Monday, 28 May 2012

Day Seven - Te Anau, Queenstown, Bungee jumping and Wanaka

Me in Queenstown :)
Wow what a day yesterday was! A day of doing good deeds, chasing good weather and jumping off a bridge. Yup that is right everyone I did a bungee jump, but more of that later.

I woke up this morning to horrific weather, all I wanted to do was roll over and fall back asleep. I could not do this unfortunately as Vanessa and I had arranged last night to set of early today and be on the road by 8am. This did not happen either as the weather gave me no incentive what so ever to get moving fast. I procrastinated on the internet looking for a place to stay tonight and trying to figure out a plan of some sought for the rest of the week. I also faffed around re-packing my backpack after some how getting lot's of things out over the last two days. After my slow start we finally made it back on the road by 8.55 sorry Vanessa, woops.

Today's adventure began with us heading to Queenstown. The weather weather was awful and was worrying me slightly as I had it in my head that today would be the day I did my bungee. I also thought Queenstown was stunning last time I was there and wanted Vanessa to see it in all it's glory has she had never been.

As we were driving along in the pouring rain we saw two very wet and sorry looking backpackers hitch hiking. Vanessa and I quickly looked at one an other and decided to take pity on them. It turned out they had been waiting for over two hours that morning and four the night before. As I was chatting to them I found it amazing all the things they had seen and got up to. But it also made me think how are they helping the economy over here? They hitch hike their way around so not helping bus companies, car hire etc, they coach surf so don't help the hostels, camp sites. I think it is a nice idea, as they are helping the climate but perhaps a bit of both, couch surfing/ hitch hiking and also paying for things, helping out the tourist economy here would be better.
Out pops the sun. Making Queenstown look glorious.
After dropping off our two hitch-hikers the good weather seemed to come and shine on us. Karma repaying us for our good deed of the day? We pottered around Queenstown enjoying a cup of hot chocolate at a lovely little café looking over the waterfront. We then had a wander around Queenstown taking some stunning photos and mooching around the shops. I managed to pick up some New Zealand wool and a pattern to knit a hat (something I have been meaning to do for a while). I also found a shop selling chocolate jazzies or some of you might know them as chocolate speckles. Oh my goodness I was so excited; they have been one of the only things I have missed whilst being away.

Vanessa in Queenstown

I also found time to go climb a tree, I don't know what has happened to me since being in New Zealand but any tree or rope swing I see I want to go climb, haha. When climbing the tree today I panicked and froze thinking I was going to slip at only two metres abouve ground.  eeek not a good sign for what I was about to do next. 

As the sun was out we decided not to stay in Queenstown and make our way over to Wanaka. Making a quick stop at the home of the worlds first bungee jump, Kawarau Bridge. What a better place than for me to do my first jump, and Wow what an amazing experience! I thought I was going to be really nervous and not do it but I was fine at this point. When we arrived all the bungee crew where on their hour lunch break so we had to wait 15 minutes for the next jump .

When the crew went out onto the bridge no one seemed to move. I was still not nervous (weird I know) so thought well I might as well get it over with. So I calmly walked up handed over my ticket and got harnessed up. I moved out onto the ledge and got strapped up, still no nerves. Moved to the edge of the platform and looked over the edge ' f***' was all I said 'why what have you forgotten' said the bungee man '5,4,3,2,1' and off I went. Wow!! who would have thought it, Katie Briggs jumping off a bridge incredible :D 

Time to get down.
Back on safe ground..... well kind of.
After a calming cup of tea to help get the adrenaline down we hit the road again heading to Wanaka. A slightly smaller and more chilled out version of Queenstown. If your into hiking, and not so much into loud groups drinking Wanaka is the better option to stay at. When we arrived Vanessa still had an essay to finish so I headed out to catch the last of the evening light and do some drawing at the lake. Later on to celebrate Vanessa completing her essay and me doing the bungee we popped into Wanaka for a quick drink. A nice calming evening to end one very jam packed, adrenaline rushed day.

Lake Wanaka
It's hard to see fully but out drawing at dusk.

Katie. x.x.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Really, truly I did that!

