Andrew’s parents had a special treat for us, they arranged a week in a lovely residency in Wanaka. But before heading there to relax, we decided to soak up some adventure in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital” of the world. The first day we kept it rather unadventurous with some unsuccessful fishing and lovely hiking, the second day on the other hand we were living on the edge. Andrew took the big jump and threw himself off the 43 meter high Kawarau bridge into the water. HUZAAAAAH was his reaction during this exhilarating leap of faith.
And then we were off to our week of relaxation, luxury and, unfortunately, bad weather. We had a very spacious studio with a giant TV, a kingsize bed, a fridge with a freezer (very handy for making ice as you will read in a minute) and a bath!! So the week boiled down to us taking endlessly long baths, watching a lot of TV and movies from the comfort of our kingsize bed and, as we had access to ice, making Mojitos!
The few times the sun did shine we went for some beautiful walks in and around Wanaka. The Mount Iron walk provided us with some gorgeous views over the town and the Cadrona Valley.
Fully rested we left Wanaka on Friday the 25th and drove straight up to the famous glaciers of NZ. On Friday we visited Fox Glacier and Saturday his bigger brother, Franz Jozef Glacier. The 2 glaciers look much alike but the blue skies on Saturday tipped the scales in favor of Franz Jozef.
While driving back North we crossed a few cute-as-a-button towns such as Rapahoe and Motueka and spent a day in Abel Tasman National Park. The weather was super good which allowed us to have a drink on lovely courtyards and take beautiful walks in the forest of Abel Tasman.
28th of February - 1st of March: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TICI!
Our next stop was Nelson, one of the sunniest places in NZ according to our travel guide but once again, we’ve been had. Tuesday’s weather was pretty shitty so we ended up briefly visiting the Victorian style town, going to the movies (127 hours, good movie, disgusting at times) and bar hopping. We finished our day in a fancy designed bar, listening to some live jazz tunes, so the day wasn’t too bad after all.
Wednesday on the other hand, the sun was popping out, and the outdoors was calling us. We visited Founders Park, a reconstructed village that shows how the early settlers lived in NZ. Complete with an Artisanal Bakery, a mini “Hospital”, a bright red Fire Brigade, a Brewery and a giant oldskool airplane.
We also climbed up a hill that day to a pointy monument claiming to be New Zealand’s geographical center. Pretty cool huh.
The Queen Charlotte drive from Nelson to Picton (where the ferry awaited us) proved to be worthy of its reputation. The road swirled through endless bends that provided us with magnificent views on the Marlborough Sounds.
Currently we are floating somewhere between Picton and Wellington on the Interislander ferry, which has a jolly Celtic style pub. Our plans for the next week: work, work, work, and of course some play as we intend to work in Hawkes Bay, famous for its yummy wines ;-)