Friday, April 20, 2007

Back home after my NZ trip

Well I'm back at work today - feels like I've been away for ages.. Check out my photos from the trip:

NZ was fantastic - such a spectacular country. The crazy adventure sports in Queenstown were definately a highlight - rafting, the canyon swing, mountain biking... We didn't end up going kayaking in the Doubtful Sound unfortunately due to bad weather. We spent a day in the very sleepy town on Te Anau and then went back to Queenstown the next day, where we thought horse riding in a blizzard would be a good idea. Beautiful countryside, but it was bloody cold on that horse I can tell you. Once we got back to the hostel we jumped in the very hot spa and stayed there for a few hours to defrost, talking to random backpackers.

After Queenstown we spent 7 hours on a bus to the town of Franz Joseph on the west coast. It is very rugged on the west coast, with grey raging oceans, driftwood on beaches and lots of rain. Luckily we didn't see any rain, and instead climbed many ice steps on the Franz Joseph glacier in the sunshine. The glacier was incredible, so much ice. We even heard it groaning as it moved a few times. A once in a life time exprience.

Another highlight was catching the Tranz-Alpine train from Greymouth on the west coast to Christchurch in the east. A very scenic trip, and I prefer trains to buses because you can drink a bottle of wine on them!

Our last night was spent in a gaol cell in Christchurch - well in a gaol that was changed into a backpackers hostel. It was this great white cavernous building, and we slept in a real cell! Kind of spooky... There are a few picks on the photo collection.

Now I'm back in Canberra and am adjusting to being here with Chris gone. I'm just going to have a lot more time on my hands I think. I am playing mixed netball on Wednesdays, which should be fun! Hopefully the boys aren't too rough...

NZ south island adventure

I'm having a great time in New Zealand. It is so beautiful here, and so completely different to Australia... It reminds me a lot of Scotland and the lake district.

First the pictures - well that's me jumping off at 109m freefall canyon swing here in Queenstown. Oh my i have never been so scared. I totally freaked out initially when I looked down to see nothing between me and the canyon below, i even screamed and said i just wouldn't do it. But somehow I managed to calm myself down, and in a moment of madness walked over the edge to the few seconds of freefall before the swing gently caught me and i swung around with the beautiful blue water of the shot over river below. It was such an incredible feeling, and what and adrenaline rush! Totally nuts. Even now 8 hours after I'm still tingling inside.

Just because doing one adventure crazy thing in Queenstown isn't enough, yesterday Claire and I went rafting down a gorgeous river with 4 rapids in it. Had a great time and even swam in the 5 degree water!

This afternoon we went downhill mountain biking, which was great fun. I did the initial easy track, the shotover road, and then the next time I did the hard track, which I really enjoyed surprisingly! It was great fun, pretty challenging, but I found looking well ahead and not at the big rock I was going over or the steep hill i was racing down really helped with the fear of what I was doing!

Christchurch was a lovely city - so very English, i mean more English that england in some ways! We went punting on the river Avon, and drank some tasty beer at Dux de Lux. A nice touristy day.

The day after saw us on a 10 hour bus via the spectacular Mt Cook and some amazing aqua lakes. Stunning scenery the whole way.

Queenstown has been great fun. I'm really enjoying travelling with Claire, its all going fantasticly.

Tomorrow we are off to Milford Sound, and then onto Doubtful Sound, where we are going on a 2 days kayaking trip - can't wait.