Friday, 19 February 2016

New Zealand...Adventures so far.

Finally I have one evening with just about good enough wifi to write about my adventures so far on the Kiwi Experience. I will probably write a better full review of the whole thing once I am home but for now Im sharing just a snippet of the amazing time I have had...

To say I stress out about planning things would be the biggest understatement on this earth. If theres something not worth getting stressed about you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be the one worrying. We arrived in Aukland 4 weeks ago to not the best of hostels and I sat and thought what the hell am I doing and why. Most things scare me and traveling is everything scary rolled into one. 
After a night of lying in a bunk bed feeling like I had made a huge mistake to give up everything I know to travel, we hopped on board the Kiwi Experience bus and almost immediately I felt the stress subside. 
If anyone is thinking about embarking on Kiwi I would say one thing and thats do it. The bus drivers are the most hard working but hilarious bunch of people and do everything they can to help, from booking all your accommodation at every stop, booking your activities with trusted companies as well as generally just making you laugh on a 8 hour bus journey. Everything was made so easy for us from the word go and has prepped me so well for the next six months. The only thing I will say is BOOK YOUR BUSSES, after watching many a traveler get left behind or put on standby, book as you go and keep on top of it in the busy months. 

Our trip went a little like this... Aukland - Hot Water Beach - Waitomo - Rotorua - Tuapo - River Valley - Wellington - Kaiteriteri - Westport - Mahinapua - Franz Joseph - Wanaka - Queenstown - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch...thats the whole of New Zealand (minus the deep south) in 4 weeks, it has been full on, tiring but increddible.

Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cover (pictured above and below) was our first stop on the bus, where the tectonics in the area create hot water pools on the beach at certain times of the day, you can pretty much build your own hot tub. The scenery was instantly stunning and we stayed in a beautiful Holliday camp in lodges. 
After our short stay in Hot Water we moved onto Waitomo, home of glow worm caves. I have no photos as go pros and cameras weren't allowed but I do have one of the best experiences of my life to remember. We abseiled down into the caves which I had imagined would be a few metres but I was wrong. Me being me forgot to turn on my head torch so were assailing in to wet darkness for which felt like forever. 
 After that excitement the guides (who we later went to the pub with) took us on a five hour walk around the caves kitted out in wetsuits. The trip involved jumping off cliffs into rubber rings and floating about in the caves lakes seeing thousands of glow worms above us. As well as zip wires and climbing bare handed and no harness up waterfalls. Not forgetting the appearance of a little eel.

One thing I have realised about New Zealand is that they don't really give a shit here...sounds like a bad thing but everything is chilled to these guys, the attitude, and how un-PC it is, is unbelievably relaxing. As soon as you start to worry a Kiwi will say "don't worry dude its all sweet as".

After adventures in Caves (and slobbing about for a few days as we got a bit stuck in Waitomo), we hopped back on the big green bus and set off to Hobbiton. Being a huge lord of the rings fan I honestly thought I would love this. As novel as it was though I did feel for the price I could have done more for my money...If lord of the rings is what you want I would recommend skipping out Hobbitton and going on a tour of the mountains they filmed in in the south island. 

I could talk for so long about every little thing we did so instead I am going to mention only advice, as well as the best bits. This is one of them...climbing for 8 hours up a mountain is one of the best highlights of the trip for me. The Tongoriro Crossing. Im not much of a walker but the hype over this 8 hour trek convinced me it must be worth doing...and just look at the views. Saying that this was also one of the hardest things I have ever done, one part of the walk was called the devils staircase, enough said.

More than anything this walk was great due to the the achievement and happiness felt to be alive after scrambling about up unstable rocks (which me and Mark agreed would never be allowed in the UK).


Matherson Lake (a perfect reflection)
Kaiteriteri Beach

At the moment I am still in New Zealand currently feeling earthquake tremors in Christchurch as Im writing this the floors shaking so I have to add that in as well as talk about the ice climber trip in Franz Joseph. We were taken to by helicopter up to the Franz Joseph Glacier which was an experience on its own. Don't know how I swung it but somehow I ended up riding shot gun and the views are like nothing you have ever seen.
Once on the Glacier we were taken around in ice boots with spikes, climbing around the safe parts of the beautiful block of ice. The saddest thing is that in a matter of years the glacier will shrink dramatically and one day not exist at all. I thought traveling would open my mind in other ways, socially maybe or help me realise what I want to do in life. But for me New Zealand has simply taught me so much about the natural wonders and beauty the world has to offer us. 

I could sit and write and try desperately to make the wifi work better but my fellow dorm mates are all going to bed. We are fingers crossed swimming with dolphins in the ocean tomorrow. Then Skydiving, I think that deserves a blog post for itself too. Over and out xo


  1. Beautiful photos :)
    Maria V.

  2. Beautiful! This looks perfect. Thanks for sharing :) xo

  3. No way! I live in a little town called Motueka (you would have driven through only 5 minutes previous to Kaiterteri) Such a crazy small world! I hope you enjoyed your time here in my home town and in New Zealand and hope you have many more adventures along the way Nicky :) Beautiful post and pictures too, Im so proud to be kiwi xx


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