We had an amazing first day in Queenstown! We took a helicopter to Milford Sound and landed on a glacier!
I suppose that I didn’t pay much attention to Justin when he was planning this trip, because I didn’t know that we were going to be doing all these incredible things!
We left Akaroa yesterday and headed to Mt. Cook. Once again, the drive was incredible, but this time we also had snow-capped mountains! We stopped many times to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, the pictures just don’t do it justice.
Like I mentioned before, Mt. Cook is near the glaciers. We were expecting this to be one of the coldest areas that we visit in NZ, but it was just the opposite! It was about 80 degrees when we got there in the afternoon!!
Before we left Kaikoura this morning, we went whale watching. Neither of us have done this before, and we were really looking forward to it! Of course there are no guarantees with nature, but this company gives you 80% of your money back if you don’t see a whale so it seems like they have a very high success rate. We got on the boat around 8 am. I was very impressed with the boats. They are custom made for whale watching and extremely comfortable
Basically, they drive you out into the ocean to a point where they think a whale may be. Then, the captain puts a long horn-shaped apparatus into the water so that he can hear the sounds of the whale. The sperm whale is only on the surface of the water for about 10 minutes at a time before they dive back down into the ocean to hunt for food. Typically, they don’t resurface until 45 minutes- 1 hour later.
New Zealand is beautiful. I think the North Island pictures came out very well, but they still do not do the country justice. Pictures are just not the same as seeing it in person.
And I am definitely behind on wrap ups, but I will hopefully get to those soon. That said, I’m not in a huge rush because Alyce has been summing up things very well in her daily posts.
Finally, while the North Island of New Zealand was very scenic, the South Island is on another level…We’ll get to those pictures soon.
Here is the link to all the pictures in full size. Some are shown in the post below:
Today, we left Blenheim and our precious cottage to head to Kaikoura. We are only here for for one night, but we are doing two really fun things! We are swimming with the dolphins and whale watching!
The drive was only about an hour and a half. We stopped briefly to look at some fur seals that hang out on the rocks along the edge of the ocean. They were cute, but after seeing the seal pups a couple days ago, they weren’t as exciting as they would have been otherwise.
We arrived in Blenheim yesterday evening after driving from Golden Bay. The drive wasn’t too long (about 3.5 hours), but it was through the mountains. There were lots of hairpin turns and sharp corners. I feel bad for Justin. I get to look at the beautiful scenery, and he can barely take his eyes off the road for a second or we would (as he put it) “plummet to our death.” Luckily, he has adapted to driving on the left side of the road very quickly and that hasn’t been a problem at all.
In Blenheim, we are staying at St. Leonard’s Accommodation. It is a really cute spot on a little farm that overlooks a neighboring vineyard. There are four cottages on the property plus the main house. The owner was very friendly and welcoming, as everyone has been in New Zealand.
We left Wellington early this morning (around 6:45) to check into the ferry. We were able to take our rental car with us to the South Island. I use the term “ferry” loosely because it isn’t the type of ferry that we have taken previously throughout the trip. It was really more of a ship with several decks, cafes, a cafeteria, bar, and movie theater.
Justin sat on the observation deck the whole time. It was sort of chilly and windy for me in the morning, so I sat in the cafe and had a flat white until it warmed up a little.
Oh, the horror!!! Some of these places in New Zealand do not have WiFi. We are going to do our best to keep the posts coming, but we are going to have trouble uploading pictures in a few of these cities. I promise that we are going to keep you updated on everything that is going on. There should’t be too much of a lag between posts. We had an incredible day today in Golden Bay, so hopefully we can get some pictures up soon!
Love you all