Goodbye New Zealand
And so after two months in this fine country, we wave goodbye and part on good terms. We've had some good times, we've had some times we thought were ok at the time but looking back were also good times and we have had some very good times. But like a lover who you thought was good but then found out had a few unnamed sexually transmitted diseases, it is time to go our separate ways. Not that I am saying that New Zealand is rife with STDs or anything. Quite frankly, I long ago ran out of any interesting facts about the place and have been winging it a bit so am glad I don't have to come up with any more.
But let's leave on a high. After all, it is that moment you have all been waiting for. Our top ten best crazy golf courses in New Zealand!!! As voted for by Donna and me. Yes, I know we have too much time on our hands. But I also know from the messages we have been receiving that some of you can't sleep at night wondering about it.
But before I announce the winner (because I want to build up the tension and excitement), I would first like to say to the third member of our group; Sunny the car. Yes, we have returned Sunny back to the hire company. It was a tearful goodbye to say the least. Donna broke down at one point, howling 'Don't leave us Sunny' over and over again until she had to be dragged away. So I thought it was only fitting that Sunny, the best travel companion we have had (sorry Chloe) deserves his very own tribute poem.
ODE TO SUNNY
You may think it is quite funny
To write an ode to our dear Sunny
But he has carried us safe and far
He is quite a remarkable car
With his powerful air con
And his sleek shape that turns us on
He keeps us cool when it's hot and dry when it rains
He gets driven all day long and never complains
He even keeps going when it says his petrol's empty
With his boot and the back seat, there's room aplenty
For all our luggage, our food and our coolbox
With his safety alarm and his central lock*
And though his engine is quite run of the mill
And he struggles when he goes uphill
And yes, he still has an old tape deck
And yes, some people might consider him a wreck
But we love him with all our heart
And are so sad that we have had to part
So here's to Sunny our favourite car
You really are a superstar
*We are not actually sure if Sunny has a safety alarm but I put this in for the sake of the poem.
Donna has just told me that a list of our favourite crazy golf courses is really really boring and that I shouldn't finish my blog about New Zealand with something that boring. I think she is wrong but she is my wife so I have to listen to her occasionally. Instead let's finish with another poem. This one is about our time in New Zealand. It is called New Zealand
If it all made sense
We could tell you about our kiwi experience
We enjoyed some parties when we were in Welly
We avoided Rotorua because it was smelly
In Taupo, we ate a curry that was good enough to come from Delhi
And we were so busy we didn't have any time to watch the telly
We spent so much time in Napier it felt like we were stalling
Marlborough Sounds? You wouldn't say was appalling
We fell in love with Raglan because it was so enthralling
And Christchurch, well, it could do with overhauling
I know I am just trying to rhyme
But you could say that we had a very good time
Driving around in a speed boat
Walking high up on a skywalk without a coat
Lots of posh wine pouring down our throat
On a jet boat down some rapids that just about stayed afloat
Blackwater Rafting underground
Seeing dolphins on the Milford Sound
So much to do it left us spellbound
And if nothing else, a crazy golf could be found
And we could play another round
I don't think it would be rude
If you were to ask me about the food
Lots of sandwiches made of jam
Trying Paua which sounds more like an anagram
Meatpaste was a lot cheaper than ham
(especially when you have to pay for it by the gram)
But we still ate out a lot because well we didn't give a damn
Some of the fish we were loving
Too much pasta meant we were roughing
Making do without an oven
Lots of toasties were quite stuffing
And you can't go wrong with a Sausage and Egg McMuffin
What also would we say
About the places that we had to stay
I am not concealing
Anything but you can't explain the feeling
Turning up at a hostel that is quite appealing
And they generally have a clean and well painted ceiling
They are independent and not part of a chain
All of the them were nice, well, at least in the main
They helped to keep us sane
And we would definitely stay in them again
Because we had little cause to complain
And in one place we even got to sleep in a train
You may wonder how we did survive
All day, when we had to drive
Flying by rivers that were unfeasibly blue
Around mountains and valleys we would drive through
Round every corner there is a scene anew
Only stopping whenever Donna needs the loo
For the whole of the duration
Of our journey round this fine nation
The countryside drew quite a fascination
And though, with the towns we had a brief flirtation
To borrow this fine quotation
It was all about the journey and not the destination
There you go.
All our love
Jim and Donna
PS Oh go on then
In fourteenth place, Napier little course. A small nine hole effort attached to a hotel just out of town. It gained points because Donna won but generally was short and in poor repair.
In thirteenth place, Wellington pirate golf. This had so much going for it including some great props like a full sized pirate ship but the course was just boring with very little obstacles that it ended up disappointing both of us.
In twelfth place, Queenstown indoor golf course. This is a real flagship golf course with lots of models and moving parts but the course was just terrible to play, involving lots of the same type of stroke and random luck. It also lost points because we both got very angry with it and almost stormed out on multiple occasions.
In eleventh place, Christchurch pirate golf. Similar to Wellington but slightly better. In truth, quite a forgettable event.
In tenth place, Coromandel mini golf. Slightly controversial that this scored so low. I thought it was a very good course full of interesting and challenging holes. Donna thought it was too hot, which probably says more about the weather than the course but this is a democracy and I have to abide by her vote.
In ninth place, Napier green course. Long shots with few obstacles and a good green meant a very close game.
In eighth place, Napier blue course. Slightly more obstacles than the green course.
In seventh place, Wanaka 'Have a shot' course. Again let down in the voting because Donna thought it was too hot. I am not sure she is taking this voting seriously.
In sixth place, Twizel. It was a very poor course in bad repair but it was very cute and lovingly thought out so we both liked it even if it caused the second worst argument of our crazy golf career.
In fifth place, Auckland. The first of our adventure. Although can't remember much about it other than it was dinosaur themed.
In fourth place, Queenstown outdoor course. A nice old lady in charge of it and some interesting holes meant this scored highly.
In third place, Wellington second hand metal course. A beautifully thought out course which is obviously a labour of love. Only let down a little by the greens being a bit old and tatty in places.
In second place, Picton. A bit of a surprise here. This was leading until right up until the last minute. Really interesting holes and a close run game (Donna won by one shot) had meant this was our favourite for such a long time.
In first place, the best crazy golf course in the whole of New Zealand is Nelson indoor Road Hogs. This really is a good course. Clever props, tricky but fun holes, a glow in the dark section, good quality greens, a friendly owner, an interesting backstory and to top it off, the cheapest course we have played. It was the last one we played but we definitely went out on a high.