A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand...

vineyards, passion pop, culture, sky diving and bungy jumping!! :D

rain 20 °C

Holy crap its been way too long since my last blog but let me tell you the last two months have been just crazy and awesome!
We flew into New Zealand (land of the Kiwi's; the bird, fruit and of course the awesome people) on December 3rd from Melbourne, Australia. When we first arrived i was in the first stages of getting sick... i could feel it coming on and hoped it wasn't a sign of what was to come in New Zealand! We were greeted at the airport by Kaitlyn's Aunt and Uncle, it was so great to have someone there to pick us up! its what i miss most when i get off planes now.. we've been on a lot of planes in the last 5 months. We had planned on looking for jobs the next day but seeing as i was sick we took the weekend off... we went out on the job hunt monday but because it was so close to Christmas already everyone had hired there seasonal staff already... It sucked cause we needed money but we decided since we had free accommodation we would just try to see as much of the North Island as we could. Oh we flew into Auckland and were staying in Albany. After job hunting for a week, and no results, Kailtyn's aunt and uncle took us on a little road trip! We stayed in a "Batch" (a cottage), in a place called Pauanui... we explored around the area, had out first try of Hokey Pokey ice cream!! Delicious stuff! The we climbed a moutain, the Pauanui Summit, holy crap am i out of shape! although we did the track in almost half the time i thought i was going to die! After that we hit hot water beach! Pretty cool stuff,or should i say hot stuff! You can dig a hole on the beach and the water under it can be boiling hot! you have to find just the right place so you can sit in it and it feels like youre in a hot tub, even though the water in the ocean is freezing! Then we made our way up to the Coromandel Peninsula, where we went on this cute liltte train that was built by a guy as a hobbie, and he only opened it to the public because he owed money to the bank and the bank manager encourged him to do so. http://www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz/Introduction.cfm
We spent the next few weeks just hanging out in the area we were living, one day i spent 5 hours just walking around it was great!
The weekend before Christmas me and Kaitlyn decided to take a road trip! We rented a car and got to drive on the wrong side of the road! (wrong side for us anyway haha) but we found it to be a lot easier to drive down in New Zealand then back home... roundabouts are a lot better then 4 way stops! We drove just over 2 hours to the Waitomo Caves, where we did black water rafting and got to see the Glow Worms! it was just amazing although the water was freezing in the caves, but we got soup and bagels and a hot shower at the end, so it was all good!
After that we drove for a few more hours to Rotorua. The next day, we had planned to go to the SKyline Luge for some good fun.... fun for me anyway... Kaitlyn wasnt to sure, and after drilling the guy selling the tickets for 10 minutes about saftey and the odd of her going off the track and dying we finally got into the Gondola to ascend the moutain! I dont remember exactly how long it took to get up but it was a nice peaceful ride. Once we hit the top we got geared up to ride the Luges! i did all three tracks cause i was having a blast! Kaitlyn just did one, just to say she did it then she spent the rest of the time looking around. Now when i say luge its pretty much like a little go-kart that runs on gravity... there are 3 tracks each one increases in difficulty, they become more steep and shaper turns but theyre all great fun! We then went back down the Gondola and headed over to Whakarewarewa "the thermal village". It's so amazing to see how the Maori people used to live and how some still do... one big family! They cook their food in the ground (and it tastes amazing!) and some is cooked in hot pools. There was active Geysers there and the mud pools were just awesome to see!
I wasnt really sure if i wanted to go to the Hangi dinner cause i really wanted to go Zorbing instead... but a pretty smat person said to me... "this is a world trip, and if you dont experience the culture then whats the point?"
So later that day we went to a Maori culture show and Hangi dinner (the food was cooked in the ground) oh man if i could eat that food everyday i would be the happiest person in the world! it was so amazing!!
The next day we were up at 5am for the 3 hour drive home... but it only took us just over two hours.... sorta was speeding a little bit... haha
we arrived back in Albany on the 23rd... just in time to do my Christmas shopping, only had to buy 3 gifts this year... but i missed giving all my family presents its so much fun to see the looks on their faces when the open their presents!
For Christmas eve Kaitlyn's Aunt and Uncles family came over for drinks, then on Christmas day we went to Karen's house (Kaitlyn's cousin... i dont know how many times removed or maybe just a second cousin) for brunch... and Tom Scotts ( OJ with lots of booze!) i had 7 i think... then we went back home to nap and then back to Karen's for a turkey dinner! it was great!!!
