Queenstown

So this past week has been pretty exciting to say the least!
Wellington is pretty cool, really hilly though, so after walking around for 4 days i could feel my leg muscles getting considerably stronger. It’s a really pretty city, nicer than most others that i’ve seen so far, not just high risers. It has a beautiful botanic garden, and has a lot of cool random art scattered around the place as a result of an art festival held in 2002.

One thing that is nice about New Zealand is that it really embraces it’s Maori heritage, in contrast to the aboriginals in Australia. They still have the language written in most places and the main thing is that it’s not just a tourist attraction, which i feel is the case with the Aboriginals. Might have to do with the fact that New Zealand was a real colony whereas Australia was used as a place to ship the prisoners off to… But it’s definitely a different approach! And much more pleasant.

After hanging out with Ian and his lab mates for a few days we went to this wine festival called a day on the green, where we saw john mellencamp and sheryl crow perform, which was pretty cool, but also saw slightly too much wine consumption and resulted in me having to trek out on monday to retreive my camera. But after a lot of stressing out, i made my way over to the South Island and went straight to Nelson.

I realized that i’m pretty short on time and skipped Abel Tasman, which i’ll do next time because i’m pretty sure i’ll be coming back here! Went straight down on the magic bus to Greymouth. Our driver is really cool, he likes to organize social things for the evenings, and it’s all pretty relaxed, i’m definitely glad to be doing it. Met some cool people as well, including some nice germans (they’re EVERYWHERE! no offence), fins and some Belgians and spent some time, funnily enough, speaking dutch again! Didn’t think i’d be doing that too soon!
Greymouth isn’t very nice, and the weather was pretty rainy all day. The day after, however, we went to Franz Josef, which is where one of the 3 (also one at Fox Glacier slightly further south) only glaciers in tropical climates are – the 3rd being in chile.

We were going to do a heli-hike up there, which is going up in a helicopter and walking and coming back on the helicopter, but the clouds were far too low so it got cancelled. Possibly considering spending another night there, i decided to do a 4 hour hike instead, where i saw some blue ice (pretty cool if i may say so!) and was walking with crampons. How sporty am I! Will put some pictures up soon…
I was going to do a skydive the next morning (this morning) and head further south, but the clouds had hung around from yesterday so it got cancelled (just my luck!) However, i did one at lake wanaka on the way to queenstown from 12,000 ft (3500km) – it was AMAZING! couldn’t afford any pictures or anything but the one thing you never see on those is the speed that you get when falling – i screamed a little and it made my eyes water! But it was sweet, and the guy i jumped with was hilarious!

In queenstown today and tomorrow i’ll be bungy jumping again, off the 2nd-highest jump in the world – Ben Nevis at 134m, and the day after i’m visiting milford sounds – one of the top 10 places to visit in the world apparently! So i couldn’t say no…

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