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Published: March 18th 2018
A lot of Dutchies in Christchurch!
And some people of other nationalities as well.
This blog is going to be a bit of a contrast to my last blog about Brisbane. As much fun as I had in Brisbane, chilling and walking around, it can't compare to what I've done in New Zealand so far. I'll get to that in a bit!
When I arrived in my hostel in Christchurch the people I met in the kitchen made me realise something. I never claimed that my travel plans were unique but I didn't know just how unoriginal they were. At least half of the people in the kitchen were dutch, and most of them combined NZ with the East-coast of Australia. I guess in Australia the Dutchies just don't stand out in the middle of the amount of British and German people. Regardless, I was invited to join some fellow Dutchies to a bar and they gave me a warm welcome to NZ.
After a short stay in Christchurch during which I arranged a sim card and hiking boots, the first stop was Kaikoura. I hadn't been on the bus for long before the bus driver (whose nickname was Happy) announced that he would pass on a list of activities you could sign
up for. One of the activities made one of my dreams come true: it was snorkeling with dolphins! It was one of the best experiences I've had on this trip, or in my life in general. They would swim by so close, less than half a meter in front of my face. It was incredibly exhausting because of the high waves, but I didn't care. It was worth every cent, every minute in the uncomfortable wetsuit. Back on the boat, I saw them do the most amazing jumps and flips, it was breathtaking. Even my seasickness was completely worth it, and if I get the chance, I'll do it again.
After Kaikoura, I went on to see Picton. It has a cute little harbour and between Picton and the North Island, there are so many tiny islands. The hike up to the Snout (together with 2 girls from the bus) brought us past some gorgeous viewpoints, and for a second we thought we even saw a Kiwi bird! It turned out to be a Weka bird though, but it was cute nonetheless.
Next stop was the Abel Tasman national park (a new busdriver named Pacman took us there),
named after the first European (a Dutchie!) to see New Zealand. He never stepped foot on land there though, since a misunderstanding about whether they wanted peace or war led to the killing of three of his men. So in honour of his courage (but mostly because I just really wanted to), I decided to go canyoning! It was absolutely amazing. I went down some ziplines, did some abseiling, slid down a couple of waterslides (even backwards on a slide that included a tiny waterfall of about a meter high), and jumped off 6 and 8 meter high rocks! I also learned to do a frontflip and attempted a backflip (I landed flat on my face with that one) off a lower rock. I loved every minute of it, despite my fear of some of the activities.
This was just the first few of many great activities to come, so I can't wait to find out what I'll do next!
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