Far too much information for one blog. Enjoy!

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Jul 24, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hello and welcome.
I'm glad you've joined us for another episode of the 'The Boys Do The World'.

River Valley

We had an early rise which beckoned us toward River Valley. The name itself gives away what we were there for - the river! En route, we covered some hugely interesting activities; we passed Prince Phillip's favourite fishing grounds before stopping in Tongairo National Park. We disembarked for a pleasant walk to the Taramaki Falls, which was turned out to be very pleasant. A refuel at the cafe, and we were back on the bus, still heading for River Valley. As we closed in on said destination, so did the weather. Grey clouds and dismal rain greeted us. Our hostel was a real delight however, (the name of which has eluded me at present). It was an enticing lodge, with a cosy main room with sofas, accompanied by a roaring fire. Gorgeous! The four of us immediately booked a session in the outdoor jacuzzi, and spent a good hour relaxing in the warm depths of an hot tub in the pouring rain. The night was spent chilling by the fire with a game of cards and Stef plucking at heart strings, serenading us with his guitar. Lets not mention the risotto we cooked. Turns out effort and innovation alone do not make a meal tasty. Think bland rice with token bits of meat.

River rafting never actually happened. So we were left wondering why we ever went to River Valley...


We arrived in Wellington late afternoon and prepared for our final night with the people on our bus. We had a great evening in a rather dingey hostel bar, which ended with some sad farewells to our new found friends.
The next morning we awoke at an unearthly hour to jump on our new bus to hit up the South Island. We hopped on the ferry, arriving in Picton on the South Island before heading to our first stop; Nelson!


Our journey to Nelson was made interesting by our first stop; wine tasting! It was 10:30am, but of course we were bound to try some of NZ's finest, all in the name of education! We also tried olive oils, vinagrettes and fudge and left feeling rather well fed, (and even happier that it was free). A short bus ride later and we arrived in Nelson, home to the geographical Centre of New Zealand. We settled into our hostel, and set off with our new bus buddies to hike up a hill to watch the sunset, from the centre of New Zealand. It was quite possibly the most beautiful sunset yet, offering smorgasbord of colours over Nelson. Oh, it was magical!

That evening we watched Shutter Island, a trippy yet spell-binding psychological thriller. I'd recommend it to anyone; a quality film with plenty of talking-points.

Time to keep moving.


Before starting our long drive to Westport, we turned off into Nelson Lake's National Park, where tradition states that Kiwi Experience members jump off the jetty into the icy cold waters of the Lake. It might appear to be a warm day with blue skies but we're talking crisp winter morning, with a side order of frosty water. Flipping freezing! We're not sure if it was entirely worth it....good fun though!

We arrived in Westport and immediately signed ourselves up for a jet boating experience. The pictures tell half the story. It was a thrilling, high-speed river adventure where we did twists and turns, spins and flips, (although we all got cold and soaked for the second time that day). the town of Westport itself was farely unremarkable, and the highlight (well, lowlight) was watching the England game at 2 am. But lets not dwell on the game.

Lake Mahinapua

And onwards to Lake Mahinapua. This place is a highlight for many on the Kiwi Exp. because of the fancy dress party which happens at the 'Poo Pub' in Mahinapua, (The name denotes from the last syllable of Mahinapua). En route we stopped off at Salvation Army, to pick up our costumes for the evening. Stef stocked up on some dashing purple clothes, Dan with a dress and dressing gown, Tim and Ollie with shed loads of Tweed (Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, anyone?!) and a pair of scissors. Needless to say, the party was immense fun and we all looked GREAT! 

Franz Josef

And now here we are. I'm glad you're still with us. It's a rather lengthy blog.

This place is simply beautiful; we're surrounded by a fantastic back-drop of mountains and glaciers, the likes of which we hope to scale up tomorrow.

You've been a fantastic audience. Drive safe now.



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ursula on

A very stylishly written blog I must say - well done! Beautiful photos, love them all, especially the ones with all of you. I'm sure you're all sleeping like logs with all that you're doing......it's a good thing there are no more England games to wait up for :) or should it be :( !! xxx

Simon on

Great blog - that mountain water looks really cold, what a bunch of masochists! Fab photos and description of your adventures as ever. Those lakes are gorgeous and Franz Josef glacier should be brilliant, I don't think I've ever seen a glacier! Tim, Mum said you looked like my mum in the fancy dress, I'm sure she meant it as a compliment...enjoy it all! Love from Merrow Woods (very hot and sunny)

Jon on

looking forward to getting the "books on tape" version of these newly updated blogs!

Sue on

Great blog and what stunning photos. The scenery looks gorgeous - as do you guys in your fancy dress!! xx

Southy on

Just caught up on all episodes in one sitting. you guys are my heroes. x

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