Haere mai ki te whenua o Aotearoa!

Nelson Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 52 › view all entries
My TopDog Kiwi pass, starting in Christchurch

Hah! Welcome to the land of the long white cloud. Welcome to the egde of the world. Welcome to the finest country on earth.

But Nicander, what is that! That's quite a statement to make here on TravBuddy, you do realize that, do you? On a site with people who've been travelling for years and years, been to every continent long before you were even born! You've been in New Zealand for just six days now, and already you claim it to be the finest and most beautiful country in the world?

Yes my friends, it is a bold statement. Too bold perhaps, and maybe (probably), one time I'll have to take it back. But for now: come here and prove me wrong. Hah! Thought so! This country is so complete, so beautiful, so friendly, so action packed, so awesome, and cheap too! It is just ridiculous how wicked this country is.

The Cathedral in Christchurch
I could definitely see myself studying and living here. I found a new love.
To start at the beginning, after training twelve hours to get to Sydney, I arrived at the airport pretty knackered. I needed to check in at six in the morning, and I couldn't be bothered with finding a hostel, waking up in time, getting a cab or train in the early morning, the full monty. So I decided to spend a night on the airport, chatting with other travellers and abusing any free internet terminals. None of that. Sydney Airport is situated quite close to the city and closes at night. Thankfully I could stay on the airport during the night, but we got allocated a small muffy corner with some old seats. And yes, with armrests, in case you wondered. Securityguards made sure we were not going anywhere we weren't supposed to. So after a short night I could finally check in and board the plane.
Graves in the lethal garden, ironically with the killer in front of it
I fell in a deep sleep and didn't even wake up during take off. Missed out on the best part!

I arrived in a cool New Zealand around lunchtime (somewhere between 10:30 and 3:30 that is). After trying a couple of hostels I finally found a bed in Stonehurst, a hostel complete with three bedroom appartments and 24 hour store. I set out to conquer New Zealand, and Christchurch was first on the list.
In the next two days I wandered around the city, visiting the Botanic Gardens and Christchurch Cathedral on the way. The Botanic Gardens had a special garden full of lethal and poisonous plants. Sweet as! There was an interactive game where you had to find out who killed who and with what plants.

Kaikoura whales
Lots of fun! Normally with these games/puzzles in gardens, parks or museums it's mainly kids running around. Not in New Zealand though. No kid in sight, only adults trying to solve the mystery of poppy seeds, oleander sticks and fox gloves.

After buying too much new warm clothes (I had to bring some back to the store, I couldn't fit all of them in my bag) I was ready to travel on. I was planning to travel with one of the backpacker buses touring the country, and chose for the Kiwi experience. Their 30% off deal made for an easy choice. I'm doing the Top Dog trip, starting in Christchurch, rounding the South Island and then up north. So far, I'm having a blast. The first leg of the Kiwi Experience trip took us to Kaikoura, famous for it's whale watching activities.
Coastline of the New Zealand east coast
Sweet as, why not?
The whole whale watching thing didn't turn out to be that sweet. We saw some whales alright, seals and dolphins too, but mostly I was busy puking my guts out. The seas where very rough and at least half of the people on the boat got sick and decided to part with their lunches. Even lil Ape got sick. Sad times :(

The next day we left for Nelson, where we arrived in the afternoon. Nelson in a medium sized town and gateway to the Abel Tasman Ntl. Park. I decided to do a half day sea kayaking tour, and let me tell you, it is A w e s o m e. Note the capital A, too. So much fun and so extremely beautiful. We paddled for a couple of hours, then I chilled out on a beautiful beach for the rest of the afternoon. I had the whole beach to myself, no one around for hours.
Welcome to the Ape side of life
I could do what I wanted: swimming (naked), tanning (not naked), drinking, singing, what a life, what a country.


Back in the hostel I had been chilling with a big crew of Dutchies, some Pommies and Swedes. We went out for dinner with eleven of us, effectively taking over the restaurant. After dinner back to the hostel to drink and chill out. Having a heap of fun during the drinking games, I'm now really happy I'm touring with Kiwi. Today I left most of the group behind, but I'm sure we'll all see each other again in Queenstown. Meanwhile, I'm now in Westport on the west coast. d'Oh. I'll be visiting family I've never seen before in the coming days, really looking forward to that! After that I'll be hopping onto the Kiwi bus again to travel down south to the glaciers, Wanaka and Queenstown. It is going to be awesome²!!

