A Travellerspoint blog

Australia is bloody massive

sunny 28 °C
View Supermoon on KulaRing's travel map.

Landing in Sydney after a journey of epic proportions and on little but no sleep we picked up our hire car and headed for our first Australian stop of Port Macquarie. Although just a place to rest for the night the hostel was very welcoming and given more time we would have stayed longer.
By morning however we were back on the road and heading for Byron Bay although we did find time to visit Port Macquarie lighthouse where we even spotted a pod of dolphins as the passed by.

Port Macquarie Lighthouse
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The tiny black looking blobs in the water are a pod of dolphins
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The giant shrimp on route to Byron Bay (we also passed the big banana but this was my favourite big thing)
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Arriving in Byron early that afternoon our lodgings were at the Byron Bay Resort with a room upgrade curtesy of Mr Jamie McBrien (Thank you Jizzy McB).
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Stained glass window in the door to our room - all the rooms had a different window
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The ?Kookaburra that spent an entire evening glaring at Sarah on our balcony until she hid from it with a Dirty Granny cider
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We spent our days here relaxing at the Resort, doing a little shopping, and treating ourselves to ice cream and fish and chips (thank you Kate & Chris) down by the sea front.
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A trip to Byron would however not have been complete without a surfing lesson (thank you Rachael, Phil & Nick) which I took to like a pro, although the photographs to prove this will have to be uploaded once we get back to the UK. Our time in Byron fished like it had started with a trip this time to Byron’s own lighthouse before we headed off up the coast towards the Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise.
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Despite the name Surfer’s Paradise is an impressive city with high-rise buildings stretching along the coast with our own apartment for our stay being on the fourth floor overlooking both the pool and the beach.
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View from a table at our favourite bar/restaurant Longboard's (massive burgers) that was at the base of the tallest building in Surfer's overlooking their pool
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Whilst here we took a trip to the largest theme/water park ‘DreamWorld/WaterWorld’ in Australia (thanks to Owen, Zowie, Dave & Paula) where we seemed to have picked the perfect day as the parks were so quiet we got to walk onto the rides all morning and splashing down waterslides and water-coasters all afternoon.
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We also continued the ongoing mini-golf competition between Sarah and I at PuttPutt Mermaid Beach (thank you Helen & Aaron) with us spending a whole afternoon and evening completing all three courses (jungle, fun and waterways) resulting in a narrow victory for me!
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They had a Minion hole Claire!
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Add to this some great restaurants and some shopping, and what was a fantastic time in Surfer’s Paradise drew to a close.

Leaving Surfer’s Paradise we headed north towards Brisbane via the world famous Australia Zoo, home of the Crocoseum and of course the crocodile hunter, the late Steve Irwin (thank you Bob & Beryl). We both had an amazing day and I particularly like the wombats.
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Arriving later that day in Brisbane we had time to walk into town to a great little sushi place, where you can forget the conveyor belt where you order your food via your table top screen. One of our orders was a salmon sushi roulette. This is 6 pieces of salmon sushi, one of which has a mouth burningly hot amount of wasabi hidden under the salmon. Sarah on the first pick of the game managed to pick the wasabi piece and ended up with tears down her face within seconds (I laughed).
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That’s it for this entry but there is much more to come on our trip along Australia’s east coast.

Posted by KulaRing 17:37 Archived in Australia Tagged surf zoo brisbane byron_bay surfers_paradise rollercoaster port_macquarie Comments (1)

Honeymooning paradise, or just paradise by any definition

sunny 32 °C
View Supermoon on KulaRing's travel map.

Disclaimer to begin..... the pictures included in this entry are not mine (though chosen to be as close to those of mine I remember) for reasons that will be clear later on, I have stolen them all from Google but still they do not do this beautiful country justice

After a rather bumpy night landing onto Rarotonga during which the pilot gave the brakes a thorough testing we had arrived in the Cook Islands, a tiny collection of islands, home to 14000 people. Rarotonga is the biggest of the Cook Islands and is 32km in in circumference and in a shocking coincidence this this the length of the longest and only main road on the island that circles the coast line. The island is surrounded about 100m off shore by a reef so the big waves break out to sea leaving a beautiful tropical lagoon filled with coral and sea life around the whole island. When you enter the airports arrival hall (or large room) they have a band to greet you, then after a very swift immigration process you are whisked off to your driver (or coach if you are still doing the backpacker thing). Part of our Cook Islands package included a VIP transfer to our lodgings, so we were given the full flower garland and champagne before a short ride round to the south of the island to Sea Change Villas.

