...I step through security "door" just watching the guy check the screen and inside of my bags, hoping for the best. My heart was in my stomach and all I could think of was how that dog is going to smell something, they're gonna take me aside, open my bags, pull those macaroni out and say I gave out false information.......oh gosh, I'm going down!! :O
My bags finally came out and the guy was still sitting calmly and silently in his seat...uhmmm, what now.... am I good to go?? Do I wait? Do I run?? I finally picked up my luggage and tried to leave as fast as I could. Thank goodness no one was running after me when I walked out to arrivals area. Holy mother of god...I cannot believe myself...what an idiot I am Hahaha
I finally got out the other side still a bit shaky, buuuut when I spotted Georgia that immediately disappeared and I just ran towards her...omgg we haven't seen each other since we lefe camp in August 2016!!! And now I was there, I was in New Zealand!!! How crazy is that??? The temperature outside was quite a shock for me for sure, I wasn't used to cold anymore..how fast you loose that cold resistance.. funny, hey! :O Amen to triple layers of clothing!! Haha we spent the following day preparing for our ultimate South island road trip and taking a walk around Christchurch. I was sooo happy to also catch up with the only two Germans that I (at that point) could stand hahaha it's only been a month but it was great seeing your annoying faces again Sarah and Pascal! Miss you loads!! :* Of course we went out to eat, that's what we do best :D
And so it began, on Saturday Georgia and I drove off on our little NZ adventure. The road took us from Christchurch straight to the west coast, driving past some really magical places like Castle Hill where they filmed Narnia, through Arthur's Pass to Punakaiki with unbelievable viewing points over the coast, blowholes and pancake rocks, and all the way to Hokitika. Must stop was a local fish and chips shop and catching a sunset at the beach. Of course we couldn't pass the opportunity to see some glow worms too...for free!! (no need to pay for glow worm caves and similar stuff). Morning of day two was reserved for a visit of some local natural sights including Hokitika gorge. Despite the shitty weather, this was just a preview of what all South Island has to offer. After a gourmet lunch from the trunk of our car (mmmmm wrapssss) we hit the road again, going south to the Glacier Country. We did a short hike for a closer view of Franz Josef glacier and the valley, but the best was yet to come, at least for me.
Early in the morning of day three, we had to keep moving south where I booked myself in to do a helihike on Fox Glacier - helicopter flight with a glacier landing and then a two hour hike on the lower glacier. Soon after safety briefing, we were given wool socks, waterproof pants, jackets and proper footwear. Before we knew it, we were getting weighed up for the heli groups and off we went! First time flying in a helicopter AND I got the front seat! Hell yeah! :D as we were approaching the glacier, you could see how majestic it really is. What we saw at Franz Josef, doesn't even come close! After our whole group was dropped off and got crampons that had to be attached to the soles of our shoes, we were all ready to rock & roll. We found some beautiful ice caves, waterfalls and lakes. Light that reflected back from the ice appeared deep turquoise blue and it was just amazing to look at. But what shocked me the most in a negative way was seeing visible lines where the glacier used to be and how much it disappeared in the last couple of decades....to see something so beautiful and knowing it will soon be completely gone...very very sad! :(
Anyways, experience so unique, 10/10 I'd recommend doing and it's well worth the 450$ you pay!! When I got back in early afternoon, Georgia was already waiting for me. We weren't wasting any time and hit the road straight away to reach Queenstown before evening. This was by far the longest drive we've done more or less in one piece (around 5hours). Since it was raining we limited stops to a minimum and arrived to our destination late afternoon. Finding our hostel and a parking spot in the city was a pain but we did it (and parallel parked too, goo Georgie haha) so of course we had to reward ourselves with a scoop of oh so good gelato from a local dessert cafe...no self control whatsoever!! :o Queenstown was noticeably more cold and snow was in the forecast for the next few days. Yuppie, I finally got to experience winter again after a year of summer!! The city was so alive and vibrant, we almost weren't used to that anymore after spending past few days in smaller (dead!) towns. So much to do, so much to see that we spent the next day wandering around the area, had the notoriously famous burger from FergBurger and basically inhaled it within seconds. Animals!! I even got to experience some snowfall while hiking on top of skyline, and almost dying doing it (ain't nobody got money for the gondola!) :D
Anyways out of three days we spent in Queenstown, one was reserved for a trip down to Milford Sound. For all that had no idea (like meee), New Zealand really has it all...even the fjords!! The trip was full day of a beautiful scenic drive (like 600km all together wtf) and a lovely boat ride in the fjords. The landscape of that area is just jaw dropping. The waterfalls, the mountains, the glacier and a cute extra, SEALS sunbathing on the rocks!! *seal noises and clapping* ;)
For our next stop we headed back up the island (the piglets we are, we had to stop at several farms on the way to sample.....cheese!!!! hellyeeees, #getinnybelly)...and we arrived to Wanaka. One of my favourite places. So relaxed, so peaceful, so pretty. And the lonely tree, ohhhh I surely wouldn't mind being a lonely tree with that view! *.* Wanaka was extra short, extra sweet, but we still had a bunch of stuff on our plan so off we went further up north.
What was waiting for us there, how our South island trip ended and all about my North island adventures...you'll have to wait to find out :) :)