Susie Bruce

Joined February 2017
  • Day130

    The North

    August 7, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Our final stint in New Zealand. We spent a lot of time sight seeing - the highlight of which for me was Abel Tasman which was very pretty. Doug had two flights - the first was a scenic flight over the glaciers and mount cook in a helicopter. The second was a flight for whale watching where he managed to see a sperm whale. I bowed out gracefully of both flights as I felt I'd already done enough spewing on this trip. We took a day trip over to the north island to revisit Wellington and went back to the museum to see the Gallipoli campaign which we missed last time. We also did a wine tour in the Marlborough district and had a lovely spa day at Hanmer SpringsRead more

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  • Day126

    Queenstown/Wanaka

    August 3, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

    Next we arrived in Queenstown, the adrenaline junkie capital of NZ. We spent 2 days here. Initially the weather was pretty poor and we went on a tourist boat showing us the different parts of Queenstown, including the million dollar district where the average value of all the properties was over 1 million dollars! That evening we went to a fancy ice bar where everything was made of Ice, the temperature was -5 Celsius. It was great fun. However we were only allowed 30 minutes in the bar and I don't think either of us could have done much longer! Next day we jumped straight into the adrenaline life style going on a jet boat which was great fun even better that Susie didn't get sick! And I did the Nevis Swing, the largest canyon swing in the world...I couldn't persuade Susie to join me on that! We also went for a slap up steak dinner that night, because we felt we needed to be spoiled a bit more.
    Next day we travelled to Wanaka a slightly more laid back version of Queenstown. We went to a old school cinema where the seats were sofas and you could take wine and dinner into the cinema with you which was a cool experience. Here we also went to Cardrona ski resort to do a days skiing! It was great fun the resort was a lot smaller than any in Europe but the weather and snow were great!
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  • Day113

    The Campervan Diaries - The South

    July 21, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌬 7 °C

    After the lions tour finished we hired a campervan to spend 5 weeks exploring the South Island of New Zealand. Our camper has a toilet, shower and cooking facilities - all you need! We set off from Christchurch in a clockwise direction so headed down to the South of the island first. Here we visited the Royal Albatross centre and got to see some blue penguins coming home after a days hunting in the sea. We carried on to Dunedin and visited the Cadburys Chocolate Factory. After this we kept travelling and visited the scenic locations around the South coast, the highlight of which was visiting Milford Sound which was just amazing.Read more

  • Day100

    3rd Test Match

    July 8, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    On our way to Auckland we decided to trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It took about 6 hours but was worth it for the amazing views. The weather was fantastic which made it even better. The next day we visited the mud baths in Rotorua to ease our tired muscles which again was a great experience.
    The final match ended in a draw - which in hind sight was a great result but at the time we were hoping for a win. All in all we had a great time on the tour and the boys are already planning the trip to South Africa in four years.
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  • Day98

    2nd Test Match

    July 6, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    The second test match was amazing - mainly due to the fact we won. The boys went to the match while me and Amie watched in a pub. There was an 8m high jump into the wharf which the boys said they would jump off if we won (I dont think any of them believed we actually would!). So after the match they stuck to their word and jumped into the freezing water.
    Activities during this time included horse riding which was very entertaining for me and Amie - especially as the place we went to looked like something out of a horror movie. The boys were put onto the horses with no safety briefing or riding hat, just as we heard gun shots from around the corner. They feared for their lives but thankfully the ride went without a hitch.
    We also visited a natural hot spring which was lovely and relaxing.
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  • Day95

    1st Test Match

    July 3, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    We had a pretty adrenaline packed week for the first test match. For Doug's birthday we had a day go karting, followed by an 'escape room' experience which was great fun! Unfortunately the All Blacks won the first test but the atmosphere in Auckland was amazing. The highlight of the week was skydiving in Taupo which we all did, and bungee jumping which only the boys were brave enough to do. The bungee jump was a 'water touch' jump which meant your hands were meant to touch the water at the bottom. They either misjudged the jump or the boys lied about their weight because they all went right into the water so that even their shoes were wet!Read more