Ka kite ano, Nicander

JeAr says:
ok, now i know! thanks! :)
Posted on: Apr 29, 2008
Ape says:
1. Haere mai ki te whenua o Aotearoa means as much as welcome to the land of the long white cloud in Moari.

2. Haha, yes! LOTR helped New Zealand a lot!

3. I tried to at first, but after a while, I was like fck this and sat down.. Hah!

4. Haha fair enough dude, but if you'd seen the beach, which you have as it's on the photo's, it's totally secluded and everything, no one there. Opportunity not to be missed!

5. POMmies stands for People of Motherland, and thus the people of England.

Thanks for all your smiles dude! :D
Posted on: Apr 28, 2008
JeAr says:
now i'm at the best part of ur adventure! Middle Earth, baby!!!

1. the title, is that Maori? what does it mean?

2. i agree with u already. i've always thought of NZ as one of the most beautiful country in the world even though i've never been there. the Lord of the Rings movies helped, or course. lol.

3. too bad u didn't enjoy the whale watching thing as much as u should. if i was there, i'd be jumping with glee, puking or not hahaha!

4. swimming naked - no comment. tanning not naked - good.

5. what's Pommies? i'm guessing... Pomeranian? hahaha kidding. no seriously, where are they from?

Awesome start to ur Kiwi trip! can't wait to turn the pages... and i agree with the comments below me - u should be a writer :)
Posted on: Apr 28, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
My TopDog Kiwi pass, starting in C…
My TopDog Kiwi pass, starting in …
The Cathedral in Christchurch
The Cathedral in Christchurch
Graves in the lethal garden, ironi…
Graves in the lethal garden, iron…
Kaikoura whales
Kaikoura whales
Coastline of the New Zealand east …
Coastline of the New Zealand east…
Welcome to the Ape side of life
Welcome to the Ape side of life
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Ape doing his thang ;)
Ape 'doing his thang' ;)
The Cathedral in Christchurch
The Cathedral in Christchurch
The Cathedral in Christchurch
The Cathedral in Christchurch
Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral
Ape squeezing in
Ape squeezing in
Christchurch Centrum, seen from th…
Christchurch Centrum, seen from t…
Christchurch Centrum, seen from th…
Christchurch Centrum, seen from t…
Christchurch, seen from the tower
Christchurch, seen from the tower
Christchurch
Christchurch
The river Avon in Christchurch
The 'river' Avon in Christchurch
Weeping Willows along the Avon
Weeping Willows along the Avon
The Avon
The Avon
The river Avon
The river Avon
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
The poisonous garden
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
Botanical Gardens Christchurch
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
The Christchurch Botanical Gardens…
The Christchurch Botanical Garden…
That guy got some job to do here!
That guy got some job to do here!
Canterbury plains, simply stunning
Canterbury plains, simply stunning
Canterbury plains
Canterbury plains
Canterbury plains
Canterbury plains
Canterbury plains
Canterbury plains
Kaikoura, the whale watching town
Kaikoura, the whale watching town
Kaikoura hinterland
Kaikoura hinterland
Kaikoura hinterland
Kaikoura hinterland
Kaikoura hinterland
Kaikoura hinterland
Spermwhale (Vinvis)
Spermwhale (Vinvis)
Whale watching in Kaikoura
Whale watching in Kaikoura
Worth the trouble?
Worth the trouble?
Kaikoura whales
Kaikoura whales
Beautiful eastcoast
Beautiful eastcoast
Coastline of the New Zealand east …
Coastline of the New Zealand east…
Seal colony
Seal colony
Ricki, our awesome guide
Ricki, our awesome guide
Kayaking in the Abel Tasman Ntl. P…
Kayaking in the Abel Tasman Ntl. …
Sea kayaking
Sea kayaking
Prove me wrong ;)
Prove me wrong ;)
My beach, but then at high tide, a…
My beach, but then at high tide, …
Simply stunning
Simply stunning
Apple Tree Bay Lagoon in the Tasma…
Apple Tree Bay Lagoon in the Tasm…
Abel Tasman Ntl. Park
Abel Tasman Ntl. Park
Apes beach
Ape's beach
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
My private beach
My private beach
Apes Beach
Ape's Beach
The creek where the first European…
The creek where the first Europea…
Ape in Tasman
Ape in Tasman
Poser! ;)
Poser! ;)
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Apes beach
Ape's beach
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Apes Beach
Ape's Beach
The good life
The good life
Lake Nelson
Lake Nelson
Lake Nelson
Lake Nelson
Powerboat racing on Lake Nelson
Powerboat racing on Lake Nelson
Nelson
photo by: wendybodenmann