Lake Tekapo was our first stop on our way back up, this was a beautiful stop, it was a really nice holiday park we stayed on full of families for bank holiday weekend, a perfect place to go, and we finally had some sun!!! Us girls were in a cabin by ourselves away from everyone else, had to go on a right trek to get to it (well up a slight hill), not impressed, but it was really cute. That night we went out for a nice meal, I had a delicious venison stew, so so good!! Then banoffe pie for dessert which defeated me, it made me really dizzy but thankfully Doc was around to assure me I wasn’t dying I had just eaten too much, classic melton.
Up next was Christchurch, Sam left us straight away here, sad times another one going. Christchurch was really good in the day time, still devastated by the 2011Earthquake the shops and cafes were in shipping containers which was really cool. We saw the chair memorial; each one representing somebody who had died which was moving esp the kids chairs. The cardboard church was stunning felt very serene inside, quite like a spa. We then spent the afternoon in search of the giant sofas, Sara convinced “they are just over here” for about a half an hour. It was our final night with Claire, so went to find somewhere to drink with not much luck we found one pub which was full of gypsies, we had one drink then left, we stayed up till midnight though as it was Easter so we could eat our chocolate eggs.
Kaikoura was a cute little stop, it was just like a little seaside town you would find in Norfolk. We spent the afternoon looking round all the cute little stores then in the evening we had a BBQ (well a sausage in a slice of bread). There was also plenty of wine on offer and as this was goodbye to Sara of course I had to have a few glasses!! Sara was the final one from the original bus so it was sad to see her go, for the first time in a while it was just me n Lou.
Like I mentioned in a previous post we stopped at Wellington on the way back up, we did 2 nights this time so we actually got to see the city, it pissed it down with rain the whole time!! But have no fear we found ourselves a free museum Te Papa Tongarewa. It was massive and really interesting you could spend all day there which we nearly did but instead went for a tour of the parliament building in the afternoon. Politics geek out, it was very similar to the UK just a smaller version. Highlight was the little kids also on the tour, the guide asked if anyone had any questions he got back “what if I need the toilet on the tour” and “how much do you get paid” I found it hilarious. We also went to the cinema to see Insurgent, haven’t seen the first one but Lou explained it, good film would highly recommend. That night sitting in the hostel Robbie, Henry and Ollie strolled through the door, just when we thought we had left everyone behind. Henry looked like a creep in his bucket hat, rain mac, trackies and flip flops. It was decided he looked like a drug dealer at a festival/ bird watcher. They were only on the bus a bit the next day before we said farewell again to them. Robbie stayed on.
We stopped off again at Taupo on the way up, coming here again shows how much the weather and company can change your views of a place. First time it was sunny and we got to know everyone really well, this time it was raining and just me n Lou (and Robbie was floating about somewhere). So we set off in search of a platter for dinner, the one we found was not to our liking so we went for a curry instead. It was delicious!!!
When we got back to Auckland we met up with Ben and Charlotte (friends from home), we all went to the Planetarium together. This sounds quite geeky but it was actually a lot of fun and so interesting!! Now every night me n Lou do a bit of stargazing we love it, know what all the stars are… It was so nice seeing them and catching up on our travels, a good evening.
Our final stop with the Kiwi Experience was the Bay of Islands. We had a good couple of chilled nights up there and went on a day trip to Cape Reinga, highlight of this was sand boarding, looked terrifying from the side but at the top it was not so scary and was really fun!! Funniest thing on this trip was we were sitting on the bus and some guy a couple of rows back was speaking to some people and said he was from Cambridge, me n Lou whipped around shouting we were too. Turns out he’s from Ely, the girls he was speaking to had gone to Reading uni and knew one of our friends. Next thing the girl behind us gets on so we ask her where she’s from… Mepal, can you believe it! Had a little Cambridge crew. She also went to Long Road then Lincoln Uni and lived on the same road as me as well. Such a small world.
Our final stop was back again to Auckland, sticking to what we know and not moving from Queens Street. It rained so we watched Game of Thrones and sat on the iron throne in the middle of town, and of course saw Robbie again. Then at the Airport had another goodbye with Henry and Ollie, just can’t get rid of this lot.
That’s New Zealand done, so far my favourite place on this trip, I could never imagine such a stunning place and I did some amazing things, I met an incredible bunch of people who made this trip so great!! I will always remember my time on the Kiwi Experience, thanks to everyone on there, miss you all. And a final thanks to Keith, what a legend.
Louises fact – New Zealanders have no clue what Game of Thrones is.