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We were somewhat gobsmacked by our villa when the driver let us in..... it was bigger than our house, came with a rather lush private pool and had already got a bottle of bubbly chilling away in the fridge!

A few photos in daylight
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Friday morning we had a leisurely breakfast (Rob claims the first I have ever made him) from the breakfast hamper also kindly left in the fridge for us before the lovely manager Beverly came to the villa to do an island orientation. After that we hopped on some of the free villa bikes and cycled 2km round the coast passed the Queen's Representatives House - what a cushty job! - to a place called Charlie's which is just a shipping container with seating outside on the beach, but does an amazing Cook Island interpretation of the fish finger sandwich, just with freshly caught fish and the size of a plate. The plate in the picture is a normal size plate and yes we did eat 1 each on several occasions during our stay! I found it best washed down with a coconut milkshake.

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There is an ongoing debate on the island which is better Charlie's or another shipping container cafe called The Moorings further around from our villa. After visiting both and sampling both fish sandwiches my verdict is choose Charlie's. Both are lovely, but Charlie's was bigger and cheaper and I preferred the crumb on the fish fillets and it came with a special sauce (mix between sweet chilli and mayo).

Rarotonga has a 2 bus services on island, one anticlockwise and one clockwise and the driver uniform is a Hawaiian shirt. The inner of the island is tropical jungle covered mountains and the whole place just feels like you've falled into Death in Paradise but without the murder. It is a place where most mobile phones don't have signal and there is wifi here and there but £7.50 for 50mb, so it's miles away from the real world. Everywhere you look is another postcard worthy beach, with barely a soul on it.

Many of the local restaurants operate a transfer service if pre-booked and on the Friday night we went to the nearest, a beautiful little place with tables on the beach so you called watch the sunset over the lagoon, called Vaima. Our driver turned out to be the owner no less, and a former Brit who long ago fled the rain and cold of northern England to set up in the Cook Islands. As such the menu not only had such Polynesian dishes such as ika mata, fresh raw tuna marinated in coconut milk, shallots, lime and tomato but also beef wellington, which I had to have as that was our wedding meal over 6 months ago now. Both of these were executed perfectly and was a nice English/Polynesia surf/turf starter/main combo.

On Saturday morning we were taken to collect our hire care, free for 3 days with our honeymoon package, and then drove to the capital Avarua on the opposite side of the island to Sea Change for the Punanga Nui market. This is a once a week market where all the traders, farmers and cooks on the island come to sell their wares. We had some great snacks and juices walking around buying breads, some beautiful artwork and some black pearl earrings (a local speciality we were told before our trip that Rob must buy me!). At 10.30 the bandstand in the middle of the market came alive with some tradition drumming and the local traditional dance troupe putting on a cultural display for all the shoppers. After completing the lap of the island to return our purchases to the villa, Rob had a quick "practice" snorkel in the pool observed by Wilf, then we headed out to a famous local eatery, again right on the beach, called Trader Jacks. We felt obliged to sample some more cocktails and ate a seafood platter that took up the whole table.

On Sunday night's there is an evening that is me and Rob in a nutshell. An all you can eat BBQ with live music at the mini golf course - which was free with the meal - all for $35 each. After I once again secured victory over Rob we stuffed our faces whilst listening to a pretty amazing band considering the number of folks on the island available to form a band. Dessert was to die for and the whole evening was just laid back and surreal.

Rob got into his Indiana Jones groove on the Monday and we set off to explore the old Sheraton Resort. This would have been the Cook Islands first big 5* international resort and it was going to be big! Sadly the funding it turns out had come from the Italian mafia and at 95% ready for opening the money disappeared and the resort was just left as it was to stand for 20 years. Security has long since been abandoned so the resort is available for anyone who cares to enter and have a nose around. The bathrooms with spa baths are still therebut many doors have rotted off the hinges. The pool and pool bar are now a pond and vine covered and cows roamed the site freely, including one that took a real objection to me until I fled upstairs into what would have been the main reception restaurant building. Nothing of value that wasn't build in remains on the site, but now nature is trying to reclaim it there is such a eerie beauty - these are some of the photos I am most disappointed about losing. A quick Google tells me that there have been many attempts to reopen/redevelop the site, the last of these was supposed to be well underway currently, but these have never taken off according to the locals due to a long standing curse on the land. The land was a long time ago "rented" from a local man by a chap call Wigmore who then killed the owner and claimed the land as his. The local man's widow cursed the land so no venture on it would ever succeed. At the groundbreaking of the Sheraton back in the 90s the great grandson of the murdered owner attended and repeated the curse and broke a tone with a staff which apparently shows the curse is still working and from the look of the site it really still is!