Hey everyone,

Sorry I have not updated my blog for the last two days. The internet is costing me a fortune in uploading costs at the moment, so I am going to wait until I can get a better deal. The last two days have been jam packed, as per usual with me. I have been to see Milford Sound, number two on my list and today I went to Queenstown and Wanaka doing a Bungee jump on the way. That's right everyone I did a bungee jump, I am soooooo proud of myself.

To keep you happy till I get chance to add more photos enjoy a photo from Milford Sound and of me jumping.
Off to Fox Glacier tomorrow, what an adventure!

Thanks for reading. Katie. .x.x.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Day five - Dunedin to Te Anau

Greetings from Te Anau
Today was a less jam packed day with our main aim to get to Te Anau ready for Milford sound tomorrow, number two on things I must do whilst on my trip in the South. We had a slightly leisurely start as Vanessa had an essay to finish for her masters. We hit the road making a tea stop at Gretchen's sister in laws Margaret. It was lovely to see her again and have a very quick catchup. It suddenly brought home how much I have done in the last six months since I last saw Gretchen and Margaret.

I have to say today's drive was not the most spectacular of scenery with not much to stop and look at on the way between Dunedin and Te anau. However as we slowly crept into Fiordland  I began to get a sense of what is to come tomorrow, with sharp peaks and lakes beginning to appear.

Lake Te Anau
Another stunning sunset, leaving behind gorgeous colours.

Tonight we are enjoying a relaxed evening in the lake front Hostel at Te anau with a walk in a short while, I had best rap up warm as Autumn is truly turning into winter now and a chill is coming.

See you all tomorrow with stunning photos of Milford sound.
 Katie. .x.x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day four - Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

The drive was definitely worth it. This mornings view was absolutely stunning! I think you will all agree.
Today we had a lot to fit in we had to get from Lake Tekapo to Dunedin. With me wanting to make a number of stops on the way. Poor Vanessa I bet she is thinking why the hell am I on a trip with this bossy woman :) Today was the only day of the trip with me trying to cram so much in though, so I don't feel too bad.
We began our day by hiking up Mt John, which is next to Lake Tekapo. Exercise I was defiantly craving after two days of driving. The hike took us up through a wooded track and opened out onto stunning views of the Aoraki valley. It was a surprise to see the surrounding countryside as I had no clue what the landscape was going to be after last nights drive in the dark. We had perfect weather yet again and we were able to see for miles. At the top of Mt John was an observatory which would be an amazing place to visit at night due to the lack of anything around. A definite must for when I am next in the area.


©Vanessa Law
Stunning colours
Back on the road again we made our way back to route one, passing stunning scenery and views along the way. I could not get over the colour of the lakes we passed, a deep turquoise like nothing I had seen before. Unfortunately my camera does not do these lakes justice.
Back on Route one I had two pit stops I wanted to make before we got to Dunedin. The first being the town of Oamaru. I have already been here before when I did a road trip with my cousin Gretchen back in November last year. We went to see the penguins that time. This time I wanted to see the town itself. A old historic town built in the 1860's and 70's that has hardly been touched and ruined by modern buildings and shops. The town is one of the only I have seen like it in New Zealand. They seem to be going out of their way to not spoil what they have. Which considering the problem they have with earth quakes in this area is even more special.

After the first stop in Omaaru we were up against it to make it to my next pit stop before the sunset; the Wakitti Boulders. This has been on my wish list since arriving in the country and I honestly think I would have turned into a toddler and had a huge tantrum if we had not made it. But it you will all be pleased to hear I did, oh my goodness I was sooooooo happy and I was not disappointed. It was as amazing as I thought it was going to be.

My friend Julia from back home will understand me here but it honestly looked like aliens had come along and left their space ship behind. How incredible would it have been for one of the boulders to crack open and out pop an alien. Alas this was not to be, the boulders were still pretty incredible with out this anyway. Truly one of natures natural wonders.

After leaving the boulders behind we hit the road again for the last time today heading for Dunedin and my cousin Gretchen who has very kindly put Vanessa and I up for the night.

Hope you enjoyed reading and looking at my photo's of today.

Thanks for stopping by,

Katie. .x.x