After a 7.15 pickup in Wellington it was time to take the ferry over to the South Island and see what that had in store for us.
Our first stop was Kaiterteri which was beautiful! It was a lodge on its own next to the beach. We stayed on the beach for a few hours after arriving before departing again the next day. If I had known how pretty and relaxing it was I think I would have stayed an extra night to experience it. Unfortunately I didn't so it was time to head to Westport the next day where we could either embark on a surf lesson or paddle boarding. Seeing as I had already paid to do my Surf Lesson in Australia, I decided on the paddle boarding which I was to do in the morning. Well, this never happened as some of the group came back from the nights paddle boarding and expressed how disappointed they were with it and that I shouldn't bother getting up early to do it. Apparently the tide was low and the water was dirty, and in my opinion if the instructors are aware of this then they should not allow the lesson to do ahead. Luckily, the local cinema had agreed to stay open late for us so they we could see a special screening of Fifty Shades of Grey. It wasn't the best film but it was nice to go with people and all laugh at how bad the film was.
The next day was headed to Lake Mahinapua, affectionately known as the "Poo Pub". On our way there was stopped off in a shopping town so that we could buy some materials for the party later that night as it was fancy dress and our theme was "Face Paint". Upon arrival we were given shots, best check-in ever, and shown to our lodges. A few of us headed to the Lake which was very scenic before getting ready for the night ahead. I was a Lion and Lydia kindly painted this for me as I am not very artistic. The winner of the face paint would receive a free Canyon Swing to do in Queenstown so everyone put in a lot of effort. Our food for the night was a Roast Dinner, which I was excited for as I had missed these from home, but unfortunately it didn't live up to my mums standards. Then the night began, it was such a good night and the bus completely bonded! I didn't win though :( but I was going to do the Canyon Swing regardless. The next day, some of us with sore heads, we headed to Franz Josef, the home of the Glacier Walk.
For me, Franz Josef was a place to relax as I didn't take part in any activities. We did that night however have all you can eat pizza for $12. For backpackers this is amazing as we will literally eat all the pizza, but even this defeated us as it didn't stop coming! We also had a free day here for the people who did want to do the glacier walk and it was a chance to catch up with people we knew on the bus behind us. The stop after this was Wanaka, which was the calm before the storm of Queenstown. We arrived on the same day as a triathlon and sat by the Lake while watching them. That night a few of us watched the end of it and found out someone had got married along the way! An early night ensued so that we were ready for Queenstown.
Queenstown. My favourite place ever. I love Queenstown. Adrenaline Capital of the World. Our first stop was the first Bungy Jump where a few of us jumped and the rest spectated. We then got to our accommodation and headed straight to the Canyon Swing. This was amazing. You can chose how you can leave the platform, I chose to go by "The Chair". I was supposed to lean back and push myself off but I couldn't do this so the people who worked there let me go...literally. The staff there are sicko's! They play with you soooo much to scare you, but at the same time it's amazing. After screaming my head off I realised I loved it! That night it was a bus bar crawl around the town which was amazing and drunken! I spent 3 nights in Queenstown and ended up on bar crawls every night with the other buses as they had people on who I knew. Queenstown is the place you re-meet everyone and it's amazing. During the next two days I just relaxed with people, watched Tash get a tattoo and got my tragus pierced. Unfortunately I didn't get to do the Milford Sound but I heard it was amazing.
We then headed to Lake Tekapo...not much to say about this place it's just a stop and I was gutted we left people I had made friends with, however the scenery is beautiful. After this I spent 2 days in Christchurch which is the most depressing place ever due to the 2011 earthquake. I even had to spend my birthday there and if its wasn't for the people there I would have hated it. Such a shame a good trip was spoiled by an anti-climax.
In summary, New Zealand is beautiful and I cant recommend it enough. Go there if you can. I can't upload pictures at the moment to prove this but head over to my Instagram to see them as there are loads on there. If you do go NZ, go with The Kiwi Experience, it's the best way to do it and they are amazing. They have so many different passes which can be tailored to you. My bus driver Simon was so informative but so funny at the same time and made my trip. I met amazing people on that bus! GO TO NEW ZEALAND.
Next stop Australia.