Its time for a big one, so here it goes.....
So after our flight from hell due to our hangovers we landed in Q'town and checked into Base hostel. Got ourselves settled with a wander around the lake. With serious need for some wheels/a home for 2months we started our search for a car and rang a few numbers, soon came across one we liked and went to discuss over the world famous Fergburger! Got the car we wanted and crashed for the rest of the day. So the start of Queenstown involved trekking up to the Gondala for a stunning view of the snow capped mountains and the lake and then wearing a sexual helmet and going down on the Luge a few times. We then met up with Hanna's friend Stef/Fannie and after a few hugs we went for a catch up over lunch and asunbathe on the lake beach. In true Stef style we were soon on our way to a house party. Checked out of Base and spent an evening at Nomads. Treated ourselves to the biggest Fergburger and rewarded on completion with a 'Ferg Loves You' sticker!! After a few more catch ups with Setf and a walk up Q'town hill it was time to pick up our car and kit it out.
With a trip to the Salvation army we were kitted out our car and descended on Stef's house. For our 'last night' in Q'town it was time for a hardcore night out… starting off with a 'Sake Bomb' and then hitting Buffalos were we downed many many Jagerbombs, probably a few too many for Hannah who ended up home a tad early.. Spent the day sorting ourselves out before leaving Q'town for Glenorchy. Here we did a bit of Jet Boating down the River Dart but soon found ourselves back in Q'town for an chilled night at Stef's. Again said our goodbyes and hit the road to Lake Wanaka via Arrowntown. Took a trip to Puzzling World and spent an hour trying to find ourselves out of a maze… eventually free and full of energy we climbed to the Rob Roy glacier lookout and entertained by pesky Kea birds stealing food.
It was time to do our skydive so we booked ourselves in to do a 15000ft skydive and waited to be kitted out with some sexual outfits and meet our instructors. All strapped up and ready we boarded the plane and began the ascent. At 12000ft the first guy jumped and with full view of him falling it was Hanna's turn in another 3000ft upwards!! Not lacking in confidence even when her instructor was ferociously snorting oxygen through a pipe it was time for Hanna's freefall followed by Hannah for 60 seconds travelling at over 200kph. It was amazing and after both touching ground we were full of adrenaline. Drove away deciding that although good, bungee was far scarier and better.
Having taken to some illegal freedom camping in the car it wasn't long before we were caught with a knock on our window at 4am and told to move on to a campsite before the police fined us!! With many mountains around and the only way to see New Zealand for real we trekked up Mount Roy beside Lake Wanaka…. 3 hours and a lot of thigh burn later we made it to the cold top to see the view between cloud. Defying the rule that going down is faster than up it took us 3 hours to also get back down to the bottom!! Instead of freedom camping we had now taken to camping in camp sites and leaving early enough to not be caught and not to pay… sneaky sneaky. So we left for Franz Josef Glacier and went online to discover that we had received a fine from Australian Transport for the second time…. This time due to Hanna jumping a red light by 1.7secs and insisting at the time it was on amber!! Got layered up and put on our crampons for a day on the glacier. Was fun seeing the ice caves and climbing down through the crevasses, which an unfortunate someone managed to fall and royally wedge themselves good and proper for about half an hour!! In the meantime a group of us we sat waiting in a hole of ice having lunch and speculating which fatty it was in our group and still we only have an idea!! Had a look at Fox Glacier before setting up for the night at Gillespies Beach, a stunning beach which had a very Jurassic feel with whole tree trunks of driftwood washed up on the beach. Watched the sunset with the thousands of sandflies. Made our way back down to Lake Wanaka for a unique cinema experience watching Harry Potter, whilst sat on comfy sofas.
