If there’s one thing that’s worse than no wifi it’s wifi that is so rubbish that it might as well be non existent!
Is the wifi going to work today? Doubtful.
Is it going to pretend it’s working to then stop half way through loading my pictures?
Am I going to throw my phone in frustration?
And because of this shoddy wifi problem I’m slightly behind in my blog posts (I know this seems to be a reoccurring predicament).
I am now going to attempt to get all up to date in one post without chewing your ear off so wish me luck!
In my last post Ryan and I had just left Taupo and were making our way further down south to River Valley.
We stopped along the way to take a walk through Tongariro National Park. As expected when travelling the whole of New Zealand in a short space of time, there are many long journeys spent on the Kiwi Experience bus. These journeys, however, never feel as long as they are as we take many stops to go on well known hikes, supermarket shops or just to take in the views!
We stayed in River Valley Lodge, which was pretty much in the middle of nowhere! Surrounded by fields with sheep and lamb roaming freely around the grounds.
There was no wifi or reception at River Valley lodge but there was plenty for us to get our teeth stuck into (mainly the roast dinner and onsite bar!).
We took a stroll around the grounds and came across a ‘trolley’ which is used to transport people across the river and a giant chess board. Ryan and a couple of the other travellers attempted to teach me how to play but I quickly lost interest, I left it to the professionals.
In the bar area the locals like to challenge the visitors to attempt to climb there way around the big wooden table in there without touching the floor; if you manage it you get a free drink.
Most people attempted it, and failed, including myself (I have the bruises as proof). It was so difficult! Apparently it’s a lot easier for taller people and you need some upper body strength – so I was basically doomed from the get go! One guy in our group did manage it though and claimed his well deserved drink!
We left River Valley and started our journey to Wellington. We took a lunch stop at Bull where they try and make a play on words anyway they can. We saw lots of sign posts with the word ‘bull’ at the end and I saw a painting on the front of a police station that I couldn’t help take a picture of.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city; it was previously Auckland but changed so the capital is now more central for both Islands.
Living in England and being close to London means my idea of a capital is somewhere that is super busy all of the time with masses of shops everywhere. Wellington was nothing like London, I probably should have just used my brain and remembered that there are over 6 million people living in London and only just over 4 million people living in the WHOLE of New Zealand, so the Capital would be nothing like ours!
In Wellington Ryan and I decided we would walk to the Mt. Victoria look out. This spot is perfect for seeing a 360° view of Wellington.
We also visited the Wellington Zoo to see the animals; including the kiwi bird.
It was nice to see animals we hadn’t seen before; like the Red Panda, which was adorable!
There was also an emu wandering around the pathways in a section of the zoo meaning we could get a closer look, so that was pretty cool too ..even when it started chasing me down the path!
We then made our way to the South Island by jumping on an InterIslander ferry.
Unfortunately the sea was pretty choppy and most of the boat were sea sick! Yuk!
Luckily a girl we were travelling with had some sea sickness tablets which she offered round so our small group were all fine; but I was so glad to touch down on land after a 3 hour boat journey!
Our first stop on the South Island was Kaiteriteri which is perfect for visiting Abel Tasman National Park.
Ryan and I had booked extra nights to stay in Kaiteriteri so we would have plenty of time to roam the National Park.
Unfortunately the weather when we arrived was AWFUL, it was raining heavily and was due to remain this way for the whole time we were in Kaiteriteri.
This, teamed with the fact that our hostel was DISGUSTING, made us change our minds about staying longer. We left horrible Kaiteriteri and were glad to see the back of it!
On our way to our next destination, Westport, we stopped at Nelson National Park and Lake to have a picnic lunch and take in the view.
The lake was beautiful and the snow covered mountains could be seen in the distance.
The only downside was that we got bitten to sh*t by sandflies!
In Westport we stayed at a small hostel called Bazils, which offered pizza baked in a pizza oven for dinner. I mean, we had to say yes, be rude not to, right?
Not to worry though – there was a gym next door to the hostel which a couple of us visited and the next day I tried yoga for the very first time; I’m not sure how effective yoga is exercise wise however I was extremely relaxed after so I would definitely do it again.
We left Westport and made our way to Lake Mahinapua; on the way we stopped at Cape Foulwind and Pancake Rocks walkways.
At Lake Mahinapua we had an ‘our world’ themed fancy dress party.
Lots of people had some really good ideas, one couple went as Adam and Eve, 4 friends went as the elements, one girl went as the world.
And some looked outside the box and dressed as their interpretation of our world today, one went as unlimited wifi, another as someone who was insta-famous, I went as a phone (because it was cheap and easy) and Ryan used this as an opportunity to wear his lemon suit (any excuse *rolls eyes*).
The Lake Lodge that we stayed at was pretty nice, there were hot tubs, we had a massive pork roast for dinner and pancakes, bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, and it was situated a short walk away from both Lake Mahinapua and the beach!
One place I was really looking forward to visiting in New Zealand was Franz Josef, there was so many possibilities for activities that I was interested in doing.
I wanted to do the Heli Hike on the Franz Josef glacier which looked AMAZING and also do a sky dive over the Fox Glacier which is rated one of the most beautiful skydives in the world! Unfortunately they were both weather dependant and we weren’t successful in either! *tear*
The sky dive kept being cancelled and rescheduled due to horrible weather conditions, as annoying as this was, Ryan and I had accepted the fact it probably wasn’t going to happen and know that we have plenty more opportunities to skydive on our travels.
The Heli Hike however did go ahead (well, partly). The weather was great; we took part in our health and safety briefing, got suited and booted ready for the cold and took our helicopter ride up into the glacier.
The glacier was beautiful!
We were up on the glacier for all of 30 minutes (of a 4 hour hike) before our guide had a call to say due to weather heading our way we needed to get a helicopter back to base.
We were the last group on the glacier to be picked up before the guides and unfortunately within the space of us being picked up and dropped to safety the weather had already reached the glacier, meaning the helicopters couldn’t fly in the conditions. The guides were stuck on the glacier and were sent to the emergency cabin to wait for the weather to clear, in a couple of hours, days, weeks?!
I was disappointed that our hike had been called off early but we got away just in the nick of time before the weather hit so I guess I’m thankful for that!
The rest of our time in Franz Josef was spent going on rainy walks, watching films and drinking hot choccie by the fire!
We leave tomorrow to go to our next destination in New Zealand.
Find out what we get up to in my next post!
‘Til next time!
Love Bumble x