Detoxing, Sunshine, Stars, Hot Pool w****s and Happy Camping
Hokitika, New Zealand
So after new year I arrived back home to Christchurch, I was in a mess. My body hated me. So I decided to do a detox - just fruit, vegtables and this rank vege soup for 3 days then I was allowed to eat chicken too for the last 3 days. I did very well and stuck to it pretty easily as I literally couldnt drink any more alcohol after the festive period and I had ate so much crap so it was amazing to just eat good stuff. Eating healthy in NZ is pretty pricey though but never mind it was worth it. And then I ate reasonably well for a few weeks then I got over it... oops. But I definitely did curb my drinking as much. Mainly that was because Jordan, Andy and Dan all decided after Christmas and New Year they too had caned it too much and partied too hard so they couldnt drink as much any more either so we all stopped getting pissed every weekend at the same time which worked out quite good!!
We also had a new housemate move in, lovely Frenchie! She has a real name of course which is Marieke but since she's french and we couldnt pronounce her name at first we just gave her a new Frencher sounding name. She is awesome! we clicked straight away - she is an absolute nutter. Always smiling, singing and making life fun wherever she goes. So happy we got a good girl in the house as she is such a legend. She makes us crepes on sundays and loves to bake so we love her!! And of course Jordan came back after going home for Christmas so it was nice to have him back too.
Summer had already got going before Christmas but January was HOT!! So the activities began!! The first weekend Jordan was back he took me to Hamner Hot Pools, its like a 1.30 hr drive away from Chch and they are amazing, theyre outdoor. Lots of different pools too and alot of them are sulpher so it is amazing, unfortunately the day before we had been on the beach and both managed to burn ourselves pretty bad - me on the bum and jordans whole legs were smashed . So going in and out of the hot pools was a nightmare very painful. Especially the Sulpher pools which also stunk of rotting eggs... but apart from the pain and the smell they were extremely relaxing we were having a great time. We then went for some lunch. of course me being a geordie I forgot to bring any underwear to change into after the pools as I went prepared in my bikini.. so luckily i had a pair of shorts on but I had a low sided top on so some people (lucky people I might add) got some awesome side boob views from me as I went au natural! We also got some hokey pokey ice cream before we went home. The ice cream in NZ is actually amazing - if its not hokey pokey or bosenberry flavoured these days I am not eating it.
But anyways me and Jordan decided to become the greatest campers in NZ so I went and got us a tent and some yoga mats and we were basically ready to go. We went to Lake Tekapo first of which is my ultimate, absolute favourite part of NZ it is just so beautiful there, the lake is some sort of mad green colour. It looks fake in every photo you take, but its really that pretty colour. Its such a chilled out part. NZ in general is obviously super chilled out but this place is just so relaxed. There isnt much going on just the lake, a pub, a few restarants/cafes and the mountains, hot tubs and the stars. Its the best place in the Southern Hemisphere to see the stars it is so clear and no light pollution there. Stunning just isnt a strong enough word for this place. Wow.
So me and Jordan rocked up, we planned to do a cruise around the lake, horse riding, see the stars at the observatory. And guess what we managed to do - none of the above. It was so windy there. I'd booked the cruise and on the way there the guy contacted me to say the cruise was cancelled indefinitely for the weekend as it was too windy and they were preparing for gale force winds to hit. Oh dear. So that was out of the window. We set up our tent and decided to hit the lake then the hot tubs which were amazing. 3 hot pools the hottest one for adults only, surround by the moutains and forests and you can see the lake further down its such a gorgeous location for them. We got backto the tent and it was almost blown away. Oops. So we (jordan) secured the tent and we tried to book horse riding but it was too windy to take the horses out as it sends them wild. So that was a no go. And we spoke to people about the stars and they said they were expecting cloud tonight and we were advised to not book the observatory as unless they cancel it you lose your money and you might still need to go up there even if its cloudy so it would be crap visiibility. So we were advised to wait until it was dark then see for ourselves as you can still book at 12,30am to go up at 1,30am so we waited and the stars were actually amazing and there was no cloud in sight so we called them to book but we missed the boat as it full for the night by then so we couldnt go. But we still sat on the lake and watched them - they are amazing, you can see the milky way. We saw shooting stars. The sky was just packed full of stars it was wicked. I have a star app too so I was pointing out the stars. So we were pretty happy we hadnt paid too much for the stars in the end as apparently the top obseratory was shut that night due to the wind so we wouldnt have saw the full thing and would have paid the full price. So we were happy.
