So after Fiji comes New Zealand. I watched Social Network on the plane and it was actually quite good. I got to Christchurch about 12ish and re-met with some of the guys from Octupus. I waited for Gez and Jess for almost 3 hours as their flight was delayed. I wandered about and picked up some brochures and read up on Kiwi history. When they arrived we collected the car. We headed to the hostel and it was a lovely hostel. I heard hostels in NZ were even better then OZ so I was expecting some decent accomodation. After checking in we headed for a walk for some lunch. We were a little bit outside town. When we headed to the local pub we were greeted with a warm reception and the offer of pork bones (I declined for once). It had been a 60th so there were some people about. It was also a national holiday Waitangi day so we wanted to check out the local celebrations. After a few drinks and lunch we went to the supermarket but there was some argument and fight that happened when we were there. Not sure the ins and outs but it was quite violent so were a bit baffled by this on the first day in NZ. We clearly were in the rough part of town. We headed back to the hostel and chilled out then headed for the town for a night out. We took some pictures of the cathedral which was lit up beautifully and around surrounding streets. We then headed for the Bog pub but everywhere seemed to be really quiet considering it was a national holiday. Typical of us to find the Irish pub which was filled with foreigners :) We had some pizza and a few drinks and chatted to the bar guys. One of them was Killian who was a typical Irish rogue. He was trying to charm the pants off Jess but it did not work and one line he used was 'Fancy a f***, no strings attached' What happened to the small and sweet talk in life??!! Anyway amusing for me and Gez. We then headed home as the town was really quiet.
Our second day we headed to Kaikura . It was a miserable day and rained the whole way which was a shame as it was a lovely drive and there was some beautiful coast along the way. When we arrived we went for some lunch, I had a chicken wrap and then we got some shopping before we went to the hostel. The weather was really bleak so we could not do much and the town was pretty small. We stayed in the Albatross and it was a funky little place near the town. The room was a tad small that was the only annoying thing. We played some cards and chilled a bit out. Later on we headed for some dinner to a pub called the Whaler. I tried a Kiwi drink of Lemon & Paeroa which was pretty nice. After that we then went to Strawberry Tree for some live local music.
The next day we headed for Blenheim. Before we headed off we went to a lookout and to the fur seal colony. It was a short walk to the lookout and the pictures were amazing. There was a long white cloud in front of the mountains and the lake. Well I guess NZ is called the land of the long white cloud by the Mauri's. We saw the fur seals chilling on the rocks and we were so close to them. The weather was much better so it made nicer driving conditions and we could appreciate the scenery. On the way we went through the Marlborough wine region and stopped in 6 of them. I wasn't feeling too well so did not taste the wine in every single one but tried a few. We visited Montana now being renamed Brancott, Lawson DryHills who had a dog named Tomi who ate the grapes and apparently had a nose for when the grapes were ripe :) Poor b***** was half pissed when we got there, lying in the afternoon sun. The next stop was Villa Maria, then the Isabel estate which was very unique as it had a church in the middle and it was the office. They also covered the grapevines with nets to protect from the birds. Our next 2 stops were Clos Henry and Cloudy Bay. Cloudy bay we all know I think :) The vineyards are in the most beautiful location with massive mountains overlooking the valley it was really amazing and totally scenic. We then headed for our home for the night. It was more like a B&B called the Villa Rose homestay. However the greeting we got was not to friendly. The women had a b**** as we were meant to be there for 1ish and we did not get there until 5ish.. well I forgot I had agreed a time. It was a lovely home and very spacious and comfortable. However the woman was a real pain in the ass and seemed to watch over us all the time. She moaned when she thought I had put my laptop on the table when I did not. It was really annoying. But at other times she was nice. We relaxed in the garden in the pool as the weather was lovely and me and Jess had actually got burnt in the day. That night we stayed in and chilled out and enjoyed the comforts. I had some tummy bug for the last few days so needed an early night.
Our fourth day was a road trip to Nelson. We set off at 10ish and got to Nelson just after 12.30 missing check in at Paradiso. We had some lunch and then went to the Abel Tasman National Park. We did a walk to Coquille Bay and chilled on the beach and then headed back. That was about a 7-8km walk as we were too late to head any further north. Some bumblebees took a liking to me on the beach. There are loads of wasps and bees here in NZ, but thats a good thing. Seen Bee Story :) The park was gorgeous and the sea looked amazing and we were lucky to have a lovely blue day to enjoy there. The drive to it was out of this world as well. The sea was a tad cold so I did not get in fully (wimp I know) There are a lot of kayaking trips up there and Gez wanted to do it but we were too late. We headed back down and the girls had some pizza for their effort and we headed back to the hostel. We drove back past the tide had gone back out and there were messages on the ground with rocks which must have taken a long time to form and we reckon have been there for a long time. The girls had some pizza for their effort and we headed back to the hostel. By the time we got back we ended up chilling out as we were shattered and it was an early drive again the next day.