Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Zealand Recap

Kia Ora,

What a great month I had in this beautiful, great country. I knew after the initial apple incident at customs things were only going to get better.  All the great things you've ever heard about New Zealand are true. Stunning scenery, extremely nice people, and heaps of sheep. May be my favorite country I've ever visited (Italy you're right there too so don't worry)  Just felt great to be here.

I have a tendency to ramble so will keep this short and simple.

- Traveling on the Magic Bus was pretty good, not sure if it topped Greyhound in OZ, but definitely liked how it always dropped me at the front door of the accommodation and could always book things for me via the driver. I did learn heaps from the bus drivers though, it was practically a tour bus with history and info on all of New Zealand and the certain citys.  I learned a lot more about New Zealand in 1 month than I did about  Australia in 4 months.

- New Zealand seems to really embrace its culture and history. There is a big Maori influence in every aspect of life. A big difference from the Aborigines and Australia.

- New Zealands tourism industry has to be one of the biggest in the world. Almost every town seems to run off tourism.

- I enjoyed both the North and South Islands, both offered a different feel. South Island was a bit more adventure and liveliness. North Island was a bit more laid back and tranquil, but still beautiful scenery and heaps of things to do.

- New Zealand produces some very tasty apples.

- It was great having alcohol prices back to normal after that extremely steep australian liquor tax.

- Loved the exchange rate here, but still spent a hefty amount of money.

Now a few of my favorite parts of the trip.

South Island

- On the shuttle bus into Christchurch city laughing at the fact I had just paid 200 dollars for forgetting I had an apple in my backpack

- Hiking the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park coastal track

- A great 23rd birthday in Franz Josef after a phenomenal day hiking up the glacier

- Lake Wanaka, hiking up that intense mountain with Konrad and looking at one of the most stunning scenic views my eyes have ever seen.  Afterwards making tacos for the Germans.

- Partying in up in Queenstown and gettin into a fat juicy tasty Fergburger

- The day trip out to the majestic Milford Sound

North Island

- Walking around Wellingtons harbour and catching the sunset at nearby Mount Victoria

- Skydiving in Taupo, reaching and exceeding the limits I thought I could take myself

- Hiking the Tongariro Alping Crossing

- Waitomo Caves black water inner tubing

- Getting in some quality beach time in Mount Mauganui

New Zealand, thank you for providing a great epic month of traveling.  Sweet As and see you next time

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