New Zealand Part One


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Franz Josef
June 27th 2009
Published: August 9th 2017
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Geo: -43.3891, 170.182

Wow, Where to begin.
Well firstly at the moment i am in Queenstown and its about 1 degree. I have only been here 8 days and i already have too much to tell, so i thought i would break this blog down into parts, where this blog part one is about my week back in Melbourne and my travels so far in New Zealand.
It's been so long since my last update, but thats because i hadn't done much since up until Melbourne. Works been going well, we got the Bathurst area completed in 2 weeks and then spent a week in Sydney but my car had problems with the oil pump, so that had to be in the mechanics for 3 days and cost me $1000, so i only ended up working one day of that week.
Saturday eventually arrived and i flew from Sydney to Melbourne where i was greeted and picked up by Regan, James and Damo.
The week in Melbourne was busy, i spent most of the time catching up with friends and the family, and it was really nice to see everyone as well, and attending the Australia vs Japan world cup qualifier.
Well now that all of the boring stuff is out of the way we can start with the more interesting stories. On Monday i flew to Christchurch where i was picked up by an uncle, i stayed at my Aunty and Uncles house in Lyttelton where i got to see some cousins in which i have only seen 2 times before, and its great to see how they had grown up. The next day i had a kiwi experience bus to catch from Cathedral square, the bus cut through the mountain side of the south Island where to Westport for the first night.
Kiwi Experience buses largely comprise of English travellers around 60 - 70% and my bus was no exception. Our Bus driver is an awsome bloke, his name is Rangi, and comes from my home town, Palmerston North. On the first day we stopped off at a point to take some photographs, when we stopped he asked all the guys to stay on the bus while all the girls hopped off, Rangi told us that whenever a guy randomly has an erection on the bus to put his hand up and then he would recieve a round of applause from the rest of the guys in the bus and also mentioned not to tell any of the girls as to try and provoke them. So far it's happened 4 times. Funny stuff
Also on the first day, on the way to Westport, a bunch of us got dropped of to go Jet boating, it was pretty cool, but for me i thought it would be a bit faster than what it was, but we still managed do 360 turns and ride close along the cliff face.
The second day took us from Westport to Lake Mahinuapua, this was an amazing drive as it was a clear day and the road took us along the west coast. We stopped to take a short walk where we saw a small seal colony, and also stopped at "Pancake rocks" which are rocks which show layers, hence the name.
We made a lunch stop in a town called Greymouth, here we were given an hour to get stuff for the costume party at the "Poo Pub" where we were staying that night. this is mostly a daily thing at the pub, they hold a costume party where people dress up in a particular theme and have a few drinks and get to know everybody.
Rangi gave us the theme which was "Bad taste", to me this was an odd theme but people managed to be creative, with ideas like Priest and a school boy which was what i went as with Nishant, he was the priest and i was the school boy. Other costumes included a Gollywog, which won the best costume, two girls one cup, Hitler a Terrorist, Amy Wienhouse, Princess Diana and even a used Tampon and the KKK. It was a really fun night with a group photo. the owner of the pub is an 84 year old man who has been doing these nights for 20 years and takes a group photo of every night, the walls are covered with polaroid photos, as well as hats and a couple of bra's. They ran out of room so they have to put recent photos in photo albums.
Just down the road from the pub is Lake Mahinuapua which is a smallish lake but is known as a reflective lake, these lakes are common in New Zealand, something in the water makes the water a blackish colour which acts like a mirror, these provide for some stunning photos.

The next morning was tough for everyone, as most had been drinking to the wee hours but everyone managed to get the bus, well we had no option either way as the Pub is a far way from any town and there isn't anything to do. luckily it was only a short ride to our next destination, Franz Joseph Glacier.

Franz Joseph is a very small town, mostly its just there to cater for activities, the day was just to relax seeing as the night before was big, although that didn't stop me from going for a stroll on some of the walking tracks around, but unfortunately the two closest tracks were closed.
Later that night we went to the Hostel pub for a few games of pool and Bingo, but luck wasn't no my side.
The next day i had to be up relatively early as i was going to be Ice Climbing (full day) on the Franz Joseph Glacier. This was an UNBELIEVABLE experience, there was only the four of us, an American Family and myself. No other Kiwi experience people did this activity seeing as it was $240. The majority of Kiwi Experience travellers choose the half or full day hike on the Glacier which is the cheaper option.
I am also glad that the American family were there as the Ice climbing needs a minimum of 2 people to run, so had they not done the Ice climbing i would not have been able to go. The views of the Glacier and from the Glacier are pretty amazing as well as just walking on a Galcier.
We managed to fit 4 climbs in with varying heights and difficulties, as well as squeezing through tight ice walls and in small Ice caves. A real Highlight.

The next morning i was to go Skydiving. This was also an unbelievable experience in which i wish to do again, the Skydive i did was rated the second best skydive in the world, the first being over Mount Everest at a cost of $35,000. On the way up we flew over Fox Glacier and past Mount Cook and Mount Aoraki. I was pretty nervous but also excited, Iain was the first to jump then me, as soon as we left the plane my mind raced, but once we established free fall i quickly calmed down and rembraced the experience and views, which were amazing.
the skydive was from 12,000 feet with 45 seconds of freefall and about 4-5 minutes of floating which included 360 degree turns which freaked me out at first.
I touched down on a major High which continued throughout the day.
we were driven back to the Kiwi bus and we continued our way down the coast before cutting inland towards Wanaka.

Well this concludes Part 1, part two will include my Queenstown adventures involving snowboarding and the Milford Sound as well as my Family rendezvous.



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