Cannot believe I've had my last week in New Zealand. It's been the best summer I could ever have asked for. I'm honestly gutted that I'm leaving so soon. There's so much more to do here and so many more things to see, however, I guess that'll just make me come back one day. I'm kind of going to combine the last two weeks of my trip in New Zealand in one blog entry because last week was a bit less eventful than this week so I thought in order to give you an interesting read I should chuck them together. Two weeks ago Mark and I packed up the truck and drove to Castle Hill which is a little village at the heart of the Christchurch ski fields. We drove there in the morning and by 1 o'clock i was snowboarding at Mt Cheeseman. I shouldn't have skied Coronet Peak, Queenstown before Cheeseman because it was rubbish in comparison but it was still a beautiful day. Loving life. Mark and I stayed at Anna and Ross' (mum's pal from uni) Batch (small holiday home). They had a cute little hot tub and we spent the night by the log fire eating steak and crumble and drinking wine. Lush. I've decided that I want to be a kiwi. I want little kiwi kids. Somebody once told me that 'in the UK we love and live to work' and in New Zealand 'they work to live and love'. I can't think of a better way to describe them. No one has the nicest car, just a beaten up truck. Everyone is so friendly and approachable and quirky and original. EVERYONE IS JUST SO KIWI AND I LOVE IT.
The next few days I spent relaxing in Christchurch. Catching up on a few well deserved Skype sessions and planning the rest of my trip to Auckland. My gorgeous Poppy turned 17 on the Wednesday and we took a day trip to Akaroa with a picnic. Akaroa was gorgeous, the sea is so turquoise and it's serene. Poppy and I also got a free hairdye as loreal hair model volunteers which was pretty sweet as!
So... the next week I flew to the North Island to Auckland after we made the decision to cancel Poppy's birthday trip to Wellington due to the earthquakes.
I can't put into words how much I regret not going on the 'kiwi bus' for an entire month here in NZ, everyone I've met out here have had the most incredible time on it (would have ran out of money exceedingly quickly though!). Anyway, 4 days on the kiwi bus was better than no days!
Auckland was soooooo boring apart from my hostel and the people in it. The first night I was a loner so I sat watching friends in the TV room and finished an entire book! THAT'S right Anna. An entire book. The second day I met some travelling workers at Nomads Hostel whilst cooking noodles for lunch. I will never eat a single noodle when I get home. Do not cook me noodles. I'm just a poor person and they are dirt cheap. And yes, I do have a noodle belly. Yay. Anyway, I met some guys whilst cooking noodles and we had a big night in Auckland. It was so big that I ended up having a Macdonald's on my way back to the hostel then I went out again for a Burger King. That's how big it was. I was also slightly drunk when getting on the kiwi bus at 7am the next morning. Nice one Nadia! Auckland 1-0 Nadia. I slept the whole journey up to Paihia in the Bay of Islands and managed, in my hanging state, to book myself onto a kayak cruise that afternoon. Here I met Emily and Sam and Canada (Ryan). We kayaked through Niagra Falls (in miniature) which was hilarious due to Canada's lack of knowledge of nature telling us all confidently that a kingfisher was in fact a sparrow and his actual phobia of water whilst going directly under a waterfall. I almost peed my wetsuit. The BEST bit about that whole day was the $10 barbecue that we got at the hostel and a free beer. So sweet when all you've been eating is noodles. The bar at the hostel was cute but played avicii way too much so we all retired to bed after our 'thrilling' kayaking trip and after a few drinking games and free Jäeger bombs (courtesy of Nick's Mr T Hoodie.)
The best bit about the Bay of Islands was the day trip to 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga (the most northern point of New Zealand). 90 mile beach had a 100kph speed limit and is only in fact 65m long. The bus dipped in and out of the waves. It was beautiful. It was the single best road I've driven on. A beach. The sand boarding was amazing fun down the dunes. I felt like I was in the desert! I made the fatal mistake of sending Canada down with my phone to video me coming down and he did a ridiculous bail and smashed my amazing phone case and more of my phone screen. So that was a bit annoying...but I was laughing too much to care! The Cape Reigna is a very spiritual place to the Maori people. It is where they visit after a loved one had passed away and they haven't had a proper chance to say goodbye to them. It is also where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea and the colour contrast between the two seas is stunning. The Tasman sea is a light tropical turquoise and the Pacific Ocean is a deep blue/black, and they almost come at each other from different directions so it's a lovely serene place to be...if I don't get the giggles and disturb all of the sacred peace. So at the cape you can't take any food on the tourist walkway out of respect. However, Canada smuggled a banana into the vicinity, and it was the most hilarious thing watching him. Just a little memory for you there! The hostel we stayed at, I can imagine, would be THE place to be in the summer. It had a pool and a hot tub and a nightclub attached to it. In the winter Queenstown is the place to be, and in the summer it's all happening in the bay of islands. Even so, the hot tub was secluded by palm and stars and it was a lovely way to end my trip in New Zealand.
Lots of love
See you all in two weeks