After I left Wellington, I took a magnificent ferry ride across the Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to begin my adventure through the South.
I spent two nights in Kaiteriteri, which is right next to the Abel Tasman National Park. I took the aquataxi and spent a day exploring the park’s trails and beaches. The sand and water were the most amazing colours. I really love hiking in New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong, I loved exploring Australia, but you can’t go anywhere there without reading a sign saying that you are in danger of getting stung, bitten, eaten or poisoned! In Canada, you constantly have to be on the lookout for wild animals. There’s none of that in New Zealand! It’s so much more relaxing…
This was a neat little mining town on the west coast. The hostel I stayed at was one of the best so far. It had hammocks and a cat, two of my favourite things in the world 🙂 I took a bicycle ride to the beach, and saw seals at nearby Cape Foulwind.
This was probably the most random stop on the route. We stayed at a hotel/pub ran by the oldest “publican” in New Zealand. That night, there was a costume contest, the theme being “anything but clothes” and the prize being a free canyon swing! I decided that my angle would be to stick with the theme, so I literally wore no clothes! I fashioned myself a shirt and a “diaper” of sorts out of bubble wrap. I completed the look with an inner tube to give myself a “washed up on the beach” look. People kept popping my bubbles! I didn’t win (the winner had made herself into a Christmas cracker – very cool!), but I had a great time.
I have been in Franz Josef for almost two weeks working at a hostel for accommodation. It has been awesome! I did the ice explorer trip, which involved flying to the glacier by helicopter and hiking through ice caves and crevasses. Some places were incredibly tight, as you can see by the photo! Otherwise, when I am not busy vacuuming, changing duvet covers or cleaning kitchens, I go on hikes in the area. My favourite walk is a hike to a 300 m tunnel that I can explore with a flashlight and that is lit up by glowworms. I also went on a 17 km day hike up a mountain, and I could hardly move the next day!
I am excited for Christmas and New Year’s Eve!