If you're new here, or haven't tuned in for a while, the BF and I just got back from a 10 day (counting travel) // 7 night trip to New Zealand. This is part two of my trip recap, part one here. Stay tuned as I'll be back with part 3
soon Monday (& part 4 if necessary -- so many pictures!).
As well as some tips on how to not strangle your significant other while
traveling together (next Thursday).
I've listed our meals, anything with a + I would recommend.
We got up early & packed our shit. One of us had an easier time with that than the other. Also the one of us who is more orderly in general. And it's not me. How my whole bag unpacked itself in 2 days is beyond me. Ate a $25 per person CONTINENTAL hotel breakfast (that was
pretty much the only thing we fought about the whole trip.) & caught the bus to the airport to pick up our rental car.
THIRTY FIVE minutes of waiting later, & it was our turn in line. We had to say, "Excuse me" pretty much every other sentence as the rental lady whispered at us. Finally we just handed over our driver's license's & a credit card, signed a bunch of stuff & hoped we would be okay, we had 4 -5 hours to drive to make it to Mt. Cook.
| side note | I think of myself as having great hearing, and the BF will confirm. He can't get away with saying anything under his breath, or even in the other room. I hear it all. But pretty much everyone we came across in NZ was so soft spoken I had no chance of understanding them. Couple that with an accent & different colloquialisms & I felt like I didn't have a clue what was going on around me.
| other side note | Someone please explain to me why my PA drivers license allows me to operate a vehicle in NZ (on the other side of the road!), but I need my passport to prove I'm old enough to drink or be in a casino.
Let me tell you. Hopping in the left side of the car & having no steering wheel in front of you is super strange. As is having your turn signal on the right side of the steering wheel & the wipers on the other. Let's just say we turned the wipers on way more than we meant to.
We headed towards Mt. Cook & the good news is, it's very hard to get lost in NZ, there is honestly only one road to get to where you're going 99% of the time. The drive was BEAUTIFUL. We passed Lake Tekapo & Lake Pukaki, both with a blue color I just couldn't believe.
We could see Mt. Cook continually getting closer in the distance & it was pretty much everything I could do to not make us stop at every pull-off to take a picture pretty much identical to this...
We arrived at 229PM for our 230 tour. I dropped the BF off to run in & make everyone wait while I parked the car. An Argo tour at Mt. Cook came included in our Groupon package, but I would have paid for it regardless. This thing was neat & we spent about 30 minutes cruising up the mountain side to get a better look at the Tasman Glacier, whose melt eventually forms Lake Pukaki.
While the top is covered with dirt & rock, the edge of the murky lake down below is actually the glacier.
|BF & I with said Argo|
All in all we spent about 90 minutes walking // Argo-ing around before returning to the start. We still had a 4+ hour drive to make it to our hotel in Queenstown that night, so we took a quick 20 minute side hike to get a different mountain view & then scurried on back to our car.
The drive was ~4 hours & we were racing the sunset to arrive before dark, but the drive was absolutely beautiful & we took more than a few blurry car shots out the windows.
We had intentions of stopping for dinner somewhere quick along the way, but NZ isn't like the States where you can just pop off any exit & have your pick of fast food. So, we scarfed some of our in-car provisions & arrived to Queenstown ravenous. Unfortunately our dinner was terrible. Like, not even the booze was good. & seriously overpriced. We went in search of ice cream, got ourselves all turned around & just decided to head to bed instead.
breakfast : At the hotel
lunch : PBJ
dinner : Surreal, Queenstown
AND, since I feel like this is already super wordy. I'll stop here. I'll be back with my recap of our days in Queenstown, my favorite part of the trip, on Monday, so be sure to stop back!