We then went back to Q'town for the third time!!! Going straight to Stef's to sort out our lives and see her at work making us many cocktails followed by a DVD sesh at Will's flat and fell asleep on their sofa for the first of what was to become many nights!! In need of another big party night we hit town for some birthday celebrations. Very drunk and singing Lion King all the way back to Wills we showed our childish side drawing willies and munching on crisps until 6am and went to bed aka Wills sofa! So the next few days were basically spent vegging around Wills, eating many of Q'towns food delights, getting horrifically drunk and waiting for our car to be fixed!! Dodging Stef's landlord it was time to leave Q'town for the last time and made our way to the stunning Milford Sound, booked ourselves on to a cruise. Went for lunch whilst deciding on how we were going to get rescued after a lot of smoke had erupted from our car engine on the way down into the sound that happens to have no sign of a mechanic! Enjoyed our cruise along the sound taking a dip under a waterfall. Praying the car would make it we drove back to Te Anau for a Chinese and the started south along the Southern Scenic route to camp at Lake Monowai and yet again fend off the thousands of sandflies!! Started off the day with awalk and then carried on along the route stopping for drinking water at a very remote countryside school (happened to be a Sunday so no children about), with perfect tap height and no one arounf we decided to wash our hair, this then quickly turned into a full on nudey wash with Hannah dancing around claiming how liberated she felt but soon blurting out she had just seen a cleaner through the school window!!! With a very fast rinse and change we ran to the car and scarpered not before we both had to return to the tap to rinse off some missed soap suds!! Hilarious!!!
Took in the views of the Southern Scenic route passing through Invercagill and down to Bluff the southern most tip of mainland NZ. Headed along the coast to the Catlins to see some very horny sealions, skip through the green meadows to the most South we have ever been and watch penguins come home across the beach from a days getting food for the babies. Took a look at Mc Lean falls and many other sights along the SSRoute before finally getting to Dunedin. Here we went to the cinema and getting excited about Cadbury World took a tour around the factory with hundreds of Australians that arrived on a cruise, picking up some free chocolate along the way and watching a ton of chocolate fall in a silo…. Yummy! Before leaving Dunedin we picked up some supplies and then took the walk up Baldwin Street, which has the Guiness World Record for the steepest street in the world…. Bit of a bummer if you live at the top!
From Dunedin we carried on up the East coast and turned inland for Lake Tekapo stopping to take photos of the stunning blue glacier fed lakes and rivers. Hannah managed to 'Take-a-poo' at Lake Tekapo, whilst Hanna was disappointed she could not. Went into the Church of the Good Shepard for its beautiful scenery through the church window. Made our way to Peel Forest and stayed outside the Rangitata River lodge.
Today it was time for some rafting down Grade 5 rapids!! Had some breakfast while the rafting crew sorted the lodge out and the rest of our fellow rafters arrived. Once all present we were taken for a talk by Steve and given all our layers, life jacket and helmet. The raft started with a half hour drift down the river with Dan our instructor going through his instructions and some moves. Built up to some Grade 2/3 rapids getting abit wet and all having fun. Getting to the first Grade 5 we all got out the boats to view them from a cliff. All confident we got back into the rafts and our boat was second to go. All was going well and we were paddling hard until we hit the 'surgey-wurgey' and it then all went wrong with everyone falling out the boat except Dan!! While everyone fell one way Hanna managed to fall the opposite way and finding herself starfished under the raft. A moment of real panic as we all struggled to the surface and grab hold of the boat, someone, anything whilst still going down the Grade 5 rapids!!! Dan then began the rescue of pulling us up into the raft starting with Hanna, after her near miss with a stone wall, and face planting her into the bottom of the raft. After Hannah finally got the three paddles from down her lifejacket she was in after balancing precariously on the side of the raft and with a small cry of 'help me' we got the last girl in. Sat down and after a head count we realized we were one down….Matt was missing but was soon discovered having floated down the river and rescued by Steves boat. We got our last man into the raft and all laughed about what had just happened!! Got down to the end of the river alive and after a big BBQ dinner we left for Kaikoura.
Met up with Mummy and Daddy Cockerill and many hugs and a catch up was soon underway. With the weather good we went to find out if there was space on any whale watching boats. Treated by Ma and Pa Cockerill we waited for our boat and were soon on board and bouncing along with slight feelings of seasickness. It was totally worth it and soon we were watching a Sperm Whale on the surface and then flick his/her tail up and go down for another long descent. On the way back to shore we were given a show from a massive pod of husky dolphins jumping, spinning and splashing around our boat. Spent a few days travelling with Mum and Dad Cockerill inland to Hanmer Springs for a relaxing soak in the thermal waters to Greymouth where we were treated to a lovely dinner. Soon it was time to say goodbye and with clean clothes and a shower we left to go north.
Arriving near Abel Tasman we got ourselves a kayak and did a bit of kayaking along the Abel Tasman National Park before setting off north to Nelson in search of a freedom camp spot we had been told about. Time for another cinema trip we went to watch Easy A which was hilarious. And bummed around for a few days before heading to Picton to catch the ferry across to North Island…..