Road Trip to Auckland

Christchurch Travel Blog

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A whale!!

We have made it to new Zealand and it is freezing!! Me and Jane have already brought a woolly hats.  We were so excited to pick up our hire car.  This really does mean freedom for the next 3 weeks. 

We spent the first two nights in Christchurch.  Most of the time was spent shopping for food, extra clothes and the all essential car sweets!!  We did spare a bit of time to see the Cathedral and the beaches.  Early on day three of NZ we climbed in to the car and began our drive from Christchurch to Greymouth (One side of the north Island to the other).  We drove through Arthers pass which was spectacular!!  We saw snow capped mountains, had a picnic lunch and managed to fit in a walk to a waterfall.

I just thought this was funny...
  Falling in love with new zealand quickly!!

The next step of the journey was from Greymouth to Wananka.  Firstly we made a quick trip 45mins north to Punakaiki to see the blow holes.  They we pretty impressive especially as the sea was so angry today.  We were stood by one of the blow holes and the sun began to appear.  As the blow hole sprayed its water, the spray caught the sunlight and created a rainbow.  It was like seeing the end of a rainbow coming out of the blow hole.  One of those amazing natural moments!!  We then drove south to Wananka.  On route we stopped at Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier.

Matching hats!! Walking on a drive from Dunedin.
  These were both definitley Kodak moments.  Especially for snap happy eco-warrior (aka Jane).  We arrived in to Wanaka quite late.  It was a really pretty little town with a beautiful lake.

The next leg of the journey was from Wananka to Queenstown. We passed many Vin-yards.  Luckily most of them were closed or we might have had trouble getting Sam past them.  We had a stop off at a little place called Arrowtown.  It looked like it should be on a cowboys and indians film.  We tasted some great free fudge from the sweet shop and had some cracking hot chocolate there.  In Queenstown we stayed in a great hostel called Southern Laughter.

A quick pic before a dip in the outdoor spa in Queenstown.
  We had our own appartment with TV, kitchen and bathroom.  The hostel had free soup and most importantly a hot pool!!  After a long days driving we made the most of drinks vouchers the receptionist had given us.  We ended the night in the World Bar.  A lady was there with a video camera, this reminded us of when we were on the Discovery Channel in Darwin.  So me and laura were busy telling Jane and Sam about the Darwin thing when we spotted one of the guys on the dance floor looked very like one of the guys in Darwin.  After a bit of umm-ing and arr-ing we went over to the guy and to our shock it was the lads from the Discovery Channel in Darwin.  We got a TV camera shoved in our faces and made it on to the Discovery channel for the second time.  What a coincidence!!  We spent the rest of the night dancing and drinking shots from teapots.
  The next day was officially hangover day.  So we did no driving and went to Pizza Hut Buffet.  I know its not something you should be doing on the other side of the world but in NZ you even get "All you can eat pudding" included in the "All you can eat buffet".  I was in heaven.  An hour or so later and I was officially feeling as sick as a dog-oops!! We relaxed in the evening in the outdoor hot spa.  We were sat in bikinis, in an outdoor spa, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, drinking cheap wine and wearing woolly hats.  a perfect way to finish a hangover day!

The next trip was from Queenstown to Dunedin.  Dunedin was quite a shock in comparison to what we had seen of NZ so far.

  The city was big and very industrial looking.  Jane took an instant dislike to the place (I think she missed her mountains).  I don't think any of us were the biggest fans of Dunedin.  From Dunedin we spent a day at the Peninsula.  We went for a walk and saw lots of sheep.  Then in the afternoon we went on a penguin tour.  The four of us clambered on to the back of a 4WD-quad bike vechicle wearing the ultra sexy green waterproofs.  We stopped to see seals and then we stopped to see Yellow-eyed Penguins.  We saw 9 of them on the beach.  The most that have even been in one photo on a postcard is 5.

The next day we drove from Dunedin back to Christchurch.  Before leaving Dunedin we visited the steepest street in the world called Boldwin Street.  Me, Jane and laura couldn't resist the challenege and climbed to the top.  This was more than enough hard work for one day.  It was bloody steep!!  In Christchurch we stayed at a motel.  It was like one of those motel you see in films.We had our own room with sky TV and most importantly an outdoor spa.  We spent the evening in the spa drinking goon (Cheap boxed wine).

We then made the trip from Christchurch to Kaikora.  On our first day there the receptionist told us about a walk along the beach we could do to see seals.  So we wrapped up warm and headed to the beach.  It was brilliant there were so many seals all over the beach.  They didnt seem bothered by us much at all but we were careful not to get between them and the water.  In the evening we went for a meal in a restaurant next door to the hostel.  I had veggie sausages and mash, it was beautiful! 

