Haere mai ki te whenua o Aotearoa!
Nelson Travel Blog› entry 22 of 52 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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