Saturday, April 29, 2006

New Zealand Trip

First off, New Zealand was the most amazing country I have been to so far, if you ever have an opportunity to visit DO IT.

The trip went like this:

Day1, Brisbane, Aus:
We got up and flew out first thing in the morning; we arrived in the afternoon in Christchurch, NZ. We spent the night getting situated in our hostel and then hit the town to have a look around. We ended up meeting up with a few girls from Uni Central (and it was one of their birthdays) and ended up going out to the bars with them that night.

Day 2, Christchurch, NZ:
Today we got up first thing in the morning and got on a train that would take across the country to the city of Graymouth. The scenery along the train route was amazing; we went through the mountain range at Arthur's Pass. When we got to graymouth we met up with our Kiwi Experience bus and headed down the coast to our hostel for the night. We ended up at Lake Mahinapua that night. We took some time walking around and seeing the lake as well as the ocean right across the road from the beach. That night everyone on our bus dressed up in trash bag costumes, since NZ has millions of sheep we conned Jake into being Little Bo Peep and we dresses up as sheep (an idea we have wanted to do at Sigma Nu for some time). We got some white trash bags and glued tons of bunched up tissues onto ourselves to make us look fluffy, it was a hit at the party that night.

Day 3, Lake Mahinapua, NZ:
Today again we got up first thing in the morning and headed to Franz Josef, we saw some cool stuff along the way. When we got there we signed up for our glacier hike that we were going to do the next day. After we got situated in our rooms, we took a hike to a cave nearby. When we got back we got some dinner and relaxed the rest of the night.

Day 4, Franz Josef, NZ:
Today we got up early and headed into town to go and climb the glacier, we signed up for a full day, 8 hour hike with 6 hours actually on the glacier. Today it rained a lot in the morning, but that is okay in this case because the waterfalls surrounding the glacier were pouring. It took about 1 hour to hike to the glacier after we got suited up. We spent the next 6 hours climbing the glacier, it was an amazing experience. When we got back to Franz Josef everyone was pretty tired so we relaxed in the hot tub for a while and then grab some dinner and called it a night.

Day 5, Franz Josef, NZ:
First thing in the morning we got on the bus and made our way to Wanaka. We saw some very cool sites along the way including Lake Matheson, Mt Cook, the Haast River, and Thunder Creek Falls. When we got to Wanaka in the late afternoon, we checked in to our hostel and then spent some time exploring the town.

Day 6, Wanaka, NZ:
Today a lot of people went skydiving, I didn't, and I regret it now. The people who didn't went to breakfast and then went to Puzzling World; some little attraction that had some cool stuff in it like optical illusions, holograms . . . all in all it was a pretty lame place though. When the people were done skydiving we made our way to Queenstown. Along the way we stopped at the bridge where commercial bungee jumping started. Jake and Brendan went bungee jumping and we then finished our drive. We spent the rest of the night getting situated in our hostel and exploring the town.

Day 7, Queenstown, NZ:
Today we took a half day tour to see some of the sights around the area, mainly the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed. It was really cool seeing the screenshots from the movies while we were standing at the location, but the tour wasn't all that good overall. The remainder of the day was spent catching up on some much needed sleep and exploring the town some more. For dinner we went up the mountain closest to Queenstown on a gondola and ate at the restraint on the top of the mountain. We got some great views of the town as well as a great meal.

Day 8, Queenstown, NZ:
Today was our Milford Sound trip; we had to be on the bus at 6:45 in the morning to leave. We spent the first half of the day driving across the country to get to Milford Sound; it was raining hard all morning so the waterfalls we saw along the way were spectacular. Milford Sound is said to be New Zealand’s most beautiful spot. We took a 2 hour cruise in the bay, we saw many waterfalls, some seals, and basically relaxed and took in the sights. We didn’t get back until around 7:00 at night. After we all got ready we all went out to a few bars.

Day 9, Queenstown, NZ:
Today the guys rented a car and drove across the country to New Zealand’s first city, Dunedin. The drive there was an adventure (they do drive on the other side of the road there), but when we got there we first went to visit a castle. After the castle we went to Speight’s, the beer brewery there, and took a tour as well as a tasting at the end. From there we had some dinner and then explored the city more. We hiked up the World’s Steepest Road, Baldwin Street. After that we needed to head back in order to return our rental car in time.

Day 10, Queenstown, NZ:
Today we got on the bus for our final leg of the trip, Queenstown to Christchurch. We got into Christchurch in the afternoon and spent the rest of the night exploring the town, having dinner, and then visiting some of the bars.

Day 11, Christchurch, NZ:
Today we planned on visit the botanical gardens, but it was raining so we went to a modern art museum for a good chunk of the day. We spent the rest of the day buying souvenirs. We all went out for dinner that night at the restraint we ate at our first night of the trip, we then split up the girls went to bed and the guys went out. That night the guys decided we didn’t want to pay for a hostel since we had to leave for the airport at 3:30 am. Being that bars don’t close until around 3:00 there we decided to dump our stuff in the girls room and have one last night out.

Day 12, Christchurch, NZ:
Today we got up or were still up and headed to the airport and flew home.

Along the way the guys decided that every tap beer they came across along the trip they would need to sample. The grand total at the end of our 11 day trip was 33 different beers. By the last few nights we could not find any new taps.

The trip to New Zealand was a very memorable one.



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