Tag Archive | south island

Christchurch – bye bye NZ

So we’ve come to the end of our New Zealand trip now and finished it with a few nights in Christchurch. We were surprised to see that there is still so much work to do here since the earthquakes over 2 years ago – still many damaged buildings but lots of construction work going on too. 

The shopping area in the main city centre (Re:Start) is made from brightly coloured shipping containers. There are quite a few different ‘pop up’ art installations and areas over the city, some have been built by volunteers to add a bit of colour back to Christchurch whilst all the work is being done. 
Our hostel (The Old Countryhouse) is amazing! So clean with lovely gardens and a hot tub and sauna! The owner’s dog Max has also made an appearance which has kept Cordelia happy! 🙂
Our flight to Bangkok leaves in a few hours and we’re ready for the next and final part of our trip. We’ve had an amazing time travelling with Stray and being in such a beautiful country. We’ll miss everyone we have met but it’s time for the sun and sand of Thailand.
Lots of love xxx

Milford Sound, Mt Cook, Rangitata

Milford Sound was beautiful. It was a long drive (4 hours one way) and our bus driver was extremely chatty, but the scenery was some of the most stunning we have seen in NZ. When we arrived we went on a boat cruise around the Sound – towering cliffs and many waterfalls running into the ocean. At one point the skipper dove the front of the boat into a huge waterfall! We also saw some super cute fur seals lounging around the rocks. We were lucky as Milford Sound is one of the rainiest places in NZ, but we had a day of brilliant sunshine. 

The next day we left Queenstown and went to Mt Cook. Our hostel was in a tiny village in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. We went on a 2 hour hike with our Stray buddies and bus driver, Postie, before relaxing back at the hostel. 
After one night we drove to Rangitata. Cordelia went on a horse trek (yay) but Kels sat out of this one after our last horse ride..! Then we spent the afternoon playing Articulate and card games, and the evening having a few drinks to celebrate the end of our stray adventure…

South Island

So we are now in the South Island! The ferry ride was pretty impressive – and we had such a bright blue day for it after some wet and windy ones in Wellington!

Once in Picton on the South Island we headed through the famous wine region of Marlborough. Lots and lots of vineyards! We got to do some wine tasting of the local produce and bought a lovely Sauvignon Blanc for only $10!
That evening we arrived at our hostel on the edge of Abel Tasman national park right on the beach! We got our own little pod to stay in with views out to the beach and nothing around for miles. It was great to see some of NZ’s coast line and the weather whilst we were there was amazing. We spent the day exploring the coast and even sun bathing!
Our trip took us along the west coast and along some impressive coastal roads. This drive has recently been rated by lonely planet as one of the top ten best costal drives in the world! We arrived at Punakaki and stayed in a hostel right in the middle of the bush. That night was fireworks and a few guys from the bus put on a small firework display on the beach! 
The next morning we opted to do some bone carving. We were picked up at 8am by a lady in a van and she drove us to her house – a few sheds in the bush. Her and her daughter showed us how to take a square piece of beef shin bone and trace a design onto it. We then used saws, electric sanders and drills to carve or necklaces. They turned out great and Kels and I made our necklaces for each other and switched at the end! There were 2 manic dogs that lived there as well as a baby chicken – she spent most of the time on the work bench eating pumpkin while we carved!
Now we are in Franz Josef and this morning we caught a helicopter to the glacier. The ride was amazing and it landed right on the ice. The next 3 hours we explored the ice – climbing up with hand ropes, stepping over huge drops, crawling through holes and squeezing along crevices. They gave us crampons and protective clothing, though the weather here is incredible and we were very warm! 
Later we might visit the hot pools and treating ourselves to a meal out. Lake Wanaka tomorrow for one night and then Queenstown! 
Love to everyone xxxx


We have had a great few days in windy Wellington! We visited the renowned Te Papa museum of NZ and learnt heaps about volcanoes, earthquakes, Maori, and the extinct birds of NZ. We also went on the cable car to the planetarium and had our minds blown over the vastness of space! Spent Halloween with some hostel buddies in a few quirky bars listening to great live music – Cuba St and Courtenay Place are full of cool hipster bars. Our costumes consisted of scary eye make up and some $1 flashing skull head boppers! We’ve really enjoyed stopping here and ready for our ferry ride and the South Island early tomorrow morning 🙂 

Kels and Cordelia xxx 

Blue Duck and Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The last couple of days have been very adventurous ones. Firstly we stayed at Blue Duck lodge up in the mountains and opted to do the horse trek. They said it would be suitable for beginners and Kelsey hasn’t ridden a horse in 10 years and doesn’t have any experience, so we thought we would be safe. They showed the 5 of us to our horses, that actually turned out to be ex-racers, not the usual steady trek ponies you would expect… 
We rode up the side of a mountain and across the top and down the other. As the paths got steeper the horses started to speed up, until we were galloping at full speed up the cliff face. Our guide’s advice was to stand up in the stirrups and hold onto the horses mane as tight as possible.. 
The hooves of the horse in front of me (Cordelia) kicked up a huge pile of mud (and other substances…) straight into my face, eye and mouth. Not ideal when your charging up a cliff side! It was quite amusing for the rest of us though haha!! The scenery as we trekked was amazing but quite a scary experience for kels! 
Afterwards we went on a bit of a bush walk and were lucky enough to see the blue duck! A very rare species of duck native to NZ. We got driven at crazy speeds in a jeep through the muddy windy paths of the forest which was really fun. 
Yesterday we opted to do the 20km tongariro alpine crossing after leaving the blue duck lodge at 6.30am! This walk was really tough at times… Lots of steps known as the devils stair case but as you can see from the photo DEFINITELY worth it! The land scape went from red rock craters to aqua blue lakes. It was like something from another planet. It was verrrry cold at the top
(Needed 5 layers!) and achey legs now but an achievement! 
In Wellington for 3 nights before the ferry to the South Island which we’ve been told is amazing. 
Hope everyone is well and surviving the storms down south! Love to all. Kelsey and cordelia xx