After much pool snorkel practice from Rob on the Tuesday we headed out for a lagoon cruise with Koka Lagoon Cruises. The first part of this is a guided snorkel tour around the "Fruits of Rarotonga" marine preserve area of the lagoon then onto a small island just of the coast of the town of Muri for a seafood BBQ and a coconut lesson, which included Rob representing the UK in a coconut tree climb. It seems that Rob is somehow perfect for coconut tree climbing and kicked Kiwi and Ozzie butt - sadly again the video of this astounding event is all lost. This trip also included an encounter with a dog called Hercules who belonged to one of the captains of the boat and we left happily snoozing on the beach under a tree on the main land but then appeared happy as anything on the island. I assumed that another boat had brought him across the lagoon, but after he hopped off the boat to chase a stray flip flop as we were departing and refused to get back on and the boat left without him, we were told this is how Hercules spends his days. After the boat heads off to the snorkelling site he naps for a while then runs along the beach to the shortest crossing site and swims to the island to await the captain and tourists who spoil him rotten feeding him BBQ scraps, then when the boat leaves he swims back across and beats the boat back to the dock!

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Another honeymoon perk was to have a private chef come cook dinner for us poolside, we thought after a hard day of snorkelling and laying on the beach was as good as day as any to put our feet up and be food pampered. The lovely lady chef came and set up a lush all meats you can think of BBQ followed by chocolate brownie and coconut ice cream, and did all the washing up. There was enough food to feed an army, but in true getting a bit chunky nearing 30s style we ate the lot! I could definitely get used to someone coming and cooking my dinners and cleaning up whilst I drink another bottle of bubbly with my feet dipped in a pool.

Our final days in paradise were spent having our free couples massage on the villa decking. I felt somewhat like Prince Oberyn at the end of his fight with the mountain when we came to the head massage but my muscles definitely did feel looser after the beating they took. Then a dinner at Highland Paradise cultural show up in the mountains where some locals are trying to find and reclaim their pre missionary culture and after a feast put on a song and dance show charting the pre missionary days to the present in how their lives and styles have changed. Highly recommend this to anyone who finds themselves over in Rarotonga, Rob would also highly recommend it but this has absolutely nothing to do with girls and their grass and coconut bras shaking it.

For our final day before the flight we attempted something I had been pondering since planning this trip and picking up a bike to get back into cycling. Using the free resort bikes we set off on a mission to cycle the whole island! We stopped at the main police station at the 16km mark to get Rob a Cook Island driving licence which he will proudly show to anyone, and ate an absurd amount of pizza for a lunch fuelling stop. We also had a few home straight stop at some beach bars. We completed the whole circuit 32km in 32oC heat and were chuffed as anything. Alas it was this chuffedness that cost me my beloved phone. As we arrived back at Sea Change I threw on my reef shoes and charged into the sea as a cooling celebration. Rob stood on a rock to capture this moment on phone film and was taken out by a surprising wave (a hangover from the nights storm) and chose to rescue his sandal with my phone in his hand. Despite some emergency rice treatment my phone did not make it and all photos are currently lost but we will attempt to find someone to retrieve them on return to the UK.

Final thoughts: go to the Cook Islands, it's paradise before it's commercialised. Rob loved "island time" it's been what he has worked to his whole life.

The beach in front of Sea Change
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cocnut beach

Posted by KulaRing 01:23 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged honeymoon paradise lagoon reef rarotonga Comments (1)

New Zealand Cheesy Summary

Favourite town/city

Rob - Wanaka
Sarah - Queenstown

Worst town/city

Rob - Kaiteriteri
Sarah - Wellington

Best accommodation

Rob - Lake Mahinapua Hotel
Sarah - Flying Kiwi (Wanaka)

Worst accommodation

Rob - Base Wellington
Sarah - Base Wellington

Best New Zealand Experience

Rob - Franz Josef Glacier Heli-hike, but the Maori cultural evening at Tamaki is unmissable
Sarah - Stargazing at Lake Tekapo

Experience most regret missing due to lack of time

Rob - AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge bungy
Sarah - Tongariro Crossing (20km hike from Mount Doom to Mordor) in Taupo

Best New Zealand meal

Rob - Denniston Dog in Westport, stone grill steaks for $15!
Sarah - Fergburger in Queenstown

Favourite Kiwi saying

Rob - "sweet as"
Sarah - "sweet as"

Most quirky New Zealand behaviour

Rob - casual swearing, including on all television programmes
Sarah - walking around town with no shoes!!

