I’ve been in Christchurch for 3 days now, returned my rental car and tomorrow morning I’m flying to Sydney. Christchurch is full of old buildings, parks, restaurants and bars or all kinds imaginable. Also (big bonus here) it’s flat, unlike all the other major cities in the country, making it much more enjoyable to walk around. I’ve eaten at several of the seemingly endless supply of Japanese places here and went to a Burmese place last night that was excellent. In the 3 days I’ve been here I’ve eaten Japanese, Swiss, Burmese, Indian and Belgian, all of which were good. The nightlife here seems to be pretty good too, stumbled upon good live music twice over the weekend.
I’ve been in New Zealand for about 7 weeks now and explored a large portion of both islands. Seen some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen, and the most diverse scenery of any country I’ve been in. Here’s what I’d call the highlights of my time here.
Fiordland is simply stunning, I’ve never just stared at mountains like I did there before.
Hiking on and around the Franz Josef Glacier was a great experience, glaciers kick ass.
The Abel Tasman park is a collection of the nicest, most un populated beaches with hills going right down to the sea. It looks like paradise and swimming in bark bay there it felt like it too.
The Tongarirro Alpine crossing is the best day hike I’ve ever done, between two volcanoes and an astounding amount of radically different environments along the way.
The wild life here is also fantastic (no, not the sheep, which are tasty!), I’ve seen 3 kinds of penguins (here’s a couple videos I took)
(unfortunately I wasn’t able to taste any penguin), seals, seal lions, albatross, sperm whales and quite a few kinds of birds that I have no idea the names of. And I didn’t go to a zoo to see them.
Of the extreme sports associated with New Zealand, Sky Diving at lake Taupo was an amazing experience and I’d love to do it other places in the future. I also had a fantastic time white water rafting the Shotover river by Queenstown and I’m already thinking about other places I can go rafting on this trip.
New Zealand is the best place to see the great outdoors of anywhere I’ve been or can imagine, diverse enough to include just about any kind of scenery you can think of. The only failing here in my opinion is the towns in general just aren’t that interesting and the roads are insanely and too much of the time, unnecessarily curvy with far too many one lane bridges. Oh, and someone needs to clue this place in on what good beer is.
Minor quips on the country are all I have though, it’s probably about the easiest country to travel around in that I’ve ever been in and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I even discovered a wine that I like! I’m happy with the amount of time I had here too, less would’ve been ridiculous to see both islands properly and though I could’ve spent more time here and there’s plenty I didn’t see, 7 weeks is a long time traveling in one country and I’m ready to fly to Australia tomorrow and some real summer weather, no more crowded house weather with four seasons in one day!
One other travel note, the longer I’ve been here the more I find myself increasingly excited about the places I am yet to go to on this trip. I’ve been on the road for more than 4 months of my 13 now and I know some of the people reading this are wondering about this, but I’m not sick of traveling in the slightest, the more I travel the more I want to travel and the few (very few) tedious things that I’ve found about long term travel are far outweighed by the positives.
Right I’m thinking about Australia, and I feel myself turning into an ocean worshiper very quickly…