An epic NZ adventure

In this post, I will try and explain why I haven’t had any time for blogging in the past month.

Everywhere I’ve travelled has been fun, with lots of things to do, but none of that compares to how full on four weeks in New Zealand (or as we came to know it, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud).

On the recommendation of my well-travelled boyfriend, I chose to book a Kiwi Experience trip to get around both the North and South islands.

For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, imagine a school trip on a giant green bus, visiting all the best parts of the country, with discounted dangerous activities and lots and lots of partying.

It didn’t get off to the best start I have to admit, when I found out that being in peak summer season meant the buses were getting booked up fast and there was no guarantee of travelling when you want to. Lots of people found themselves on stand by, which meant waiting at the bus stop at 8 in the morning and hoping someone else wouldn’t turn up so you could take their seat.

Luckily I was able to book on to all the buses I wanted, which was good as I was on a relatively tight schedule, with only a few extra nights available on top of all the ones you have to do with the bus.

Part of the reason I haven’t had time to write is down to the bus leaving so early every day – usually between 8 and 9, sometimes earlier and very occasionally later. If you happen to have indulged in a glass or two of local Sauv the night before, that’s not so fun…

Normally hours and hours on a bus would suck, but the landscapes in NZ are so stunning it’s rare you get bored (and when you are on a dull motorway the drivers usually stick a movie on).

The drivers pretty much sort out your life for you on the bus, booking your hostels (at discounted rates) and arranging your activities (at discounted rates).

In my previous post I mentioned finding ways to cheat death – New Zealand is the best place for adrenalin fuelled activities, and I pretty much signed up for everything going (apart from grade 5 white water rafting, again on the advice of my girlboyfriend).

I threw myself out of a plane tied to a beautiful stranger, and off of a platform with an elastic band and bit of Velcro around my feet.

I discovered just how bad my claustrophobia is when I had a mini breakdown on a black water rafting caving trip and a full on panic attack when crawling through an ice tunnel while hiking on a glacier.

I challenged my now incredibly out of shape body by taking on the Tongariro Crossing, a 19k alpine trek which included a good 45 minutes if nothing but stairs and an ‘easy descent’ which was in fact just sliding down loose stone on my arse. My feet may never forgive me, but I’m absolutely glad I did it.

To celebrate not dying, I also had some pretty awesome times swimming with dolphins, sea kayaking, visiting cute baby Kiwis and eating the best meal ever at a traditional Maori cultural evening.

So to summarise, New Zealand was incredible, and maybe the best place I’ve been so far. You can see loads more photos on my Facebook page, and laugh at how ridiculous I look in the videos from my skydive and bungee jump…

I will endeavour to update on the next stage of my adventures soon – I have a feeling it could be the best instalment yet…

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