One month in New FREEZING Zealand


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island
June 20th 2009
Published: June 23rd 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

AUCKLAND
- every item of clothing on...no shoes but flip flop and its 1'C outside....

THE CAMPER VANS
2 weeks...automatics...find yourself reaching for the gear stick constantly either that or Caz's leg - whoops. There were a couple of trips to the old McDonalds drive through we must admit but it has to be doen right?! Most of the time we camped on the roadside/picnis sites where we could find them and endured soem very freezing nights and many adventure toilets times, cold bums and washing our pots and pans in publice toilets....unacceptable? One night we did park outside a rugby club in the vain hope that some very fine looking men would wake us up in the morning however that was not the case what we were awoken by was 10ye old boys and their parents...soooo. And no we didnt get lost I was cheif navigator and I'm pretty good the only issue we came across was when I said left on many occasssions a certain someone went the opposite way, plenty of U-turns inolved!
Only twice did we hit other cars though and only once did we run the battery flat eeeep.
1- the people who's cars we hit were very nice and didnt mind ...thank god
2- the flat battery let us learn how to jump start a car, involved some gorgeous smelling men, some very lovely foreign men who didn't speak english, a nice garage man who lent us his jump leads from a new packet in the petrol station for free and a call out from a baffled AA man who couldn't jump start the car either until after 30 mins found a 2nd battery hidden and bolted beneath the first ..ridiculous yes!
There was also a lot of questionable cliff corners to drive around in the darka nd fog and rain which when we saw the next morning we couldn't believe that we had driven through those mountains...would have driven ten times slower had we seen the drop at the side of us.


HAMILTON- no nightlife boring.........no one about great ...get some dinner and cook in a car park..we're classy camping ladies now! We decide to set up camp adrive in the direction of our first destination and park up in a picnic site at the side of the road, and maybe scrape the underside of the car aong the kerb...whoops...we'e doing well already! Conveniently the vans have DVD players in so we all snuggle one both duvets and all our clothes. back to girlie times with no men missing John and Phil. Have a very bad sleep in the cold and several adventure toilet times in the bushes.


WAITOMO CAVES
So bright fresh looking haggish ...better get used to it too ....we head down to the Waitomo caves where in the slightly warmer by 1 degree temperature we'er going black water tubing through underground caves full of glow worms. Get a briefing get some already soaked wet suits and begrudgingly put them on....its cold we look chunky and the first thing we have to do is jump off a bloody bridge into a stream for "practice" ....we leap onto our tubes hoping not to fall fully into the water but lo and behold you bloomin do and then water gushes out of your helmet just to make sure you're extra wet! It is retty funny though! Bushwalk through the forest to the cave entrance a samll creavice int he rocks on the floor and down we go into the dark. Stalagmites and staglagtites everwhere and a river to wade through until we reach the waterfalls.......a dark drop into the cavern, so bent over bum in tube backwards jump into the abyss ...and yes Katie I love it like I Love you! Swish through the caves with some more added clambering over rocks glow worms leading the way along the ceiling of the caves. Lights off for the last part floating int he darkness trying to find the way out strings hanging from the glow worms and many good reasons to be wearing your helmet...low rocks ouch and falling bugs mmm tasty but a beautiful sight to see and the illuminated tails of this tiny little creatures gathered in their very own underground world. BLoody aweosme fun as well, water rapids in the dark could only get better if it were warm but thats not likely!
And at teh end hot showers and free soup bagels and I'm not writing what you wrote in my diary Katie ..I'm appauled and you're a pervert! he he!
Van time, DVD time and a drive to Rotorua where we camp at a rugby club hoping to be woken in the morning by some strapping rugby men.


ROTORUA
Museum of Rotorua set in the old Bath house of the thermal hot springs which surround this area. It was once a very posh spa used for curing ailments and relaxation of the wealthy. It also features a display about the eruption of teh Tewara Volcano which destroyed the famous pink and white terraces which pooled varying temperatures of water in which the locals used to bathe. Rotorua is set in the crater which was left behind after that eruption and there are still thermal pols in the town and its parks bubbling out of the ground and smelling of sulphur.....aka rotten eggs and bottom gasses...oooooo nice ...thats what we wake up to each day!Visit a moauri church surrounded by areas of steam and boiling water bubbling up from beneath the ground.


