New Zealand! Officially the other side of the world and a place we have both been itching to get to ever since we booked our trip way back when.
We landed around middayish and jumped on the local shuttle service into town. We were greeted by the Canterbury cathedral, oddly enough, and pretty much every other street was named after an English place of some description. We found the cheapest place in town, as our love affair with BASE backpackers was definitely over! Will explain that in later blogs. It turns out, cockers, was a really nice old hote that was being converted into a hostel, hence the price. Big ceilings, large rooms, the old hotel kitchen and industrial cookers for use and an enourmous tv roo, meant we definitely made the right choice. Moreover, there was a bar attached the hostel. Good stuff. The first day we got there we did our usula and just wandered round the town, taking in what very little Christchurch had to offer, it wasnt until we came back the second time that we really saw what the place had to offer.
Christchurch is kinda like a really old Englich town, mixed with the grid like layout of an American suburb. Perculiar doesnt really cover it. It has a huge park and everything you could possibly need, but all the locals have moved out of the town and into the surrounding areas, so the place is practically deserted. With more bike shops than necessary, the place almost struggles to offer a great deal, except cycling. naturally baker was pleased but, as we were to find out, Christchurch does not do justice to a place like New Zealand.
So, how to get around NZ? We had contemplated just hiring a van and driving around, and really that was what I wanted to do. But, in three weeks we had to see the whole place, or as much as we could at least. We also wanted to make sure we met people along the way to build the experience. So we weighed up our options and jumped on the KIWI experience bus. Turns out it was the best decision we had made on our entire trip. We had to wait another day for the bus to pass through but when it came, the big green bus, our journey was about to begin.
So, 7am Sunday morning, our big green bus turns up and we get on to be greeted by lots of hungover faces, some not looking up, some struggling to. At this point we both knew that this was going to be fun!! Maybe not the driving around bit, but definitely the times when we're off the bus!!!
Next stop kaikoura, up the coast. Our bus was going to take us from Christchurch, to Kaikoura, up to Nelson, then down the coast stopping at Westport, Lake Mahinapau, Franz Joseph, Wanaka, the infamous Queenstown, then back to Christchurch. Once there we Head to the north Island, stopping at Kaikoura once more, then wellington, Taupo, Rotorua (where we are now...) and finally Auckland.
Let the journey begin. xx