Friday, 7 May 2010


Not too much to report on today – stopped off at a few cool places along the road.
It rained today – I havn’t seen rain like today since I left the UK! Mainly spent driving to Queenstown today but saw some of the best views I think since I have been in NZ. Just in my hostel, Nomads, at the minute and have just spent a while in the sauna they have – felt so good after eating so much greasy food to sweat it all out! First impressions of Queenstown – really beautiful but arrived late afternoon so won’t have a chance to have a walk about until tomorrow as I get an extra day here. Have to wake up early tomorrow for my BUNGY – actually pretty nervous.. I made sure it was booked in the morning so I don’t have all day to dwell on it. There is a pub crawl tonight which I would actually love to go on with the guys from my bus but I’m thinking that bungy-ing in the morning with a hangover would not be a sensible idea!! Maybe tomorrow night instead to celebrate me still having all limbs in-tact!
                                                        Driving into Queenstown

Glacier climb & possum pies

Today we headed to Franz Josef where you could climb the glacier! On the way stopped off at a bizarre little shop which sold possum pies!!! – like chicken pies but slightly blander? Very interesting though!
Arrived at the glacier and as we only had one day to stay there the majority of us did the half-day hike. We all got kitted up in hiking boots/socks/gloves/waterproofs/clampons (attachable boot studs to keep you on the ice. It was actually so much better than I anticipated and I really enjoyed it :D Spent the evening in the hostel where they supplied free popcorn and evening soup so snuggled up infront of ‘Iron Man’ on the beanbags and tucked into my dinner!

Cream cakes

Had a few stops along the way today.. did a little walk and saw heaps of seals just sitting on the rocks next to the coast. Here are some photos of some other cool bits we saw today :)

Arrived at my hostel called Neptune’s last night – was a pretty chilled out hostel with fish tanks and a pet cat and terrapin in the snug/TVroom :) The hostel gets free bakery food delivered each day so the kitchen was full of sandwiches and rolls and cream cakes – which I fully took advantage of! In the evening the rest of the guys on my tour in my room went to the local brewery tour which I decided to give a miss to save a bit of money, and stayed in the warmth and comfort of the hostel TV room and watched a few films with a few guys from the hostel. Was succhhh a cold night so when everyone had left I hit all the heaters on and filled up my complimentary hot water bottle and headed for bed! :)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

to the South!

Woke up really early to catch my shuttle bus to the ferry this morning and said my goodbye’s to Simon, Poppy & Mark again which was sad :( Caught the ferry and from then on it was a 3 hour trip to the South island – most of which I slept! Arrived and jumped onto a coach which took me straight to Nelson where I had pre-booked my hostel for the night call Paradiso.. on the way saw a random volcano eruption! It was really impressive but so strange to see it in real life!

Am at the hostel now and literally the nicest hostel I have been in so far! Free pool/sauna/evening soup/wifi/noodles and really clean and lovely areas to just sit and chill out. Shame that I’m only staying the one night – as am being picked up by the Magic bus again tomorrow!

Wonderful Welly

Walked outside this morning in literally the freezing cold!! I hadn’t felt cold like that since I had left the UK! It was so bad I could see my breath in the shower room! Another big driving day today into Wellington.. on the way through Welly we saw sights such as the view over the city from the top of Mt Victoria, the cinema where all the Lord of the Rings premiers were held and a fountain that Eliyah Wood allegedly peed in (?)
Our hostel, ‘Nomads’ was pretty naff actually even though it had been recommended to us by our tour guide but at least I was only staying there for 1 night. All 4 of us managed to get a room together which made it better and in the evening as it was our last night together we decided to go out for a nice meal and then found ANOTHER Irish bar where we once again drank beer and played pool :D I see a running theme here... me and Simon left early as both of us had to wake up super early. Poppy and Mark are leaving to go down to the South like me but are doing it one day behind me, Simon is staying in the North island and heading back to Columbia in a few weeks and me.. well... the Magic bus isn’t running tomorrow so I need to sort out my own transport and ferry ride over to the South island which is fine but just means more expenditure! Regardless of the crappy dirty hostel room, I had a really good nights sleep due to being ridiculously tired from all the touring around!
Walk around Wellington harbour