WAIOTAPU THERMAL WONDERLAND
Sounds thrilling doesn't it? Don't get me wrong it certainly is beautiful but I wouldn't go as far as to call it a wonderland. Basically it is the southern hemisphere's largest thermal area with many a beautiful thermal areas and an erupting gieser which shoots steam and water high into the air early int he morning. The rest is several water areas my favourite of which is aptly named the Artists Palette and it certainly has the ppearance of one with vibrant colurs emrging from the surface at one end and blends of pastel at the other. Also get to see some natural mud pools which make a satisfying glup glup sound and gets all over me since I insist on touching the stuff.

SKYDIVE in TAUPO
Wake up early ofr the pickup skys looking alright few clouds out and about but i's still goign ahead....eeeeep. Minibus to the airport and watch some videos before proceedin to be jump suited up big bright red one stoo , silly goggles and gloves becasue its COOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLD up there believe me! AMy gets the hottie strapped ot her and a get the joker going by the name of Juddy wo thinks its funny to half tip me out of the open door of the plane whilst we're travelling very very fast...JOKER. ...12,000ft and eeep I'm out first tumbling towards the ground round and round and roudn and upside down until we stabalise and we're facing the ground wind rushign past freezing air hurting the tips of my fingers but boy what a view.....snow capped mountains to the left, the east caost beaches stretching out in front and Lake Taupo and the town beneath us....40 seconds and whoosh. silence. not a sound at all ...parachutes out and we're reacefully floating to earth through the clouds with the odd sick feeling twirl. Thud landing run run run . Awesome experience though want to do it again beacause there is no other feeling like it shame it costs about a million pounds!!
Had a few well earned jugs of snakebite and met some terribly boring young english boys oh well we had fun without them once we'd ditched them whoops.

NAPIER
Mauori History Museuam and another Earthquake display, a graveyard display eeerrie learn many things that geopgrahper would be proud of such as why the weather is the way it in New Zealand and how the 15 tectonic plates of the world interact and causes that catastrophes that they do...all very educational. No drinking involved!!

WELLINGTON
The Worlds most amazing museum Te Peoe with the world's largest captured collosal squid caught off the coast of Antartica. WE learn more about tectonic plates but in a far more interactive way than the last place and about tsunamis too. There were lots of films to watch and things to play with so much so that we spent the whole day there and the best thing about it was that it was FREEEE...Drinking time! FREEEZING outside yet we all still dress in our favourite one layered not very warm outfits and venture off intot he night after several glasses of bottled wine ...not boxes of wine....we treated ourselves! Have afew beverages at another hostela nd try to locate the local nightclub which we unfortunately discover is closed so stumble into town and find a live music band night to keep us entertained....get chatted up by a man who has already chatted up the whole bar and thinks we haven't seen him...try again mr. Great band and yet more disgusting men which we casually dance away from and en dup being the last people in the club requesting all the songs we want to hear super!

NELSON
Sleep in a potential dogging area and this just happens to be where our battery went flat ....lucky us. Wonderful daytime market with plenty of free sample which pretty much served us all for breakfast and some cheeky buys of jewellery and some very over-priced but also very nice dips for our lunch. Had a wonder round everyone very nice to us even find a place giving away free burgers and then get handed a leaflet for free internet at a new club tahst opening...free is always good! Japanese gardens add some beauty to our day despite needing ten more layers than we currently own. Had a lovely evening planned as well however due to teh stupid placing of our car battery under the DVD player battery it was ruined....thanks for that camper van people.

BLENHIEM ---VINEYARDS AND WINE TASTING
Pop and see Angels and Demons fantastic film if you've read the book...obviously book much better but still love it anyway...also Milk good film too....there's nto much to do at night in New Zealnd there were a lot of films watched! But the best thing about Blenhiem was the vineyards...
We hired bicycles for our tour of the local wineries ...oh yes helmets and all we looked super cool. It was only a few kilometers between each one and we had the most fantastic slightly drunk by the end of it day. We learn how to taste and smell varities of sauvignon blanc looking for cut grass, kiwi and passionfruit flavours. We sampled many chardonny's whicha re now deffinately not to my liking and soem very nice wood smoked fire tasting Pinot Noirs. We went ot 3 vineyards int oatla nd were graced by the glory of sunshien all through the day. We alo got to taste various liquors, olive oils, vinigerettes and mulled wines at one of them. Yes we did buy a bottle of wine for lunch too....good job we took the bikes and not the camper vans. We finished the day off in an english pub with a beef hot pot and a pint of cider...classy!

