South Island, Part 3, last one I promise!!
Queenstown to Invercargill
The day after my skydive I joined another bus and left Queenstown for Invercargill and Bluff. By now we had got a good crew together on the bus. Catherine from Ireland, Jon and Khalda from Scotland, Suze, James, Sophie and Alice from England and Jordan from Canada. I dont know why we decided to go down to Invercargill but we did! Jordan and a few others went to Stewart Island but we didnt. We visited Bluff which is the most southerly point of the New Zealand mainland and probably the closest I will get to Antarctica. We then drove back up to Invercargill. The hostel put on a treasure hunt because the place was so boring and Sophie, Alice, James and I decided to do it. Me and James gave up after the first clue was found and lay out on the grass to watch loads and loads of huge old vintage American cars drive past. Gangs of lads were driving them banging their fists on the roofs as they would go past. It was soo wierd! The girls came back from the treasure hunt with two bags of free food from Starbucks which was AWESOME!!
Invercargill to Gunns Camp via Milford Sound
Thankfully we left Invercargill the next morning and headed to Milford Sound via Te Anau. James and I had a battered Bluff Oyster from a van in Te Anau which was pretty good then we headed to Miford Sound. The drive to the Sound was amazing. It winded throught the mountains and valleys till we got to the water. We went on a boat trip down through the Sound. It was incredible. The mountains rose so high out of the water. Apparently Mitre Peak is the tallest mountain in the world from where it starts under the sea (thats what they said I think) Anyway it was pretty amazing. There were loads of waterfalls and huge cliffs. Not enough battery on my camera for all the possible photos! That night we stayed at this remote campsite called Gunns Camp. We as a bus had Bangers and Mash so me and Jon manned the barbeque. I have learnt always to help out because you get bigger helping and first on the seconds! :P
Gunns Camp to Queenstown - Queenstown round 2
The next day we left the sandflies and went back to Queenstown. I checked back into the hostel I stayed the first time because it was awesome! Really cool place and people. I then went to meet the girls and Jon from the bus at their hostel and had a 2.50 pizza and drink! We all went out that night because a few of them were moving on and the rest of us were staying in Queenstown. We had a great night, Queenstown is a wicked place to be really cool bars and clubs. One place served drinks in tea pots which was pretty cool. It was sad to see people leave but we had a good night.
The next day I chilled on the lake front with Catherine and Suze because the weather was so good. We lazed around and then I went to the gym with Ash in the evening. Great to do a workout again! The following day I did a walk with Gemma up the hill next to Queesntown that the Gondolas go up. It was pretty steep to be fair but the views at the top were amazing. We met Catherine and Suze who had got the gondola up and chilled up there. Me and Gemma then sneaked on the Gondolas to go down and didnt have to pay which was good! That evening we went to the legendary FergBurger who make all kinds of giant burgers. I then did another walk the next day with Catherine, this was a more serious 7 hour hike return up Ben Lomond. The views up there were unreal. Nearly as good as Mt Roy. It was a hard climb but definately worth it! I actually did it again 3 days later with James. The next few days I spent chilling, playing frizbee golf, eating few more Fergburgers, fishing and catching nothing, jumping in a lake and playing footy with some crazy Irish lads. I had a great time in Queenstown and would really like to go back there again!
Queenstown to Mt Cook
Unfortunatley we had to leave Queenstown and we headed to Mt Cook. We stopped along the way at this amazing glacial lake that was the bluest lake I have ever seen it was amazing! Anyway we got to Mt Cook and as it was a nice day I went on a walk with Catherine up the hooker valley to the foot of the Mountain. I would have loved to climb it but there was no chance because it was still covered in snow and I didnt have the equipment or no-how. Anyway it was a nice walk and great to be able to stand at the bottom next to a glacier. I stayed an extra day there with James and Sophie and unfortuantely it rained all day! We had a great lie in then just chilled playing cards and monopoly deal for most of the day. We came 3rd in a pub quiz and won a Cadbury's Caramel each!! Wooo!
Mt Cook to Rangitata
I left James and Sophie in Mt Cook and headed to Rangitata. I went on a bike ride there with a German girl called Miriam. I thought it would be an easy ride and she wouldnt want to go to far but she was a machine and kept wanting to go up more hills. I couldnt give in to a girl and let her beat me so kept going. I was done in after that so made my lamb mince bolognase and watched Hangover then Invictus. First time in a while sat and watched a film other than the cinema.
Rangitata to Christchurch
We left Rangitata in the rain early the next morning and headed to Christchurch. We got dumped off the bus in the rain and that was my last ride with Stray. I got a taxi with a Canadian girl called Sydney to my hostel. In the afternoon I went for a walk around what I could of Christchurch. The place is so deserted and pretty sad to see. Its one huge building site and you cant even get into the city center. As I was walking a local girl started talking to me and told me about the day of the earthquakes and whats happened since, it was interesting to hear from a local. There was one cool part where they made a mini shopping center out of ship containers. Opened them up and had shops inside them. I stayed one night in the hostel then checked out the next day. I left my bags there and walked around and used their internet until around 4pm ish. I then headed to the airport because my flight was at 6am the next morning I decided to spend the night in the airport. I wasnt the only one with that idea either. In the airport they sectioned off a corner next to a door that people could "rest" in. I think they say rest instead of sleep because its impossible to sleep there! The door kept opening and cold wind let in, people were walking up and down staring at us and the floor wasnt the comfiest either! I didnt sleep so stayed up reading and playing solitare until my flight. I met Sydney again briefly in the airport as she was flying to Sydney! I got onto my plane to Melbounre around 5:45am on the 18th and said goodbye to New Zealand.
I had an incredible time in New Zealand and I was really lucky to have such amazing experiences there! Its such an amazing country and so untouched and remote in places. I would love to go back there again if possible. I can see how people end up living there!