Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Zealand Trip Recap : Part 2

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.

{day three}
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.

Lake Pukaki


 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.


Mt. Cook

 
 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!

I'm linking up today with Gretchen & Kristen & Amanda!

29 comments:

  1. I have nearly identical pictures of those lakes. :) The blue color is so gorgeous in person! We went to Mt Cook & did a rainy hike but never saw it because of the rain & fog. Looks gorgeous! Oh, and your recap reminds me of something I completely forgot--the food was awful! Like, every meal was awful. We had no idea how they could mess up simple things like breakfast. We had a single good meal on the trip at an Indian restaurant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UGH. I hate that the food was awful, but I guess I'm glad we're not crazy. I didn't understand how a whole country could have bad food. So I half wondered if we somehow just picked ALL terrible places. I guess not!

      Delete
  2. Wow!!! New Zealand and Australia is on my list! Looks like a dream trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie! It really was. Even though I've been now I think I'm going to toss visiting the north Island on my bucket list too.

      Delete
  3. Goodness, New Zealand looks gorgeous. I really want to get there someday. Can't wait to read more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'll be back on Monday with my next 'installment'. I love having these recaps here to look back on!

      Delete
  4. Whenever I see someone's travels from New Zealand or Australia, I get hit with the travel bug so bad. It looks so gorgeous there!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tough. I feel that way about pretty much every travel recap I see anywhere. But we had a blast. I would definitely recommend.

      Delete
  5. haha can't wait for the strangle your significant other while traveling together tips :)
    i have never ever ever heard a soft spoken kiwi in my life! that is hilarious. they are super loud normally. but yeah their accent is a bit weird, they mush words together more than we do, i reckon.
    that sucks about the crappy dinner. i can't wait for your queenstown recap as we are hoping to go there next year on our trip.
    the pictures are absolutely gorgeous! it is such a beautiful country.
    thanks for linking up with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? We felt like the whole damn country was whispering.

      OMG YAY. We LOVED Queenstown & feel like we didn't even get to scratch the surface of all the wonderful-ness in & around the area.

      Delete
  6. WOW, I would love to go to New Zealand. Those mountains look incredible! What a blessing that you go to visit. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a huge blessing. Everything worked out better than I could have hpped for. It was amazing.

      Delete
  7. Wow, those photos are beautiful! And I've always tried to avoid renting cars in places where I have to drive on the other side of the road. But it sounds like New Zealand is one of those places where you need a car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely think we needed a car, but it was super weird driving on the wrong side of the road at first. I was glad we were able to get an automatic so we didn't have to try to shit gears AND remember to stay left at the same time!

      Delete
  8. Such a cool trip! So jealous. It's definitely weird that you're allowed to drive there with just a PA license!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I tried to go in the casino 'cause the BF was already in there & they gave me the 3rd degree since I didn't have my passport. I finally just said, "If you won't let me go in, then you'll have to go drag him out" & they relented.

      Delete
  9. wow some of those pictures look like they could be art! that looks so beautiful...and WTF on a $25 continental breakfast boo hotel people! i bring protein bars for breakfast because of nonsense like that (london was just as crazy priced)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we had stuff for PBJ in the room so I was salty he didn't just say F-it & have sandwiches. But, sigh, I guess if that was our big "fight" of the trip that it wasn't bad at all, but seriously. $50 for breakfast!?

      Delete
  10. Your pictures are so gorgeous! Ahh I can't wait to see these things! You have totally convinced us to avoid eating out when we can - I'm not about to drop over $20 on breakfast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hate to be a downer, but seriously, the best two meals we had were buffets, other than 2 tasty breakfasts, which were $20 per person each I could have passed on it all. Save yourself the $ & the disappointment & stop by a grocery store.

      Delete
  11. I am dying over those mountains!!! Amazing!
    Maybe you've just discovered how loud we AMERICANS CANNNNN BEEEEE!!! (I'm totally screaming) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha maybe! I felt like the whole country was whispering. The BF & I would look at each other & be like umm, are we crazy!? Nope. Neither of us could hear anyone.

      Delete
  12. This is a dream trip. I would absolutely love to visit New Zealand sometime. It looks absolutely gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hollie, it really was. Definitely have to put it on your bucket list!

      Delete
  13. Those pictures are amazing! loving these recaps and I would love to visit New Zealand sometime soon :) Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for hosting! I love all the variety the link-up brings & checking out other peoples posts.

      Thanks! I'll have my next recap up on Monday!

      Delete
  14. It looks beautiful there! I would love to get over to that area one day, if I can convince my husband of the long plane ride!!
    www.amemoryofus.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, the flight was so long, but so worth it. It didn't help that it's hard to get any direct flights out of Pittsburgh, so we had to add an extra flight there too. Worth it though.

      Delete
  15. OMG this is gorgeous... our 10-year anniversary is next May, and we've said for years that for #10 we want to go somewhere epic. NZ/Australia is in the running, and this post helped bump it up a little closer to the top spot. haha Can't wait to see the rest!

    ReplyDelete

Because I value each & every comment I aim to respond to each one via email. Please make sure you are not a no-reply Blogger!