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The South Island 2

Wanaka, Queenstown, Tuatapere, Stewart Island, The Catlins, Dunedin, Queenstown, Twizel, Rangitata, Christchurch

sunny 27 °C
View Sydney & New Zealand on melissaf's travel map.

Whaaw, on my way over to the internetpoint I had to reconstruct my travels since Wanaka, 'cause I've been in so many places now!

But let me think... last entry was in Wanaka, so from Wanaka I went to ... Queenstown!! The city of excitment and adrenaline. They have one of the highest bungee-jumps there (it was where bungee was born btw), jetboating, skydiving, paragliding... and everything else that makes your hart pump a bit faster. I did one or two of those things, but for the moment its still "eyes only". I've got it on dvd and that dvd is travelling to Belgium at the moment and I will only publish what I did once the dvd has arrived at it's destination :)

As promised, my dvd has arrived at its destination and everyone has survived the viewing ;) I did a canyonswing in Queenstown. That means that I fell down for 60m from a 105m high ledge and did about three of the biggest swings I ever did in my life with the greatest view ever.

This is where I did the Canyonswing:DSCF1373.jpg

DSCF1389.jpg On the way to Milford Sound

From Queenstown we travelled on to Milford Sound, where we did a cruise. (Effe uitleggen: ne 'sound' is 'tzelfde als ne fjord, verschil is da ne fjord gevormd werd door ijs en ne sound door water). Beautiful, of course (what isn't beautiful at this side of the world??).
DSCF1407.jpg Seals at Milford Sound
DSCF1411.jpg waterfall Milford Sound
We stayed overnight in Tuatapere... the capital of (believe it or not) sausages!! I must honestly admit that I didn't taste the world-famous sausages since I'm not really a sausage-kinda-girl, ej (picked up some nz slang as well :))

We bussed a long to Invercargill where we dropped of the ppl that didn't wanna go to Stewart Island. Of course I did go (I'm here to see it all!) Stewart Island was magnificent! We stayed in beautiful cottages and Randall played the guitar in the evening on our veranda while we were having a glass of wine ... perfect! The next day in Stewart Island... not so perfect = RAIN! Our first full day of rain, and when I say full day, I mean from morning 'till evening! But brave as we are, we put on our hiking and rain gear and left to Ulva Island. I think Ulva Island did lose a bit of it's charm 'cause of the rain since it's a bird sanctuary. As Toby put it: the birds where probably all home with a cup of hot choclate watching a dvd...
First thing the following morning we took the ferry back to the main (is)land.

Next stop was ... The Catlins... aah, the beautiful Catlins :) :) I was staying in the perfect little beach-house... yes on the beach! Unfortunatly, here again the weather wasn't completly with us... rain again. And the little house might be very cosy and beautiful, without a TV or internet there is not a lot to do when it's pouring rain. We (Kathryn and me) had the good luck to meet Christine who was kind enough to offer us a ride to the Cathedral Caves and the Mclean falls and lake Wilkie. One of the most beautiful things we saw though was just around the corner... the petrifying forest (have no clue about spelling, but you catch what I'm saying, right? Sweet as!). The petrifying forest is at the sea... There used to be a forest there some 40 (?) million years ago and when the trees fell they fosselised (enfin, they became fossiles...). Absolutly gorgeous with the see bashing into the rocks with all their force! And another great thing, not even as far as the corner, we could watch the dolphins while we were sitting in the couch :) :)
Of course on the day we left the sun was brightly shining... typical!

DSCF1528.jpg Curio Bay bckpkr, the view.

DSCF1441.jpg Beach at the Cathedral Caves

DSCF1457.jpg Exit Cathedral Caves

DSCF1476.jpg

DSCF1495.jpg Petrifying Forest, overview

DSCF1426.jpg McLean Falls

DSCF1440.jpg

From there we went to Dunedin (I think). Again we met Christine there who offered us another ride with her to go and see the albatross. You know, those really big sea-gulls ;) Anyway, we saw some albatross flying over our heads, so we went further very satisfied that we didn't pay 40 dollars for a tour where you are not garanteed to see any flying albatross's (that's a lot of s-ses!). On we went to sandfly-beach. Hmm, the name alone doesn't sound appealing... but we were ready for them (the sandflies I mean) after we covered ourselves in very strong insect-repellant. Off we went down the sand-dunes, crossing ppl who told us not to go down 'cause the climb back up was so hard, but we didn't listen. And that was a good thing too! On the beach was a big sea-lion waiting for us. Just snoozing his afternoon away... wonderful live those animals have! And a bit further we saw two yellow-eyed penguins! a very endangered species, very rare to see! After spending about an hour - an hour and a half on the beach we started to climb back up to the car. Christine, in the mean time, was still taking pics of all those animals down there, really completly concentrated on the penguins. After waiting for half an hour at the carpark, seeing that Christine still wasn't moving away from the penguins, we (Amrit, Katrhyn and me) decided to take the kind offer of a couple of friends from Israel to drive back with them. But before going to the hostel we went to see the blue penguins! They are the cutest animals ever. They're really tiny. After a while thouhg, we couldn't see much of them anymore, because it was getting really dark and so we went back to the hostel. On our second day in Dunedin we took the scenic train-ride to Middlemarch and back. Beautiful ride in an old train... whether it was worth its money... I still don't know.

DSCF1536.jpg Otago Penisula, Dunedin

DSCF1548.jpg Albatross

DSCF1569.jpg Sandfly Bay, Dunedin

DSCF1582.jpg Penguin Sandfly Bay

DSCF1591.jpg Sealion, Sandfly Bay

DSCF1695.jpg The steepest street in the world, Dunedin

DSCF1626.jpg scenic trainride, Dunedin.

The next day we left Dunedin behind us and travelled back to Queenstown. I only stayed for one night since I had already been there. From Queenstown you can take the expressbus to Christchurch, but it's quiet a long ride, so I stopped for 1 night in Twizel... Rain and rain and rain and rain... so what did I do: got nice and cosy with the couch watching tele and eating chocolate :) A perfect lazy day in my book.

The next day I said goodbye to Kathryn who was staying for a bit longer in Twizel and went on to Rangitata (in the snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Now there's nothing to do in Rangitata (so you probably won't find it on a map), the only reason why ppl go there is to raft. It's supposed to be one of the best places to raft in the whole of NZ... and I am enclined to believe that. They have to rapids of grade 5... for those who are frowning wondering what that means (never mind, I only found out when I got there) -> there are 6 grades of rapids, 1 on the bottom (really easy) and 6 on the top (not possible to raft without flipping over), so you can imagine that grade 5 is ... pretty wild! But it was so much fun! I really enjoyed it! And the sun was shining, so how much more do you want!

IMG_7380.jpg

And from Rangitata I ended up right here where I am now... and that's Christchurch. I'm staying a bit out of the centre, which suits me just fine. Yesterday I went to the Belgian Beer Cafe to have a Kriekske :) :) and wander around the city. Today I did al the arty stuff, went to the Arts Centre, The Art Gallery and the Arts and Crafts Market (all that without spending any money, halleluja) and relaxed in the Botanical Gardens. The weather is fine again (see above) and I'm crossing my fingers that it might stay like that for the next two weeks while I'm still in NZ!

This is a short overview of my next stops: Kaikoura, Picton (end south, begin north), Wellington, Taupo and Tarangora Crossing, Bay of Islands, Auckland. That is of course if all goes according to plan, and in my experience nothing ever does, so we'll see what happens. She'll be right :)

c ya next time

Posted by melissaf 23:10 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

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