Well would you believe it, we're back!!! Once again sorry it's been so long since the last update but there wasn't a huge amount of stuff to chat about while we were in Queenstown and could quite quickly be summarised as;
Worked -> Went to the beach and had a BBQ -> Went out and got very drunk in town -> Sat in our chalet and watched DVD's... not always on the same day but usually some combination of them.
Our road trip however was much more exciting and in the 3 weeks or so since we left Queenstown we've been up to alsorts of stuff which i'll attempt to condence into 5 minutes of reading so you don't give up half way to watch Coronation Street instead!
Day 1 - The Shotover Canyon jet. A jet boat ride that takes you speeding through the Shotover river canyons just outside of Queenstown. You can search for it on Youtube apparently to see a video of what it's all about
Day 2 - Lake Wanaka and a fairwell meal with some of our friends we made whilst living and working in Queenstown followed (predictably) by drinks in town
Day 3 - Driving up the South Island through the Haast Pass, a stunning drive through sub-tropical forests past numerous waterfalls and panaramic lookout points
Day 4 - Franz Joseph... an afternoon hiking up a glacier and walking through deep blue ice caves and cravasses
Day 5 - Hanmer Springs, swimming in hot sulphur pools and generally relaxing in the sun and breathing in the beautifuly eggy sulphur fumes from deep underground!
Day 7 - More relaxing round pools, just in a different location; Kaikoura
Day 8 - (22nd Nov) MY BIRTHDAY! Swimming with hundreds of wild Dolphins & sharks in the waters just off the coast of Kaikoura...unbelievable (AND i got to touch a dolphin!)
Day 9 - Strolling around the streets of Picton before sampling yet another irish bar which seems to happen in almost every town we stop at!
Day 10 - Took the ferry from Picton (South Island) over to Wellington (North Island)
Day 11 - Taking in the sights of Wellington including a guided tour around parliament and a trip to the "te Papa" museum where we learnt all sorts of interesting facts about how heavy a whale is and where vegemite came from
Day 12 - Turangi (just south of Lake Taupo for those of you with you're atlas' out) where we found so natural hot pools and looked on in amazement at the boiling water & mud bubling from underground...steamy
Day 13 - Swimming in Lake Taupo and touring the natural wonders of the area...more impressive waterfalls and steaming hot pools
Day 14 - The Tongariro Crossing in Tongariro National Park. A 20km hike across terrain ranging from hot barren rocky plains to snow covered peaks and (my personal highlight) a treaturous scramble up the side of an active volcano! (Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings)
Day 15 - (29th Nov) JULES' BIRTHDAY! A trip around the glow-worm caves of Waitomo followed by Black Water Rafting through underground caverns & tunnels, jumping off waterfalls in the dark and cruising down underground rivers surrounded by the glowing bugs above us.
Day 17 - Swimming in a hot waterfall (hotter than a hot bath!) in Rotorua
Day 18 - A brief tour of the stuuning sights of the Coromandel Peninsula; namely "Hot Water Beach" where you can dig a hole in the sand and watch as it fills up with warm water from the ground deep below and Cathedral Cove, a stunning beach where they filmed the beginning of the new Narnia film
Day 19 - Sea kayaking in the Bay of Islands around tiny uninhabited rocky islands where we found our own secluded beaches and topped up on some much needed sun tans!
Day 20 - Beach hopping around Russel (also in the bay of Island) and playing in the sand like 8 year olds
And that pretty much brings us up to date on the many adventures we've had since leaving our much loved home & friends in Queenstown. We're now in Aukland where we've managed to sell our van (small tear) and took a trip up the Sky Tower, a 220 meter high spike that rises up from the centre of the city. All that's left to do now is check out the various parks and museums before packing up on Saturday night ready for our trip over to Fiji for Christmas (both very excited!)
So if you don't hear from us before the New Year have a great one and we hope santa bring you everything on your list...be good and take care
Missing you all loads, thanks a million for all the messages and we'll be back with an update as soon as possible
Steve & Jules x x x x x