Wellington, Nelson and Kaikoura

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Fox Glacier
April 6th 2008
Published: April 7th 2008
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It's about time for an update! No photos this time I'm afraid - I have so many that they're going to take ages to upload so I'll do a big job lot when I have some time - probably when we get back to Christchurch.

I'm now in the South Island which is absolutely beautiful! We ended our stay in the North with a great night out in Wellington: a meal in a local restaurant and then drinks at the bar where we were staying which was surprisingly stylish aside from the long table that made up the dance floor! It was ladies night so we had free sparkling wine, and then there were lots of games to be played including a dance-off which Lisa won - her prize was a $50 bar tab so she bought more bottles of wine for us all. In another game we all had a raffle ticket and the lucky winners got 60 seconds behind the bar to pour as many drinks as they could. The highlight however was definitely when all the guys were asked to get up on the table - we were joking that they should do the Full Monty, and then You Can Leave Your Hat On came on and that's just what they had to do! Several of them got down to just their boxers to the accompaniment of much cheering, giggling etc from us girls who were highly amused by the whole event.

Anyway, after that we were all pretty quiet on the ferry over to Picton the next day. On our first full day in the South I went to the Abel Tasman National Park which is full of trees, waterfalls and beaches. I did a fantastic 15km hike (9.5 miles) up and down hills and over bridges including one very wobbly narrow one! I can't believe how much I've come to like walking on this trip. Yesterday I took part in another optional activity - whale watching in Kaikoura which was completely amazing. We saw two whales which each came to the surface twice, and I've got the classic dive photo when the tail goes up into the air. As a bonus we also went to visit a huge pod of dolphins that were all jumping and playing in the sparkling water. Amazing!

On our bus the prime seats are the four at the front from which you can see out of the windscreen. We're allowed to sit here for one day each, and today Jo and I took our turn for one of the most spectacular drives of the trip. We drove from Christchurch to the Fox Glacier through Arthur's Pass and I have over 50 photos of the landscape we passed through, including the place where Aragorn fought some orks! Everyone was in high spirits today and the sun even came out for us so it's been a really fun journey.

Tomorrow we're off to the glacier - I've chosen the helihike option so am going to be flown up to a high level in a helicopter for a two hour walk complete with crampons on my boots! In the afternoon we drive to Queenstown where we're going to visit the ice bar in the evening, and then tomorrow I'm going on a trip down the Dart River in a jet boat with a guided walk afterwards through some lovely scenery including more Lord of the Rings filming locations. Then in the afternoon I'm going a bit crazy and doing my first activity that I never imagined I'd do - a tandem hangglide! I won't actually have to do anything except lie inside a sleeping bag-type thing attached to the back of a man, but to get airborn we have to run into thin air which could be interesting! It sounds amazing though and much less scary than sky diving. I'll let you know how it goes!


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