The first few days in the soith island seemed pretty pointless cause it was about covering ground so we whizzed through Picton, Kaiteriteri and Westport. However, in Westport the five of us (Hayley, Mimi, Jaina, Darren and I) hunted down the local brewary and had ourselves a wee tour with a few, plus a few more, samples. It was a wee micro brewary and before we went in the guys working there were playing computer games and they had a good laugh with us during the tour. After sampling some 10% beers and adding a few more labels to our collection we left with 2litres each of the beer of our choice - all in a days work, ooops I mean travels ;-)
The home of the glacier didn't hold much in store for us because the weather was so bad that all activities were cancelled. We were.stuck there for 3days with both roads being closed but everyone made the most of it. It was a good couple of days, getting to know everyone a bit better and also not having to move on everyday meant some well deserved lie ins too ;-) Hayley won a free bungy jump in a pub 'rock, paper, scissors' competition.
What a place, even 5 nights isn't enough to fit in everything Queenstown has to offer. It's only a small town of about 30,000 people but feels more like a wee city with shed loads of bars and restaurants and hundreds of activities. Across our stay we sampled a bit of live music, went to a ginger pride night, went wild with a game of mini golf, rode a bucking bronco and aquired a cowboy hat. We done a day trip to 'Milford Sound', which is where huge rocks and mountains have popped up out of the ocean over hundreds of years and it because it rains nearly every day it has created loads of waterfalls. We went on a boat trip to see all the different waterfalls and because it was sunny it created rainbows everywhere making it rather beautiful. Got up close and personal with one of the waterfalls, getting soaked, before spotted a wee lone dolphin and a few seals. On our last day we got a wee gondola ride to the top of the mountain for some stunning views of the town and that tried our had at a bit of luging. Strapped on a helmet, sat in a wee plastic sledge type thing but with wheels and launched ourselves down a concrete race track down the mountain side. It was good fun but when anyone came near me to try and overtake I would scream/phyco laugh the rest of the way hehe!
After saying cheerio to most of our friends in Queenstown our next stop was a little picturesque village at Lake Tekapo. We done a short trek up the hills during the day but the best bit was once night fell. Being a dark sky reserve meant there was very little light polution and that made sight of the stars absolutely breathtaking.
Guess who seen a whale, we did we did ;-) chuffed isn't even the word. We done a wee overnight trip to Kaikoura from Christchurch to have the pleasure of some whale watching. It was excellent we were lucky enough to spot 3 different sperm whales and a massive pod of dusky dolphins. We saw about 10% of the whale at the top of the water as it came up for breath. It would spray away from its blow hole and then in one swift movement dive back down giving us a lovely wee view of its tail. The pod of dusky dolphins was so cool and gorgeous, easily hundreds were there and they were at the bow of the boat and jumping and diving and generally just playing around with eachother.
Oh man what a week, needing a holiday to recover now from it. Master John Speirs and his awesome flatmates Lisa, Ed and Catherine collected us and have shown us the wicked ways of Christchurch all week. We actually nearly forked out another couple of hundred pound just to stay a little longer ie one night , but saw sense and sadly sitting at the airport the now ;-( After the earthquakes a lot of the city is either derelict or in the process of being built up but we were taken to lots of cool wee places that have been popping up all over. We went to the Botanic gardens which is absolutely massive and said howdy to some ducks and then spent a few hours in the museum. It was so random in some exhibits there was a whole film and house replica dedicated to this wee old couple who collected Paua shells and decorated there house in them and actually became mini celebs. The earthquake exhibit was really sad just seeing all the destruction and photos of the places where people had lost their lives, but also of such kindness in the aftermath and rescue attempts.
Its been one of those weeks that has just flown by but has been a laugh out loud week mainly with John and all his friends at what became our local 'Winnie Bagoes' pizza bar and we did not want to leave. Thanks Master Speirs you are indeed the master ;-)
Love you long time x x x