next your in a small village with amazing buildings and architecture. Kinda like Wales with style and obviously no Welsh people - lucky for us! The New Zealand summer is just like English summer - cold and wet, it managed to pour down for the whole journey to Greymouth and is still doing so now!
We'll leave it there for now, were off to trek through the fox glacier tomorrow - which should be pretty amazing, hope the weather comes good! Just want to say a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both THE OLD POT AND PAN and JACKIE - Happy birthday guys! Have a great day x x x Dan and Shell x x x