Last full day in NZ... I dunno what to say, worrying a bit about the budget being bust, but that'll work out. Most of all, I feel sad. Sad to leave this place behind, sad that this part is over, sad that I don't have quite enough time to stay here longer and work. Next stop is Sydney again, but then I change flights to Argentina on tuesday. The funny thing is in that I'll land pretty much at the same hour as I take of, even though I spent like 13 hours on a plane.
Not to bad-mouth south America, but I strongly doubt that it'll be that good. At least not compared to Oz and New Zealand. The time here has been really, really great! Both Australia and New Zealand feels like they are made specifically for people to enjoy, backpackers and adventurers respectively.
Australia is unprecedented for its laid-back feel. I would love to visit it in summer, with everything being really warm and teaming with people. There can't very well be any place like it, every other place on similar latitude, with similar climate is pretty living in squalor, with the population being either impoverished or drug kings, most of the countries being strictly religious on the surface at least. And you can like religion for all you want, but the real party-kings are the sodomites and infidels. To add to sugar, I've never felt an entire country being quite as nice and friendly as the aussies. Best thing is: it's infectious. Spend too much time there, and you'll be all "g'day mate", drinking beer with strangers and shooting kangaroos of the back of a truck (frighteningly often at the same time).
I definitely want to get back there, just hang back and not worry about nothin'.
New Zealand on the other hand, is virtually exploding with adventures and activities. I've been here roughly a month and in total, and I think I've had about 3-4 days of real rest, doing nothing in general, and even then, I've often been out enjoying the local brews in the evenings. It is definitely not a place you go to get rested and work on your tan. But then again... I would probably kill myself if I ended up in a place like that, where the most interesting part of the day is finding out what the daily special is on the hotel restaurant. s***, I wanna do stuff, see stuff, try stuff, drink stuff. THAT is living... Not lying on a beach for a week straight. Life is too short for wasting it like that.
In Oz, I saw amazing things, loved the way of life and discovered the beauty in not rushing, but instead take things as the come.
In New Zealand on the other hand, I've done s*** I never thought I'd do before I left home, seen some of the most amazing landscape on the planet, been taking regular adrenalin doses to make sure I never slow down too much and done so much more than I ever hoped for.
My favorites of the list include:
Snorkeling with wild dolphins
Lived Lord of the Rings from the sets of Edoras and Hobbiton, among other
Bungy jumped... Twice
Skydived from 15000 feet towards a very solid ground
Zipped down through grave darkness in the Waitomo caves
Seen a massive Maori show, including eating a traditional hangi
Been to the Weta Cave in Wellington
Dived on a sunk ship, forming a stunning reef
Mountain biked through the central Otago region
Seen the worlds only captured Colossal Squid
Visited the birthplace of New Zealand
Discovered what was aptly named "Hells gate"
Partied in so many places, met so many good people that you would not believe, hell, I barely do myself, and I was there
...and, last but definitely not least:
Eaten a FergBurger (it still haunts my nightmare, "the infinite burger")
There is so much goodies here that I'm not even going to start counting what I'd like to do, but a few gentle tips for anyone interested in traveling here:
If you want to meet people, hang-out and party where the beer is cheap - stay @ base, always.
If you want to save every penny on accommodation, and don't mind not meeting too a whole lot of new people - get a BBH card and use it well.
If you want to travel really cheap and fin out what to do, when to do it and generally prefer traveling independent - use Nakedbus
If your sack of potatoes consist of having a funny ass guide with you, and a big gang of like-minded travelers alongside - get a Kiwi Experience, MagicBus or Stray pass
Absolutely best though: start from Auckland, either buy or rent a campervan and use that instead. It gets cheaper surprisingly fast, and having your own set of wheels simplifies things insanely much here.
And my number one tip: visit this place in the summer. There will be a lot more people (for better or for worse), and everything will be warmer
if here for just a month, alone: get a bus pass.
if here longer, or with a friend or two: get a car
My last contribution from this wonderful country. Love it!