A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: shtumpy

New Zealand (in a small nutshell!)

Firstly, apologies for lack of updates been too busy to update regularly and WiFi can be hit and miss at times!
Currently coming to the end of our time in Fiji, but let's get the rest of New Zealand done first!
Going to keep it brief as there's practically a months worth to cover! Ok so from the last entry..

7th Feb - Travelled to Wellington, just a one night stop over. Stopping for 4 nights on way back up to Auckland as its supposedly hip and happening, art and culture capital of NZ.

8th Feb - Travel to Kaiteriteri. Lovely little seaside town where all we had time to do here was get drunk in the evening and soak up the gorgeous sun on the gorgeous beach in the morning.

9th Feb - Travelled to Westport near Lake Maniphua where we stayed in legendary Les' 'Poo Pub' (which was a right state of a place really) but enjoyed our evening there with our theme for the night being ABC... Anything But Clothes! (they do this for all the kiwi buses coming through (we're the only tour bus that stops there) and we had a good old laugh dressed in bin bags and balloons! One guy just wore a cloth cape and a cooler bag over his privates... let's just say that it didn't last all night! He is now known as Cool Bag Ball Bag. Heh heh. The music was a just a juke box which was awsome cause we got to pick our own choons all night. Backstreets Back, Alright!! Yup. Good night.

10th Feb - Travel to Wanaka. The lake was just absolutely stunning. Could just look at it all day and feel really happy. One of may favourite sights yet no doubt.

11th to 13th Feb - Travel to Franz Josef where we spent two nights and did a heli hike in the glacier there (15 min helicopter ride there and back and 3 hour hike though mountain glacier). A super cool experience (literally!) followed by relaxing in hot pools after. Aaaahhh :)

14th Feb - Travel to Queenstown where we spend next 4 nights. Cool town and pretty scenic.

15th Feb - Day trip to Milford Sound. Long and knackering day but so worth it. Just beatuiful.

16th Feb - 15 min Hang Gliding flight over Coronet Peak in Queenstown, woohoo!

17th Feb - Chill out day so me and Sarah hired bikes for and hour and had a cycle around Queenstown to take in more of the scenery. Really enjoyed that as it was nice going off doing our own thing at our own pace. This was then topped off with a legendary Fergburger (the biggest and best burgers ever)... amazing.

18th Feb - Travelled to Christchurch and stayed in a creepy YMCA hostel in the middle of no where (seriously, the supermarket was a 20 min walk, with nothing in between!) I.understand that a lot of Christchurch is still being re devloped follwing the big eathquake they had 2 years ago... just reckon we could have stayed somewhere a BIT better.

19th Feb - Travel to Kaikoura with lovely afternoon walk along the coastline (the others did whale/dolphin watching which was quite expensive for what it was so opted for the walk instead (plus I was feeling quite run down with cold by this point). This was then followed by a few drinks at a local Irish bar (dead as, full of locals with a 90 year old man attempting to play some form of guitar) so then bought some vodka, went back to lodge and played drinking games and got taught poker (which I actually get now... kind of.)

20th Feb - Back to Wellington where we spent 4 nights. Visited Te Papa Museum (nice modern museum, bit was hanging badly at the time so only spent 2 hours in there, was too much for my brain!) from here I went on a search for a travel adapter (I blew mine using a friends hairdryer) to no avail and ended up getting lost in downtown Wellington. Was pretty cool though, if I hadn't of got lost I wouldn't have seen around there, so was actually kind of nice getting lost and exploring on my own. Found my way back eventually with just my brain and a map (didn't want to ask for directions incase the rosd I was looking for was right in front of me!) Also had a couple of nights out here, got a selection of bars, the best night we had started of in an Irish bar (where else!?) with a live Irish band which got the night going followed by Electric Avenue which was a bar/club with a decent selection of old and new music. Seriously, it jumped from Rage against the machine to Mambo Number 5, to Blondie, to Spice Girls. And it worked together! A good night ;) On out last night in Wellington both me and Sarah were pretty exhausted, so went to the cinema to see Safe Haven (a Nicholas Sparks adaptation) and ended up completely losing it and bawling my eyes out at the end (much to Sarah's amusement). Great film though. They always manage to throw something in right at the end that just ruins you. Brilliant.

