Jamie and Sophie's Adventure

Jamie Longmore and Sophie Jones travel the world

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kiwi Experience

Before leaving Christchurch we met up with a friend from University, Neil, for a few drinks, it wasn't easy though as there aren't many pubs in Christchurch so we had to make do with the token Irish bar, an English pub and a poncy bar.

Two days after that we started on Kiwi Experience. We got on the bus which was full to capacity and we had to sit right at the back which unfortunately meant that we missed out on swimming with dolphins at our first stop, Kaikoura. We did get to go whale watching though which was quite good, though we only saw the one whale (they gave us a part refund which was nice!). We saw him for about 10 minutes before he flipped his tail and went back down. We had a few drinks that night in another token Irish bar, became doubles pool champions and retired to bed.
The next day we headed to Nelson where I did some free beer tasting and then some not-free beer tasting. We played a load of drinking games, almost a whole bus load of us around some big tables and it was a lot of fun. We went out afterwards, danced on some tables, had a kebab and went to bed. Good night out.
The next day most of the bus headed on but we stayed to do a walk around a national park called Abel Tasmen. We had an "Aqua Taxi" which took us for a ride along the coast and then dropped us off for a 3.5 hour walk.
That night we found out we had a whole house to ourselves. The previous night we had shared it with 5 others but they had all left and nobody came to replace them so we watched a pretty bad Sandra Bullock film, Murder by Numbers before getting some sleep.
The next day it was off to Westport, we went to see a big lake on the way there and some members of our group jumped in, it must have been about 5 degrees! That night the whole town was closed apart from a couple of pubs so we went and had a drink after watching Austin Powers 2 on video.
Lake Mahinapua was our next destination where we went to look at some rocks that supposedly look like stacked pancakes, ate some real pancakes and then headed on to Mahinapua Hotel aka The Poo Pub. The landlord, Les Lisle, is New Zealand's oldest publican at 82 and was a real character as you can imagine. We were lucky to get a dorm to ourselves and I enjoyed a big steak and some venison stew for tea. That night was fancy dress night, our theme was music fads/eras. A lot of people went as punks, one guy went as Jessica Simpson, Sophie was a beautiful 60's hippy chick and I went as a Goth. Now some of you may be aware that I have strong opinions of goths but I thought if you can't beat them (I'd like to), join them. It was a funny night and there were a lot of sore heads this morning.
Today we have arrived in Franz Josef, ready for tomorrow glacier trekking which should be a great experience.
I should mention the scenery in New Zealand, it's absolutely spectacular and I'd recommend everyone to come here and see it for themselves. Every drive we do has stunning snow capped mountain ranges, green forests and lots and lots of sheep!
Less than 7 weeks until we come home now so we are making the most of every day in every way.


  • At 7:01 PM, robin.longmore said…

    Wow, you are certainly packing a lot into your last few months. I'll have to put New Zealnd on the wish list of places to visit. Have fun x

  • At 3:43 AM, Mal and Sim said…

    Hey guys :) Wow I cant believe you've left Australia already!! Craziness. Where are you going next to in NZ? Are you hitting the North Island? If so I look forward to trading stories with you :) We're currently in UK. Glastonbury festival was awesome. We're here for another 2 weeks then we're off to Canada. See you in August!
    BTW nice photo Jamie...


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