Monday 18 January 2010

Albatross, horses and dolphins. Oh my!

So we left Queenstown and the rainy west coast for the not so rainy east coast. The first stop was Dunedin, known here as little Edinburgh. Dunedin was a cute student town and was nice for just wandering around. Dunk headed off to see the local wildlife. There are colonies of albatross, yellow eyed penguins, seals and sealions on the peninsula.

After a short one night stay, the magic bus brought us to Lake Tekapo, an amazingly turquoise glacial lake (when the sun shines) close to Mount Cook. The bus brought us via a strange "tourist attraction", some spherical boulders on a beach which Duncan had some fun playing on! We chilled out on the lake for a couple of nights and I headed on a horse trek around the lake. The sun was shining which made a nice change but there was some extreme wind.

Next stop was a short pitstop in Christchurch. After spending some time in Auckland and Wellington, we had decided the cities aren't where New Zealand is at so only stopped for a night. However, the sun was shining and the garden city was really nice just to take a stroll around. We also took in the Cantebury Museum which was worth a look.

The final magic bus stop for us was Kaikoura, about 200 km north of Christchurch, which is known for its seafood and sea wildlife. Myself and Dunk signed up to go swimming with the dusky dolphins which live just off the coast due to a rich food supply. It was a cold overcast morning as we set off and I was feeling dubious about jumping off the boat into the cold pacific despite the wetsuit but once I sucked it up, it was really cool. The boat dropped you into the pod and you swam along with a snorkel trying to "sing" to entertain the dolphins and encourage them to hang out with you! Afterwards, there was hot chocolate, ginger nuts and a chance to enjoy the acrobatics. There had been a 50% sea sickness rate so it meant plenty of hot chocolate and biscuits for myself and Dunk :) Apparently, the dusky dolphin is known as one of the most acrobatic and we saw some amazing somersaults and jumps although they proved difficult to capture on camera.

So anyway, today is Tuesday morning and we are sitting back in the hostel in Christchurch chilling out before heading to the airport and hopefully a sunny Thailand. We've enjoyed NZ, its amazing scenery and wildlife, but the weather has been a little too like home the last couple of weeks. With only 2 pairs of long trousers, I'm looking forward to a chance to wear shorts!

1 comment:

fiofitz said...

for a few seconds i thought dunk had gone horseriding...! well, stranger things HAVE happenend ;)