We got a two day pass for the hot pools though which was super smart of us, they were just divine. I do love a hot pool! Although at one point it was full of a lot of asian people wearing a lot of clothes as though they werent trying to protect their skin from the sun - which is in fact smart in NZ due to the no ozone layer here... but actually it was like 8.45pm no sun in sight so it was just weird to be honest. Funny too though haha.
we went to a bar for a nice drink one night and I got a glass of champers as you know me - poshest traveller ever... erm. And I was overjoyed to have it arrive in a traditional champaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagne glass, a one that fits the perfect boob inside. My mam told me about that years ago! best fact ever. thats if it is a fact... Its rare to get that though as you always get the flutes these days. I'm much more of a retro bean me though so I was buzzing. I dont think Jordan believed my fact but nevermind. We also hiked up Mt John when we were there - i say hiked as though we did a 8 hour tramp up and down a mountain but it was actually about a 45-60 min walk to the top but I was dying going up some of it due to the steepness of it! It was pretty hot and sticky too! But it was a lovely walk and we saw lots of people walking their lovely dogs on the way so we stopped every dog to befriend on the way. NZ is the most perfect place for a dog!! so much nature walks for them!
So that was our trip to Lake Tekapo!
We next decided to go to Little River Campground - its like some really cool hippie campsite in the bush, really close to Akaroa its ran by this awesome hippie couple, it is so big they had a huge big waterslide on when we were there but due to water shortages it was only on for a few hours when we were there so we never actually saw any of it. We saw it minus the water. I had already pre booked us in when we went as it gets pretty chocka block apparently, he said he would put us in some paddock bit. When we arrived he actually put us in a well better spot right on a little water stream thing it was so cool. He decided against putting us in the paddock as a bunch of rowdy kids had turned up for the night so he figured it was gonna be party central there. We had a pita pit on the way to the campsite but hadnt taken any food but I did manage to take a bottle of vodka, some ciders, a bottle of rum and a bottle of red wine just in case we ran out... always prepared for the war me. So we went hungry but we did have a few rums instead.
The next day we went for breakfast in Akarao and then went to Le Bons Bay which is a smashing little beach that no one goes to as it takes quite a bit of time to get to - but good thing comes to those who wait and all of that so off we went. We had arranged to meet the others there too so Skell, Andy, Dan, Frenchie,Kitchen, Brown, Ashton and Anthea were there so we had a good old day chilling out with them lot which was nice. We all then headed back to Akaroa, me and Jordan were having a bbq that night at our campsite so we went and got some food for that got a few more ciders (in case) and off we went. It was so lush we had a proper luxury BBQ that night we were well happy, we made friends with a little dog and a little girl who was walking round the campsite walking this dog telling everyone her exact address in Christchurch haha she was cute. She was letting the dog take her everywhere it was hilarious. She was getting so tangled up with the lead too. The next day we had a lovely little drive before heading back home. We've been so lucky with the summer here this year its been perfection! so many hot summer days and times to chill in the garden. I love the summer months when its actually nice weather.
