South island in NZ

Trip Start Feb 18, 2011
Trip End Feb 17, 2012

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What I did
Walking in Abel Tasman Nationalpark
Gondola and Luge ride in Queenstown
Wine tasting in Marlborough
Speights brewery tour in Dunedin

Flag of New Zealand  , Canterbury,
Thursday, May 12, 2011

...after arriving in Picton with the interislander-ferry, we made our way to Marlborough - one of NZ's famous wine-regions.
Not knowing anything about wine, we just picked two random wineyards for tastings. The staff was very nice, explained us a lot and we were pleasently surprised by the wide range of different flavours in the samples =) *hicks*

NZ is a quite small country, compared to Australia - so we actually spent pretty little time on the road and could do or see something every day.

There are loads of wellmaintained hiking-treks on the south island. We took the opportunity to use our hiking gear some more times in Abel Tasman National Park, Fjordland (We'll bring a nice movie about Fjordland), Queenstown and some more.

In Dunedin we visited the Cadburry Factory (chocolate) and the Speights Brewery (beer) for tours. Unexpectedly, the cadburry tour was not so well performed and we wouldn't recommend it. The brewery tour on the other hand was awesome! So much interesting information, a brilliant guide and lots of samples made it a real experience.

The further south we got, the colder it was. We started to prepare more and more warmbottles for the nights in the car (warmbottles = empty juice-bottle with hot water).  The last two weeks it started to freeze at night, so we then decided to stay in cabins at the holidayparks - which were really nice! =)

Spending a lot of money and also getting tired of the "permanent winter route", we started thinking about an alternative routing for the rest of our trip. After some days research we decided to cut Australia short and instead visit some southeast-asian countries... current plan: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam..
After struggling big time with our beloved Iberia hotline - we finally had the changes booked in with our oneworld explorer airline tickets and are now good to go (=

Our last stop in nz was Christchurch. Knowing that the whole city-center is still closed since the february earthquake we didn't want to spend too much time there and arrived only 2 days before our departure flight.
But that seemed to be just the "right" timing for 2 massive aftershocks just hours after we arrived at our hostel. First a 5.5, then a 6.1 was shaking the whole city.

We stayed in an onestoried wooden house, which didn't take any damage at all - but some more of the already instable buildings in the center collapsed.

Something else we almost missed was the vulcanic eruption in Chile some days ago, which caused our flight from Christchurch to Sydney to be cancelled last minute.
Altough Quantas itself was not willing to fly at all, they put us on an Emirates-flight, which had the exact same route (so probably the exact same risk?!)...

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