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NEW ZEALAND...THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH ISLAND

23 °C

IT IS THE 4TH OF MARCH AND AFTER 8 LONG FAB MONTHS IN AUSTRALIA I DEPART ON MY FLIGHT TO NEW ZEALAND. MY FIRST STOP IS CHRISTCHURCH(IT IS FREEZING HAD TO BUY A JUMPER) LOCATED ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE SOUTH ISLAND. THE MOUNTAIN RANGES FROM THE AEROPLANE ARE MAGNIFICENT,SO DIFFRENT TO ANYTHING I HAVE EVER SEEN.CHRISTCHURCH IS THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE SOUTH BUT VERY SMALL IN COMPARISON TO THE CITIES IN OZ.IT IS AN OLD FASHIONED ENGLISH STYLE PLACE WITH A BEAUTIFUL CATHEDRAL AND THE MANY SHOPS SELLING WALKING GEAR AND NEW ZEALAND WOOL. I STAY IN A HOSTEL CALLED THE JAILHOUSE,IT IS AN OLD RENOVATED JAIL AND I HAVE A BUNK IN A VERY COLD CELL!!
HERE I PLAN MY JOURNEY AROUND NEW ZEALAND DECIDING BETWEEN RENTING A CAR OR TAKING THE BUS. I EVENTUALLY CHOOSE THE MAGIC BUS A NETWORK THAT STOPS OFF AT MOST PLACES AND ALSO TAKES YOU TO SOME PLACES YOU PROBABLY WOULDNT GET TO YOURSELF.

MY FIRST STOP IS KAIKOURA WHICH IN MOARI MEANS TO EAT(KAI)CRAYFISH(KOURA) IF YOU HADNT GUESSED THEY ARE HUGE ON SEAFOOD HERE AS WELL AS WHALE WATCHING AND WILD DOLPHIN SWIMMING.(THE WEATHER IS NOW SUPER) I EMBARK ON A WHALE WATCH EARLY ENOUGH TO CATCH A SUPER SUNSET. WE SEE THE HUGE WINGSPAN OF THE ALBATROSS,A POD OF DUSKY DOLPHINS...AND THE A FABULOUS 18 METRE WHALE WHICH AFTER BREATHING ON THE SURFACE FOR 15 MINUTES DIVES BACK DOWN TO FEED DISPLAYING HIS MAGNIFICENT TAIL ...A MOMENT TO REMEMBER. FOR SUPPER I ROUND THE DAY OFF WITH SOME TASTY GREEN LIPPED MUSSELS AND A CRAYFISH PATTIE...YUM.

THE JOURNEY ON THE MAGIC BUS IS WONDERFUL BECAUSE THE SCENERY IS JUST AMAZING,THE MANY DIFFRENT COLOURS.THE MOUNTAINS,THE LAKES AND THE GREENERY CHANGE ROUND EVERY CORNER.IT HASNT TAKEN ME LONG TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS PICTURESQUE COUNTRY.
AFTER A LONG JOURNEY MY NEXT STOP IS NELSON LYING IN THE NORTH WEST. I LIKE IT HERE MAYBE BECAUSE THE SUN IS SHINING AGAIN. FROM HERE I GO TO THE ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK WHERE I DO A 5 HR SCENIC WALK ONE DAY, KIP IN A LUXURY TENT AND KAYAK BACK THE NEXT DAY. .... VERY TIRED.

THE MAGIC BUS DOES EARLY MORNING PICK UPS SO MY ALARM IS SET MOST DAYS FOR 630AM. AS I HEAD DOWN THE WEST COAST THE SCENERY MAKES THE EARLY ALARM WORTH WHILE. WE STOP OFF AT ROSS AN OLD GOLD MINING TOWN THEN WE VIEW THE PANCAKE ROCKS,BASICALLY ROCKS THAT LOOK LIKE LAYERS OF PANCAKES AFTER THIS WE
SPEND THE NIGT IN GREYMOUTH NOT A LOT GOING ON HERE BUT A BREWERY TOUR FOR A TENNER TURNED OUT TO BE GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY ONCE THE HOST LET US LOOSE ON THE TAPS !! I MEET A BUNCH OF GUYS HERE AND ARRANGE TO MEET UP WITH THEM FURTHER DOWN THE TRACK FOR ST PATRICKS NIGHT.

FRANZ JOSEF
FJ IS A SMALL VILLAGE AND HOME OF A LARGE GLACIER OF WHICH I CLIMB. I CHOOSE A FULL DAYS GUIDED HIKE OVER A HALF DAY OR A HELICOPTER RIDE WHICH IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE. THE HIKE IS AMZING,YOU ARE KITTED OUT IN WARM CLOTHING,BOOTS AND CRAMPONS. YOU SET OFF WITH YOUR GUIDE WHO CARVES OUT STEPS IN THE ICE FOR YOU TO MAKE IT SLIGHTLY EASIER. THE WALK WAS PHYSICALLY DEMANDING AND COLD AT TIMES BUT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND WELL WORTH THE EFFORT.

WANAKA AND QUEENSTOWN
1 NIGHT STOP IN LAKE WANAKA WAS SO LOVELY AND PEACEFUL. THE LAKE IS BEAUTIFUL WITH THE HOSTEL HAVING FAB VIEWS.YOU CAN SEE WHY THIS PLACE COMES A CLOSE 2ND TO QUEENSTOWN ON TOP DESTINATONS FOR THE SOUTH ISLAND.
QUEENSTOWN IS BY FAR THE MOST POPULAR PLACE IN THE SOUTH. IT IS HOME OF THE ADRENALIN JUNKIE AND THE VERY FIRST BUNGEE WAS HERE ON THE KAWARAU BRIDGE. HAVING CONTEMPLATED TAKING PART IN THIS NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE I DECIDE ON A NOTHER ACTIVITY A LITTLE MORE APPEALLING. ITS CALLED THE FLY BY WIRE (SEE PIC)THE ONLY 1 IN THE WORLD AND ALTHOUGH LOOKS SCARY WAS SO MUCH FUN AND PROVIDED ADECENT WORK OUT FOR MY ADRENALIN GLANDS. I STAY IN QUEENSTOWN 3 NIGHTS AND SPEND 1 DAY CRUISING MILFORD SOUNDS ANOTHER RIDING THE GONDALA AND THE LUGE AND THE 3RD ON THE FLY BY WIRE WITH A SERIOUS ST PADDIES HANGOVER.

SADLY LEAVING QUEENSTOWN FOR DUNEDIN ORIGINALLY A SCOTTISH SETTLEMENT AND FULL OF STUDENTS WHO ATTEND THE UNNIVERSITY HERE. THE PLACE IS QUIET AS ITS EASTER AND EVERYTHING IS SHUT DOWN YET GOOD TIMING FOR A WEE TRIP TO THE CADBURY FACTORY IN TIME FOR A HALF PRICE EASTER EGG!!

MY LAST STOP IN THE SOUTH ISLAND IS LAKE TEKAPO. WE DONT ARRIVE HERE TILL 4PM JUST IN TIME FOR A LAZY EVENING SAT BY THE LAKE WITH A COUPLE OF BEERS ROUNDING OFF THIS BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE WORLD IN STYLE ON THE BANKS OF YET ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL LAKE. NEW ZEALAND TRULY IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD :)

Posted by TUTS 23:17 Archived in New Zealand

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