The South Island. Part I.

Most of you know why they have heard about nothing during the last weeks, for those of you who don’t: I’ve been on the South Island, on my longest trip here so far, and definitely the one with the most beautiful and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It will take a lot of time to write about everything I’ve done during the last twelve days, so maybe I’ll split it into two posts or just write about the most breathtaking stuff. Pictures will follow some time later, since my memory card was full and I had to put about 90% of all taken pictures on a friend’s laptop, and I don’t know when I will see him again. So.

Day 1
That was a long driving day. It took us about eight hours to go to Wellington, with stops at the biggest lake in NZ, Taupo, and some more for sight seeing, like the Huka Falls which was a nice place indeed. We stopped in Cambridge (NZ (haha)) but I don’t remember what was up there. And we went through Waikato and I was looking for Weathertop, and the hills there did look quite like it, although the real location was away from the road, of course. My first impression of Wellington was: wet and windy. Disgusting. Cold. We arrived there in the dark, and it was raining and freezing cold. My host mom’s rain coat has done me good service there. I wanted to go to the Chocolate Fish Café but nobody knew where it was and it was late anyway and most of us were tired. Oh, for those of you who don’t know (so everybody, I guess): That’s a famous and eccentric café with the main street running through it (yes) and some weird waitresses etc. And the LotR crew used to eat there. That’s why.

Day 2
The first adrenaline day. We had to stand up at six or something, so way to early, especially because we actually had to wait on the ferry for one and a half hours (!) before we finally went to our cruise through Cook Strait. We were already pissed of because of the waiting, and I was even more in a bad mood when there were no dolphins or whales at all that I saw, but some others saw some dolphins. 😦 Weather: windy but great. Arriving at the fords of the South Island was somehow magic, imagine a huge slow ferry making its way through green hills/mountains (something in between) covered with forests, one after the other appearing behind and after another, gliding majestically beside you… After that we drove for another time through green mountains. Everything there seems to be darker, heavier and stronger, kind of juicier and not so soft like the land on the North Island. Everything is of a dark green, not like the light pale or poisonous green here.
We stopped at a place called Bullers Gorge and we crossed a swing bridge there (the longest, but somehow it wasn’t very spectacular to me) to get down to the Bullers River and on a jetboat. Jetboating is so much fun! I mean, it’s darn windy and loud and fast but still amazing, the way you fly over the water – and then the turns it does! We did some splashy and crazy 180° turnings and kind of slaloms up some white water places, with rocks about five centimeters next to us. Amazing. The rocks there were great, anyway, they were rose or black and of weirdest shapes. The second LotR feeling for me. 🙂 Oh, and just the small walk down to the jet boat was great, it was through rain forest that was of the brightest green, like a glooming tunnel. Amazing.

Day 3
A lot of driving again. We went further down the west coast, or West Coast as I should say, and saw some amazing rain forests and the Pancake Rocks which was spectacular. The Kiwi House though wasn’t. It looked kind of trashy, the whole town where we stopped did, being a historic gold mining town or not. Sorry. We also stopped at another town whose name I forgot but which had some great jade factories etc. I didn’t buy anything, though, nothing really appealed to me, or rather a lot appealed to me but you don’t buy green stone for yourself, just for other people as a gift, and I didn’t find anything, although I wanted to. :/ After hours of driving through beautiful mountain ranges we arrived at the Franz Josef Glacier. I think it was during that drive that we all had some good fun answering quizzes this friend thought of. Concerning Harry Potter. I think he knows everything of it by heart. It was a nice evening. Although some of us had some problems with the rooms that night… Why do some people just start disliking others? I mean, I do dislike quite a few people, but that’s still no reason for not being able to talk to them or whatever – and gossiping about them later. Ts. Nevermind. That night was really cold, I mean, it was on the foot of the mountains, right? The weather was brilliant, though, Mr Duffett continued telling us that we were some of the first students on this trip who actually see the mountain peeks… There were some clouds that made me feel like I was on the foot of the Misty Mountains, which I was. Kind of. 🙂

Day 4
The first half of the day we went for a walk to Franz Josef Glacier, through a rough stone desert with high forest covered mountains reaching up to the sky next to us. Weather was amazing, blue sky, two or three small white clouds. Nice indeed. After lunch I went kayaking on Lake Mapourika I think, and after some time getting used to paddle and use some muscles I started really enjoying it, although I hated the feeling of having to work really hard so I wouldn’t be the slowest. Nevermind. Then we went up a small river into the rainforest, through black quiet water with flax reaching for us… that part was more about manoevering and I prefered it. Especially coming back on our own, through total silence… Made me want to go tramping through the forest with backpack and kayak. Amazing. The sunset on the lake too, the clouds were rose and red all of a sudden. Nice. The poor little village there, though. There was nothing to do there at all, except for paying way too much for a little surf on the internet… There were some bars, but we weren’t eighteen… I feel kind of bad for the youths there. But the guys there look great… Dreadlocks, by the way, seem to be quite fashionable here in general. And I really like that. 😉

Day 5
More driving. Amazing weather. We went through Haast Pass and stopped at Puzzling World (after that we were sick, dizzy and tired (there was a huge maze and some weird rooms that do something with your brain)). Arriving at Queenstown was funny, we went through these stunning mountains (maybe my favourite mountains) and suddenly spotted a little town at the foot of them, and some of us were scared because it was really tiny and after the Franz Josef dump they were afraid that Queenstown was so small etc too. So they asked Mr Duffett and were REALLY relieved when he told them it wasn’t. When we first saw Queenstown, though, they were still quite bewildered, because it didn’t seem much bigger… 😀 I tell you now, though, that Queenstown is absolutely nice, not too big and not too small. I think about 80% of the people there aren’t Kiwis, though, but then… Noone will look at you twice if you take pictures like a mad tourist, and that’s kind of a relieve, really.

Day 6
Last Day for today. Best day ever. Maybe. Oh my God. After a quite morning (we went up with the Gondola and I watched them lugeing, then I went back to the hostel because I didn’t want to walk too much because I’d twisted my ankle before… :() it was BUNGY TIME. I was sooo scared. Afterwards I felt kind of embarrassed by that, I mean, there wasn’t really a reason for that, right? But you can look forward to the video. I was screaming all the time (after I jumped I mean, I’m not that a coward) just to get rid of all these emotions that were washing through me. It’s so freaking high! Gosh! And I was one of only three girls who did it, and the first girl to jump… Gosh. Madness. Absolute madness. Be proud of me. Now. Good night.

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2 thoughts on “The South Island. Part I.

  1. Thank you for the update!! These speed-boats are on my To-Do-List for quite a while now.
    Seems that it is worth to make the long trip to NZ. Also du hast es jetzt jedenfalls geschafft, ich werde da wohl mal hin müssen 🙂

    Well, was nice to hear from you! Enjoy your days there!

    • You definitely have to. Maybe if I come back to live here. Or something like that. Jetboating is coool. 🙂 And you have to see everything of NZ, not only one Island, it’s really true. You need about three weeks at least! 🙂

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