After Christmas we spent the next few days relaxing and went into Auckland and around Auckland a bit. Then on the 31st we flew into Wellington. New years eve was one big drunken night! great fun tho! killer hanger over the next day... and the fateful night that kaitlyn lost her phone :( (that is why you dont carry your phone in your bra when your drunk!) we ate Mc Donalds (the best hangover food) twice that day. The next day and our last in Wellington we went to the Nation Museum... it was an awesome museum and free. there was a lot to see in it... including a really big squid.
We then made our way down to the ferry, we stopped at the bus station, actually we went there by mistake but kaityln was happy for it cause they had a platform 9 3/4 like from Harry Potter.
We then spent the next few hours on the ferry... it was so packed we had to sit on the floor, we spent the whole time reading. When we got into Picton it was around 10pm lucky for us there was a shuttle right to our hostel! We checked in and then crashed. We had to be up at 6.30ish for our 7 something bus. Which we almost missed because we booked with Nakedbus.com and on the website it shows big buses with Nake Bus on the side... not the case with the acutal buses!
We got into Blenhiem (our home for the next month) around 8am and Nicolette the lady who we got jobs with picked us up at the Info centre where we were dropped off and bought us coffee because she was late!
So we stayed in the Kiwi Bunk... with all the other people working there, we worked on different Vineyards 5 or 6 days a week mostly 8 hours a day. We did what they call leaf plucking (pulling off the leaves to let the sunlight in) bunch thinning (taking off the grapes cause there was too many!) and we also helped the baby viens grow.. but pulling off certain leaves and taping them to the bamboo stick... back breaking work let me tell ya! because you are bending up and down all day long it just kills your back! our whole group looked like we were walking with sticks up our bums!
The Kiwi bunk house turned into a big brother/ real world kinda of atmosphere. There was so much gossip and crazy shit happening in that house! People would talk in the bathroom. and after everyday drinking night we'd go into eachothers rooms in the morning and tell them what we knew about last night.... who hooked up with who and who hates who now... lots of fun! but i made some great friends there that i cant wait to see again!
After a sad goodbye from the kiwi bunk and Blenheim we made our way to Nelson. It was a very beautiful place but we only had a day to spend there. Next up Fox Glacier!
We spent the day on the bus traveling to Fox Glacier, arrived in a much colder climate then we've been used to!
The next morning we got up and took a hour long walk down to Lake Matheson. Where the moutains relfect off the lake... sadly it was a cloudy day so there wasnt too much reflection... but it was great anyway. We were then off to the Glacier!
We had to hike up to the acutal Glacier... but it was an amazing sight! We go hiking sticks and "cramp ons" little spikey things for our books then we climbed on the Glacier! it was an awesome experience... but sad to know that it wont be there in the years to come as it is melting away everyday because of Global warming!
After Fox Glacier we took the long bus ride to Queenstown!
Once in Queenstown we had to try the famous Ferg Burger... which was just as awesome as every had told us it was going to be! they are just huge burgers that can fill you for two meals! Worth every penny!
The next day we woke up to go sky diving!! Craziest thing ever! But totally awesome and the view going down was just amazing with the water and the mountains in the background! Later that day i went Bungy Jumping! i was scared shitless up until the time i actually jumped!! and even in mid air i was thinking "why the hell am i doing this??" but it was great and i would do it again for sure!
We then went down to Christchurch for the next two days where we would be flying out of to go back to Australia.
We spent the two days riding the tram around the city, we went to the free Museum and the one night we went to a movie outside! Then we hit the airport to go back to Sydney!
Like the first time we flew into Sydney it was raining when we got here! And it stayed that way pretty much the whole time.... out hostel was a dump so if you're ever in Sydney NEVER stay at City Central Backpackers... just gross. you shower and you still feel dirty... cooking in the kitchen will make you gag.... ewww is my rating for that place. Im now sitting at the Sydney airport on the free internet both thingy waiting for my flight to Japan!!
That's all for now!!

Peace out,
Amanda

Ps. Make love not war.

Posted by hankins16 20:10 Tagged backpacking

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Comments

um...arent they called "crampons" and not "clampons"?? anyway...google it :) lol i'm glad u did the bunjy jumping! i knew youd love it!! and i love you for doing it!! :D

glad you got another country under your belt..that means ur that much closer to comin home and comin to see ME!!! i cant wait!

i miss you tons and tons...

by pixcee

um...in your email you said that u were right about them being called CRAMPONS....but I was the one that called them that...not you...in your journal you called them CLAMPONS....you are confusing!! what is right?!

lol
grr

by pixcee

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