  • Day80

    Vs Maori All Blacks

    June 18, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    The next match we went to was vs the Maori all blacks, billed as the 4th test match, Our hosts were very confident that we would lose convincingly. The lions put in a solid performance and we won! Finally were receiving some respect from the all black supporters who before this game had been telling us we would defiantly lose...they will probably still be right for the actual tests though!
    While in Rotorua we took part in a world record attempt for the largest haka with over 7700 people!! Our hosts were very excitable people generally, this nearly sent them into overdrive and made us arrive 3 hours early!! Flooky, Amie and Ben conveniently thought of things they had to do around town, leaving Susie and I to be polite, turns out ben just went to a cafe and read the paper!!! We also went to the moon craters, because of the volcanic activity in this area these moon craters were constantly releasing steam which gave the impression we were 'on a different planet'.....apparently! However it was very interesting but the smell of sulphur was horrific. However, it could have been some of flooky's more potent farts.
    Next we went to the Luge, which is a sort of downhill go karting. This was unbelievable fun, the competition and the rain started making the racing fairly dangerous though. Both Flooky and I had fairly epic wipeouts managing to flip out karts over, which we assured Susie was an impossibility. Turns out driving headlong into a curb a foot high at full speed will do the trick, we were both quite lucky to come away with only minor injuries. Not bad enough to stop us planning to go back again at a later date!
    Lastly we went white water rafting on our way to the next destination. This was grade 5 rafting. Both Amie and Susie didn't really have a say in whether we did this or not. We conveniently forgot to mention that this had the largest waterfall that it is possible to raft over in New Zealand, sitting at 7.5m high! Unfortunately when we arrived we had to sign the 'death waiver' during which we were shown some pictures of people unsuccessfully rafting this particular waterfall. The fear seen on both Susie's and Amie's faces were a picture to behold, but if I'm honest my face probably looked similar!! Anyway we all survived! On the bright side Susie didn't get motion sickness, but she was sick from nerves anyway. Hopefully one day she will manage to go vomit free!
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  • Day78

    Vs Highlanders

    June 16, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    We next travelled down to Dunedin (the student capital of New Zealand which grumpy ben was not looking forward to.) The match was vs The Highlanders. The stadium had a roof which was great! We stayed nice and dry it also made the atmosphere great, shame about the result - another loss where we played very poorly but we had a good time in the city. We visited a the New Zealand sports hall of fame, the famous railway station and another museum during the day. Myself and Amie liked looking at the pictures but we had to wait for ages for slow reader Quayle's. However, we learnt that Dunedin originally was full of Scottish migrants, hence the name of the rugby team so we were treated like a local! The next day we visited the steepest street in the world. The record for someone to run up and down it was 2 minutes! As usual the competitive streak between Doug and Flooky reared its head and they both tried to run up the hill, neither got very far and both stopped when they could taste blood!! A source of hilarity for the rest of us! However, turns out they got further than out car did. We thought driving would be easier, but we were wrong. Our car stuck halfway up, fairly embarrassing as someone on the street filmed us driving up, wheel spinning then rolling back down. A bit of bum twitching for Doug, who was driving, when his foot was fully pressed on the brake and we were still skidding down the hill, our poor rental car certainly took a battering that day as the dash board was lighting up like a Christmas tree, luckily it still seems to be working reasonably well currently. On our way back up to the north island we visited the moeraki boulders and stopped in to visit our friends at 'the shed' again.Read more

  • Day75

    Vs Crusaders

    June 13, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    I've missed out writing about the Blues game - we don't want to talk about that game as it was so awful. Also the fact we did a lot of driving round so not much to write about! The crusaders game took place in Christchurch in the South Island so we took our little car over on the ferry. In Christchurch we stayed with some lovely rugby fans. They told us we would go down to 'the shed' to watch the game. This was a converted wool shed which 20 of the local 'lads' had made into a man cave. As we pulled up we were a bit nervous as the shed looked like it was ready to fall down at any minute. However when we walked in we were amazed. The shed had a bar, two toilets, a projector and a wood burner. It even had a secret bedroom that you got to through a bookcase for when they had drank 1 too many. It was amazing - the guys that were there called themselves the Wednesday boys as they met up every Wednesday here for drinks. Anyway enough about the shed, but it was incredible. The family we stayed with was lovely and invited us back the following week on our way back up to the north island. The mood was also lifted with the result of the match - finally we have started to play well! The next day we we drove to Akaroa close to Christchurch to go swimming with the worlds rarest dolphin (the hector dolphin). Four out of five of us loved every minute but alas for me, travel sickness strikes again. I spent most of the journey being sick off the back of the boat!Read more

  • Day68

    Vs NZ Barbarians

    June 6, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Made it to New Zealand! I've decided to split the blog posts into the various lions matches which are happening every 3 days, for the next 6 weeks. So the first match is vs the barbarians in Whangerei. We flew into NZ and met up with Ben, Flooky and Amie who we are traveling with for the next 6 weeks. We then went and picked up our hire car Freida and were on our way! Over here in NZ there has been a Facebook group called 'adopt a lions fan' which is basically full of kiwis willing to provide rooms in their house for us lions to stay in. One of the first things we did was watch the first match - but the less said about that game the better! I also managed to get my phone and purse stolen that night so Doug is now paying for everything - ideal! We then travelled north and visited the bay of islands and stayed with a lovely couple. They lent us their paddle boards and kayaks and basically treated us like their children which was just what we needed! None of us wanted to leave after our 2 days there but alas the tour continues! We also visited a waterfall where flooky decided to go for a swim - not on purpose I might add!Read more

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