Tuesday, 13 December 2011

New Zealand Highlights

First we saw Christchurch, there isn't much happening here, lots of the city is still shut off to tourist, but they have one small set of shops which are build out of sea shipping containers, with glass fronts and stacked with balconies, very interesting architectural project, worth checking out.

From there we went to Kaikoura where we stayed in a hostel named The Dolphin Lodge, which has a hot tub, and went whale watching, we saw 3 sperm whales, and I have a really great video of one diving and its tail in the water, they were unbelievably big, especially compared with Orca whales we saw in Vancouver a few years ago.

Then to the Abel Tasman national park, Westport, and Franz Josef, where Lee and I did the Full day hike, 7 hours of walking on ice, shimmying through ice caves, walking over crevasses and our guide carving out steep steps as we went.

We stayed in Wanaka for only one night, but the lake with the snow topped mountains in the background were so beautiful and apparently they have a cinema there where the seat are all different and you can watch the films sat in a beetle car, and they bake cookies for the intermission!
Our Kiwi bus driver told everyone on the bus, that if they went to the Lake at 5pm with Peanut Butter sandwiches, they could feed the Dolphins, shockingly some people on the bus did turn up, and even started questioning locals about when the Dolphins would be getting there, the confused local told them, they must be thinking of Ducks, how can a Dolphin get into a Lake? (the power of the Microphone)

After that we headed to Queenstown, the Adrenaline town, first day we went up the ski lifts, and went on the Luge (like go carting) and in the envening we decided to check out the infamous Ferg Burger, where we both enjoyed Fresh, Huge Falafel burgers and Lee had his with a Gluten Free Bun too!
The second day we spent doing a full day trip and cruise of Milford Sounds (a huge bay) beautiful, postcard worthy scenery and underwater aquarium, this included the cruise ship backing into a waterfall, while those of us on the front deck got absolutely drenched!
On our last day Lee and I decided in Tandem to step off a cliff into a canyon, after a 60 meter freefall we swung across the canyon before being hoisted back up. The locals refer to this as the Canyon Swing, and there are over 70 ways to jump/be pushes off the ledge, we went for a 2 pants scary rating out of 5, pretty brave I think! We heard that Orlando Bloom had just been in town for the filming of The Hobbit, darn, we must have just missed him.

Next we were dropped off at Lake Tekapo, where during the day we scaled Mt John, exhausting ourselves before a coffee at the Astro Cafe, waiting at the top, along with some amazing views. In the night time sky observatory and saw the Moon, Jupiter and the southern cross as well as the closes stars (Sirius and Canopus) to earth through telescopes! Again, we found out the Hobbiton crew had been in town only a day before us, camped up near Mt John.

We crossed over to the north island and went Sky Diving from 15000 ft, jumping out of a plane at Taupo, over views of the largest lake in New Zealand and (Lord of the Rings) Mt Doom!

We have a few days left before we leave for china, but we have definitely enjoyed our time in the adventure capital of the world, let hope there is more excitement in store for these newly turned adrenaline junkies!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds like you've had the best time in NZ and have really made the most of all the adrenaline activities too! I'm very jealous! Hopefully we'll be able to have a go at some of the activities too, especially the sky diving which I've always wanted to do, it looks epic! :)