23 Novemeber - Got the 8am bus from Queenstown to Lake Tekapo. Again the weather was rubbish - raining, cloudy and overcast - sounds a lot like home! First went through a little place called Cromwell which had some giant fruit. Cromwell got its name because when it was first settled it was settled by Irish. Someone from the Crown had to come and survey it and the locals didn't like him and wouldn't serve him in the pub or something like that. So to get his revenge he named the town Cromwell (the Irish apparently dont like Cromwell cos he invaded Ireland). Then we drove through a really small town called Twizel. The surrounding aread is really flat and uninhabited. I was quite pleased to see the area because this is where they filmed the Battle of Pelennor Fields (the really big battle in Return of the King). We then went past Lake Pukaki, which was a really beautiful blue colour. On a nice day you get a great view of the lake which the mountains, including Mt Cook and Mt Tasman in the backgroung. But of course it wasn't a nice day, so I only saw the base of them. Then we drove up to Mt Cook village. Its only a really small village with about 350 inhabitants (the tourists often outnumber the locals). We only stopped here for an hour and a half for lunch. There is a really nice and posh hotel here called The Hermatige - its really nice. I've wanted to see Mt Cook ever since I got to NZ. It's the highest mountains in NZ, over 3000 metres. On a nice day you can see if from Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson, but of course when I was there it pissed it down the entire time, so I didn't even glimpse it. So I though that if I actually came to Mt Cook I would be able to see it. But no! There was too much rain and cloud and all I could see was the base. So I gave up and bought a postcard! We left Mt Cook and about an hour later reached Lake Tekapo which is where I was staying for the night. The lake is supposed to be beautiful; an amazing colour with mountains all around (including Mt Cook). But of course the weather was still bad. This area is normally supposed to produce clear skies - there is even an observatory here for astronomy and you can go on a star watching tour. I had planned to do that but it was cancelled due to the clouds and rain. It didn't stop raining the entire time I was in Tekapo - all evening, all night and all next morning. So I stayed in the hostel (Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers) which was really nice all night. They didn't have a tv so I read a book - from cover to cover. But it was actually quite nice not to have to do anything (the rain was too bad to go out, and there wasn't anything indoors as the town is so tiny). Found out that night that there had been a big earthquake that morning, about 7.1 that had its epicenter in Te Anau, and had been felt in Queenstown. It hadn't done any damage which was good. Was quite gutted as I wanted to feel an earthquake - obviously not one that does damage and kills people, but just where you can feel the ground shake. I missed it by a couple of hours - w***! Wednesday 24th - The bus to go to Christchurch was at 11.45am. So decided to go and see the lake, even though it was raining quite heavily. It was lovely by the lake and the colour was amazing, even though visibility was poor (I still couldn't see Mt Cook!). By the lake is a really old and small church called the Church of the Good Shepherd that is really quaint and you can get a good photo of the lake and mountains behind it. I did go and get the photo, after having to wait for 20 minutes for the three coaches full of Japenese tourist to w*** off! They just stood right in front of the church, totally obscuring it. The picture attached to this postcard show what the view is like on a nice day - any it does really look beautiful. It was about four hours to Christchurch. After what happened when I was last in Christchurch I needed a new hostel to stay in, so I booked into Rolleston House YHA which is right by the botannical gardens. Its a really nice hostel. Didn't do much in the evening as I'd already seen Christchurch so just vegged in the hostel.