Favourite thing about the Kiwi Experience bus

Rob - makes travelling super easy, especially booking activities
Sarah - the drivers

Worst thing about the Kiwi Experience bus

Rob - arriving late at some places
Sarah - 18 year old groups who only want to drink

Best thing about New Zealand

Rob - beautiful open spaces
Sarah - friendly++ people everywhere

Worst thing about New Zealand

Rob - lack of air con
Sarah - sandflies!!!!!!

Posted by KulaRing 17:47 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

North Island

sunny 27 °C
View Supermoon on KulaRing's travel map.

So it has all been decided. I am moving to Hobbiton, and becoming Sarah the cheesemaking Hobbit. The focus of the rest of the trip will be growing my feet to full Hobbit size so I can be accepted.... but more on the wonders of Hobbiton later. The last entry ended as we were leaving Christchurch for Kaikoura for the second time.

Kaikoura was as relaxing this time around as it was the first. We decided against whale watching in the end, as the hostel (Top Spot) had the most beautiful garden filled with rosebushes and an afternoon sat reading in the sun was calling. We only left the hostel for some fish and chips and a quick round of mini golf (which I won very convincingly).

The next day we departed for the north island via the Picton to Wellington Interislander ferry. Somehow in laid back New Zealand this crossing takes 3 1/2 hours(!) despite being able to see the north island from the south island. Rob loving most forms of transport loved the ferry. As did Wilf.
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As a side this is a photo of my poor feet after the prolonged south island attack of dastardly sandflies. Absolutely tiny little blighters, less vicious and manky bites than mozzies but they itch 10x worse! The photo really doesn't do justice to the number of bites I had.
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My birthday was Tuesday this week (23rd), and thank you to everyone that messaged me. We were scheduled to be in Taupo on the evening of my birthday and had some wedding present activities to sample, so we decided to have a birthday dinner the night before in Wellington. As the ferry only arrived in Wellington at gone 5 we didn't have time for an explore and our impressions of the city mostly come from the views from the ferry. It had a Cannes type feel with lots of marinas and large villas extending up the hills from the sea and CBD. Had dinner at the Monsoon Poon, a Thai/Asian fusion restaurant a bit more pricey and with a wider cocktail menu than the rest of the trip. As you can see from the pictures the drinks were pretty strong.
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The only real negative of our trip was that night, a stay at a hostel with sadly no private rooms available, that was just awful. The hostel was pretty grubby, but the bigger issue was the tiny window and baking hot room with no fan or air con. The room was also right over the bar (just what every honeymooning couple longs for) so with the tiny window open the noise was pretty in your face, or ears. These issues along with some lovely 18 year old roomies who thought coming in drunk at gone 1am turning the light on and proceeding to sit in the middle of the room for a loud chat was fine. This was the only dorm room on the whole trip that we had any problem with and we are awaiting news of a refund as only 2 or 3 hours of sleep was had.

