Well its been a while since I last did a blog entry and a huge amount has happened in the two weeks on the Kiwi Experience so its probably about time I did another entry.
Having now travelled the almost the whole length of New Zealand starting in Auckland where I met up with Charlie, together we have had an absolute blast on the K.E bus. It all kicked off when Charlie and I met up and spent a few days seeing what Auckland had to offer before we hopped on the bus and began our travels through New Zealand. One of the days in Auckland we decided to head over to Waiheke Island which is about a 45 minute ferry ride. The island is well know for its awesome wineries and incredible views back over towards the city. We booked ourselves onto a Bus tour around the Island which turned out to be a really good choice as it allowed us to see a good chunk of the island including the $30m houses and stop of at a winery on the way back towards the ferry to do some tasting.
On the 24th May we got ourselves up at around 8.00am and headed over the road to begin our Kiwi Experience which convieniently stopped outside my cousins appartment building. The first stop on our tour of NZ was a place called Hot Water Beach. The bus stopped off at a super market so we could pick up some beers and stuff to start a BBQ at the hostel. The beach itself is no ordinary beach. Within two hours either side of low tide, it is possible to dig into the sand allowing hot water to escape to the surface forming a hot water pool from the thermal hot springs below. An awesome way to spend an evening juding that the water temperatures can get as high as 64degreesC, pretty toasty!
From Hot Water Beach our bus headed through to Waitomo for the glow worm caves and then onto Rotorua.the day after. Once we reached Taupo which is a city more towards the middle of the north island featuring a huge lake I decided this was a good place for me to throw myself out of a plane at 15,000ft. Charlie myself and a handful of others booked ourselves into Skydive Taupo for the day we arrived in the town. Unfortunately due to weather conditions the centre did not let us jump on the day we arrived and then told us that there was only about a 30% chance of us jumping the following day which only left us with the morning of the 29th (My birthday :) ) for us to do our skydive. Following the advice that chances were slim for the Skydive on the 28th we decided to go and see what Taupo's night life had to offer. The morning after our night out the hostel we were staying in recieved a phone call from the centre to say that weather was looking good and that a break in the clouds was begging to show and that chances were now good for our skydives. And so with the morning to recover, in the afternoon we headed over to the Skydive centre where we were fitted into our suits and harnesses and climbed into the plane.
I was lucky enough to be the first one out of the plane and so with all the seats taken I was sat on the floor of the plane next to the door. Once we reached 15,000ft the door was lifted open and my instructor and I shuffled over the edge of the plane and once the light went green we began our freefall decent of 10,000ft which took 60 seconds before the parachute was opened. This was quite possibly the most incredible thing I have ever done.
The day after the Skydive was my birthday and with the roads from Taupo to River Valley being closed due to snow we had to hang around in Taupo for an extra couple of hours which was just enough time to grab some supplies for the bus journey. On boarding the bus I was treated to a suprise of a birthday cake, balloons, a card signed by all of the bus and of course a pink tiara of which I had to don for the whole day. Once the roads opened we began the trip to River Valley and stopped off in the mountains for a snowball fight. Something that generally doesnt happen on my birthday in late May back home! All in all a pretty awesome birthday made by all the guys on the K.E Bus. Massive thank you for such a great day!
On May 31st we said goodbye to the North Island of NZ and hopped onto the ferry to the South Island. We spent most of the day on the bus and arrived at an awesome little town called Kaiterteri where we spent the night and woke up to blue skies and began the day with a pretty cool walk along beach and up to a couple of view points over the sea. The next few days we spent travelling through some of the smaller towns down the West Coast including Westport, Greymouth and then arrived at Lake Mahinapua for the famous K.E fancy dress "Poo Party".
We boarded the bus early the next day and began our journey towards the town of Franz Josef. Here we spent two nights and some of the guys on the bus did an incredible helicopter trip to the top of the glacier to walk on the ice. Instead of doing this George, Kurt and myself took a walk towards the glacier through the valley which still managed to provide us with some great views of the glacier.
From Franz Josef it was onto Wanaka. This day treated us with some of the most incredible views of the famous NZ scenary only to be enhanced by the awesome blue skies. The first stop was at Lake Matheson a mirror lake reflecting the ridiculous views of the snow capped moutains in the back ground (Lake Matheson is well worth a search on google images to understand what I'm talking about).
We arrived in Wanaka a little bit later in the evening but with enough time to get down to the beach to see the sunset over the mountains and Lake Wanaka. Pretty Awesome. The following morning with the weather looking good I decided to get up a little earlier and grab some snaps of the sun rise (Blog Entry Photo) well worth getting out of bed for. Before departing for Queenstown we did a brief stop at Puzzling world.
This is now pretty much up to where I am now. The last couple of days we have been in Queenstown and decided to do the Nevis Bungy jump, the highest bungy jump in Australasia at 134m giving you 8.5 seconds of freefall from a suspended cable car over a canyon. I have photo and Video proof! With the ski season just about to start here Charlie and I may pick up some day passes and skis and head on up the mountain for some fun on the slopes.
I have just booked a ticket for the All Blacks game Vs France in Christchurch so very much looking forward to that next weekend.
Thats about it for now. Hope everyone is well back home!