Week 6

DAY 36
Monday 6/3/06

Got up today and made breky then sorted out my bag and did a wash. Went for a walk to send home the last of the stuff I've bought in Australia but couldn't find the P.O. I walked from one end of the city to the other and finally found it, I had passed it on the second corner I had passed at the start of the day. I came back, made lunch then went to bed and woke up at 6:45pm and made dinner.
After dinner went on internet for a couple of hours. I'll probably watch the TV for an hour before going to bed again 'cos I'm up at 4:30am to get ready for 5:30am airport bus then its off to NZ.
Airbus A320
Brisbane, OZ to Christchurch, NZ
3hrs 25mins
BRISBANE dep 08:15 - Arr 14:40 CHRISTCHURCH
Brisbane to Christchurch
Christchurch Arrivals

DAY 37
Tuesday 7/3/06

Christchurch City YHA
Left Brisbane at 08:15 - arrived at Christchurch at 14:32 eight minutes early to a partly cloudy 17o, got a shuttle bus to the Central YHA, wee bit colder than OZ but sun is still out.

Booked my NZ coach and accommodation this morning with the Intercity Travel Pass which gives me 15 days travel and 21 nights rooms at YHA hostels, so I only need to pay for 7 more nights as I have paid for 2 at Christchurch and will pay at the North Island. My trip also includes the ferry to the North Island, so big savings, only 889NZ dollars, about 400 quid with bed, it's a good deal. Nuala has gone for the more expensive active tour, not my cup of tea, so we will meet in Auckland for flight to Fiji.

DAY 38
Wednesday 8/3/06

Nuala left at 08:00 this morning on her package and I had a long lie. Got up at about 10:00 with the sun shining in the window, had a shower and breky then went on-line and did some emailing and getting the web pages 'fixed'.

Will spend another night here as I am planning the best route for my tours. It's a hop on / hop off coach service which gives me 15 individual days of travel and I have YHA vouchers included for 21 nights at YHA hostels of my choice, so I can spend a couple of days or more at any one place depending on what interesting things there are to see.

Temperature at 14:00 a comfortable 20o. (Oz was just a bit too hot at times)
DAY 39
Thursday 9/3/06

I now have my tickets in.
First I am heading to Dunedin for 3 days then Te Anau for 3 days. You can do different tours from each of these places, from Te Anau I will do the Milford Sound tour then hopefully go to Queenstown then Wanaka (just be careful how you spell this one) from here they do a Lord of the Rings tour. Then I will go to Franz Joseph or Fox Glacier, funnily enough to walk on a glacier, then bus to Nelson, it's meant to be quite nice, then to Kiakoura for whale watching then to Picton to catch the ferry to Wellington.

Hopefully it will be that order but I've only booked the first week so far and will see how that goes.

Went out last night with a German girl and an English guy (Tom) didn't understand the girls name. Went to 2 Irish pubs (still not found a Scottish one yet). Ended up playing pool and beating 2 guys from Dublin and Tom, the fun went out it for everyone and we left about midnight.

Going to plan more today as I leave tomorrow

I went out with Tom, the English guy to a pool hall. I thought he would have had enough of getting beaten the night before 'cos even the guys from Dublin in the pub the night before got fed up of losing, but again an astounding win of 10-4 to me. I went to the hostel, did a washing then packed my bags for Dunedin. Ended up there was a girl from Birmingham and a Canadian from Calgary, the guy had sailed from Canada, he was doing a world tour by sailing his way round.
DAY 40
Friday 10/3/06

Off to Dunedin, a 5½ hour scenic journey

8:00 am Christchurch - Riccarton - Church Corner - Hornby - Templeton - Rolleston - Burnham - Dunsandel - Rakaia - Ashburton - Hinds - Rangitata - Orari - Winchester - Temuka - Washdyke - Timaru Refreshment Stop - Pareora - St Andrews - Makikihi - Waimate - Glenavy - Oamaru Refreshment Stop - Maheno - Hampden - Moeraki - Palmerston - Waikouaiti - Evansdale - Waitati - Botanic Gardens, Dunedin - Dunedin 1:45 pm
Christchurch to Dunedin

I'm in Dunedin now. Arrived off the 8am bus at 1:45pm, so just a small journey. Really nice people at the hostel. The English girl used to live in Perth then Glasgow, so I think there's some special treatment.

Dunedin YHA
I've booked for tomorrow The TAIERI GORGE RAILWAY. it goes to Pukerangi 58km away from Dunedin. It's 250m above sea level. When I get back from that I'm heading to The SPEIGHT'S BREWERY TOUR it's the beers brewed in Dunedin so hopefully there will be a lot of tasting going on.

For the 12th I'm going to the Otago Peninsula on The ELM WILDLIFE TOUR where you can see Royal Albetross, yellow eyed penguins, NZ fur seal pup, Adult male, Hooker's sealions, young elephant seals, blue penguins, Pakero (a bird), and might even spot a little shag if I'm lucky (unfortunatly that's also the name of a bird).

So my few days here are pretty full on. I'm staying at the Stafford Gables YHA. It is an old building but really quite nice and clean, the only down side is it's just like a summer's day at home, cold and wet. ha! ha!

TOURGUIDE - The city and its university are interwoven with cafes, pubs and attractive walks. Wildlife around the harbour includes albatross, seals, sea lions and yellow eyed penguins. Visit New Zealandís only castle, travel on the unique Taieri Gorge railway, tour the Cadbury chocolate factory or visit Speightís Brewery.

WEB CAMS - DUNEDIN click here

DAY 41
Saturday 11/3/06

I've just got back from the trips. First I went on the railway, it was a very nice trip and very informative, then I went to the Speights brewery, just like the Guiness factory tour. Got to taste everything they made so wee bit tipsy. Made my dinner and just going to chill I think. Tomorrow, as I've mentioned before, I'm doing the bird thing.
Quite like it here 'cos the folks in my dorm all come from Canada now, good bunch of people, might go out with them tonight.

I've been updating and filling in some bits in my journal so go back to week 1 and read more about the flight to Singapore
DAY 42
Sunday 12/3/06

Had a long lie, got up at 10am, washed, then went down to make my packed lunch/dinner and bought my juice from the hostel, it's cheaper than in the shops. Ready to move off at 3pm on the Albatross & Penguin tour.

The tour was excellent and I saw about 7 albatross, huge birds with up to 3.5 metre wingspan, although my photo makes it look like a seagull (but I can assure you it was huge). Then went up Portobello Road to see the yellow-eyed penguins (would you believe the bloody batteries ran out in my camera again). Got a couple of pictures, I was also about two steps away from huge hooker's seals, they are like lions growling away, quite fierce so we tip-toed by them to the penguin viewing hut. Saw ones climbing up the hillside and running in from the surf. It was brilliant (thanks Sarah).
Had to hike over 3 hills to get back to the bus so I was a wee bit puffed out at the top. I think the girl running the tour was trying to chat me up, 'cos she only spoke to me all the time. There were 18 on the trip (I know what she must have been going through 'cos I'm a good lookin guy). There are 2 girls from the Christchurch hostel room in this room as well, they are more friendly this time, I think they're Dutch not German.
Click for Dunedin, New Zealand Forecast

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The information on these pages is compiled from 'hot, off the press' text messages, emails and phone calls and may not be quite accurate but will be corrected later when confirmed