One of the big things we did this summer was when we all headed up to Abel Tasman - it was bank holiday weekend for Waitangi Day so we all had the friday off work so we all tried to finish work on the thursday as early as we could - i finished at like 1pm or something... any excuse for an early finish! There was me, Jordan, Andy, Dan, Skell, Kitchen, Frenchie and Skells mate Pete. So me Jord, Dan and Andy went off in Andys car we got stuck in 'traffic' for about 10 mins then we were on the road. So it was a lovely day in Chch - standard. About 1.5 hours into the journey we were heading to the west coast and the weather was just instantly s***e!! Rain, mist all the stuff you expect from Scotland it was mental poor andy could barely see a thing, Dan was getting smashed and me and Jordan were sleeping in the back. We were staying the first night at Murchison River as its about 4 hours from Chch and Abel Tasman is 6 so we knew we couldnt get there on the thurs night but figured we could do Murchison then we werent far off in the morning. So we got to a campsite in Murchison and the guy was like 'you sleeping in tents? Its raining you know... do you have matresses' haha i was like 'aye pet I na its raining i'm drenched just getting to reception from the car - and obviously no matresses haha' so he so very kindly let us camp inthe old cafe he had on site so it was wooden floors he got us some matresses and it was right on the river and there was a broken veranda above us so it was super cool as we didnt get wet at all. And it rained so badly all night there!! We heard rats and everything. And Andy kept farting all night. So lovely.
So we get up pack up our s*** and off we go for more road tripping. We stop in murchison for a spot of breakfast, they have the best shop ever there so I get some quiche and a orange cake for breakfast it is amazing. they have mad quirky stuff all over the shop it was wicked. A proper tea rooms. So we eventually get to Old MacDonalds Farm where we are spending our time in Abel Tasman camping. A standard me campsite - total hippyfied all eco friendly, water holes to swin in and in the bush! I want authentic campsites everywhere!! So we set up camp, i realise after we've set up we're in the powered sites accidently as we didnt pay for that priviledge. Not very well labled site though. Oops. So anyways forget that off we go to find some kayaks so we can sea kayak abel tasman baby!! We get ourselves set up we have our training, obviously me and Frenchie although as tough as we seem we arent that strong so we cant actually fix our own skirt on the kayaks (thats the bit that stops you dying if you capsize) so everytime we go off in the kayaks someone has to fix ours on for us as we cant manage it. Its really tough! I'm in the front and Jordan is at the bag 'steering' yeah right. He pushes us off when my skirt isnt even on yet so i throw a Tracy fit at him as I dont want to die in the tasman haha. We end up having to get next to Dan and Andys kayak so Dan can fix it for me - what a weakling...
Kayaking is so much fun we all seperate which instantly breaks the golden rule of not leaving your men behind, Dan and Andy speed off, Skell and Pete go somewhere, Me and Jordan are going a nice pace not too fast not too slow and Frenchie and Kitchen are something else. BAsically frenchie is not paddling at all so Kitchen is doing it all its so funny! they are miles behind us! It is such a fun day we get to Fishermans Island its raining and grey and drizzly but its so pretty and its all ours. Its so nice. Its so cold in the water and so cold out the water no one knows where to go haha. By the time we get to the next beaches it is sunny weather again yey so its gorgeous!! I think one of the best things about the kayaks was the yellow fisherman jacket we got to wear to be honest! I felt like a real sea worker in mine. So we get back we are soo shattered so we head to the campsite have showers and head to the pub. The pub is wicked its a pizza place, the guy who serves us is a geordie from Jesmond!! wahey!! he's lived here for 6 years and is such a geordie its class! he's some mad sculptor during the day and works in the pub on a night hes a pretty cool dude. And its always good to meet a fellow geordie. They do local cider there i dont know whats in it, but 2 pints and I'm pretty wasted!!
That night Chris wakes the whole campsite up singing one of his lovely love songs haha its hilarious although not so much at the time when the whole camp was screaming at us. I also forgot to mention after coming back from kayaking we found a note on Andys car like 'thank for camping in the wrong spot dickheads' haha oops. So we head to reception to sort it as we dont want to move obviously so we end up paying $10 in total so we can stay there. what a good saving haha it should have been $6 each i think!
