Hey everyone, sorry we've been elusive the last few days again. We're in Queenstown, New Zealand now and campervanning around the South Island is SO MUCH FUN.
We had an odd flight from Nadi to Auckland because the fog in Auckland meant we had to be diverted to Christchurch first, wait there for an hour, then fly back up to Auckland again. So annoying but a Fijian air host (is that what a male air hostess is called?) kept bringing us cookies and coke which kept us happy. Auckland is pretty amazing, it's so cosmopolitan and diverse. A huge culture shock from Fiji, where buildings are small and there are no Starbucks! We spent our first night in Auckland looking for our YHA hostel (it took blimmin' ages), eating noodles and chicken in the SkyCity Metro mall and watching 'Water for Elephants' which was so romantic and dramatic that we both ended up in tears! It was agony getting around Auckland for me, with my mosquito infection on both feet, and we were surprised at the amount of horrified looks we got as I hobbled up Queens St! Anyway, they're getting a lot better now. We went shopping the next day, and bought wooly jumpers and scarves that we couldn't afford.. The shops along Queens St, the main high street, are like London so we had a really fun day, though we were upset to find there was only one charity shop in the whole city! It was back to SkyCity Metro that night for some Pizza Planet and hot cookies. We met a very lovely guy from Dubai there, who followed us up the street to give us an umbrella for the rain. It was Harrods one as well, so we felt awful for taking it! We spent ages in a shop called 'Real Groovy' which has copious amounts of cd's, vinyls, books and vintage shops - i feel like we'll be taking a trip there on my birthday too...
Auckland went really quickly so we're looking forward to going back there on the 25th. Our flight to Christchurch was a bit delayed so we had a crazy time, as Han pushed me round the departures lounge in a wheelchair because of my feet. The flight was fine and for once we slept through the landing. It was so so cold in Christchurch when we came out of the domestic arrivals terminal, felt just like P'town in December, especially after being used to 'oh, its dropped to 27 degrees, let's put on a cardi' conversations in Fiji. We found that the evidence of the earthquake was still really apparent. Although we didn't make it to the red zone, theres a lot of buildings cornered off or with tumbled roofs and walls, which was sad to see. We stayed at an expensive but perfect backpacker called 'the Jailhouse' which was an old converted historic jail, where you stay in the cells. For good reasons, such as the weather and my feet (and not-so-good reasons such as laziness and the-need-to-feel-cosy), we barely went anywhere in Christchurch. Instead we stayed in and marathoned dvds while we ate pasta and chocolate.
On the 28th, we met our campervanning clan and started our massive adventure around the South Island. It's been dangerously good so far, and we're managing to see and do lots, working our way around. The roads here are ridiculously cool to drive on because theres barely anything on the roads and the views are SO SCENIC everywhere. We're always driving past mountains, glaciers, hills, lakes or just a lot of sheep. And at night, if there's fog or low cloud or lots of stars out, its perfect Bon Iver weather. South Island lends itself perfectly to listening to Bon Iver all day, wearing lots of big jumpers and eating chocolate which suits me and Han down to the ground! We have two campervans between the 7 of us, with Ruth, Emilie, Rob, Helena and Rhys. Us two are in the guys campervan with Rob and Rhys, and it's become a tip very quickly! A lot of fun though. We've had a few crazy moments with the driving (Rhys pretty much nearly crashed us 3 times on the first day! we're a lot better now though, i promise!), our inability to make up bed linen and various things going wrong. So far we've been to these noteable places: Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, Dunedin (to watch the Hangover II, and climb the world's steepest street!), Christchurch, Milford Sound, Te Anau (for some snakebites and some well-needed showers! i had no idea how good it could feel to sing Daft Punk - Digital Love in a HOT shower after almost 5 days of camping with barely any running water) and Queenstown, which is where we are at now. We've been staying in Queenstown 2 days now, and unfortunately have to leave tonight to head to the glaciers, and other picturesque places, on the west coast. It was great luck, because Matt (the guy going to Sussex uni that we met in Fiji) was also here so we met up both nights and it was so good to see him again! We've had Fergburgers in Queenstown which were so calorific (and therefore sooooo good) and bits of shopping for food and clothes, and exploring Queenstown in general. Various members of our 'Wolfpack' have been bungy jumping, jet boating (Han has just come back from that, adn said it was amazing) and doing the Nevis Arc Swing, which is what Han and I did in tandem this morning! i think we screamed all the way down and the 60 meter freefall at the beginning gave us the biggest rush! We've got the DVD so will try and upload it soon, although its pretty embarrassing..
We're off to the Franz Jozef and Fox glaciers very soon, and then working our way up the west (best) coast. I have to go now, as the bungy shop that we're in is shutting! Will update soon and tell you more about our lovely Wolfpack and what we're going to get up to. Off for a McDonalds or another Fergburger! Love love love from nz xx.