Road Trip to Queenstown...
This week, Sam (not mine) has helped us map out a trip so we could see the best bits of the South Island. In this blog you may hear me say beautiful quite often as that’s the perfect word to describe our road trip but I will try my best to widen my vocabulary and use other relevant words.
We set off on Tuesday in the little KA car; our first stop was Invercargill and bluff which is the lands’ end of New Zealand. We were pretty tired after the drive so got some chip shop chips and then decided we would try sleeping in the car the first night. If anyone is aware what kind of car the KA is, they are rather small. I coped ok except it was rather cold but poor Sam has longer legs than me so wasn’t too impressed. So we woke up pretty cold and found out the car had no heating, so cold and tired we headed to McDonalds to get a wash and clean our teeth. So we sorted ourselves and headed on our way. We had a few stops to take some pictures of the oh so lovely scenery and decided to jump in a sheep field to get a picture with them as New Zealand is pretty famous for their sheep. Sam got a little worried the farmer would come and while jumping back over the fence in a hurried fashion she caught herself on the fence and fell over, poor Sam!!!
Our next stop was Te Anau to see the Glow worms. First we needed somewhere to stay as we had exhausted the car idea after one night. In the information centre they told us that there was a free campsite 5minutes down the road so we thought we’d give it a go. It was pretty much gravel and bit of grass with a toilet unit which was a hole in the ground but was right next to the river so better than the car by the side of the road so we started to pitch our tent. Half way through realising the ground was grass on top but a little way down concrete but by then we had no time left so did the best we can then headed back to the info centre to go on our Glow worm tour. We got a nice boat over to where the caves were, going across the lake with mountains topped with snow, just stunning. They took us into the cave and we got in a little row boat, when we were all in they turned off all the lights, you couldn’t even see the old hand in front of your face. The guide was just pulling us along by a rope attached to the ceiling, you had to be completely silent and still so the glow worms wouldn’t stop shining. As we sat in the boat in complete darkness… your eyes started to adjust and as you looked around all you could see was bright tiny lights everywhere. It was like you were in the night sky and so close to the stars you could nearly touch them, the whole thing was magical. After another long day we headed back to our campsite to get a good night’s rest. We wake up feeling good after a full nights rest but also feeling a little like we need a clean but there is no showers but there is a very fresh looking lake, ummm… oh yes we did, we got naked and washed in the lake! It was bloody freezing but felt so fresh after and it was our first ever skinny dipping experience, very exciting and at the heart of real travelling I think!!
Feeling fresh and ready for the day, we headed for a place called Milford Sound where there is only one way in and one way out through the homer tunnel but are apparently magnificent. They were most certainly right, the whole 90 minute drive was filled with snowy mountains, waterfalls, big lakes…we just didn’t get bored of looking out of the window. We took in the sights of Milford Sound and then drove back and headed for Queenstown. On the way we stopped off at a place called Mirror Lake. In my head I wanted an actual reflection picture of me in the lake but they had built walk ways so you couldn’t go right up to the lake. Me being me thought sod that and headed to the lake side, trying to be a smarty pants I walked along a log in the river but walked on a bit of moss, slipped, fell right into the bloody lake and Sam didn’t even have time to get a picture before I fell…what an absolute idiot I am, lots of people walking by…how very embarrassing. So had to get myself changed on the side of the road with SILLY LAKE MOSS ALL OVER ME!!!
We made it to Queenstown and again needed somewhere to camp. We found a place that was just £7 for us both for the night and this time we made sure the pegs went into the ground, we are learning! We set up and then headed to have a look around Queenstown. It is a little town surrounded on a big lake and surrounded by mountains, very pretty place… somewhere to retire I think! We had some nice Thai food and then headed back to our camp for an early night as we had a big day planned for the next day…can you guess what we booked up to do??
So we woke and again our campsite only had a toilet but was on the lake again so another shower in the lake. We packed up and headed to the centre of Queenstown to get taken to our activity. Yes you guessed it, we went sky diving!!! It was the best experience ever, when you first jump out of the plane it gives you such a rush, then you free fall for about 40seconds which is like you’re just floating in mid-air but the wind makes your cheeks flap like crazy and the guy is snapping away on his camera. Then he pulls the shoot and you float while looking at the beautiful sights of Queenstown. I reached the ground feeling very excited and ran over to Sam…her story was a little different to mine! When we were heading up in the little plane she started to feel a bit sick but had a super time during her free fall but when he pulled the cord to open the parachute she coughed and was sick and the because that happened she was sick again. The guy she was with was not happy and shouted to her you need to tell me if that is going to happen, I think so he would have time to close his mouth, hehe!! Poor Sam, she was so embarrassed but I told her it was funny and as the day went on she felt better about it. While waiting to pick up our photos when Sam was feeling less fragile we went to Ferg Burger and I had the best burger in the whole world, it was sooooo yummy!!! We walked along the beach and took some photos and then went to get the skydiving pictures, poor Sam got the raw deal again she had quite a few of her guys ass and not the best scenery and mine had some really nice shots of the lake, oh dear!! But all in all she said she loved it, hehe! After that we headed to Wanaka to go to the next place to set up shop. It was again only £7 for us both but this one had a shower but we were still camping next to a lake and the sun had just gone down, so the lake looked exceptionally charming. I think you have all witnessed one of my best days, waking up and washing in a lake, skydiving, an amazing burger, taking photos, seeing some of the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen…amazing!
We woke up early and headed to the Glaciers to do a 4hour ice trek on Fox Glacier. After quite a crazy few days we were feeling a little tired and not too excited at the prospect of walking up a mountain but we were looking forward to getting on the ice. We got booted and suited with heavy duty walking boots, crampons for the ice and our fox jackets then headed up the mountain with a group of about 15. Our guide was called Megan and she was very excited about her job which was a good boost of energy listen to her in her Canadian accent. The glaciers were dirtier than I thought due to all the surrounding rocks but when you got up close and saw the “Moulin’s” (holes in the ice) they were a beautiful white and very deep baby blue, so pretty. The trip ended and we headed up to Hokitika, where we had booked backpackers hostel for our last night before heading back to Dunedin the next day. It was so good to just go to bed without having to put up our house before we could go to bed!
After a good night’s sleep we thenheaded for Dunedin and the owner of the hostel had told us a short cut that would take an hour off our journey but was off the beaten track, we thought why not. First thing was a ditch that the stream ran through but it was raining so was rather deep. I stopped, looked at Sam, reversed and just went for it. The car just about stopped but put it into first gear and we got through, hehe! We are in this little car and all that is passing us is range rovers and trucks. This car is a legend, our whole trip was around a 1000miles and we only had to fill up four times at £35 a time, brilliant!! So we made it back to be greeted by Chloe, Sam and her friend Lee came over with her daughter so we had a few glasses of wine, ate some food and a nice night catching up and telling everyone about Sam’s incident, hehe!
What a road trip, really had the best time ever and got to see so much of the South Island. New Zealand is such a wonderful place...