24th Feb - Travel back up to Taupo where we spend a further 3 nights. Nice chilled few days had here by the lake. We did the Rapid Huka Falls Jet here which was good fun and killed an afternoon and decided to get a nice photo pack with that. Also visited the natural hot springs here which was a nice afternoon with the gang :)

27th Feb - Travelled up to Auckland again for our last 5 days. Just chilled out here really after out full on kiwi bus tour and bunged on food like animals (after about a week of healthy eating!) Met up with a friend of Sarahs, Sara (who is just lovely as) who lives out here. Went for a nice Chinese just put of town that was cheap too, bonus! Also met up with them on our last evening in New Zealand and had a lovely homecooked dinner in their new apartment. It's mad that they live in a 2 bed apartment with awsome view over Auckland when I was paying the same for a studio in dodgy Cowley! Although New Zealand is beautiful and the people are lovely, I just don't think I could live that far from home (que mum's sigh of relief!)

Best experience - 15,000ft skydivr over Lake Taupo!

Best sights - Lake Wanaka and Matthison, Milford Sound, Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom) and the view of Auckland from Devonport

Best person I've met - too many to count!

Next update, FIJI!

Posted by shtumpy 17:12 Comments (0)

NZ... one week in

Day 1 & 2 - Auckland
So after the epic 28hr journey over to NZ and 2 hours sleep, we arrived in Auckland. Hostel was situated right next to the Auckland Tower which we wasn't expecting! Met a lovely French girl who was sharing dorm with us and she showed us around which helped us get our barings!
Spent the following day visiting Devonport (a nice seaside town on opposite side of the city center) via ferry where we walked up Mount Victoria and got some spectacular views of Auckland and spent the rest of the day slobbing out and adjusting to the 13hour time difference! We'll probably do a few more nights in Auckland after the bus tour.

The Kiwi Experience Bus
Started our bus tour on day 3, heading for hot water beach. The kiwi experience is actually a lot more planned out than we thought. All accomadation and any activities we want to do get booked by the driver, so no hassle in arranging things like that in advance. Sweet.

Hot water Beach was lush, however our timing wasn't great! If you dig a hole on the beach at low tide you can get hot spring water to bathe in but the good spots had already been taken. We still found hot parts in places, so saw what the fuss was about.
The evening was spent having a BBQ back at our holiday lodge getting to know our group. It's been great travelling with the same group of like-minded people so its been easy making new friends, giving me a reassuring feeling and a sense of security.

We then headed to Waitomo and visited the caves and engaged in some black water rafting. Amazing experience but exhausting, even getting into the wetsuit was a challenge! The Gloworms we saw in the caves were beautiful, although soon found out that the glowing feature is actually maggots poop. Lovely.

Here we were introduced to the Maori culture and way of life by attending an evening in the Maori Village nearby. Got taught Maori chanting, cooking, weaving and wood carving and watched some crazy Maori dancing. A lush 3 course meal was included, which was muchly appreciated by my belly after living on fruit and museli bars for days! Nom.

Currently we are Taupo which is one of the biggest lakes in the world (I think) caused by a large volcanic eruption, pretty cool. Unfortunately the weather has been pants here (its been around 25 degrees till this point) rain and high winds. A handful of us have been booked on a skydive here (eeek!) but currently on hold until the weather improves. Really hope we can before we leave... would be a pretty epic place to do it :)

It's been a crazy first week of travelling, seen so much already and we're only a week in! And moving from place to places with so many things to see and do, it doesn't feel like reality. Just a really cool holiday! I'm sure as the weeks go on I will begin to miss homely comforts, friends and family, but because there has been so much going on its hard to think about life at home.