We didn't let the lack of sleep bother us on arrival for our one night in Taupo. We headed out in some rain on a hike up to the Huka Falls. A sidenote.... a "gentle" walk in New Zealand should not be mistaken for a lovely flat gentle 10 minute stroll to the local pub, they tend to be 6 mile hilly off road experiences, beautiful but not typically gentle. Initially the plan was to hike there and back but the rain persuaded us to wimp out and get a cab back to a pizzeria near the night's hostel.
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The plan for the night was some sailing around Lake Taupo to view some Maori cliff carvings, however half an hour before the trip was due to depart the cloud and drizzle was so low, that although by the departure time the sky had lifted into the most beautiful sunset the word had already gone out the trip was cancelled (a bit of a disappointment but there are other sailing opportunities left to come). We made the most of this unexpected time to drink some cider and view the sunset from our private (yay) room, followed by what until recently I would have called Netflix and chill, but apparently the young folk mean something totally different when they say that! Thank you to Claire, Markus, Alice and Joe for the private rooms on our Kiwi leg, as you can see from the below photo some of them were pretty awesome.
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After Taupo, we took advantage of Kiwi Experience's hop on/hop off and hopped off in Rotorua for a night. This is but a short bus ride away from the amazing place that is Hobbiton!!! The home of the Hobbits in Peter Jackson's two epics, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Hobbiton is the now permanent set used for all the outdoor hobbit home town scenes and includes 44 Hobbit holes in the hills, vegetable patches and the Green Dragon Inn where one stops for a free cool beverage (ale or cider) at the end of one's tour.
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This is my future home... the cheesemakers Hobbit hole!
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We had time for a quick maypole dance at the party tree
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As you can probably tell from the amount of photos, I loved Hobbiton!!! Enough to even buy my first souvenir of the trip, a Green Dragon Inn flagon :) Thank you to Nat and Jamie for the gift.
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That evening after a flying stop back at our hostel (private room with ensuite and a private kitchen/diner and patio door opening onto the pool for £40 a night) we headed off for a Maori cultural evening at Tamaki village. After the welcoming challenge was met we were allowed in the village to spend an hour being taught the cultural ways of the Maori. I got ultra competitive (a shock to all that know me I'm sure) at a Maori children's stick game.
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and Rob attempted a haka, which sadly the video I took of this won't upload here, but I can assure you was one of the funniest things I have seen on this trip so far. His inability to tell left from right really caused some issues, I hope the ancestors forgive his poor effort!
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After a brief show of impressive song a dance, a feast was served post cooking in the ground over hot stones for 5 hours. This was the first time in over 2 weeks we experienced New Zealand lamb and it was a pretty good thing the feast was an eat until you fall over buffet, as it just melted in the mouth. The whole night passed in a flash and it was great after touring most of the country to learn some of the history of it's initial inhabitants. Thank you to Rob's Canadian dwelling relatives for this wedding present.
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Before we noticed it our last full day in New Zealand was here. Today we have travelled our final leg on the big green bus and arrived back in Auckland. We found our final hostel, dumped our bags and headed to the Sky Tower. A 1000+ foot observation tower in the centre of Auckland. The lift on the way up had a glass front and half of the floor was glass, I had my eyes shut the whole way up! The views from the top were breathtaking, and after I built up enough bravery to run screaming as fast as I could across a patch of glass floor (to the laughter of fellow tourists), Rob treated me to a Sky High Bellini, and had another ultra manly colourful cocktail himself. Thank you Em and Stuart for this amazing experience.
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The below photo shows some of the nutty types that pay to walk around the very rim of the Sky Tower over 60 floors above the ground.
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As it is was our final dinner in New Zealand, we splashed out a bit and went to a sushi restaurant and stuffed our faces.
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Now all that is left is a quick repack of the bags ready for the flight to the Cook Islands and a quick browse around the shops of Auckland's CBD tomorrow morning. The net out on Rarotonga is not known to be great so the next update may be a few days away, but I'm sure the sun, sea and private pool will keep me otherwise occupied.

Posted by KulaRing 23:56 Archived in New Zealand Tagged auckland rotorua taupo wellington maori hobbiton!!!! Comments (0)

Ski country

rain 24 °C
View Supermoon on KulaRing's travel map.

Rob is still traumatised from writing the last entry so it's back to me to carry on our journey past Franz Josef, first stop being 10 minutes along a windy mountain road (the only road that runs along the west coast of the south island) to Lake Matheson, also known as the reflection lake for its reflected views of the Fox Glacier and Mount Cook on non drizzly days. The hike around the lake takes just over an hour and considering it's a lake walk is remarkably hilly, but the beautiful scenery keeps the legs pumping. As with all of New Zealand so far the amount of insect and bird noise along the walk was just incredible.

A few shots of the gorgeous views at the lake. Mount Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) is just where the cloud is in the middle of the picture
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From there the bus winds about the mountains heading into the south island ski country via Haast. A quick stop and trek into the trees bought us to Thunder Creek Falls......
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Our overnight stop was a beautiful lake side town called Wanaka, on the shores of Lake..... Wanaka. The lake is surrounded by mountains which contain the largest ski resorts on the south island. Although Wanaka is a ski town in the winter it isn't like a European ski resort and none of the ski lifts were visible from the town, it seems in New Zealand you have to drive to the lifts and then back down to the town post swish. We by fluke ended up away from the large standard (partyish) Kiwi Experience hostel due to the sheer numbers on the bus and ended up in a sweet little hostel called the Flying Kiwi. If you ever find yourself in Wanaka in need of a bed look it up! Free BBQ's, free internet, free herbs from the garden etc etc. We felt in the need for a bit of a relax so headed to the local cinema, a place called Paradiso. All the seats were large squishy armchairs/sofas, alcohol through the film was practically encouraged and they still have the long missed interval during the film. We saw Deadpool (which Rob won't stop raving about) and were served wine with a cheese platter during the interval.

