Beautiful New Zealand!

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
Trip End Jun 08, 2013

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Previous camper van was around 40 dollars a day, Sam found out that it is really common in New Zealand to relocate camper-vans. We picked up a huge 4 birth van with a shower and toilet for $5 a day! We drove from Auckland to Christchurch in 4 days. As soon as we arrived we noticed how beautiful this country is, the sea and rivers are so clear. There is a drought at the moment so the grass isn't as green as it usually is and on our ferry from the north to South Island we were accompanied by hundreds of sheep going to the south for greener grass! 

On the way to Christchurch we stumbled upon half moon bay/ Ohau point. Sam spotted something in the water as we were driving by so we jumped out to take some photos; it was a seal! As we walked out over the rocks we noticed a seal about 20ft away from us so we carried on snapping away, before we knew it we were standing about 8ft away from a big fat seal basking in the sunlight! We drive further down the road and found there was a huge colony of seals and they had babies with them. They were on the rocks and in the rock pools all jumping and playing around, it was an amazing moment and we got loads of great pictures! 

We then dropped our van off and headed to governors bay to stay in a hotel for a few nights until we pick up our next relocation van. The hotel was lovely and very secluded looking directly over the beautiful bay. We headed into Christchurch for the day and as we walked around we noticed that there was still a lot of damage from the earthquakes September 2010 and February 2011. They have an area called the red zone which is still under extensive renovation and most of the cafes and shops are like 'pop up' places situated in large containers. We visited quake city, a small museum which explains all about the earthquakes, personal accounts of the days and pieces of buildings that were destroyed. It's well worth a visit as it really opens your eyes to how terrible these earthquakes were. There was a computer that showed recent quake signs and it showed there were small tremors the day before we were in the city - we didn't feel any though! 
Getting back to the hotel from the city is pretty difficult as public transport has stopped running due to lack of funding.. We had to hitchhike! The guy from the hotel said if we sat at the bottom of the hill and put our thumbs up we'd probably get the second car. We was quite nervous but ended up catching a ride with a sweet little old lady who showed us where she lived, then on the scenic route and proceeded to tell us all about her life and how much she loved London. She was a lovely woman and saved us a 10k walk up the hill! 

We picked our next relocation van and went further south to Queenstown, as we drove in we noticed a few people riding their BMX bikes on a course and they were pretty good! Sam got speaking to a guy who told us that it was the finals that night and it would be a huge crowd with one of the pros being from the UK. That night we headed to the spot and sure enough the crowd was huge and atmosphere was buzzing! We had an awesome night and Sam even ended up being in one of the videos the sponsors had out together after the event. 

Queenstown is a beautiful little place The lake and mountain landscape make it suited to all kinds of adventure. There’s skiing in the winter and this had made Sam even more excited to go skiing somewhere on our next adventure. We went up the gondola, went on a ski lift (my first time!) and came facing down a luge. Then we watched the Maori Haka show which was so much fun! I had to get on stage with the Maidens and dance with a poi and Sam had to do the Haka dance (that's the dance the NZ All Blacks do) it was hilarious! 

After taking our next van back to Christchurch we flew back to Auckland to spend our last few days before flying to the states! We really enjoyed our time in Aukland and were lucky enough to meet up with Sam's friend Al and lovely girlfriend Angela. We were flying out of NZ at around 5am so rather than pay out for a hotel they kindly let us stay with them in Pondsby. They cooked a dinner for us including Angela's home made pavlova for afters, they plyed us with plenty of alcohol and  we even went out drinks later that night. We ended up getting about an hours sleep before our 17 hours in the air (probably not a good idea) but we had a great night and we hope to see them again soon! Thanks again guys :)

For those of you that didn't know I am now an Auntie! Cameron & Jennie's beautiful baby boy Charlie was born on March 26th weighing a healthy 7lb 15oz. They're all doing well and we look forward to meet the little guy when we're home! Xxx

Lots of Love 
Xxx Alex & Sam xxX
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