we landed in new zealand to the pilots voice over the intercom saying its a beautiful day today, clear skies and hot 18°... 18°? we had been used to hot being 30° and cold being 18.
we got into the airport with a campervanbooked for the rest of the month except that first night as we arrived about 3pm. we had been told that new zealand is even more expensive than australia (which is when we looked at out bank accounts and took a huge gulp) to our suprise however, everything is a lot more like english prices. we rang a motel close by who said they only have one room left which was an appartment but we coupd have it for the cheap price. sweet. it was a little dated but was clean had a tv with a proper sofa and a choice of loads of dvd's. we excepted someones offer of a lift the the local supermarket and bought the essentials, you know... bread, milk, cereal, cheese and chocolate ice cream.
the next day we picked up our campa and oh my word it was/is unbelievable, it is so much more spacious than our campa in oz and half the price. we set off, excited, for christchurch city to see the current state it was in. despite being a year + since the earthquakes the damage is still pretty bad. we saw the temporary shops in shipping crates and went into the museam where they had church bells, statues and other iconic things after they had fallen down in displays.
we were pretty keen to get into new zealand and see what it has to offer, so we left the city and headed for lake tekapo. we arrived in the dark and found a little fish and chip shop. oz sold fish and chips but everywhere sold them at about £15 most of the time even more expensive but this place was differejt we had a good size fish each with chips for £4.50... bargain. we found a campsite but tue office was closed so we parked where we were and put a note on a wondow saying we would come see them in the morning (despite being told its easy to camp in new zealand we have found quite the opposite your not allowed to camp anywhere (it seems) otherwise you get a huge fine).
the next morning we woke up next to an amazing sight, a very blue lake with mountains surrounding. we went for a nice gentlish walk up mt john to the obesrvotory and had good views of all around.
we then moved onto the mount cook region where it was flippin cold. we flippantly said that we wanted to climb mt cook not really understqnding what 4000 metres and covered in snow ment. turns out you need a bit more than a pair of boots and a jumper. instead we climbed someother mounatins and again some amazing scenery. we didnt sleep the nxt night after not preparing for how cold it would be on that clear night. glaciers and the stary nights were amazing.
after the mountains we kinda just shot down the coast through oumaru through dunedin, the catlins and we are now in invercahgill. during this drive we saw yellow eyed penguins on three different occasions with them walking a couple meters away on one occasion. some fur seals, some boulder things at moereki, we saw a cool 'petrified' (fossilised) forest on the ground on the beach which was really cool. 170 million years old apparently. more penguins and stunning coastline.
we are heading onto foidland national park to see what we can find.
looking forward to it and have really enjoyed all the things we have done so far.
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