Friday, February 12, 2010

New Zealand Briefing

Kia Ora

After the warm welcome I received at Christchurch Airport it was already well past midnight when I checked into my hostel.  My buddy Anda from Sydney had gotten into Christchurch earlier in the day, so I went to his hostel for a bit to probably say goodbye to him for the last time.  That short midnight walk was all of Christchurch I saw, but will return there in a few weeks.

My bus departed at 8 am the next morning, I woke up with ease and was officially ready to start my New Zealand journey.  I am doing my north and south island trip with a backpacker bus company, Magic Bus. It is basically just a more personalized Greyhound bus. Here are a few of the benefits of doing this type of tour.
- They pick me up and drop me off at my hostel in each main city.
- The driver is basically a tour guide, telling you certain things on the road, history, sights, stories, etc.
- You can book literally everything from the driver, whether it be accomodation or certain tours, best thing about that is you get it at the MAGIC discounted price

Easy to meet people too, you usually always do the same activities, always see each other on the bus the next day, and sometimes stay at the same hostels.

Anyhow, New Zealand is great so far. A few quick things I've noticed in the past couple days.

- Burger King is back, no more Hungry Jacks
- Alcohol is now once again sold in grocery stores, and is almost back to normal value with the exchange rate.  Sweet As.
- The milk here is excellent
- There is a statistic out there that there are 40 million sheep to 4 million Kiwis.  Well after 2 days on a bus, I don't doubt it. I've seen heaps and heaps of sheep.
- A bit older of a crowd travelling here.  Seen a lot of 30+ people and several elders travelling
- The hostels here are the best.  Cleanest and most comfortable hostels I've ever stayed in. The showers have great water pressure and always are high enough for me to stand under.

New Zealand Adventure Activities I can look forward to and you can be jealous about

- Full Day Glacier Hike on Franz Josef Glacier
- Gondola Ride and Luge Rides in Queenstown
- Day trip to the Beautiful Abel Tasman National Park
- Possible Canyoning
- Kayaking on the beautiful Lake Wanaka
- Huka Falls jetboat in Taupo
- Black Water Rafting in Waitomo Caves
- Mud baths and hot springs in Rotorua

I have also dedicated myself to a personal No Shave New Zealand campaign.  I'm already about 2 weeks in and gettin a bit scruffy. You may ask why I am doing this, well a couple main points. 1) To test how manly of a beard my baby face can grow. 2) because I'm in New Zealand and what better time to go bush.  3) may be the only time I can actually go 5 weeks and not shave.  Should be interesting, not sure if I will try and keep up  a mustache, not too much hair comin in there

A little heads up, I will be saying Sweet As alot in the upcoming post.  It is a very active term in my language now.  Sweet As is a popular saying used by Kiwis in New Zealand, basically means "Sweet", "Cool", "Yes", "Right On"

Sweet As

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