HAMNER SPRINGS
After some furry New Zealand seal spotting along the way down the coast we stopped for the morning at the bottom of some snowy mountains at some thermal pools with temperatures ranging from 24'C-40'C and it was very welcome considering there was ice piled on our car when we woke up. There were several mineral pools and sulphur pools where we spent our entire afternoon hopping form one to the other never lingering in the cold ones mind because being half nake in winter is nooooo fun.

CHRISTCHURCH
Drop off our lovely campervans which have given us so much joy and no sleep because it's so sodding cold and check into a place with beds and heating whoop! Have a lazy couple of days sorting ourselves out and showering because showers have been few and far between in the vans ....yes we're disgusting now too. Have a session out and meet some lovely men in the bar downsatirs who are determined to show us some great places to go out, shame they are only Walls. They kindly buy us soem beverages as you do and escort us to a very cheap place where the company is great and the music is pretty damn good too. Meet Bracey and Toothy and arrogant man who for soem reason we spend the night dancing doing shots and drinking with....not sure why none of them are particularly entertaining but they buy us drinks so I guess tahts why...dance drink dance drink standard procedure.

OAMARU
Get the bus to Oamaru without Katie and Caz because they forgot to get up in time whooooops but we have to go ...we're not mean...becasue we'll lose money otherwise eep. Arrive int he sleepy town and find the nearest food source which for me is now instant noodles due to not having any money anymore another whooops.Very homely place we stay in hot water bottles and duvets, log fire and dvds for free. We have a wonder around the heritage sites and find penny farthings and people dressed in clothing to match ....normal apparently ...thats the charm about this town and you can wonder into the hteatre play the piano or watch the limestone carver at work. In the evening however is when the best show is......teh coming home of the 24cm tall blue furry penguins its a very cold wait in silence but sure enough they emerge out of the sea and waddle and jump up the rocks into their homes for the night, very very small and ever so cute, a beautiful sight to see and then when they are home they satrt talking to each other swarking through the night air. We even spot one who went the wrong way waddlign across the acr park on our walk home. Very very cute and appear much like tiny men in suits with tehir legs tied together he he

DUNEDIN
Meet soem drunks before we even arrive convinced that I am old enough to be CAz's mum....thanks. Dunedin anyways smells liek chocolate tahnsk to the Cadbury factory however, in case you didnt know the chocolate here is awful even if it is Cadbury becasue to stop it melting apparently tehy put a form of wax in it like they do in Oz so your chocolate does nto melt in your mouth it crumbles and has te after taste of a car tyre. Stay in a very lovely hostel aside form the fact that the owner insists on having the windows open all day to air the place so consequently its bloody cold! Again oh well....the advantage is that 36 rugby girls (wish they were boys) come to stay with too much food and let us have all the leftovers of lasagne potatos salad lovely!! Int he evening aside from drinkourselves silly we went on a ghost tour of the towns alleyways old hospitals, closed down libarrys and churches which was enteratining to say the least if not a bit scary like it shoudl be I suppose. An no there were no good clubs here either although a few good bands agian. WE aslo again found ourselves a museum to visit which with a hangover we usually find amusing and we did there were actual live husky dogs and scones jam and cream, aside formt he food there was also a very stunnign dislplay of photography form the Antartic of barran lands wher no one has stepped no words to discribe it but certainly would make any one want to visit and I may do some day

OTAGO PENINSULA
A day of Nature rambling across the cliff of the coast in gale force winds which is you lean over will support your weight!! We an Albatross, a furry seal colony, yellow eyed penguins coming home to nest, and got chased up the beach by an enormous sea lion but don't worry they only bite when you're within a metre or so of them we only got 110cm away ....run they run fast!! Again an amazing day out and to get so close to these animals int he wild is an experience that Iw oudl recommend to anyone just don't get that close to a sealion thats all!

QUEENSTOWN
Surrounded by snow capped mountains and a beautiful marina to see toobut I'm not going to lie there was a lot of drinking from wine boxes involved and not much of the snow involved. Zoe left for her interview in England and so we had to drown our sorrows....SO there was a french weirdo in our dorm who spoke through his hair and returned each nigth with either a new mobile phone or someone elses credit card.....there was a rugby match which unfortunately for the night out france won....there very touchy bouncers who would chuck you out if you made any face that remotely seemed abonormal, several dreaded men that we made friedns with, a jake Gyllanhall looklike whos scarf he donated to me only to return two days later asking for it back and handing us our dorm key which we apparently didn't have anymore (we hadn't noticed), there was a a lot of Pork and Leeks int he nightclubs, and there was a night where Zoe decided her and I should run home in our underwear, there was crying in the pizza place, crying in McDonalds and crying just about everywhere, There was alot of drunk emailing halfway through clubbign and even a drunk phone call or two too, along with some film romance replys, There were some very unacceptable times of explaining our lives to people in a lot of detail and there was a man whos name was Seat as in chair. We aslo had soem sober tiems with nice coffee big scarves and pub lunches but hangovers ruled our lives for that week. We aslo saw THE BEST FILM EVER ---THE HANGOVER ......story of our lives or what??

