November 2018
  • Day21

    Last day with Laurence

    November 29, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We got up and attempted to pack all our stuff into the rucksacks which proved to be much harder than either of us feared. Then it was a casual 4 hour drive to Christchurch where we emotionally waved goodbye to Laurence. We decided to drown our sorrows with a conveniently timed happy hour which turned into quite a session in a cool little food hall type effort near our air bnb. I’m fairly certain I was shitfacedRead more

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  • Day20

    Mount Cook Hookers and hot tubs

    November 28, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We drove for an hour to get to Mount Cook so that we could do the Hooker valley trail which was a nice and easy trail beside Mount Cook which was being a bit of a twat and hiding behind a cloud. We had a good stride out over 3 swing bridges and fortunately the clouds lifted enough so that we could see the snow capped mountain. It definitely feels different here with huge mountains but large open plains which gives it a more desolate feel. Cheery. After driving back we stopped at the hot tubs which were just down the road from the campsite and I’m so glad we did. We were unable to go to Onsen in Queenstown as they were booked up so wanky insta worthy photos felt like a pipe dream. We had our own hot tub which was filled with crystal clear and clean mountain water which was heated by a wood stove AND we could take our beers in so it may just be the best thing ever. Up yours Onsen!Read more

  • Day19

    Arrowtown to Omarama

    November 27, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Last day at our Queenstown campsite. The place we’ve been in the longest. 3 whole nights! We stopped off in a place called Arrowtown on our way. It looks like a set from a goldrush film with sweet and charming little buildings (housing posh/wanky shops) We stopped for a coffee then decided to hit the road. Irritatingly we discovered we got a parking ticket for parking in the wrong direction. Slightly annoying but in the grand scheme of driving misdemeanours I’ll take it. Then it was on to Omarama which is on the edge of Mount Cook national park and turned out to be a right little one horse town whose main attraction is a statue of a sheep. We found a pub and had lunch which was utterly ridiculous. We both thought a steak sandwich would be good but neither of us were expecting a massive baguette with not one but two whole steaks in it. It obviously came with chips just in case just got peckish after your meat guzzle. We waddled back to our campsite, slightly drunk and played shitheadRead more

  • Day18

    Milford Sound

    November 26, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We were up early as it was a mega drive to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown. The drive was beautiful and the scenery some of the best we’ve seen so far. Unfortunately half of New Zealand we’re making their way there too so we got stuck behind quite a few coaches and grandma drivers. We got the last parking space and went to the terminal where we found our thankfully small boat (some of the others were like crap cruise ships). We spent the next 2 hours ambling around the fjord and got to see some seals and penguins. It was lovely but neither of us are entirely sure whether it was worth the days worth of driving. A classic example of tourist peer pressureRead more

  • Day17

    Reunions

    November 25, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We got up early and drove through a cloud (!) to Wanaka to meet up with Jonny and Sam who had been at a wedding there and rallied enough to meet us for brekkie and get back on the wine. The best time was had and if we could have I think we could have happy drank the place dry of Sauvignon Blanc. Sadly we had to say goodbye and we headed back to Queenstown and went in the gondola (nice views but expensive) before settling on a bar so I could make up for the drinking I couldn’t do at breakfast (this driving business breaks my heart sometimes) we stopped off for some food at Madame Woos which did nice Asian food then did some laundry because, you know, I need clean pantsRead more

  • Day16

    So this is Queenstown

    November 24, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We left our beautiful camp in the mountains to head to Wanaka and Queenstown. After a longish drive we ended up by the beautiful Lake Wanaka. We mooched for a bit then ate a mega burger before stopping in our favourite shop Macpac for some outdoors inspiration/some cheap t shirts. We ended up in Queenstown via some hair raising roads in the rain and set up camp in our new “home”. A little out of town, thankfully the campsite provided a shuttle into town so buoyed with the prospect of us both being able to booze we headed into town. This dream was quickly dashed when I got IDed in the first bar we went to (they check everyone who looks under 30-i’m not flattered when I have no ID) We tried to persuade the bar staff via dubious photos and WhatsApp messages but they were having none of it so I spent the next half an hour re-enacting the anxiety felt during my life as a 16-17 year old. We thankfully got served in a pub and I gulped down beer like it was going to be taken away from me. We then had the most amazing Japanese food (finally!) at a place called Tanoshi which we could have stayed in and spent a lot of money in but the table was all booked up.Read more

  • Day15

    Franz josef

    November 23, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We had a lie in and a lazy morning which was so nice after legging it about for the last two weeks. The reason was that we were getting a helicopter onto the Franz Josef glacier in the afternoon. No biggie. We got to the place just after midday and were kitted our with waterproofs, boots and crampons and walked to the helicopter landing zone doing our best Arnold swartzenegger a la predator impressions. We then casually jumped into our helicopter and rode the thrilling 3 minute journey to the landing pad on the glacier which was the size of a tea towel. After multiple smug/excited selfies we followed our guide through the glacier which was batshit crazy when you think we were walking on a moving piece of ice which was sliding down the edge of a mountain. It was mind blowing from start to finish and the photos just don’t do it justice. We were also lucky to be the last group up so essentially had the whole glacier to ourselves for a long while before hopping in our choppers to go back to civilisation. A total treat and worth every penny (I haven’t paid yet thanks to credit cards)Read more

  • Day14

    Long drive, Hokitika and Franz Josef

    November 22, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We got up early so we could get on the road as Franz Josef is a hefty mile away. I opted for the first leg and did 4 hours without stopping. Needless to say I was walking like a grandma and had a very full bladder when we stopped (at a countdown for more beer) Phil picked up after and we went to Hokitika gorge which was tucked away in the mountains. Unfortunately everyone else had heard about it too but this meant there was a cafe so we stopped for coffee and some weird whitebait omelette thing on a slice of white bread after marvelling at the powder blue water from the swing bridge. Back in the van after that and after 2 hours we were at our latest top 10 which was right in the mountains. Absolutely gorgeous. I think we have beaten our record for getting a beer on the go after parking up todayRead more

  • Day13

    Abel Tasman

    November 21, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We were up really early today as we had a trip kayaking in Abel Tasman national park. After a lengthy but necessary briefing we were on the water in a tandem kayak with Phil in charge of steering. The water was so still and clear and it was a beautiful day so we were both feeling pretty smug. We paddled about and ended up on a tiny beach where we were given lunch before starting the hike back which took about 2.5 hours along a trail along the coastline. We rewarded ourselves with some fish and chips before heading back to camp for more beer, wine and cardsRead more

  • Day12

    Nelson

    November 20, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    We had a leisurely wake up and headed to Nelson via some windy but beautiful roads. We stopped at a place called Urban Oyster in the centre of Nelson and Phil got to have some Coromandel oysters (rather him than me) I bought myself a new down jacket that has more than 2 feathers in it as I consider myself an outdoors person now and needed to upgrade. We then stopped off at Tahunanui beach which was massive but had an enormous black cloud over it so we decided to cut our losses and get back in the van. Wise decision. It lashed it down. We became top 10 members today so will dine out on the $2 discounts like we’re millionaires for the next week and a bit. We parked up the van and went straight for the beers. And wine. We have been playing card games this week which I’m picking up/learning to tolerate.Read more