A Travellerspoint blog


I know, I know. You've all been wondering why it's taken me so long to update or check in. Well, it's because the internet prices in the hotel are outrageous and I had to wait until I had time to get to a cafe. So here I am. On my own. In a cafe.

The first week here has been amazing. Ron and I had a blast. I was sad when he left this morning. But we made some great memories. I'll start from the beginning.......

Ron and I left at about 2pm on June 30th. Our flight left at about 9:45pm. We had a lot of time to spare while we were waiting for our flight. But better to be early than late. Here's us on the plane:

The flight sucked. Not in terms of the staff or the plane. But it was overnight and 12 HOURS. You couldn't get comfortable at all. Thank God I got that neck pillow. Thanks, Pips!!! Also, they had a tv in each of the head rests so I watched "Be Kind, Rewind" which was cute and "The Other Boelyn Girl" or however the heck you spell it. It was good. Then Ron let me watch his Family Guy Star Wars movie. It was hilarious. The staff on the plane was the nicest staff I've ever had on a plane ride. They were awesome. I highly recommend Air New Zealand.

So we got to Auckland. That was cool. This is Ron and I after 12 hours of flying:

And this was the trash can next to the couch we were sitting on:

I don't get it, but whatever. New Zealand must have a spitting problem.

So then we had to switch planes to fly into Christchurch. By this time I just wanted to go to bed but we knew that if we were to sleep we'd be up at 2 am New Zealand time and then we'd be tired during the day when everything would be open. Not to mention we had to drive for 6 hours the next day. But to be honest, when we finally arrived in Christchurch, got our luggage, went through customs (which went remarkably fast) and got our rental car, we were both wide awake. But in that tired wide awake kind of way. It also really helped that everyone we talked to was nicer than the person we talked to before. The guy I talked to at customs asked if it was my first time in New Zealand and I said yes and he smiled and said "Cool." and I was all "Sweet". The guy who picked us up in the shuttle and took us to our rental place was great. He gave us advice on driving on the left and talked to us about the latest news and what not. The girl who helped us with our rental car upgraded us to a nicer one at no extra charge and every time we said thank you everyone's reply was "It's alright." I love it.

Needless to say, Ron was a bit worried about driving on the left and it was really hilarious watching him drive that first day. Here he is laughing nervously:

But luckily, no accidents were caused. Another thing the cars being different, the blinkers are switched to the right side as well. Ron kept turning on the windshield wipers when he wanted to signal. He said we were gonna have the cleanest windshield in Christchurch. We probably did.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Victoria Square. Gorgeous area. This was right outside our hotel:

I love it. We spent that day exploring the city and did a bit of shopping. I picked up some post cards to send to a few friends and my dad. They are nice ones. Then we went to go have dinner in the hotel and had a few drinks and went to the casino. I put in 20 bucks on black jack, won it back and walked away. I took it as a sign. Ron lost 80 bucks. Loser.

The next day, we woke up at 6 am to get ready for our drive. We were on the road around 9ish after having breakfast. The ride from Christchurch to Queenstown is unbelievably beautiful. Every turn we made I wanted to snap a picture. We pulled over 5 different times to take photos of the scenery. This is the first one we got:

That one turned out great. Then we came up on Lake Tekapo which has some of the bluest water I have ever seen in my life. There was another lake close by called Lake Pukaki. Here's me by the lake:

Freezing cold there. But gorgeous. Our 4th stop was to look at the river along the road which I don't know the name of but it also had some of the bluest water ever. The 5th time we stopped I got this picture:

I'm pretty sure that that river was used for some Fellowship boating scenes and also the scene where Aragorn falls over the cliff and is floating down the river. It looks the same. So pretty. So was the drive into Queenstown. When you come over the hill and see the city, it's just surrounded by The Remarkables which were used as the MIst Mountains in LOTR. Absolutely amazing. Here was the view from our hotel room:

How would you like to wake up to that everyday??? Well, for right now, I am. ;) That night we went out on the town for a couple hours. We didn't want to stay out too late cuz the next day we had our horse trekking tour to do. Queenstown is having their winter festival this week so the first night they were doing Mardi Gras. It was pretty cool. We found a bar called The Boiler Room that was super chill and also has the hottest guy I've seen in New Zealand so far. His name is Peter and he's from Australia. Man, is he hot.

At around 10 we got back to the hotel and went to sleep. Woke up at 6 to get ready and took the drive to Glenorchy to do our horse tour. The people were super nice and they knew a lot of different things about the movies. Here's Ron on his horse, Yogi:

Originally, I was gonna ride Yogi but he was a little too wild for me and he took off trotting when I got on him. Extremely scary. I almost said I didn't want to do the tour. But then I switched horses with Ron and I got on Randall. He was super chill. I think Yogi smoked a crack pipe and Randall smoked a fat joint before they took us on their tour. Just as well cuz Ron has a bit of riding experience. After that I felt much better and relaxed. Horses can sense your fear so I tried to talk to him in a calming voice and constantly told him what a good boy he was being. The tour was amazing. It goes through the forest where the battle of Amon Hen takes place at the end of the first LOTR movie. We saw the spot where Boromir had his death scene and the bit where Frodo and Galadriel look in the mirror. Our guide, Beth, showed us which mountains were featured prominently in the movies. We saw the mountain that the Fellowship is climbing when Saruman sends the avalanche to stop them. You can see the flat edge on the side where they did their movie magic to put the Fellowship walking along there. Very cool. Right near the end of our tour, it started to rain so that was good timing. I'm really glad we decided to do that tour. It was a good way to see a lot of amazing scenery. When we got back to the stables, we got a look of their largest horse, Drum Major. He is a Shire horse and so adorable. This is him here:

He was a sweetheart. After that we headed back to Queenstown which, by the way, is also a beautiful drive. What a surprise, huh??? We went walking around the city for a bit that day and walked in the park by the lake. Here a photo with a me and a big Ent:

Later that night we found a giant Kiwi:

That was pretty cool. We got a taxi back to the hotel and it was nice to go to sleep that night cuz we knew we didn't have to get up for anything the next morning. That was great. So when we woke up, we took the bus to the center of town and we decided to take the gondola to the top of the mountain. Here's some misty mountains:

And here is me at the top of the mountain:

That one's a bit blurry but you get the idea.

We hung around town a bit more that night and we got a FergBurger which is like the biggest burger in the world. They're good, but huge. I think I ate half of mine. Then we went back to The Boiler Room to see the cute bartender and then we headed back to the hotel. When Ron left me this morning, I was so sad. I didn't want him to leave. Only because I don't know anyone here yet. So right now, I'm in an internet cafe and next I'm gonna go to the local backpackers and try and find a place to stay for tomorrow night. Wish me luck!!!

I hope you all enjoyed my update. Once I find a backpackers place to stay I'll be able to update more often. I also took a lot more photos than what I put up here so I'm gonna put those up onto photobucket the next time I'm online. I hope you guys are all well and I miss you all!!!


Posted by Squarabara 18:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged transportation

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Sara, you and Ron look fantastic in NZ - even with the jet lag! I'm so glad you're including LOTR references with your gorgeous photos. It really does add to them. I'm glad you've been having a good time. I know it's a bit scary now that you're on your own, but with that smile and winning personality of yours, you're gonna be making friends fast. I miss you a lot and will be thinking of you daily, hoping that the good times continue every single day of your adventure. Much love.

by PeggyB

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