Its amazing here!!!!
04.03.2011 - 24.03.2011 23 °C
Its been a really long time since my last blog and frankly it's because there is so much to do in New Zealand that I have neither had the chance nor wanted to go on the internet since my last blog. This is going to be a fairly long blog i think because i have a lot of htings to tell you. So after the bay of Islands James and I went back to Auckland for a night then early the next morning we started to Whitianga. On the way over there we stopped at the 'Hot water Beach' which explains itself really. It is a beach with hot springs underneath so you take a shovel down and dig a hole in the sand and have your own jacussi on the beach. It was raining but that didnt stop us testing it out. As quick as we got in we got out, the water was ridiculously hot! We had a new group of people on our bus and we really really liked them. Its a lot cheaper to buy drinks in new zealand and the hostels do brilliant deals for the Kiwi experience so we were going out a lot more than in Australia and spending hardly any money. A lot of bars had bar tabs so we stocked up and didnt have to buy any at all. The day after we went to roturoa which is an absolutly gorgeous place! We were only there for one night but we went Luging and it was actually really good. Luging is basically getting in a go-kart and going down a mountain in it, it goes really quickly though, its brilliant. To get back up to the top of the mountain you go up on ski lifts and get some excellent views of roturoa. We were racing on the luges and a couple of people fell off, its actually pretty dangerous and a few of our mates had bruises 10 or so inches long right down their thighs. The next day we left Roturoa and went to Taupo where James and I spent 3 nights. On the way over me and a few others decided to go Zorbing. It was excellent, you get into a big balloon-like ball filled with 100 litres of water and roll down a huge hill, we got to do it twice. The first time, all the people who didnt do the zorbing lay down on the path we were going down so we rolled over them, we couldnt feel it at all though.The next day everyone signed up to do the Tongariro Crossing, which is a mountain climb up 'Mount Doom' from Lord or the Rings and some of the mountains surrounding it. It was a 5am wake up and then an excrutiating 8-11 hour walk through 23km of pure mountains. The first bit wasnt too bad, then we reached what the Kiwis call 'The Devils Staircase' and it was so hard! When we got to the top we were at the base of Mt Doom and everyone was going to just carry on around it. I was absolutly knackered already but seeing as I'd come so far I was determined to get to the top. James said no way so I went up anyway and turned around to find he'd followed. 2 hours later we had crawled (literally, there is no path and as the mountain is actually a volcano the rubble gives way under your feet so without using your hands as well you are screwed..) up to the top of the volcano. The views of the Southern Alps were amazing and from the top you could see right the way over to the other side of the coast. its a lot of fun getting down again, you just lean back on your heels and ski down the rocks. I fell over about 7 times but it was worth it. We got to the bottom and saw we still had another mountain to climb, that wouldnt have been so bad if that was it, but we still had another 5 hours of walking and by the end we were aching so bad! Mt Doom is 2291 metres tall, the next mountain was 1660m tall and the last was 1454 meters tall all together thats 5405 meters thats 3443meters short of mount Everest. We couldnt move the next day so we spent the day reading in the hostel haha. We went to River Valley next and we had a new group of people who were rubbish compared to our last. Not only we we the only English Speaking passengers but 2 girls seemed to really hate us, (we found this out later on in the week when on the bus over to the ferry port over to Picton we had our rucksacks on our backs (which weigh a tonne!) and they refused to move their 2 bags which were taking up 2 seats to let us sit down) anyway they kept eviling us in the kitchen and we found the whole thing very wierd. River Valley was fun though, we went white water rafting on a grade 5 river (any river over grade 5 is off limits to rafters because it is so dangerous) and we had a really good time.