Gravity rules

Mainly driving today. The bus stopped off at some glow worm caves which we decided to not do as we wanted to save our money for the afternoon when me, Poppy and Mark decided to go skydiving :D Literally one of the most amazing things I have ever done. It was such an adrenaline rush falling out of the plane with no parachute! All of us got a dorm room together and then went out in the evening for pizza and found a cool Irish bar where we stayed until late having a few drinks and playing foosball and pool. All in all a brilliant day! :)

tea tray

Went down for my freee breakfast in the hostel then booked myself into a tour at the Kiwi Reserve – I was a little bit disappointed with it all to be honest. I would pay to go again just because I wanted to see a real life Kiwi bird – they’re such odd creatures and have the crappest survival techniques of any animal I have ever encountered! But for what I paid to go on the tour there wasn’t that much to it unfortunately. After the reserve I went Luge-ing :D which really picked my day up! Basically.. imagine a tea tray on wheels with a handle bar you pull forward to go faster and pull back to brake.. then imagine that tea tray hurtling down the side of a mountain :D
It was a really cool afternoon actually then in the evening me and Simon went to the hostel bar and drank beer and played pool. We also met an English couple from Reading who were travelling together who had previously been to Asia who were also catching the ‘Magic’ bus the next day to Taupo.


Left Auckland – was glad to say goodbye to it to be honest. Not too keen on spending any prolonged amounts of time in the cities. Our new tour guide was a cool Maori guy called Arangi. Got to know a few of the people on the bus and stopped off at a few little places on the way – a giant bottle (?) and drove through where they filmed Lord of the Rings (impressed arn’t you!!) :)
We arrived in Rotorua and booked myself into the Kiwi Packa hostel which was actually realllyyy cool and mainly run by maori people. I decided to spend two nights here as I wanted to go to the Kiwi Reservation and go Luge-ing the next day (all will be explained tomorrow) Spent evening chatting to a cool Columbian guy I met called Simon and spent the evening exchanging music on our laptops and chatting.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Today took the Kiwi Experience free tour around Auckland – I though I might as well as I didn’t have much else planned today and was a good way of getting out of the city centre for free. We did a bit of walking and got to look back on the whole of the city with some great views. Stopped off at a little harbour town for lunch then had the option of getting dropped back at the hostel or Victoria Park Market which I spent a few hours looking around then headed back to the hostel where I am now :)
Nice relaxed day in Auckland but definitely ready to start the tour tomorrow! I get picked up at 7.40am and then for the next few weeks make my way around the North & South island and stop at: Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington – ferry across to the south island – then Nelson, Greymouth, Franz Josef (apparently the views from the Franz Josef glacier are spectacular), Queenstown (BUNGEEEE!), Dunedin, Tekapo, then Christchurch and will have to book myself an internal flight back up to Auckland. Sounds easy peaasy :) fingers crossed!!

what the Auck?!

Had a realllyyy good day today. Had a great nights sleep and after sorting myself out I headed down to the hostels travel desk where a nice chap helped me sort out my tour for the next few weeks. I booked it with Magic, a tour group I was recommended to in Aus, if offers a lot more flexibility than the rigid structure of Adventure Tours and allows me to stay wherever I want for however long I want and do whatever additional activities I want aswell. I also booked my bungeeee jump :D which I will be doing it in Queenstown in the south island. Its called the Nevis bungee and is Australasia’s highest bungee with a 134m (440foot) drop and 8.5 seconds of pure freefall to the ground :D how fabulous!! As I booked it here I get the DVD of me doing it for free and a t-shirt – worth it!! Then in the afternoon I walked to the Auckland Domain which is a big green park with rugby pitches and gardens etc in the centre of Auck.. and then walked around the museum for the best part of the day. I also paid to go and watch a Maori performance which was really good. Afterwards came back to my hostel and got suckered into the vintage and charity shops (god im a sucker for another persons unwanted clothes!!) and TRIED to restrain myself but ended up buying a brand new Fiorelli bag for $12 (£6) – how could I refuse?! Only problem is getting some of this stuff home........