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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 24 Jun 2006

Location: South Island, New Zealand

MapNEW ZEALAND PART TWO - The South Island

What can i say about the South Island..... breathtakingly beautiful would probably cover it! It is such a stunning place, and im so glad we went in winter to see all the mountains covered in snow.

We started our tour of the South in Abel Tasmin National Park. A beautiful place with such stunning coast line. We unfortunately didnt have long here so could only do half a days hike (or tramp as they call it in NZ). But we did get to see some beautiful sucluded beaches and were lucky that we had such a good day for it.

We then headed south stopping in a few random places on the way but basically heading for Franz Joseph home to one of the biggest glaciers in New Zealand. Here we bumped into a couple of familiar faces. Matt and Dan, who had followed us from Oz - obviously missed us too much! In Franz we visited the glacier and viewed it from a distance but it wasnt until we got to Fox Glacier (the other big one in NZ) that we got to do the exciting bit - hike across it! This was certainly an experience. Walking through cravases not much wider than myself and just generally feeling like I was on a gigantic ice cube! At one point our group were the only people on the glacier. It was so peaceful (except for Beckis constant singing!!)

Queenstown was next on the agenda and it was a refreshing change to feel like we were back in civilisation again. Kate and the guys did a bungy Jump and survived. Whilst me and Becki decided we had better things to do other than throwing ourselves off an extreme height with a bit of elastic tied to our ankles!

My favourite activity of the south Island and maybe of the whole time in NZ was here in Queenstown - Snow Boarding. I may not have been any good but i absolutely loved it! Im a bit of a snow baby. The day was brilliant other than a few accidents - becki managed to break a tendon in her thumb and Matt managed to fall over and make someone snowboard into his head! They were both ok, other than a little disappointed that they had to finish snow boarding early.

We also part took in a little jet boat ride down the famous Shot Over river. It makes it sound quite relaxing but it was far from that! I thought i was about to die about 10 times along the way as the driver sped through the canyon inches from the walls (either side that is). But fortunately we did survive to tell the tale!

After a few days enjoying ourselves in Queenstown it was time to move on. Our drive took us through more beautiful scenery. Up, down and even through mountains. We even had to drive through an Avalanche zone. Definitely a first for me! The destination Milford Sound. You may not have heard of it but it is probably one of the must photographed places in NZ. I dont think our photos do it justice but it was amazing.

These were the main things from the South. There were many other places that we visited but everything was so good I'd be here all day writing about them. Although Im sure you'd all love to hear about it (yeah right) my fingers are aching from typing!!!

So my friends, that was New Zealand. Next stop Fiji for some well deserved sunshine. x