We got up at 5.30am, packed our stuff and checked out of All Nations. We walked up to the bus station and caught the RedBus to Melboure Airport. When we finally got through all the security checks etc we had some breakfast in Starbucks in the departure lounge. It was crap in there, not a fry up to be found so we had to make do with an overpriced panini! We boarded the plane just after 8am for our 3 hour flight over to New Zealand. We landed in Christchurch about 2pm, we lost another 2hrs due to the time difference - we are now 13 hours ahead of the UK. We collected our stuff and had our bags scanned again before catching the shuttle bus into Christchurch. When we got off the bus we walked the wrong way for a bit but eventually figured out where we should be, never easy when you're lugging your backpack around too! We eventually found the hostel - Charlie Bs - and checked in. Our room was sooooo nice, we treated ourselves to a twin for a couple of days just so we could chill out and leave our stuff everywhere basically. We soon managed to fill the room with all our stuff, we even had a set of drawers and an armchair- what luxury! Was also really nice to sleep in single beds instead of a bunk bed for once! We walked down to investigate the local supermarket and to make things even better we discover NZ is cheaper than Australia! Yay! We went a bit crazy in PaknSave buying loads of nice food, treats and even meat, yes you heard me, MEAT! We can actually afford to eat it again now. It was a really hot day, even by this time so we caught the free shuttle bus back as we were pretty loaded up. We made dinner than had a lazy night enjoying having our own space again and making plans about the Kiwi Experinece buses and places to stop off.
Tuesday 9th Jan
We slept in really late as our beds were so comfy! Bit of a change to the 5.30am start the previous day! We finally got up about 11am and headed into town to post a parcel of our summer clothes up to Aukland. We bought some NZ sim cards and a wooly hat each as we were going to need them for the glacier hike. Bit of a contrast to all the bikinis we bought in Oz! We also got ourselves a new bible (the NZ lonely planet) so we could do some more planning and find out about where we actually were. After lunch we did a walking tour of Christchurch from the Cathedral to the Museum. The weather was pretty cloudy and crappy so when we got there, we went in the Museum for a while and looked round the Maori and Antarctica exhibitions. It shut at 5.30pm so we headed back to the hostel where we cooked ourselves a proper bolognese dinner with real meat, we don't just survive on pasta and sauce anymore! yay!
Wednesday 10th Jan
We slept in again, why not?! I rang home for a while to catch up with all the gossip from home and then we had breakfast. We rang Kiwi again to confirm our buses and Em spoke to her friend Ashleigh who is coming over to Thailand in April. The weather was really crappy and drizzly again so we decided against going on the Gondola and going punting. Instead we walked into town and bought ourselves a couple of waterproof tops - good job really as I spent the rest of the day wearing mine! Christchurch is a really pretty town - it looks just like an english town, especially with people punting down the river. Unfortunately, it seems the weather is pretty similar to England too! We braved the drizzle and finished doing our walking tour of the town. On the way we stopped at the Art Gallery and spent a while looking around in there. In the evening we cooked dinner and had yet another lazy night and went to bed early as the following day we would be starting Kiwi.