wanaka and queenstown

I don’t have much Internet access anymore so I decided to write out my blog post while at work to save time. This doesn’t help when you forget the paper at home when you come to the library… will have to write again!

I didn’t mean to put in so many pictures of me but it seems like every picture that I took of Lauren is blurry or he is blinking. Ah well. Rose-splosion. (Liz if you are reading this, you will also notice I am wearing your Guelph sweatshirt in almost every photo. If I am not wearing it… it was in my bag.)

Lauren and I went on a week and a half trip to Wanaka & Queenstown and it was awesome! The weather was looking a bit marginal (rain every day) but it only rained twice and the weather was nice and warm (though windy).

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We climbed 4 days, a mix of new places and places I went in the summer. It was great meeting up with Glen and other friends again as well. When I worked at the hostel in Wanaka everyone always talked about the Rob Roy (beside the) Glacier Walk as a must-do, but I could never figure out how to get a ride down to it. So we decided to try again, twice but again was not successful! The first time the road was flooded and we didn’t want to break the van. The second time we got farther but there was a ford that looked pretty large.. and we didn’t want to break the van. Maybe I will try again but I think it’s a sign…

So we went on a valley walk instead…

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Look! New boots!
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One day we also did a ridge walk up to Mt Dingle Corner Peak an unmarked mountain but because I am lazy I got too tired to make it to anything named. It was still good though with great views! I’m still not sure if hiking/tramping is my thing.

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Rainy days were the perfect times to go swimming, watch movies, read books, eat out and try all the craft beers. We watched a documentary called Antartica: A Year on Ice which I highly recommend! It makes me want to live in Antartica (the average person that lives there is an average shmo like me!). But then I realized I could also just go to Northern Canada to experience similar eternal light/dark. This might be a bit more cost effective. I would be interested in that! I also got to finally try a Fergburger (not the best burger I have ever had, but maybe the best one in NZ) and I also highly recommend the aquatic centre in Queenstown (it has a lazy river, a spa pool, water guns, water sprays, 2 slides (that weren’t on, tear) and much more).

IMG_0727Oamaru also has an awesome playground.

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We also realized that we were there for the World Championship Jet Boat Race! There were teams from Canada there. The boats were SO FAST and really fun to watch. They were racing from Wanaka to Cromwell. Such a random thing to bump into.

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It worked out perfectly that on the way home from Queenstown I got a call from one of the temp agencies in Christchurch and they said they needed someone for a receptionist job for three days this past week and 4 days this week (it’s a long weekend). I am currently working at a door warehouse and my job entails bringing paper ten steps over from the printer to the other lady and answering the phone when she is not there or on the phone. I am not really sure why they are employing me as I read 1 book a day.

Oh yeah! We went to Castle Hill the day before we left as well with a bunch of friends:

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Terra's photo
Terra’s photo

And here’s a photo from the Boulder Bash:

Petr Polák - Piti
Petr Polák – Piti
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queenstown, dunedin and the otago peninsula

I spent one night in Queenstown. Queenstown is known as the party/resort town so we made it count. We started off the night at a bar with a beer deal, then $2 tacos and pitchers, then another happy hour special where I had a delicious cocktail that had an entire kiwi in it (not the person, the fruit). Kiwis.. more potassium than a banana, more vitamin C than an orange! (have I said this already?) Though I do think that a kiwi’s nutritional value gets negated when combined with Midori. It was great fun.

an extremely flattering photo of Maria and Felix
an extremely flattering photo of Maria and Felix
Nico's photo
Nico’s photo

We also stopped at a bungy jump to watch – I think it was the first ever commercialized bungy jump. Can you imagine how dodgy bungee jumps must have been when they first started doing them?

I was planning on going to meet up with a friend from Hang Dog and climb near Mt Cook, but our plans ended up not working out so after a giant eggs n bacee breakfast I headed with Nico and Felix (the German guys who I met in Milford Sound) to Dunedin/Otago Peninsula. The drive was long, but beautiful.

one of Nico's photo of the hunk of junk they rented (and that is an understatement!!)
one of Nico’s photo of the hunk of junk they rented (and that is an understatement!!)

I’m not sure if they were being serious or not, but we stopped in Alexandra because Felix’s girlfriend’s name is Alexandra.

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After driving the hunk of a junk van into the ditch (see below), we camped on the beach and had a steak campfire dinner. It was delicious! The rule in NZ is that you can camp or park your car anywhere overnight as long as there are no signs that say ‘no camping’. Even still I was a bit nervous about setting up my tent in a parking lot so I ended up waking up early enough to see most of the sunrise.

Wicked Campers is a popular car rental, that rents out junk vans that look cool. Despite looking awesome, they are all on the verge of falling apart. The one I travelled in:

– they are the complete opposite of discreet with their giant “BACKPACKERS LIVE HERE” sign

– they one we had had an extremely, unbelievably rattle-y back door

– poor gas mileage

– super disruptive sliding door (I noticed this one while camping at a DOC campsite on the way to Wanaka)

On the positive side, they allow you to drive like a nutso because everyone knows that you are a foreigner.

We started to make the trek up to Christchurch, with a stop in a few places. That area is pretty famous for large numbers of albatross and penguins. We weren’t there at the right time of the day so instead I ate penguin shaped pancakes. Otago Peninsula has lots of windy roads and beautiful views!!

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We also stopped at the Whitestone Cheese Deli factory (that day was a very extravagant food day, normally I was eating chickpeas, veg and noodles haha). I got to try 9 kinds of cheese! My favourites were goat milk feta, cammenbert, gruyere and their vintage blue cheese. NOMMMM their blue cheese was delicious.

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te anau

The next day I ended up in Te Anau, with plans to go to Milford Sound the next day.

I stopped in Queenstown for about half an hour. It reminded me a bit of Whistler – a mecca of outdoor activities, very commercialized, and girls walking by in high heels. There is some good climbing in Queenstown but I didn’t have enough time to climb.

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In Te Anau, I decided to walk part of the Kepler track (one of NZ’s Great Walks) but I ended up basically just doing the trek from the hostel to the Kepler. The lakeside jaunt was a bit farther than I thought. That’s alright.

nz-13Te Anau had a very climbable fountain.

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