In 2014 my boyfriend and I spent three blissful, exciting, adventurous and tiring weeks in New Zealand. The country completely stole my heart and I still love looking at my photobook filled with all our photos and memories. So, I thought it was utterly necessary to write a flashback blogpost to share the beauty of New Zealand!
The South Island.
Quake City- We flew into Christchurch late at night and took a taxi straight to our hotel. As it was dark I could not really see anything on the trip from the airport. When we woke up in the morning and looked out our hotel window, I was so shocked. We were surrounded by construction sites. The city was still rebuilding from the devastating earthquake in 2011 that killed 185 people. I knew about the earthquake but naively thought the city would be rebuilt- it genuinely did not cross my mind that the effects of the earthquake would still be so raw…our travel agent did not even mention it! We walked around the city all morning looking for somewhere to eat breakfast and took in the damage. It was a truly humbling and an important experience, as I comprehended more than ever the force of Mother Nature, and the prolonged struggles of natural disasters.
We spent the rest of our time in Christchurch exploring the temporary village made out of shipping containers and visiting a wildlife park, before we started our two week Contiki tour.
The First of many, many lakes- Our first stop on the tour was Lake Ohau- which is one of the many, many lakes in New Zealand. One thing I noticed immediately about this country was the vast amount of water (much more than we have in Aus!).
The student city- Next stop was Dunedin where we visited the world’s steepest street, perhaps not on everyone’s bucketlist but was good fun nonetheless. We also took a ghost tour around a cemetery… I still do not understand why I put myself through that.
Queenstown- Of all the places I visited in New Zealand, Queenstown stole my heart the most. It is so unbelievably beautiful. The town is lined with cute streets and old buildings, and surrounded by mountains covered in snow, and of course a lake, a really huge gorgeous lake. But, even better Queenstown is just full of fun- sky diving, bungy, cliff swings (all of which I passed on!), snowboarding on Cardrona, skiing, jet boats, ice-bars and the best burgers in the world (well from what I have tried so far). We lined up for Fergburger for over an hour… at 2am! Was it worth it- 100% yes!
Ice, ice baby- We visited Franz Joseph and the glaciers where I went in a helicopter for the first time. I got to sit in the front and take in the incredible landscape and huge glacier (perks of being small!). It was also the first time I have explored a glacier which was a really cool experience (pun intended). Although I must say I did not master the glacier shoes, I felt like I was going to roll an ankle to whole time. At least if I had it would have been easy to put it on ice (okay, okay I’ll stop now)!
Seals- Just before getting to the ferry dock which took us to the north island we stopped off at a seal colony (just outside of Kaikoura) where we saw not only seals but baby seals, in the wild! I still internally squeal when I think about how cute they were. We then made it to the ferry, ready to take on the second half of NZ.
A pictures worth 1000 words so here are some more from the South Island…
To be continued….