Rain, Queenstown and the Milford Sounds

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island
February 24th 2016
Published: February 24th 2016
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Our last morning at the Punakaiki Beach Camp I got up real early to start the day off with an hour of paddle boarding. Together with the owner I carried the board to the water and I then paddled up the Pororari river. It was extremely beautiful and very peaceful as I was the only one there at that hour 😊 After that we drove to Fox. It was a bit cloudy by the time we got there, but we still had a nice view of the nearby glaciers.

The next morning we woke up to a view that wasn't quite as nice. Actually, it was practically nonexistent: We couldn't even see the other side of the campground, cause it was too cloudy. The high lights that can be seen in Fox with clear weather are quite impressive. There is a view point where you can see all the glaciers around, and a lake that reflects the Fox Glacier real nicely. But with the clouds in place, there simply wasn't much to do... So we hung out in the TV room, I finished my book and a bracelet before it was even time for dinner. By the time we went to bed, it had rained so much that the bucket we'd left outside of our van had overflowed! So that's quite a lot of rain.

The next day we drove to Queenstown. Luckily, the closer we got, the sunnier 😊 We wanted to have some lunch there, but we couldn't really find a parking spot for the van. So my parents just dropped me off in the middle of the city and drive on to a campsite in Glenorchy called Mrs. Wooly. I walked around a bit in search for some free wifi, so I could see if Tim had messaged me a place to meet. We met at the World Bar where he works and after he was done we did some groceries for the rest of the weekend. Then we drove to where he lives, which is a really nice house owned by his cousin just outside the city centre. They have two adorable dogs and a beautiful cat 😊 After dinner we picked up Tim's friend Adam and Adam's colleague Nicole and then set out for a bit of a pub crawl through Queenstown. We went to a bar where we played pool, to the World Bar, then a cheesy cowboy themed bar with cheap beer and to two more bars with live music. It was a really great night! Queenstown is pretty fun 😊

After sleeping in a bit, we drove to Mook Lake. Here we hung around for quite a bit, having lunch and taking to an American lady named Phyllis. After that Tim insisted on showing me Arrow Village, where we searched for gold very briefly and without success. When we got home we made some food and watched some tv, before waking back into the city around nine. We hadn't walked very far before this cute dog came running up to us. His owner wasn't there and we couldn't really figure out a way to find them quickly, so we decided to just walk it into town with us :p There is a lost and found facebook page for Queenstown, so we posted a picture of him on there and walked to Ferg burger. Ferg burger is the most popular burger place in the city so we had to sit outside for a bit to wait for our food to be ready. Luckily we some company: The dog. We had named it Alfalfa, cause it was obviously an alfa dog, and he loved attention! Every other person that walked by wanted to pet him and he would respond by jumping up to them and licking them in the face :p We couldn't go to any bars with Alfalfa, so after we'd finished our burgers we walked back home. By the time we got home, the owner had spotted the picture on facebook and she soon came by to pick it up. Tim had already thought about what he'd do if the owner didn't show up, so I think he was a bit disappointed when the dog was claimed 😉

The next morning it was already time to say goodbye to Tim, for the third and last time this month. I met my parents at the Red Rock café and after some coffee we walked over to the gondola. This took us up to the skyline restaurant, where we had a really nice view of Queenstown. After that we did some groceries and then set of for Milford Sound. After quite a long but beautiful drive we got to the Milford Sound campground. Here we had booked a package deal which included a camping spot, breakfast at their restaurant, a three hour boat tour, with lunch on the boat, and a 45 minute guided tour through the underwater observatory.

So the next morning we had a nice breakfast and then drove to the harbor. The boat tour was truly amazing. The weather was really nice, which was apparently quite special as it rains about 250 days a year in the Milford Sounds. It had rained a lot in the past couple of days, so there were lots of waterfalls coming down the rocks and we learned a lot about the different plants and trees that grow there. We also saw some sea lions sun bath on the rocks and some cool fish and corals in the observatory. After we got off the boat we had to drive to our next stop: The Last Light Lodge. It was a really cute campsite with two cats and a big organic veggie garden 😊 Because we arrived quite late we decided to go crazy and go out for food for the third time that day. I had a really nice pasta with home grown veggies and we also bought some homemade strawberry and vanilla bean jam 😊

Only one more week to go in this beautiful country! Plans include visiting the most southern and quiet region of New Zealand: The Catlins. After that it's Dunedin and Christchurch and then off we go! My parents fly back to Holland on the 27th and then I still have a couple of days to go before flying back to Australia 😊



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