Hey, me and sarah had a lovely last day in Queenstown- in the morning we had to say goodbye to claire though, she had her kiwi bus to christchurch a day before us to catch her flight home from there. We all thought that she would have Ringo as her bus driver (the other driver- him and Q drove two kiwi buses down the west coast at the same time from Nelson, and ring seemed a bit...well...dumb. bless him, he always has his mouth hanging open and speaks so slow, spelling out words to people on the bus etc). So we felt sorry for her all day as we thought of her going to christchurch, an 8 hr drive, with him!
Me and sarah climbed up a massive, steep hill on the edge of queenstown, which most people take the gondola up to. Our bus driver Q had said that they dont check for tickets at the top for the gondola trip down, so you could walk up and then get it down for free- well we discovered why cus most people definitely wouldnt go up lol. There wasnt a path, there were rocks to cling to and slippy cliff bits covered in pine needles. The trees were really cool- very old and tall, and some of them had collapsed on the hillside so you had to go round them. There was a faint track sometimes so we followed that, ended up going all the way round the hill slowly to the top lol. When we got there the views were fantastic- all of queenstown, and the main mountains- the Remarkables, and the lake. We had breakfast in the cafe there, the weather was really warm and sunny which was better than it had been for the last couple of days, been pretty cold! When we had our daytrip to milford sound in the south we even went through some snow at one point, felt like when we left england. But today we sat out in the sun overlooking the town.
We took the gondola down, and sure enough nobody checked for tickets so it was free yay- sarah said it should be for all the effort we took to come up lol. The gondola was a bit scary at the start- it wobbled so much and then just launched off the top, wasnt so keen onit! But it was an enclosed one, not like when we went up the highest mountain in OZ on the gondola that just had a seat and it swang about!
At the bottom a lady asked me if we wanted to see our photo of us in the gondola, I said yes cus it might be a funny one of us when we werent so keen onit, but it turned out they take it at the bottom and ours wasnt there lol. Just kinda snuck out the exit!
We went to the birdpark on the edge of town after- had a guided tour with earphones and the guide was quite funny, sounded a bit overexcited sometimes. We watched the kiwi birds for hours, we love them! Saw a pair fighting and grooming each other, so cool with their really long beaks, and they can run so fast but it looks so wierd! We watched them being fed by the keeper too. We got to know the names of some birds we'd seen in NZ- the paradiso ducks, beautiful ducks with the white headed, brown bodied female, and the most endangered Black Stilt bird, and the little black ducks weve been seeing are called Storp. We saw the NZ falcon (Karearea) and the Harrier halk, both of which Ive seen loads, theyre my favourites. We saw birds that weve seen before in the wild and know- the Kea, mountain parrot which is so intelligent, got to go in the enclosure with this bird, and the Kereru (bright wood pidgeon, our birds at home are going to look so boring compared to NZ birds lol). Also saw lorikeets, tuatara lizard and the Tui bird of course, and the fantail. There was a maori exhibit too, and they had this enormous slab of greenstone there (jade), which our driver Q had joked about- he said if anyone wanted to help him steal it they could make jewellery for the rest of their lives!
After the bird park we went round queenstown's shops, before we got our bus to go jet boating! This was around half 4, and it had got colder, and we nearly froze on the boat but it was so much fun! It definitely looked like the boat was going to crash into the rocks on the sides of the canyon, and the trees or odd boulders in the river that he aimed for lol. Me and sarah got to sit right at the front with the driver, and we realised after that there was a video camera right at the front! We watched the video after and it was so hilarious- we look scared when he spins the boat 360 and stuff, screaming and laughing, but then we just turn and chat to each other, or look round looking bored, and I talk to the driver sometimes too, and then we both fiddle with our hair!! I was actually the worst for that lol. We couldve looked more scared, people behind us were crapping themselves. We brought the DVD to watch at home lol!
After that we walked round town some more, and then it we went to Fergburger, to have one of the legendary burgers people had told us we had to have. They were f***ign huge, it was ridiculous. I couldnt finish it, I had a fish one and it had like 3 massive bits of cod init. We couldnt move after!! Tasted really nice.
We packed our stuff up and went to bed around ten, got up early for our kiwi bus to chirstchurch- and guess what, we had Ringo as our driver. He wasnt as bad as we though, he mostly just played pretty good music and didnt talk much for our journey, but whenw e had short stops we said random stuff like 'the womens toilets here have a W outside, and the mens have a M, to help you'. Bless him. And he did speak slow- hes a really cute guy though and all the other girls seem to think hes amazing, Bless them.
Our day want too exciting, saw some nice little towns, I got asked by locals working there where I had got my hoodie from (the ones me and claire got in queenstown), been asked quite alot and Ive only had it three days lol. We stopped off at some amazing lakes- the sky was perfectly clear so we got awesome photos. The water in them here was pale blue and sparkly, looked so pretty. The landscape changed as we drove too- became drier, way less trees, mostly just grassy- some eucalpytus trees! Reminded us of OZ. We drove through mountains and then through wide, flat valleys with nothing in them, passed some wierd towns with all the men and their mullet hair do's. Saw tonnes of NZ harrier hawks and a few falcons. As we got further west it looked like nice countryside, rolling hills. And then we got to Christchurch.
Wasnt long til me and sarah thought this was the nicest town we'd seen in NZ- nice open, old trams, loads and loads of gardens and the Avon river, nice shopping, not a party town, old historic buildings like the Abbey. Our hostel, Base, was right in the centre with was cool, and we had a nice sanctuary room (girls only, get real towels lol, big deal for us).
We went to the supermarket and round town, got some souvenirs and weve started a healthyeating plan- weve eaten out alot over the last couple of weeks, aswel as not exercising like we did in OZ, seemed to be more active there, so only brought fruit at the supermarket. It was nice to eat healthily, you tend to start eating crap when backpacking.
And then we went on the internet and just chilled in our hostel- tomorrow is our day in christchurch, going to take the tram round, go round some more shops, post stuff home etc, and then we get our northbound bus which will take us all the way to Auckland. I get quite depressed when i think about how we havent got much longer, trying not to think about it :-( Plenty of reasons to go home though, if there wasnt I wouldnt get on the plane!