The next day we are up super early as we are doing a cruise up the abel tasman and then getting dropped off for a 10km hike along the track - so excited!! Abel Tasman is so stunning. Its such yellow sand beaches - not what we're used to in Chch. its more dark dirty sand there that burns your feet so bad on a hot day. The sea is all turquoise and green and blue its so beautiful here. I'm literally buzzing my whole timehere as its a feast for the eyes and I am a total beach girl so to see such gorgeous beaches again i'm pretty happy to say the least. We get the cruise its pretty chilly in the morning so we all have our xmas jumpers on with shorts. We'd ordered a lunch from the pub the night before luckily so we have that for breakfast thank god as we have a long day of hiking ahead of us. We cruise for maybe 2 hours before we get off and start our hike. We all seperate in to our kayak groups of course. Andy and Dan to the front rushing to get to some pools, and and jordan are 3rd as I make us go down some 10 minute track the others dont want to go down and they miss probably the nicest part of the whole track (idiots haha) it is this little beach with a sandbank its lush! we swim to the sandbank and chill there for a bit before we move on. Frenchie and Kitchen actually over take us at this point. Me and Jordan spend a bit of time running the track to make up time so we can spend more time chilling on the beaches which is cool. It s a lovely hike I would definitely already like to come back for longer as you could spend days and days here hiking and kayaking its a lovely place so peaceful too. We finally make it to the cleopatras pools which are such an overly exaggerated part of the track so dissapointed when we get here. So glad we didnt rush the whole track to get here as its at the end where we get picked up pretty much, So we get there stay for a bit find frenchie and kitchen there and then we run off to spend some time at the beach where we get picked up from. We get there, to find the other 4, Andy and Dan have been there over an hour - silly excitable boys haha. I go straight in the sea its amazing as I was so sweaty and hot!!
The boat picks us up and off we head back to camp. a quick shower and we're back in the pub, I have 3 pints tonight maybe even 4 and a pizza and I am wasted. On the way back I get totally lost and have no idea where I am despite it being a straight walk back... oh dear. We look at the stars on the way anyways as they are epic here and you can see one of the planets I think Saturn I cant really remember though obviously. good job Jordan is there as he manages to get me back to the tent. That cider is dangerous man!!
In the morning we pack up and have breakfast in the town outside of Abel Tasman and then on our way home we stop at some Japanese hot pools - they are like some sort of brothel hot pools its so weird. I'm not a huge fan and there is sandflies everywhere and they kill like a b**** then make you itch for the next 10 years. They are natural sulpher pools which is kinda cool but its in a hotel and I am being fully serious when I say i think its a brothel haha. Makes me laugh though. After the pools me and kitchen get a beer and sit outside looking at the mountain view its so nice and chilled depsite all the potential prositution going on.
So the next trip me and Jordan go on is a camping trip to Arthurs Pass and the West Coast. Ive been desperate to stay at this campsite on Arthurs Pass as there is a waterfall on a small track there and also glow worms on site!! The glow worms lured me there I swear, I think its mad that they manage to glow in the dark. So smart and weird all at once. So we go on friday evening after work. We are even prepared with a little bbq all sorted out for once and rum and vodka standard work by me. So off we go, we get to the campsite just before its getting dark and set up it feels pretty chilly but we get a nice spot shaded by some trees. This is a beautiful campsite it has 5 stars it has hairdryers in the ladies bathrooms! the kitchen is like a huge country kitchen not like the usual camp kitchens you get. This place is top notch!! So we go to the BBQ area to find it has no gas - doh. Luckily we had our own disposable one anyways, but no lighter or matches... Jordan lights it in the kitchen off the gas hob its hillarious it basically blows up and there is a chinese family in the kitchen who are all 'oooh aaaah' and look panicked. Jordan has some MacPac coat on that looks like it will soon be stuck to his skin forever as he carried the blazing fire outside. Luckily it calmed down and the BBQ commenced. We had steak, and burgers we even have salad. Infact i even got us some fancy potato salad but no forks obviously so we struggle to eat that. We were almost all sorted for once but we always manage to forget something. We also ate some packs of burger monster munch which are the greatest crips to come out of NZ. MMM. We really are right fatties. So Arthurs Pass is in the middle of the country maybe...? We think we see a kiwi, but it is more likely to be a weka but I'm almost convinced its a kiwi but Jordan refuses to beleive it as theyre so rare. Whatever it is steals my leftover steak anyway... but anyways this is a very isolated and green part of nz as I think they get a lot of bad weather. But its a gorgeous calm night no rain or wind and the stars are absolutely epic. We are now both huge star geeks, I was from OZ anyways but they are amazing here too! So little light pollution in NZ when you consider they have 4 million people and UK has 69 million and the countries are about the same size. Its so much greenery and farm land here. Its a stunning country. So so beautiful. Every drive around to anywhere has lovely views. I love how many mountain ranges there are here too. So much forest and mountains. Good combination. So when its really dark we go to the stream to see the glow worms. They are so strange we borrow a flash light from the lovely campsite owner and we find them straight away its so weird but awesome. Even when you shine a light on them you can still see them just not glowing. Such a mad thing to see. So we then head back to camp and we swear a warthog was in the bushes so we s*** our pants a bit and run home. If you think I was dramatic alone, me and Jordan are more team drama than ever together!!
