Saturday, 16 August 2008

Country no. 11 - officially the furthest we've ever been from home

We said goodbye to Dais, adieu to Australia and hopped on our flight for New Zealand wondering how it would differ to it's neighbour. Turns out it much more affordable, which is rather pleasing! The flight over was pretty impressive too - as we started to descend we had the most awe-inspiring views of the outstanding landscape we would soon be exploring.

We arrived in Christchurch (the main town on the south island) last Wednesday evening. Had some locally brewed beer and some grub and headed to the local art gallery which, luckily for us, was open late on Wednesdays. The building is absolutely fantastic but the works inside were less inspiring than what we'd just seen in Sydney.

Adrian and I were up early the next morning to catch our bus to Queenstown in the NZ Alps (lazy lot, can't even be bothered to come up with their own name for these stunning hills). The journey there took about 6 hours, and doubled up as a pretty impressive tour - the views were amazing. We went over mountain passes, through valleys, passed by a huge lake.... We were glued to the window.

Less than 30 minutes after our arrival here the snow started to fall. Heavily. Being Brits, we were pretty excited about this. Then, when we were shown to our room with huge glass doors overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables (mountain range, see above, taken from our hostel) I actually jumped up and down uncontrollably because I couldn't believe we'd arrived in what appeared to be the land of Christmas, and it was right outside our bedroom window, in August! It's not just the land and the clocks that are upside down here.

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