New Zealand: Week 26 &27

The One With Three British Gappers and the Return of the Ferg

With two and half weeks of summer holiday left, there’s still plenty to write about. After a few days in Christchurch doing laundry, booking flights to Sydney and mentally preparing for a 10hr bus trip I was off on my travels again.

Milford Sound

This next trip had me on a bus for 10hrs going down to Te Anau and meeting Kat on the way. It was pouring with rain as we arrived and that didn’t look like changing any time soon, so we were preparing for a pretty soggy time at Milford Sound.

The next morning we were proven right and it was a rainy day forecast for our trip. But as our bus driver said, even in the rain Milford is incredible as all the waterfalls appear. And appear they did, it was incredible.

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Kat and I braved the outside of the boat for most of the cruise and at one point were up on the very top deck before the gale-force wind threatening to blow you overboard was a very real possibility.

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We went right out to the edge of Milford Sound, but only a little bit into the Tasman Sea as it was rough as. On the way back we sailed right up to Sterling Falls where all the brave (stupid) people could stand at the front of the boat and get soaked if they really wanted to. We stayed out on deck and got a good covering of waterfall spray but had enough sense to stay dry-ish.

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Queenstown

The second part of our mini South Island trip was up to Queenstown to meet Maddie and spend a few days reunited as 3/5 of the British Gapper Family. It was so good to be back together for the first time since Auckland all those months ago and such a good time was had in Queenstown.

We didn’t have any breakfast stuff in the hostel, so we grabbed breakfast from a bakery on our way up to the gondola. The gondola was great, steeper than the one in Christchurch and bit longer. The views at the top were amazing, right across the lake towards the Remarkables.P1120490 P1120499IMG_0668-2

We stayed up there for quite a while, watching the luge riders and eventually managed to talk ourselves into going to Fear Factory.

Fear Factory was quite possible the scariest but also funniest thing I’ve ever done. Maddie was screaming before we’d even got properly up the steps into the building. For those unfamiliar with Fear Factory, you basically walk conga/zombie style through a pitch black maze while people scare the living daylights out of you. (Their Facebook page has some hilarious photos of people being scared) The only thing to help you is little red LED lights and your own outstretched arms to stop you crashing into walls.

Guess who was forced to lead our little group in this hell hole? Me. Yes I somehow ended up being shoved at the front. I have to say that I think I lead our group pretty well, despite being shoved into a wall at one point by Maddie and Kat who were very keen to get out and spending quite a lot of the experience being strangled by my own t-shirt as Maddie clung on to me. Our only minor mishap was when I got completely disorientated and the people who were meant to be scaring us had to direct us with their torches. Oops. We made it to end however and weren’t going to be adding to their chicken list.

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Following all the excitement/trauma of Fear Factory, we calmed down with lunch on the waterfront and booked a slot in the Ice Bar for later that evening.

The Ice Bar was fab, freezing and absolutely everything was made from ice.

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The ice bar was stop number one on a little tour of the bars of Queenstown, which finished with a trip to Fergburger. When in Queenstown and all that…

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Our time in Queenstown was finished off with a chilled day and Mexican for dinner, a pretty decent was to end the holiday.

On our way back to Timaru, we drove via Lake Tekapo which meant we saw Mt. Cook and some stupidly blue water. I still can’t get over the colour of it, even several weeks down the line. It’s my Facebook cover photo and everything but I still don’t believe it was that colour and I saw it in real life.

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It was the usual Timaru traditions of a movie night and then a picnic at Caroline Bay before Kat and I headed back to Christchurch and Kat flew back to the North Island.

And so ends the story of my summer holiday, finally finished as I enter the countdown of my final 53 days in New Zealand.

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