Friday 28 November 2008
my last post from new zealand. a country just bigger than the uk, with a population of 4 million... and 40 million sheep ! i'm writing to you from auckland airport. we were up mega early for our flight from queenstown. we've got about 8 hours to kill at the airport before our flight to vancouver. we don't have a scoob how long the flight is. all we know is, we leave on friday night and arrive in canada friday afternoon. we're going back in time lol.
our last part of new zealand has been very lazy. from lake tekapo we headed further south making our way to queenstown. we stopped off at other lakes such as lake pukai and lake mavora where we just chilled out, admired the views and paul tried to catch some fish but failed miserably. patience is the key and he aint got any lol. we stopped off at another doc campsite and we were the only ones there apart from another couple and about 50 million sand flies. these things are terrible. they bite and it can be quite sore, so we only managed an hour or so at the lake before they started to pee us off.
we had a couple of nights in queenstown before making our way to milford sounds. milford sounds is one of the top must-sees of new zealand. i had heard about it a few times before coming here and was looking forward to seeing it. we had a 2 hour boat cruise around the sounds where we got close to some waterfalls and spotted a group of seals resting on a rock. it was beautiful but i was slightly disappointed with it. i wasn't sure what i expected but i was waiting to turn round a corner and be in awe with the scenery, but i wasn't. maybe after halong bay in vietnam, any sort of scenic boat cruise will be disappointing. who knows... the drive there was stunning. people were just stopping on the road to take photos not caring about what's behind lol. we also drove through the homer tunnel, which is basically a huge mountain that looks as though it was blown up with dynamite at the bottom to create the tunnel. i had heard nothing about it until we approached it. it was quite scary, pitch dark for about 5 minutes driving through it with water dripping from above.
views of milford sounds
after milford sounds, we had the night at the doc campsite and then a night in arrowtown. we went to the cinema at arrowtown where we were served wine and a cheeseboard at half time. it was my highlight as the film was unbelievably boring.
queenstown has been my favourite city/town. the shops and cafes are set around lake wikitapo with snowy mountains behind it. we spent days just walking about the town, admiring the views and munching and drinking away in cafes and pubs. we went to the minus 5 bar one night... a pub made entirely from ice. it was so much fun. we made the mistake of having a few drinks before it and we were absolute steaming by the time we were in the ice bar. everything was made from ice, the glasses we drunk from, the seats, the tables and bar. you only get half an hour, which is enough because it's sooo cold. we had 2 vodka cocktails... and then a shot poured through a big slab of ice with us crouched under it with our mouths open.
i woke the next morning to find my camera stinking of passion fruit vodka cocktails and the lens wouldn't open because it was that sticky. i fixed it though. panic over! i also had a sore knee and then remembered that we both tried to limbo under the car barrier to our campsite and i fell and smacked my knee lol. it was such a fun night.
drunken fun in the ice bar
we also went on the gondola to get some great views of queenstown from above. at the top there were 2 luge tracks so we were on the things again! it turns out there are only 4 luges in the world, 1 in singapore, 2 in new zealand and 1 in canada. and we've done 3 of them lol. we're hoping to do the 4th one when we're in canada.
view of queenstown from the luge track
we've had 4 weeks in new zealand and it's been plenty of time. we feel like we've been here for ages!! i started thinking that maybe 4 weeks was too long but we probably wouldn't have done half the stuff if it had been 3 weeks. it gave us time to see more of the country and gave us us time to chill out so we weren't on the road every single day.
the south island is defintely the better of the 2. everything that i had expected of new zealand was in the south. it made most of the drives enjoyable as we were surround by some lovely scenery. although made the driving dodgy as i was too engrossed with the mountains and lakes than the roads lol.
my only complaint about new zealand was the weather. it was grey and miserable at times so we were stuck in our campervan for shelter. they say new zealand is like scotland because of the scenery, it is to an extent... but they're on par when it comes to the weather!