Next day we went whale watching. The fun began about 10-30am.  We were driven to our boat.  It was a really swish boat.  Once we left shallow waters it was really bumpy.  There were so many people being sick. Luckily none of us got sick. We didn't have to travel far before we found our first whale called Noodle.  We saw two whales and got to see noodle twice. They were both Sperm Whales.  The cameras were clicking again!  On the way back we found dolphins.  They were fantastic they were leaping around the boat as it moved.  They seemed such playful animals.  After lunch we drove to Picton, a small harbour town with beautiful scenery.  The hostel was amazing.  It was like a home, we got a free breakfast and on our second night there we got free chocolate cake-yummy!! 

On our second day in Picton we decided to go for a walk around the Malborough Sounds despite the rain.  We donned our hats, scarves, walking boats and waterproofs and headed out.  It was a very eventful walk.  Both me and Laura managed to fall over in the mud, and Jane did an impressive slide!!  Five hours later we returned to the hostel in high spirits but looking like drowned rats.

The next day we made the boat journey from the South Island to the North Island.  We had a 3 hour ferry crossing.  We filled this time nicely by eating lunch, munching chocolate cake and writing journals.  Once we made it to Wellington we had a bit of hassle finding a hostel with off street parking.  We eventually found a hostel.  We discovered when cooking tea that the hostel was mimging.  the kitchen was so dirty (mum you would have hated it!). In the evening we went out for a few drinks.  There was quite group of us.  Sams auntys god-daughter and friend joined us and so did Vicky Dunnington (A friend of mine from work).  we wanted to finish the night with a bit of dancing but would you believe it in the capital of New Zealand there is no where to dance on a monday night-crazy!!  The next day we had another "hangover day".  We spent the whole day trying to avoid going back to our hostel.  We went to starbucks, then to the cinema and then to a bar for a meal.

We said a not so sad goodbye to the hostel and began the next part of our trip. Today we drove from Wellington to Taupo.  Part of the driving was along Desert Road.  Despite the cold I had gained over last night we couldn't resist the temptation of a free drink and headed to a bar that was celebrating its third birthday.  We returned early enought though to have a chocolate munching session before bed though.  Ohh I must mention because it was raining today the hostel gave us all free 'Bad weather muffins' - yum yum!!

The following day we drove from Taupo to Rotorua.  In the morning me, laura and Jane went for a walk round the lake at Taupo.  It was really bizzare there was steam rising from the edges of the lake due to the geothermal area.  This was just a taster of things to come at Rotorua.  On route to Rotorua we stopped at a place called Craters of the Moon.  It really felt like you were on an other planet.  There were lots of big crater and stream was rising everywhere.  Very surreal!!  I was quite thankful to have a cold because Rotorua smelt like rotten eggs because of the sulphur.  We found a lovely backpackers (with a spa of course).  the rest of the day consisted of cheese toaties, a dip in the spa and more chocolate.  The next day we did alot of the touristy things.  We saw lots of bubbling mud, a geyser and a Maori show.  We spent the evening in a Polynesian spa.  We sat in outdoor hot pools with a view over a lake- perfect!! We were trying to avoid getting the water in our hair otherwise we would stink for a while.

The next day we did our final drive from Rotorua to Auckland.  We munched biscuits on route, briefly stopped at a town called Cambridge (No where near as beautiful as the Cambridge in England) and eventually arrived in to Auckland.  It was a shock to see such a huge city.  We had a bit of a problem finding a hostel with off street parking again but eventually found one.  We cooked a fantastic mushroom korma with pasta (It actually does go well with pasta, it has to be tried to be believe!!).  Then we showered and prepared ourselves for a good night out in Auckland.  We headed to a pub to watch the final of the Super 14's.  On route we bumped in to guy called Ash that Sam had met in Sydney.  It turned out he was going to be on our flight to Chile and staying in the same hostel as us-random! We watched the rugby and then ended the night in the Globe bar with alot of dancing.  The next day we had a lazy day.  Me, jane and Laura spent a few hours in Starbucks whilst Sam and Ash went to the cinema.  In the evening we then went out for a curry- yummy!

Monday 29th May is officially my longest day of my life.  We  flew at 5.35pm, we were on the plane for 10 hour and arrived at 12.35pm on Monday 29th May.  On our last morning in New Zealand we said a said goodbye to Jane, picked up Ash, dropped the car off and went to the airport.  We said another sad goodbye, this time to Sam and checked-in.  In the airport we randomly bumped in to Nick and Loren (Two Hatfielders from our world) and even more funnily is that they were on our flight.  What a small world!!

Vikram says:
Which is the last photo, after Rotorua? You should've visited Glenorchy seeing it's so close to Q'town. It's gorgeous! I too heard great things about Southern Laughter.
Posted on: Jun 25, 2006
rideouts says:
Sounds absolutely wonderful! Did you get a chance to see Victoria Mountain or Te-Papa in Wellington? I would love to see more pictures if you have them online?
Posted on: Jun 13, 2006
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A whale!!
A whale!!
I just thought this was funny...
I just thought this was funny...
Matching hats!! Walking on a drive…
Matching hats!! Walking on a driv…
A quick pic before a dip in the ou…
A quick pic before a dip in the o…
photo by: Fulla