When we got to Wellington I knew I would absolutly love it there! It is the arts capital of New Zealand (and the actual capital too) and has hosted premieres for 'Lord of the Rings' 'Avatar' etc. We stayed in a dorm in base which meant we got no sleep what so ever but that was fine haha. One the night we got there was a rugby match, the 'Hurricanes' were playing the 'Chiefs' so James and I got tickets (for 20$!!! Very cheap!) and had a brilliant night. The Chiefs (the home team) won and we were in the home team stand so there was a brilliant atmosphere. On one night we went to the 'Embassy' for lunch which is where all the premieres are held and it was lovely, we went to see Rango too haha.
From Wellington we moved on to Nelson via Picton on Ferry. It's a shame we couldn't have stayed in Nelson a bit longer, it is really lovely, and we wanted to go to The Abel Tasman National Park but we didnt have time to do that either. We went straight on to Westport which was fairly quiet. The next day we went to Mahinapau which has just 2 residents, a barmaid and the oldest pub owner in New Zealand- Les. This man scared me from the minute we got to the Poo Pub where we were staying for the night. It's a fancy dress pub and we had the theme 'Funny Hatwear' which wasnt brilliant but we made some pretty good costumes despite this. Les got on the bus and started raving about how people weren't allowed to bring booze into the pub, he then added 'If you have anything that made you go floozy and your eyes go red, take it down the road...' He looked a bit like an angry Santa... in cowboy clothes.... He even checked James' bag as we got off to check there was no alcohol... james obviously looked pretty dodgy haha. I had bought a three dollar set of cat ears, tail and bow tie (because cats always wear bowties :S ) and I painted my nose black too, and James went full out and bought a Rasta hat with dreadlocks and some PJ bottoms to match. Other people went as: Teddy Bears, a Bum, A Pinapple, A balloon. It was a very good night though, and cheap as anything so everyone was very ill! Especially me... haha. I met a boy who I used to do Fencing with at the public schools as well, which was very very wierd and very coinsidental. The boys all swam in the (brown) lake that was there as well, it looked disgusting but I got some good photos haha.
We went from there onto Franz Josef, which is a deffinate must-do in New Zealand. From the tiny town of Franz Josef you can see the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, which as huge chunks of ice what go on for miles in the middle of a rainforest. Its so surreal being in the heat of the rainforest one moment and the cold of the ice the next. We did a trek up Franz Josef and it was excellent. We had a guide who built steps in the ice as we travelled and took us through tiny ice caves and through all these different ice formations. James fell off an ice cliff and really hurt himself, luckily he was strapped to a rope so didnt go too far. (It was a good Bungy practise for him anyway!) It took all day to climb it and there was a lot of stopping and starting because the guide had to build the track but it was so crazy and i would recommend it to anyone.
We next arrived in Wanaka for a night which is absoloutly beautiful! Its a tiny town behind a lake with a really fun atmosphere. The bus driver told us there was dolphins in the lake so I made James walk down with me so we could find them, it turns out he was lying, Dolphins are only found in the sea... Later that night when we met up with everyone else the other girls told us they had gone to look too so I didn't feel so stupid haha. All of our bus went out that night and ended up in a karaoke bar, the braver of us got up to sing and i couldnt resist when I saw that they had ''9-5'' by Dolly Parton haha. I probally made a right idiot out myself but it's all good fun, and I couldn't have been any worse than the two boys who sang 'Sex Bomb' by Tom Jones, adding a strip tease dance for effect...
And now we are in Queenstown. Apart from Wellington it's been my favourite place. It is a lot like Wanka with the set up of the town, the lake and the town on the edge, but it is a lot bigger and everything in it seems perfect. It is the adventure capital of the world (according to all the brochures) and James had taken that to heart, yesterday doing the 3rd highest Bungy Jump in the world 134meters! There was no chance at all that you could ever get me up there! We wanted to go riverboarding but it is much too much money so were going to wait to do it somewhere else.
Tomorrow we go to Dunedin so that shoudl be good. This entry has taken me 2 days to complete because I have to pay a fortune to go on the internet so can only afford to do it in short bursts haha.
Love Aliss xox