Driving around the South Island
12.02.2011 - 18.02.2011 15 °C
We’re only been in New Zealand for a few days, and already understand why so many Scots move here! It has all the best parts of Scotland (green everywhere, mountains, Scottish people (yup, everyone is either Scottish, or descendents), good bars with good drinks (we even found the “Flying Haggis” which not only serves haggis, but also Tennents! , Scottish place names (St. Andrews, Aviemore, Glenorchy to name but a few), and Lord of the Rings and Narnia scenery every corner you turn) and none of the worst (here, they actually have a summer, they see sunshine on a regular basis, blue water as apposed to silver, and a large Cadburys factory which hands out chocolate like.. well.. sweeties!)
We spent the first day in Christchurch, wandering around and taking it all in and getting used to the cold! It’s essentially a big town or wee city, depending on how you look at it, which just added to it's charm.
We then took a scenic drive past Lake Tekapo (wow.. I don’t know how to describe it, apart from WOW- a lot of the lakes in this area have a cloudy blue colour, caused by the surrounding glaciers) to Dunedin, which is Kiwi for Edinburgh. Here, it is so Scottish that they have a huge statue of Robert Burns in the centre, and kilt and Scottish souvenir shops dotted around the place.
We took a drive to Queenstown which is the Adventure Capital of the World- and we can see why it definitely is! Everywhere you look, people were jumping off of things upside-down, flying above the mountains with paragliding gear.. but it’s also the most beautiful town, surrounded by mountains and water- it’s like paradise for thrill seekers! Unfortunately we weren’t able to do much of the activities on offer (they cost an arm and a leg) but we were able to take a cable car to the very top of the mountain and luge (basically a four wheeled push bike) back down!
We also spent some time in Glacier Country which was mind-blowing. Frustratingly, we weren’t able to climb into them- it was recommended that I shouldn’t be in the cold for too long. But a silver lining was that we were able to hike right up to the foot of the glaciers, and still be close enough to watch lumps of ice bigger than us floating down the river. And to make up for it, we went into the biggest ice bar in the country, where literally everything is made of ice (seats, glasses, table, bar) for some scrummy cocktails.
Before we knew it, it was time to get the ferry into the North Island, it really was a flying visit, but we’re already planning a trip back here!