Sunday, January 30, 2011

South: Wanaka & Queenstown

I hated Wanaka. There, I said it. Maybe not hated, but did not like it. It had all the characteristics of a great place, gorgeous lake surrounded by beautiful mountains, really scenic. Unfortunately, we were there right before New Year’s and the town was crazy. Insanely busy, and it was really not a big enough town for that many people. It was crawling. Also, the public library charges $2 for 5 minutes of internet. How is that for access? Ridiculous! However, it was nice to lounge by the lake and just hang out. 

The first night in Wanaka we camped, and decided to not to do that again! For sure this time. Andrew and Erin went on a wild goose chase for the sunset up a very large hill, and Jen and I ducked out early. 

The next day we were up early, as we were freezing! We drove to town, thankfully getting gas on the way. Jen went skydiving that morning, and it looked really fun. Maybe one day. They just floated down so gently. A bit jealous but thinking about hopping out of a perfectly good plane makes my stomach hurt a little.

Andrew and I went for a bike ride that afternoon which was really fun. Bikes might be on our list this summer. It was really fun to cruise around.

The next day we headed over to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Also the most expensive activities are there. Instead of taking the gondola up the hill, we hiked. And it was a workout and a half. Super, super steep. A year ago that day was the day of my surgery. I know I said this before, but what a change. 

After that, we had kind of had enough of Queenstown. We were booked that night in Te Anau, so we that way. We got Chinese food for Erin’s birthday, from the Ming Garden Restaurant – funny! (all the Coaldalians know!) The town was having a bonfire for New Year’s Eve so we hung out there for the big countdown. They had fireworks which were pretty sweet! 

The next day, we made Erin French toast for her birthday, delicious. We headed off to Milford, for our overnight cruise. The drive out there was gorgeous, big massive mountains just out of nowhere. We stopped and did a short hike to the “tallest waterfall near a road in Australasia”. Yes, the tallest waterfall near a road, ladies and gentleman. I guess they have to take what they can get! It was pretty impressive though. On the way down, Andrew sustained a small injury, but is doing well now. He doesn’t really like to talk about it.

We headed to Milford to meet our bus for the overnight cruise. Lovely Milford.

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday Erin!

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