- Starting the day right with the most beautiful breakfast at Vudu Café and Larder: porridge and buttermilk pancakes
- Hiked up the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak
- THE LUGE WAS AWESOME! (mini luge collage courtesy of Heather, who was mildly obsessed with it…)
- Took the gondola back down
- Incredibly good pork belly and apple pie at Fergbaker (Tash said that one of the guys who worked there loved it so much that he had the symbol for it tattooed on his arm)
- Heather decided to stay on in Queenstown but Tash and I left at 8.10am
- We went through a dark tunnel in the mountains that resembled ‘The Wall’ and the driver played the Game of Thrones theme tune. Not gunna lie, it was epic af.
- Milford Sound cruise at 3pm. (In true NZ fashion, it rained, hailed and was super windy but luckily cleared up towards the end. The waterfalls were beautiful)
- Made a stop on the way towards our next destination to play in the snow
- Stayed at Gunn’s Camp in cabins with a log fire. We had bbq burgers for dinner by the fire in the common room and played board-games with Sara, Nick, Roel and Clairma.
- Lights went out at 10pm so that was an early night for us.
- Left at 8.30am
- Stopped off at Mirror Lakes
- Fry up at The Sandfly Café in Te Anau
- Made a few stops at beaches and lookout points
- Arrived in Invercargill by 5pm
- Tash and I busted out a stir-fry for dinner (really branching out here. It’s not even Italian-themed!)
- Morning walk to Queens Park to stretch our legs before another long coach ride
- Left at 10.30am
- Visited the museum and saw tuatara which are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs
- Made a few stops (Waipapa Point and a beach that I didn’t catch the name of)
- Back in Queenstown by 8pm
- Fergbaker for dinner (I had the prawn and chorizo while Tash went for the venison and Portobello mushroom number)
- Reunited with Heather on a night out at Loco and London
- Left at 8.50am
- Londis Point
- Breathtakingly beautiful blue lake: Lake Kaki
- Arrived at Mount Cook (the highest mountain in NZ) by 2pm
- We wanted to do the 3 hour Hooker Valley Hike but it was pissing it down so we couldn’t. Instead, we chilled in the lounge area, updated our diaries and wrote postcards. (The gift shop at the top of Bob’s Peak in Queenstown had the best ones, in my opinion)
- Cooked another veg stir fry for dinner like the domestic goddesses that we are and watched Crazy, Stupid, Love in bed.
- Left at 7.50am
- Lake Tekapo (unreal blue waters), Church of the Good Shepherd, lots of beautiful lupin
- Stopped off in a town for lunch (sorry, I don’t remember the name but it was unspectacular) but Tash and I were like kids who hadn’t gotten their wiggles out and had been cooped up on the coach for too long. So we decided to find a park and ran around it a few times, instead.
- Nat (our driver) played some NZ Christmas songs for us and it was quite the experience.
- Arrived back in Christchurch by 2pm
- The weather was great so we grabbed some gelato from Rollickin’ (I had the Lemon Pop Pie flavour and it was yum); dipped in and out of the shipping container shops at Re:Start; checked out Cardboard Cathedral, Anthony Gormley statue and the 185 Empty Chairs art exhibition which was really saddening; wandered around the Botanical Gardens; devoured Thai food for dinner at an award-winning Thai food truck near our hostel (we shared veg spring rolls and I had a salmon curry, which I’d never tried before).
- Left at 9am
- Met our new mate, John, on the coach. He asked to borrow my phone to check the football scores and the rest is history.
- Got to Nelson at 5pm
- Fish and chips by the harbour
- Played Presidents and Assholes (hashtag edition) with Tash and John back at the hostel (I don’t even remember how to play but I remember thinking that it was the funniest game ever. Mainly because John’s hashtag game was painfully poor…)
See you soon for the final installment of my trip to New Zealand!