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emandsi’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006

Location: South Island, New Zealand

MapHi all, we've now completed the South Island and have been in the North Island for 3 days.

After the Franz Joseph Glacier we went to Wanaka which is a beautiful resort town on the shores of Lake Wanaka and within 2 hours of arriving Emma had jumped out of a plane. She did a Tandem Skydive from 9000ft and although slightly unbalanced on her feet for a few hours after she had a fantastic time!

After Wanaka we headed to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the South Island where Simon decided to try white water rafting however due to the drought the class 4 rapids had turned into class 1 trickles so he had to make do with luging from the top of one of the local mountains. Basically this consisted of sitting on a modified skateboard and hurtling downhill on a concrete track, excellent fun!

After Dunedin (where it rained constantly and is barely worth a mention) we went to Beautiful Lake Tekapo, high in the Southern Alps, not far from Mount Cook (NZ's highest mountain) where the weather was perfect!

Our next port of call was Kaikoura on the NE of the South Island. This is THE spot to see sperm whales, dusky and hector dolphins and fur seals! Unfortunately for us, the dolphin swimming tours were fully booked so we had to settle for going swimming with the seals. This turned out to be a brilliant trip, even though the water was freezing. Once the sun came out the seals were totally playful and inquisitive and we even managed to get a few snaps of them swimming with us from our underwater camera!! We spent a couple of days here but due to the hurricane force winds that blew in on our second day we were pretty batted after our day of hiking around the peninsula.

The next day we were due to catch the ferry to Wellington at 1.15pm but because of the previous days hurricane force winds still lingering the Cook Strait was very rough and the ferries were delayed, we eventually set off at 8.15pm after a long day waiting around Picton Port, not arriving at our Wellington hostel until
1.15am, 8 hours late.

We're now in Taupo, NZ's largest lake but the weather's pretty poor so we're catching up with this.

See ya pals!!

Emma and Simon