Next stop, River Valley :)

Posted by shtumpy 18:51 Comments (0)

Today is the day! Eeek!

rain 6 °C

So, I've finished work for good now, sorted out all relevant documentation and visas etc, had all the relevant jabs (over 4 seperate visits and £350 later!) and I'm ready to go. Just currently trying to unlock my old Sony Ericsson mobile so i don't have to keep switching sim cards but other than that, I'm sorted!

I love flying, but dreading this 28 HOUR beast of a journey to Auckland... but at least that's the longest one done out the way first. I've pre-warned Sarah that if i don't sleep I'll be ratty as hell and not very nice, to which she completely understood (she's seen me in these moods before) and will do her best to ignore me during these periods! Bless her.

Leaving do at the weekend was such a fun night and I greatly appreciate all family and friends who could make it. It really got me excited about the whole trip (as i had been working and stressing up until that evening) and made me realise just what decent people i have in my life. Not only realising how much they mean to me, but how much I mean to them too.

OK, so i should probably try out this case now, and make sure it's not going to cripple me before I even arrive!

Love you all xxx

Posted by shtumpy 06:07 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged sleep leaving case today Comments (0)

Reasons for traveling

rain 8 °C

The first thing most people have said to me in response to traveling the world is
“You’re so lucky”

How am I? I mean it’s not as though it’s just been handed to me on a plate, here you go, go travel the world. I’ve pretty much worked and studied non-stop since I was 16. I’m now 24. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and through what fate has thrown me, I currently have no commitments holding me back to do this. If I wasn’t doing this I’d be still working where I am now, or possibly taking a new career path elsewhere and start thinking about moving out. What I’m trying to say is, I work to LIVE, not to just survive. So before I start jumping into all that mature stuff, I’m taking a life break. It’s the right time. I feel like I’m stuck in such routine at the moment and hoping this experience will give me the release I’m looking for.

Another response I tend to get is “how much has that set you back?” – referring to money. Well, it hasn’t. Sure, I’ve spent a good couple of thousand so far (not including the funds I’m taking with me!) but I’ve saved up well enough non-stop over the past year and a half which has given me the funds to do this. Like I said, no other commitments to worry about at the moment (apart from your standard monthly direct debits) so it hasn’t even been difficult to do.

Thirdly, “What about work?” - What about it? I’ve spent the best part of three years working where I have and I’ve got to the stage now where I’ve got pretty much what I wanted out of it. Another reason for the perfect timing. They didn’t give me my travel leave request meaning I handed in my notice, but this just adds to the excitement of me going now and not knowing what’s coming next in life on my return!

“Where are you going then?” -
New Zealand for a month, Fiji for a week, Australia for six weeks, Thai Islands for ten days, Thailand/Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia for a month, India for ten days and to top it off… Dubai for five nights. Phew.

These destinations are the kind that you don’t usually cover on your annual summer holiday. That’s the excitement of it. Going completely out of my comfort zone, surviving on bare essentials and meeting new people. I would love to do Japan and Iceland at some point to, but I think this is enough for one trip!

Sounds so simple right?
Not. I’ve spent the last month or so completely fretting about the whole thing. Because there are so many destinations to cover and the fact we have pretty much booked everything we are doing it’s hard to keep track of what still needs to be sorted!

Still on my to-do list
Visas – Currently having Inidan Visa processed (on second attempt after cocking up the first one) and then need to sort Vietnam Visa too.

Jabs – I’ve had one appointment of four so far (there’s a lot that’s required and they aren’t exactly cheap!) so still got another 3 sessions in the next month!

Luggage and Packing – Don’t get me started. Actually, I think I’m more organised than I should be as I pretty much have what I need now, including the beast of a case I’m taking with me and all the toiletries/ bare essentials (primarily thanks to my Christmas stocking full of health essentials and Jonathan for his contribution of toilet seat covers and sink plugs!). It’s just mainly ALL the documentation I need to sort and remember to take copies of and actually take with me! Oh, and clothes.

1 month to go…

Posted by shtumpy 08:33 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged 1 visas month jabs fate Comments (0)

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