A Travellerspoint blog

Bus Ride from Queenstown to Franz Josef


View Louie and Charlie's 4 month travels on lwright11's travel map.

Took about 6 hours, but another great drive with awesome scenery the whole way. I think this 'awesome scenery' thing is pretty standard for NZ because I can see a pattern emerging.

Our bus driver was great, really friendly and he stopped at some good places for snacks & pictures, one of which was a salmon farm. Those were some big ass fish - would of satisfied a grizzly bear for sure! Charlie and I had a plate of fresh salmon sushi - it was super phresh (ph fresh so you know it's good)

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Posted by lwright11 21:59 Archived in New Zealand Tagged salmon bus scenery drive sushi phresh Comments (0)

Queenstown

The town that has something to offer 365 days a year


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We stayed in Queenstown for 5nights at Nomads Hostel. Although we were only there 6 days, it's easy to see why people love it so much. Great town, awesome atmosphere, loads to do and it's got something to offer all year round.

It's like a giant melting pot of the best scenery, extreme sports, weather, food and buzzing nightlife. The only negative of the place is the price of things - very expensive.

We did so much here it would be too much to write about, so I'm just going to sum it up quickly for you:

Highs:-

  • 134 metre Nevis bungy - best birthday present I've ever had, was made funnier when Charlie thought it had snapped and was repeating "I've killed him, my birthday present has killed him!"
  • Canyon swing (worlds largest cliff jump) - Also made a lot funnier by Charlies 'minor' breakdown - but hats off to her, she did it in the end.
  • The luge (little racetrack on the top of a mountain in go-karts)
  • Fergburger - the worlds biggest and tastiest burgers
  • Picnic with mountain goats - Walked up to one of the highest points overlooking Queenstown, apparently goats enjoy the view as well.
  • Great nights out

Lows:-

  • Price of things
  • We had to leave too soon, but we'll 100% be coming back, maybe with enough money to buy a house there. It's that good.

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Posted by lwright11 21:38 Archived in New Zealand Tagged queenstown food scenery sports extreme goats Comments (0)

Drive from Christchurch to Queenstown

Lord of the rings... in a drop-top kompressor


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Took about 5 or 6 hours to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown, made a whole lot better by being in a convertible mercedes (did I mention it was free?!)

The drive itself was amazing, fantastic roads through the mountains, sun out, roof down and girlfriend in the passenger seat. Felt like something out of a film. But not Lord of The Rings, Frodo didn't have a drop-top kompressor. If he did, he would of probably enjoyed his journey to Mordor.

We stopped at Lake Tekapo for about an hour and got some good snaps - the bluest water I've ever seen!

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Posted by lwright11 21:32 Archived in New Zealand Tagged lake drive lotr tekapo mercedes kompressor Comments (0)

Kaikoura


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Day 1 in Kaikoura

We're currently sitting in our hostel 'The Fish Tank' in Kaikoura after a big day of walking and animal viewing!

On the drive into Kaikoura we saw a pod of dusky dolphins (the ones we're swimming with tomorrow morning), there must have been about 200 of them, NO JOKE. They were all jumping out of the water and flipping, just being very acrobatic! Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures because we were driving in on the bus and they wouldn't of come out very well.

We arrived at about 10am and went for a 'big breakfast' in the town, the weather has been a bit drizzly, but still nice an mild so we didn't care!

After our breakfast we walked 5km along the coast toward the seal colony, we've got some great pictures of the seals, check out Facebook for the full album, but I've included some of our favourites.

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After a nice wander around, we started to walk back along the coast back to Kaikoura. We stopped along the way at the 'Famous Kaikoura Crayfish BBQ', (a shack on the side of the road) for a nice bowl of their fresh seafood chowder which was great. Best meal from a shack I've ever had.

We have our dolphin swim at 9am tomorrow, and it lasts about 3.5 hours, we can't wait, especially as the forecast for tomorrow is supposed to be great!

Day 2 in Kaikoura

We arrived at the center at 8.30am where we received a 20 minute briefing on what you can/can't do when swimming with the dolphins, along with some tips on how to bring out the most of the dolphins playful nature, including singing through our snorkels and swimming round in circles.

After the briefing, we were then geared up into our wetsuits and given snorkels, flippers etc. It was then a five minute bus drive to the dock where we got on the boat.

The Kaikoura coast line was simply stunning! Crystal blue sea surrounded by snow capped mountains, what a perfect place to make some dolphin friends!

After about 30 minutes on the boat we came across a huge pod of dolphins, on closer inspection we could see there was around 200 dusksy dophins so we grabed our snorkels and jumped in the water. As soon as we were in the water we started singing through our snorkels and swimming in circles and before we knew it we were surrounded by dolphins!

They swam round us in circles and showed of their supurb acrobatic skills. Neither of us could believe how close the dolpins got to us, even brushing against our arms and legs at some points. We stayed in water for around an hour and I say without doubt it was one of the incredible hours of my life!

The guys at Dolphin Encounter say "The dusky dolphins inhabit the coastal waters off Kaikoura all year round, making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild dolphins can be encountered every day. It is this fact that sets our operation apart; our success rate of swimming with dolphins is second to none."

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Once back on the boat we were given the chance to warm up with a nice hot chocolate before following the dolphins round for another hour, which gave us the chance to take lots of video footage (internet speed is really slow here so you'll have to wait for the videos).

Highs of Kaikoura - great seafood, good walks, dolphin swim, seal colony, great scenery.
Lows - bad weather on day 1, it didn't 'dampen' our spirits though (see what I did there?)

Posted by lwright11 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged animals seal dolphin kaikoura Comments (0)

The longest flight in the world...

Expedia are bastards.


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So, first experience when starting our four month travels was to arrive at Gatwick South Terminal and be told "I'm sorry sir, you don't have any baggage allowance...

...To cut a long story short, we had to book through Expedia as Air Asia's website was undergoing maintenance when we booked the flight back in November.

To make matters worse, the only food we were allowed to eat on this 25 hour-slog of a flight was 'Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak' (see below)

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A combination of rice, chicken curry, beans and half a boiled egg, grim. If you think it doesn't look that bad, you're wrong, it's terrible.

Aside from the in flight meals, the flight itself went rather well, both Charlie and myself slept for the majority, mainly because we had no other choice.

So before we knew it, we were landing in New Zealand, the land that's home to the Lord of The Rings, extreme sports and Fergburger.

Lessons learnt:-

  1. You get what you pay for.
  2. Never have a boiled egg at 30,000 feet.

Posted by lwright11 07:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged flight transport lesson learnt Comments (0)

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