Picton - Kiakoura - Methven
We arrived in Picton off the ferry and jumped straight on a bus to Kiakoura. In Kiakoura we checked into a place called Dolphin Lodge. It was a great hostel but what made it special was the manager Yvonne. She was a very friendly lady, easy to talk to and made us feel very welcome. Whilst in Kiakoura we wanted to swim with dolphins, we tried 3 times before we did it. The first we went out on the boat, sighted the dolphins but the pod split before we had a chance to swim with them. To make it worse everyone on the boat was sea sick. The second time we all got dressed up in our lovely wet suits only to find out the dolphins could not be sighted and we did not even made it out to sea!! The third time we were lucky we saw over 500 wild dusky dolphins and swam with them many times. The boat kept following the pod and each time we would dive in being surrounded by dolphins. To get the dolphins attention we had to keep them entertained. This meant swimming in circles, making noises and
diving down acting as dolphin like as possible. It was funny but the dolphins came so close to you, from all directions, swimming underneath and bumping into you. It was a dream come true!!! We met two english guys Jeegar and Reeshi, they were cool guys and we swapped tales as they were going to South America and had just come from South East Asia.
In Kiakoura we also visited the seals. It was said that the seals were normally everywhere, even in the car park. As usual we have no luck with animals and when we were there we only got to see one pregnant seal who could not move. Despite this Kiakoura was very beautiful. It was a great place to spend a few days whilst we were waiting on the dolphins. Our hostel had a hot spa overlooking the sea and the mountains and one night we watched the sunset and the stars come out. It is one of the best places we have visited in New Zealand.
From Kiakoura we travelled to Methven where we had our first go at snowboarding. Methven is a very quiet place, full of tourists only because it was
ski season. It was a shame the town wasn't set in the mountains but your average town. We had to get a bus up to Mount Hutt for our lessons. We had three hours of lessons, fantastic fun, a lot of laughs and even more bruises. Sam J was a goofy and Sam D was a natural rider.
Methven - Queenstown - Wanaka
It was a long bus ride with incredible scenery, we passed Mt cook and Lake Tekapo. Arriving in Queenstown we checked into Aspen Lodge and had a drink with some local kiwis. That night Sam D didnt get much sleep this was due to a brazilian guy called Ivan (aka shagging guy) shagging beneath her, she could feel every thrust!!!! She ended up moving beds the next day. It was lucky she did as he a different girl every night. We dont know why he wasn't even good looking!! There is a cable car in Queenstown but to save money we hiked up a very steep hill. At the top there was magnificent views of queenstown and a luge ride. It was like go carts and great fun. The chair lift was really old and
scary to ride on. We booked in for ski-ing lessons at Cardrona whilst in Queenstown so we had given both a try. We had a lesson in the morning and found skiing very easy but not as fun. In the afternoon we took a chair lift up to the slopes and practised different techniques. On our second ride on the chair lift a blizzard started to come in. You could see nothing but white infront of you all the way up and our lips were numb. When we reached the top we were covered in ice and our hats were like a block of snow.
Queenstown is a party town, whilst we were there we tried a few bars and went out with our room mates. What we noticed about the bars was they all had carpets and fireplaces, it was like being in someones living room. We went to the minus 5 bar which is a bar where everything is made of ice even the glasses you drink out of. Queenstown was a cool place and because we were there for a while by the end of our stay we had what was like a little family.
In New Zealand there are lots of Koreans and Chinese. What we noticed whilst in Queenstown is they are very forward in their opinions. We had a couple of funny encounters with them from being asked to move seat because they didn't like us having our chair back, asked to move so they could sit down and to top it off have our plate taking away from us whilst eating so they could try some.
From Queenstown we caught a bus to Wanaka. In Wanaka there was a stunning lake and here we planned to do a skydive. We did a 12000 ft 45 second freefall jump over the incredible views of lake wanaka and the mountains. It was awesome!!! The most amazing experience so far, scary but exhilarating there is nothing like it. The moment we touched the ground we wanted to do it again it gave us such an adrenalin buzz. We could not keep the smile off our faces for the rest of the day. That afternoon we went to puzzling world with wicked illusions and a great maze. The next morning we left for Fox Glacier.
Wanaka - Fox Glacier- Franz Josef.
in Fox we did a 10km walk to view the glacier. We walked to the terminal face where we had a front on view of the glacier. It was huge and came down from the mountains. From there we visited Franz Josef where we walked another 10km to the glacier. This one we couldn't get right up to which was a shame. Out of the two we preffered Fox Glacier as it was more rugged.
Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakiki - Christchurch
From Franz Josef we spent the night in Hokitika. Whilst we were there we visited the black beach and glow worm dell. It was scary as it was pitch black in the middle of a forest but worth going to. We left Hokitika for Punakiki and stayed in Tenau retreat. It was a cool hostel set in the bush with wooden cabins. All the cabins had a theme, our cabin had all the matresses on the floor and hot water bottles. At this hostel we met back up with Yvonne from Kiakoura and went tramping with her on a river trek. It was perfect weather and we had to hold on to each other as
we crossed the river. We passed some fantastic scenery and the trek led us to the panake rocks and blowholes. It was fantastic and very beautiful. That evening we went to the beach by our hostel and watched the perfect sunset over the sea. In Punakiki we relaxed for a few days did some puzzles and even played scrable!
From Punakiki we went to Greymouth overnight to catch the Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch. It is meant to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world but to be honest with you we didn't think much of it. In Christchurch we visited the Botanic gardens and had a nice walk along the river. The next day we left New Zealand for Australia.
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