MILFORD SOUND
Supposedly the msot beautifully scenice area in New Zealnd again with those good old snow capped moutnains and plenty of lakes too soem with soem very picturesque reflective qualities. A tour throught eh moutnain tops reaching 1000m about sea level and spiralling back down for aboat trip where we were joind by some bottled nosed dolphins and a rainbow int he background perfect! Outstanding views and spectacular scenery all day long with complementary tea nd coffee too....long day out but well worth the sights we saw

WANAKA
A short one night stay and to the cinema again btu not your average cinema its a cinems with sofas to sit on or a car to sit in if you fancy it, it also comes with the most delicious warm chocolate chip cookies I've had since Ben's Cookies stopped serving theirs warm and you can pre-order food for the interval which is served to you on trays so you don't have to move and you can continue watching the film. All very lovely untilw ediscover the films content, since there is only one film a day we were stuck with this one, it involved graphic scenec of drug searching and naked men, portests involving faeces an d maggots...the film called the hunger about the IRA politaical prisoners during Thatchers rein over Britain ...what a film to watch whilst you are enjoying your dinner....or not.

FRANZ JOSEPH
ahhh the glacier...the girls didnt fancy climbing up it onoly walking the face but I certainly wouldn't turn down an opportunity llike this one so off I went on my half day trek on the ice. Made a best friend for the day and looked very cosy too with wlaking boots hat gloves scraf crampons and waterproofs. I join the medium walk groups and we clamber up the side of the glacier onto the top until we find the cracks int he ice where the colour is a perfect blue, we descend into the cracks and navigate our way through caves, creavices, pools and valleys of ice admiring the layers and clearness of the ice....absolutely phenomenal and the view form the top is immense. The sun is out and it is a wonderful day for it too....the ice does make it a couple of degrees colder but certainly nothing to spoil the adventure.

GREYMOUTH AND THE DAY ON MY OWN
I haven't enough money to get the trainstraight to christchurch to fly to aucland to fly to Fiji so I have to wait a dya on my own in greymouth for the much cheaper coach to chrictchurch I think it's goign to be boring but I make a friend and it changes that. First of all the hostel I'm staying at has free baked goods from 4pma nd since there is only 5 of us in the hostel it's brilliants beacuse there are 7 boxes of pies cake cream cakes muffins sausages and every pastry imaginable ....secondly we have hot water bottels big duvets mints ono ur pillow and baths...including free bubble bath. Amya nd I happy with our choice are also encourage dot go ont he local brewery tour this evening at Montieiths brewery.....I wonder around the town unitl then. SOooooo...breweryt our all very interesing and allorganic apparently alwasy good to hear one will get less of a hangover with these beers.....at the end free tasting of 7 different types of beer and then 2 free pour it yourself pints of your choice.....we taste and appreciate the cramels chocolate and coffe flavours but in very quick sucessions so much so that i am marginally tipsy....to continue our night we make an irish friend and convinvce him to coem to the pub...where we have 2 more pints and thent o another pub where irish buys us another and where we make friend with the barman who gives us a lift to anothe pub and says he'll catch up with us after his shift. Amy buys a round and then the barman eventually joins us only to buy us another round...I remeber talkign about sausages at some point and saying I hadn't had any good New Zealnd meat....and then the barman gave us a lift home.
I wake up hungover eat some free breakfast and thinjk I'm goign to spend the day at teh hostel...wrong. AMy asks me if I'm coming...Where I think...and turns out I arranged last nigth for the barman to take us out for breakfast today.....so in his car we get and to black ball whereever that is...we go salami tasting at the sausage factory and then barman buys us a selection of their finest sausages which we take back to his house to cook.....WE get pork , italian, garlic and venisson lovely.....he had a puppy to play with makes us hot chocolate gives us cookies to eat and lets us chilla t his house all day eating our sausages....brilliant!!!! I only come to learn his name later when he shows us an article form last weeks paper featuring him .....he got cleared of illegally importing exstacy into New Zealnd from Ireland...oh dear Dwayne but thanks for the lovely day!!

Airport time...sleep there eat there and fly to FIJI!!!



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