Flying as in on a plane from Perth to Christchurch, flying as in a rental car (Nissan Tiida) down and around the bends of South Island state highways, flying as in on a Thunder Jet Boat on the lake in Queenstown, flying as in off a ledge off the Kawarau Suspension Bridge at the original AJ Hackett Bungy location. I haven’t done the last thing….yet. We have checked it out and it doesn’t look too scary to me, looks like a bit of a rush actually so I think we will try to fit it in. Tim has already done his back in ’95.
I am always appreciative of ending up with a life that has allowed me to travel. Every time I get on a plane to go somewhere I tend to reflect that not everybody gets to do this. Just book a holiday and go. Travelling is one of the most important things to do as a human being and I like to imagine that no matter what the circumstances I would always manage to travel somewhere, even if on the thinnest of shoestring budgets.
Air New Zealand was a comfy airline and had good food with top notch service. The flight was pretty quick as well, just on five hours which is a bit like flying across to Sydney for us so it’s not that far at all. I loved the safety video they used and am so pleased that the Lord Of The Rings juggernaut has been utilized by the tourism industry so well to promote this relatively small country.
I managed to watch a number of things on the plane – the movie Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhal, an intensely dramatic crime thriller that had me absorbed, also caught the first episode of the new Karl Urban series – Almost Human, will have to add that series to the download queue, plus an episode of Getaway an American celebrities in foreign lands checking out the food. This one featured Azis Ansari of Parks and Rec fame checking out all the delights of Hong Kong. Some good, entertaining TV there that kept me awake for the whole five hours of the flight.
Enticing Image of Queenstown seen wall sized at Christchurch Airport.
We’ve been in New Zealand nearly 48 hours and so far I’ve been wondering what took me so long. We’ve only seen a small part of it and already I’m asking how it’s taken me this long to book a trip here given the absolutely stunningly beautiful countrysside. We would have gone last year had we not have been on our mammoth USA/Canada trip. Even then would not have been soon enough.
New Zealanders are a diverse lot of people, Maoris make up about 15% but so far I’ve lost count of the different national backgrounds that call this place home. There is a lot of Asian influence in the shopping and the food but there is also much evidence of English and general European influence, from the architecture and layout of the towns, to food, clothing and general manner and attitudes. After acquiring our hire car and sorting out SIM cards for our phones in Christchurch (which is a town that reminded me very much of the small, green cosy English towns you find dotted throughout Coventry and Derbyshire) we headed off on the drive to Lake Te Kapo. It took us about 4 or so hours to get there as we made several stops on the way for photos and refreshments as by then we were both pretty sleep having virtually now been awake 24 hours.
Everything is related to Supernatural…EVERYTHING.
We actually found some potato chips that contained only 4 ingredients. We were stunned.
Ingredients: Potatoes, Sea Salt, Canola and Sunflower Oil. THAT IS ALL. They were scrumptious.
McKenzie District Lookout
What a great holiday location Lake Tekapo is. There’s so much for families to do – rafting, kayaking, bike riding, horse riding, hiking, bird watching, skiing, boating …the list goes on. Our view from our hut for the night was just stunning.
From inside The Good Shepherd Church Lake TeKapo
Mandatory Selfie with the Sheepdog memorial statue
In the 19th century, Scottish shepherds came to work on the pastoral runs of the eastern South Island. The high country could not have been farmed successfully without the border collies they brought with them. To honour these ‘canine Scots’, a statue of a collie has been raised at Lake Tekapo. As it should be too!
Backwards view of Mt Cook as we head to Queenstown.
We stopped at a place called the Wrinkly Ram on our way through to Queenstown. They sold all sorts of sheep related gifts and they actually had some sheep out the back complete with a farmer training his young female border collie on sheep. She was just on 12 months, very keen and athletic.
We also stopped at the Gibbston Valley Cheesery and picked up some vintage cheddar, tried out their sheep’s milk vanilla bean ice cream and picked up a warm baguette with cheese. chorizo and relish for lunch. We were joined by Macy who was keen to make sure no morsel went to waste.
This place was a lovely stop and we were in just the cafe and cheesery part, there was a winery and a restaurant as well which no doubt would have served very good food if the baguette was anything to go on. We got into Queenstown today and have spent the afternoon down town checking out the shops (there is quite possibly the best chocolate chunk cookie in the world made here but alas I have no research to confirm this) Cookie Time is indeed a very good cookie maker.
We then decided to a Jet Boat ride for 3pm. That was good hour being taken up the river with our guide spinning us and bumping us over waves as he showed us the lake and the connecting river. I was in one of the more targetted seats so when I came off the boat I had a very good drowned rat look going.
More photos to come on this one!