After a bout of constant rain we were licky enough to have some sunshine on the ferry crossing from North Island to South Island. The scenery was great as we had our first taste of snow mountains. Once in Picton we went to the information office and collected all the info we could on Doc camp sites as they are either free or cheap and then headed to the nearest Doc.
The next morning we woke up to a very cold morning. There was ice on both the inside and the outisde of the van! The sun was shining though so once we got moving we were ok. We headed to a little place called Whites bay so Matthew could try some fishing as he new that he wouldn't really get chance once we met up with Katie and Justin. The place was beautiful, the water was so blue and with the snow mountains in the background with the sun shining it was a great afternoon, although the only downside was no fish for tea. we intended to do a walk the next morning to get better views of the area however once again we were greeted by continous rain...the weather is so unpredictable its like home!
We carried on heading south to Chirstchurch to meet Katie and Justin. We met them at the Maui depot and then headed to a camp site. We then headed into Christchurch, we thought it was a lovely little city although the cathedral doesn't even conmpare to the one in wakefield! We wnet for a few drinks then a mexican and then a few more drinks. It was great to catch up with them and thanks for the Yorkshire tea Katie, we are enjoying every brew. They also brought with them some new music courtesy of Jacks - Thanks Jackie we are loving that too. The next morning we headed to the Moeraki boulders. On the way we had a few stop offs including Oamaru where we saw a yellow eyed penguin. It was from a distance so no photo, but it was really cool to see one toddling along the beach.
The next day was the drive to Queenstown and this is where the scenery really started kicking in. We though we might have to use the snow chains as it had been snowing down the west coast and in Queesntown, we were lucky though and had a good journey although there was lots of snow! The mountains were all covered, it looked amazing. Once in Queenstown we put more layers of clothes on including hats and gloves as it was minus 2 degrees. We went for a few drinks to warm ourselves up and Matthew and Justin started their pool tournament! Katie and Justin then took us for a lovely curry (the first one in 4 months) as it was Justin's birthday. We had a really good night but getting back to the van wasn't very welcoming even with the heater on! From Queenstown we intended to go to Milford Sound but the road was closed due to so much snow so Katie and Justin decided that they would book a flight for when the weather had improved and we decided that we would come back and try and drive it later. It was then that Matthew persuaded us all to try Skiiing while he went snowboarding so we booked for the next day and then went on a jetboat on the Shotover river. Its basically a boat that goes reallty fast along the river between rocks and then does 360 degree turns to try and scare you. It was great although very cold and Justin lost a lense out of his sunglasses in all the fun.
So the next day it was an early start to get to the Cadrona Ski field. As we hot the road to get up to the mountain we drove into a blizzard, everywhere was covered in snow and it was really cold, but once we were there we all got kitted out with our equipment and then went outside to wait for our lessons. It was then that katie decided she couldn't handle the weather so went back inside! To be fair though it was minus 7 degrees with 30kph winds. It was probably the worst weather we could of had. The three of us went for our lessons and Justin and i slowly progressed further up the nursery slope. After lunch katie and Justin headed back into Queenstown while me and matthew persisted with the weather (what fools) and spent the afternoon on the slopes. It was so cold, everytime we went up on the ski lift our goggles froze up on the inside and our coats were also frozen. When i met Matthew at the end of the day he had given up on the goggles so his eyebrows and eyelashes were frozen, was quite amusing but very cold. We bioth still had a great time though and intend to go again, but hopefully with better weather.
The next morning while Katie and Justin went on their flight to Milford Sound we headed up the gondola for views over queenstown. We had sun for the first time in a few days and the views were amazing. We could see for miles and the remarkables mountain was absolutely fantastic. So after all the bad weather we ended our stay in Queenstown on a high with some amazing scenery.