The next morning we get up have ice cream first then eggs and bacon, potato salad for breakfast. I know ice cream for breakfast... i live the dream me. I think I'm on a ice cream tour of NZ as I eat it everywhere just to make sure its ok for the locals. We then start the track for the waterfall, its a 20 minute walk so off we go through the thick forest. We get to the start of it and it sounds loud but we cant see it. I wasnt massively expecting an amazing waterfall as its just on a campsite... it was huge!! and really big amazingly beautiful waterfall. I was not prepared for that, I feel like captain cook for a moment discoverig some new amazing part of the world. Its so cool. The water is so clear there too I really want to get in there. I do put my feet in obviously but not my whole body I fear the waterfall may crush me against the rocks which is never good... So after the waterfall we are just buzzing, on our way out of the campsite I speak to the owner to tell him how much I love this place and he tells me its for sale as his wife is sick so I offer him $1000... he turns me down unfortunately. But I assure him this will go soon I reckon its a perfect campsite to take over. Me and Jordan then plan what we would do with it on our way West. Make it a complete hippy campsite with star bean bags areas and hot tubs. I would love to have a business like that, he build it himself too. Its amazing. I bet its hard work that is very rewarding and we both had the best sleep we ever had while camping in NZ it wasnt even cold in the middle of the night it was so mild. The tent wasnt even condensationed up in the morning which is how you can tell how cold it is the night before dont ya know. The grass on the sites is lovely and soft!! I would happily camp there again although I imagine we might not get so lucky with the weather next time as the weather is generally dire there.
We head on to the west coast. We're heading to stay at Hokitika but going to Greymouth first to check it out. On route we go past a sign advertising 'psychic readings' so off we go for a bit of that. As we pull into this mad, run down, gypsyfied estate we realise we have about $3 between us... So a Maori guy in a vest approaches the car and we tell him we want the psychicness. So he gets this lady, no bra,shirt barely buttoned up. About 50ish pretty plump. She looks like she just rolled out of bed... there is some abandoned looking caravans and buses on their land. its like something out of wolf creek to be honest. I think you're lucky you're reading this. So we ask if she accepts Eftpos already knowing these pikeys clearly dont work like that. She tells us its $70 cash only we say we're coming back this way in a few days so we might pop back to see her. She tries to give Jordan a reading as I think she likes the look of him (he has pikey in his blood) shes asking him if he has 4 in his family he says yes but actually he has 5... doh. She asks if any of his close family have had bike accidents he says no but actually both his parents lost brothers in bike accidents... doh. But she bangs on about some more stuff and its a whole load of baloney so we say our good byes and promise to come back... hell no.
So we're almost on the west officially and we see a road sign for historic Roman or Maori Baths or something like that so we pull over thinking its time for a swim wahey as its a hot day obviously cos we live in NZ and thats how this place rolls. So we rock up and discover an empty grass filled pitch. that I assume was once a swimming pool about 1000 years ago. So gutted about that fail! I dont know why we assumes off the road there would be a walking path to a nice swimming pool. But we did anyways haha.
