Trip Start Nov 18, 2002
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Friday, December 24, 2004

Queenstown the capital of 'adrenalin extreme sport activities' such a bungy, sky diving, jet boating you name it and it's scary they'll sell it to you.
We arrived in what was to be our Christmas hostel on the 23 December. We purposely choose a small hostel so it wasn't too manic. But with everything else that you haven't been to before you just don't know. Well as it turns out this has to be the best choice ever. With just 15 beds almost everyone arrived on that date. We all got to know each other really quickly. A good mix of nationalities spread between 2 houses.
On our first evening we went to Minus 5, a bar made entirely of ice. Even the glasses you drink out of. We got big thick coats and gloves to wear and went in for a half hour slot. Not very long we hear you say but you try it. Even after a strong ######## 30 minutes is enough. It was a good gimmick and made all the more fun being with our new Dutch friends Diane and Anton. Coming out of the bar felt like we were in the tropics. But the summer was still failing to arrive in New Zealand :-(

Then onto Christmas day. Hurray the sun is shinning and hot. Well most of us managed to wake up by 11am after a heavy drinking session the night before!! Then we faced a fry-up breakfast organised by the managers of the hostel. We had bottles of Champagne and orange juice, crates of beer, boxes of chocolates and free internet to connect with our loved ones Ahhhh nice! We all just couldn't believe it. We had our breakfast on the balcony facing the beautiful lake in Queenstown. The afternoon we spent with a couple of scots Brian and Joanna and went for a walk round a lake in Glenochy just a drive up the road.
Christmas dinner was an excellent BBQ again with everyone there drinking beer and champers soaking up the rays and having a blast. What an excellent way to spend a Christmas day. We couldn't have wish for a better group we had such fun.

Then onto the next day..........Martin's 40th.........Ahhhhhh. Another day of fun. He wished to celebrate this milestone in his life with a sky dive, what else? His life insurance was up to date so the dive was booked for 4.30. Meanwhile a group of us went off and did another one of those extreme adrenalin activities of "Crazy Golf" But this was no ordinary crazy golf this one had rockets that took off, churches with grave yards that opened, castles, smoking volcanoes, sailing boats and the best bit was at the end when we had to pot the ball at the last hole and you got a lolly pop in return. What a "crazy" time we had with 3 Dutch, Colinda, Diane and Anton and an English guy Andrew. The English team won too........well we did have Birthday King on our side.
After that thrilling time it was now time for another. Off to the sky dive shop we go only to be told that the wind is too high (could be something to do with all those Brussel Sprouts consumed!) and the jump was cancelled. Oh no what will we do now? So we went up the mountain and had a fun and scary time coming down it on 'The Luge'. Just like little Go-Karts really but on the steep tracks and bends they tested your skills of driving or not as the case may be.
Then it was back to the house for birthday cake and balloons, more beer and laughs. Thank you to everyone for the fun day we had.

Then the 27th was leaving day for almost everyone. Sad goodbyes all around, we still couldn't belive our luck at choosing such a brilliant place to stay over Christmas. Martin and I had a long day driving back to Christchurch where we dropped off our free Honda car and then booked ourselves into the hotel right next to Christchurch Airport ready for our early morning flight to Sydney the next morning.

And there you have New Zealand. A stunning country with very friendly people. Thank you to our friends John and Katherine who chauffeured us about in their 4 wheel drive, teaching us how to camp in style with a blow-up sofa and for saving us heaps by lending us their spare car.
And thanks to our new friends we have met during our time in New Zealand. Brian and Jo, we hope to bump into you both on the east coast of Australia soon.

Thanks New Zealand you were great.
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