Well, here goes...the last week!\
Our first night in Queenstown Ian and I went out for a few drinks...didn't get in too late, but maybe had a few too many vino's! I struggled to sleep as there was 8 of us in the room, it was hot and people were snoring! We had a quiet morning and then went for lunch, had a wonder around the town and looked in the shops...I held back though! In the afternoon we went to watch the national Rugby 7's, all the teams from around New Zealand were playing in the national tournament. Auckland won the final on Sunday which Ian went to watch. To be honest I wasn't feeling well at the weekend. We all went out, Ian, myself and the Christmas crew...kind of my birthday night out, but I ended up going back to the hostel as I didn't feel too good. The rest of the room came rolling in at 3am, Lynsey particularly funny, a few too many! Anyway, it didn't matter as I couldn't sleep anyway and I was awake until about 5am as Queenstown is a noisy place! We decided not to stay back in Discovery lodge when we returned. Sunday was a cloudy, rainy day and again I wasn't feeling too well. Ian and I had a looka round the shops and he bought me a volcom hat and a belt for my birthday. We were going to go up the gondola to take the view of Queenstown, but the weather wasn't very good, so we wouldn't have been able to see anything. I had a lay down for a couple of hours while Ian went out to watch the rugby finals. We went for food and then generally chilled in the room with the others, our last night with them.
I got up early, couldn't wait to turn 25!! Went down to info and track as we'd booked a sky dive, 7am and they told us it was too cloudy and to go back at 9am. So, we went back to the hostel and I opened my presents that Ian had brought over from Mum, Dad and Helen and of course I had my hat and my belt. That lasted all of a couple of mins, said 'goodbye' to Emma and Lynsey and went back to sleep for an hour. Woke up at 9am to beautiful sunshine...this time, too windy to skydive. 'Come back at 4:30pm'. So, we decided with the lovely sunny day to go up the gondola. We went up and the views were totally amazing. and the helicptor was doing flights, we got really close to it. We had a look at the views and then we went on the luge. Kind of like go-carts, but without an engine and on a downhill fast track. You had to go up further on a chair lift to get to the top of the track. Wasn't sure how much I was going to like it, but it was quality..Ian always seemed to beat me to the bottom though! After we'd had our racing we went back down into Queenstown, had a bite to eat and then went to play mini golf. Can't believe I played mini golf and went luging on my 25th birthday, should have been my 10th!! We spent the afternoon sitting in a beer garden having a drink, it was so nice! We went back to info and track for the skydive, still too windy....just not meant to be!! We relaxed by the lake for a little while and then went back to get changed and we went out for a thai meal (my favourite) and then for a few drinks. I was really tired though (I'm getting old) so we weren't out late!
Tuesday morning we were up early and on the road again to Dunedin on 'The Bottom bus' to do the far south of the south island. We stopped in a place called 'Cromwell' where a 15min stop turned into me buying a pair of shorts...bargain though! Then we stopped at a lovely ice cream stop and I had orange choc chip ice cream, very nice! We arrived in Dunedin and then visited the steepest street in the world. Didn't look nice, but the climb to the top had to be done! Have to say, I'd hate to live on that street as it was full of tourists like me! It was pretty fun trekking up to the top. Our driver than gave us a little orientation around the city, seemed really nice actually, would have been nice if we could have stayed a little longer but we're a little restricted on time now. We got dropped at our hostel which was really nice, went for a wonder, to the old train station (the most photographed building in NZ). Had a relaxed night as we had a tv!
Wednesday we were up pretty early, heading to Invercargill. It was a really long day as we made heaps of stops along the way. We went to Nugget point, saw a few seals down on the beach and an old light house. We got a little wet as it started to rain so we all clambered back into the bus. After here we drove to Surat Bay where we walked down to a gorgeous beach and saw great big sea lions laying on the beach. We got pretty close, but not too close as they can charge if the get angry. They were pretty amazing. I also found some random sea stuff and you know how much I like my photos, it looked pretty interesting! Not really sure what it was. After stopped for lunch we headed for Curio Bay where we were supposed to see some dolphins, but they weren't out to play. We went on a walk around the bay, I tried out the black and white on my camera. Quite like the photo, although, think the colour one might be better. We walked around onto another beach where we saw a few penguins, one of them was injured and he couldn't waddle anywhere. But apparently if a human helps them and puts them back into the wild, no other penguins will ever go near it again because of the scent. So the park ranger was leaving him for a while. We left there and headed for Invercargill where we spent the evening doing our washing and playing chess ( I bet you never thought travelling could be so fun!...these things have to be done!)
We left Invercargill and went to Riverton. We went to a shell shop and made our own shell necklaces...even Ian made one, I really enjoyed it and the man called me a 'perfectionist'...that's me! I now have 3 extra shell necklaces, 2 handmade by myself! We also went to the supermarket in Riverton, as we were walking in I could see my name above the door, as I walked a little further Ian's name was there too! 'Riverton supermarket, localled owned by Ian and Faye', had to get a photo of that one!! Very amusing, and strange! From Riverton we went for lunch and then onto the Cliden Suspension Bridge, the oldest in New Zealand and then at Lake Manapouri before arriving in Te Anau for the night. We had dinner and went out for a few drinks, caught the lake at sunset, it was stunning!
We left Te Anau this morning for a bit of a disappointing day at Milford sound. The weather was rubbish, just rained and the cloud was really low and misty so we couldn't see very far or get very good photos. It was such a long drive aswell. We stopped at a few places on the way, mountain range from the second Lord of the Rings and Mirror lake. The things that made my day were the dolphins, we were really lucky to get about 20 dolphins around the boat. They were jumping about, but it was very hard to catch them on camera! We also went to an under water observatory which was pretty cool, I got some great picture of the fish and all the coral under the sea.
After the long drive, we arrived back in Queenstown about 7pm. Staying in a different hostel, hopefully I'll manage to get more sleep this time. 6th time lucky on doing a sky dive tomorrow...but maybe it isn't meant to be! Just going to chill, head to Christchurch on Sunday and then to Australia on Weds 24th.