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The next morning we visited Puzzling World on the outskirts of the town, and spent a good 75 minutes trying to find our way out of their large maze. We found our way to all 4 corner towers pretty quick but then for the life of us could not find the exit gate! We refound all towers at least once more before we finally escaped.

Here is us celebrating our victory (we walked over 6km in defeating this maze!)
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Onwards from Wanaka we had a short drive over a mountain pass to another winter ski surrounded "city" with the name of Queenstown. Most people will know this as "the adventure capital of the world" and the home of bungy. First stop of the day was the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the world's first commercial bungy which stands and a now measly 43m. There was no way I fancied this activity, even with their offer to dunk you in the river below during the bungy. Rob was becoming more and more tempted and I believe with longer he would have signed up, which tells me I have married a crazy person.

Not as crazy as the guy in these pics....
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Queenstown is also the place where many Kiwi Experiencers part ways, so is where a large bar crawl occurs. This starts with a rather lush $10 BBQ dinner (although ours was cooked in the kitchen due to the continuous rain throughout our Queenstown stay). Luckily there are no photos available from this rather messy night, but I can say Queenstown has a lot of good bars! We were lucky to have some great company for the bus and had a great night with them in the bars, and a few laughs at various hangovers in the dorm the next morning.

For our second day in Queenstown I thought I would go all glamorous and repack my bag that was becoming quite unruly. We had lunch at the infamous Fergburger
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to fuel an afternoon of amazing white water rafting through Lord of the Rings country. I have now paddled where many a hobbit has passed through the Gates of Argonath before me. A quick sauna later and I thought I better head back to the World Bar for another teapot cocktail with our roomies before we parted ways the next morning.

A lush Bloom Teapot
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View from the balcony of the dorm as the sun came up
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Next overnight stop was Lake Tekapo, with some quick photo opportunities in a tiny town called Twizel, and then Lake Pukaki (another view of a cloudy Mount Cook).
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Our next wedding present awaited us in Lake Tepako, the Tepako Springs (thank you Proc and Laura). We took full advantage of all the pools, steam rooms and saunas, and as you can see in the pictures below the scenery of the Southern Alps across Lake Tepako wasn't bad either.
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Lake Tepako is in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which means there is a ban on light at night for many a mile, and lots of astronomers base themselves around the lake on the hills to use the observatories there. It is we are told one of the best places for stargazing and space studying in the world, so we just had to go on a brilliantly nerdy very late night visit to the Cowen Observatory to learn about the southern night sky. I could not rave about this enough. I got to use a telescope in it's own dome, worth more than most cars. We viewed nebulas from the start of the universe, to a new born binary star, to the moons of Jupiter! It was amazing and despite the chill they had to drag me back down the hill at the end of the tour. I can also now navigate ships using the Southern Cross if anyone needs a girl with that skill. If anyone is interested Google Earth and Sky Tours and feel jealous of my geek side. Obviously there are again no pictures of this as any light e.g. phone screens or camera flashes are completely forbidden, plus would have ruined the heavenly view and feel of the night.

Now we are back in sunshine of Christchurch. We walked another 6 miles around the city absorbing more of the destruction and rebuild. We visited the botanical gardens and an amazing bar called Astro Lounge, which is to be found behind the door to the Tardis...
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and Rob drank some manly cocktails.

Our time on the South Island comes to an end in about 36 hours, and although most people could have told us long ago, 2 and half weeks is just not long enough to see this amazing country. Almost every stop we could have spent at least another night, and in Queenstown I could have spent at least a week. We didn't make it to Milford Sound, or even up the gondola to view the city from above. As places go I think Queenstown would be near the top of my list for work, spend the day dealing with crazy idiots hurting themselves with adventure sports before mopping up drunken muppets from the bars at night, and everyone is so friendly here they'd just be fun drunks not abusive ones like I encounter too often at home. Rob is still head over hills for Christchurch, the lure of rebuilding a city from near scratch may yet prove to be too strong for him, but we shall see as we still have so many other amazing places to visit left on this trip.

Posted by KulaRing 22:26 Archived in New Zealand Tagged queenstown wanaka nz stars geek ski_country tepako Comments (1)

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