We get to Greymouth - what a major let down. It takes us about 25 mins to find the 'centre' literally nothing is open but the pubs and the $2 store. Its so weird. All the shops say they're open until 3pm on Saturdays but its 12 and nothing is open and there is no one here either. It feels like we didnt hear about a major earthquake and everyone else did. Its such a miserable place its definitely not my kind of place. We go to the pub for a drink and we end up in some kind of heartbeat type situation with a carvery in the middle of the bar, its more like a social club than a pub its so random. The carvery smells amazing though like a real roast from home. But their choice of veg is weird and there is no yorkshires. We then decide we've been in greymouth too long and escape to hokitika!
I worry Hokitika is going to be the same but its so much nicer thank godness. Its Valentines Day so Jordan has booked us a beach cabin so we can have a night off camping. So we head to the campsite and get checked in, Our cabin is amazing, a little kitchen area and everything with hot chocolate, tea! its so perfect. A lovely bathroom too and we have heating and aircon. It doesnt have a beach view but a view of the llamas and sheet on the campsite. its a 2 minute walk to the beach which is so stunning. its all rugged looking! We go for sunset its totally epic and again we are so lucky with the weather as it ALWAYS rains on west coast but its a lovely night!! Our campsite has a hot tub so we book in there for an hour so we go there and chill out but its soo hot we almost die in it! Jordan is then convinced he's found a whiteback in the toilet so I ask if it has a white bum and he says no... I dont know where I get him from he lives in the clouds more than me! Whitebacks are the most dangerous spider here they dont kill you but you get a bad bite off them and often need hospital treatment. I'm fairly sure I actually got bitten off one in little river as I had a huge nasty bite on the back of my leg but I'm pretty tough cos I'm a northener so I survive :)
That night after sunset we go to the town which reminds me so much of Keswick in the Lakes it has the same clock tower this and everything its so pretty. I love it. NZ isnt like home though with the amount of people in the country really affecting dining times. So we get to the bars/restaurants and cafes at 8 and its too late to eat. OH no!! We've drank a bottle of champers by this point so I need food now please. Luckily we discover an Indian restaurant that wont let us dine in but will get us takeaway we are over the moon. We get Onion bhajis, Chicken Saag which we request Indian hot and he makes a big song and dance about hot it is going to be and its milder than a flipping korma. But not matter its still lovely. We also get some naan bread and we take it back to the cabin where we have plates and stuff so its perfect!! And we have it in bed watching a movie. What a perfect day! Who said romance was dead!
So the next day we go for breakfast in Keswick - I mean Hokitika. We then head to a place called Shanty Town its basically like Beamish. Its so cool but also terrible all at once. We do manage to get dressed up saloon days style however which is cool but none of the clothes fit me as they're so big. Thats a rare one for ya!! For some reason all the ladies clothes are for giant women. But we pose at the bar, playing poker and by the piano its so much fun!! We get the bar one as we look the coolest. The photographer wasnt amazing, and we're both perfect models obviously so I dont know what she was doing but some of the pics are horrendous!! Shantytown is so weird, it takes us about 2 hours no word of lie to get some ice cream. But when we do manage to get some its the largest ice cream I ever got i think!! Orange chocolate chip and hokey pokey is what I went for - amazing!! We pay extra to do gold panning there and obviously when we get to that part there is no one there so we start gold panning ourselves. Then the guy turns up and he isnt amused haha. He's so miserable. Its probably because he works somewhere that gets 4 visitors on average every day... it is actually an old town where the chinese settled though for the mining which is cool so there is a china town type sort of place there. And obviously a lot of chinese come to NZ so its perfect for them I reckon. But its so weird... we get the steam train to this random bit where this a rock and a few wekas and then it stayed there for about 30 mins when there wasnt anything going on there and we were all just stranded there awkwardly waiting for it to go back. So funny. I dont think I'd recommend it but obviously when you're from the home of beamish you have high standards of these old village type musuem places. The best part was all the pictures you stick your head through for photos to be honest. We just struggled to find enough people to take our pictures when we were posing in them!!
But anyways I think this might be a long enough entry about my camping trips. So I will leave you guys to continue with your lives... much love xxxxxxxxx