South island 2

Trip Start Feb 02, 2007
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Trip End Mar 12, 2007


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Friday, February 2, 2007

Invacargill
Well we have finally reached the bottom of the south island. The town here is awful... a bit like blackpool with no beach, no clubs and no pleasure beach. Really bad and to make matters worse it is raining. Only stopping here one night. While we were here we drove to the southern most point of NZ called Slope Hill. It was amazing to have my foot right on the edge of the country, quite bizaar really.

Dunedin
On our drive here we stopped at various points including Surat Bay where there are loads of Sea Lions dotted all over the beach. We were only about 2 metres away from them while they were sleeping and we saw a mum with her baby too which was cute. This is one of the many highlights of NZ, where else could you ealk along a beach so close to sea lions! Then as we thought our day couldn't get any better we went to watch the yellow eyed penguins return from theirs days hunt. These penguins are the only ones to hunt alone and so we only saw 3 but that was amazing too. Dunedin is a dump too. Its still raining aswell and as we arrived late in the evening we had KFC for dinner!

Omaru
This is a cute little town. it has stopped raining aswell but is still chilly but anything is better than the rain. We booked a trip to see the 'little blue penguins'. First we went to see more yellow eyed penguins (there are only 3000 left in the world so we were really privalaged to be able to see them). The blue penguins are 40cm tall and they only weigh 1kg each. They work really hard too, they get up a 5am to go out hunting and they swim up to 40km, then they come back and feed their babies (which are the cutest things ever, so fluffy) at 9.30pm.We saw about 80 of them as they hunt in colonys they all came back within 30mins of eachother.

Mt Cook
This is the tallest mountain range in NZ. It stands at 3754 metres. It towers above the landscape and can be seem from about 60km away. There is loads of snow on the top. It is surrounded by glaciers but none are as impressive as Franz or Rob Roy. Paraic has gone on a long trek with Aaron and ive stayed in the village for the day as ive done too many walks and its killing me. As im writing this i have spectacular views from the internet cafe and there is a log fire here too which is gorgeous.

Lake Tekapo
This is the best place in NZ for star gazing. There is an observatory here that Canterbury Uni and a Uni from Japan use to conduct their research on astronomy. We went on the astronomy tour up to this observatory and they showed us clusters of stars. They even showed us Saturn which was cool but was only in black and white. We were told loads of facts about space and about how stars were made but it was an information overload for me so i cant remember much... oops! The normal stars dont look the same though now we have seen them through a telescope as they looked so cool. If u can see 1 star with the naked eye there are a million more stars around it that haven't reached earth yet so we can't see them without the telescope.

Akoroa
There has been a huge change of plan. We were well on our way to Greymouth to do a scenic drive when paraic got out the car hire documents and saw we have to take lucy back on the 5th instead of the 11th!! So we have only 3 nights left with her now. So we decided to cometo Akaroa to swim with the hector dolphins. We went out and found the dolphins after some searching. They are native to NZ and there only 7,100 so they are classed as endangered. Had about 45 mins swimming with them in the wild and it was the most amazing things ever! Had about 30 - 40 dolphons altogether!

Kaikoura
This is the place to see all sorts of marine life. As we have already done the penguins and dolphons we decided to go whale watching. We were really lucky and got to see whales about to go on one of the 40 minute hunts and whales reappearing after their hunts. They are amazing creatures. We got to see the sperm whale which is the largest of the tooth whales. They even eat great white sharks whole! We saw 3 in total and have got great pics too...

Christchurch
This city is also known as the Garden City. This is because for every 3 hectors of land, 1 of them has to be a public park or reserve. It really is very pretty, loads of gardens and rivers and streams running through it. Its so clean aswell. There are your usual high street shops here. We have only one day to explore as we are leaving New Zealand tomorrow heading for Melbourne.

New Zealand has been great. We recommend a visit to everyone. There are parts of the world in this one country, Glaciers, Mountains, Lakes and lots of greenery. Oh yeah and 40 million sheep fit into all that too. The most amazing experience was swimming with the dolphins with whale watching a close second. Im sure you have your own opinions about your favourite place. Enjoy the photos, but you really need to come and see it for yourself!!

Aussie here we come!
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