Kia Ora from New Zealand!
And so off to New Zealand it was. We had booked a bus trip on the 'Kiwi Experience' which would take us all around NZ for 20 days on a trip called 'funky chicken'. We were kindly dropped at the airport by Darren and Lorraine, and have kept van at their house which was very nice of them! Our flight on Jetstar (the equivalent of Easyjet) left at midnight and with a good tail wind only took 2 hours 55 minutes.
NZ has a +2 hour time difference and we were a bit early to do anything so we lazed/napped at airport and took a quick look around The International Antarctic Centre before taking a bus into Christchurch centre, but missing our stop accidentally we ended up in Sumner a nice place by the sea with houses on the hills. Unfortunately there was proof of last years earthquake with one house ripped apart. All along the bottom of the hills there were cargo containers, we think used as a barrier. We then made our way back to Christchurch centre and the reason we missed our stop became apparent, there wasn't much to look at, there was no big buildings. We walked down a road and seen alot of closed off roads and rubble and half torn down buildings lay. It was like a ghost town- shops closed up and lay dusty and empty.
We walked down another street and it was quite a relief to see they had tried to re-build- by using cargo containers. Shops lined the street in different colours and cafe's appeared from inside these normally basic tin boxes. It's weird to describe but I felt happy they had revived the area and made it look actually really funky and trendy, out of what was such a disaster- almost 1 year ago to the day (22nd Feb 2011) where 185 people tragically lost their lives. It happened around lunch time, when people were in their office buildings or out in the streets, the 6.3 magnitude earthquake lasting only 10 seconds caused devastating effects.
At 2pm we met our green Kiwi Experience bus and left Christchurch and headed to our first stop 4 hours up the coast to Kaikoura.(It's Maori for 'eating cray fish'). The scenery was amazing as we were driving, so stunning! There wasn't too much to do in Kaikoura though (unless you opted to pay a fortune to whale watch or see dolphins). So after watching a lovely sunset and having a quick dinner we had an early night in this lovely quiet town with lovely scenery. Our accommodation is all included in this trip, and tonight we stayed at The Lazy Shag hostel, sharing a room with others. We had been awake for 36 hours!
CONTINUE READING OUR KIWI EXPERIENCE ADVENTURES HERE:
DAY 2 WELLINGTON DAY 3 TAUPO DAY 4 & 5 AUCKLAND DAY 6 CATHEDRAL COVE & HOT WATER BEACH DAY 7 WAITOMO DAY 8 ROTORUA DAY 9 TAUPO DAY 10 RIVER VALLEY DAY 11 WELLINGTON DAY 12 KAITERITERI DAY 13 WESTPORT DAY 14 LAKE MAHINAPUA DAY 15 & 16 FRANZ JOSEF DAY 17 & 18 QUEENSTOWN DAY 19 LAKE TEKAPO & CHRISTCHURCH