#ThrowBackThursday: New Zealand Part II

KIA ORA and welcome back to the second part of last week's #ThrowBackThursday Travel Series about New Zealand. As it was getting a bit long, and too keep you hooked (oh cheeky me!) decided to divided it into two parts.

In this one I'll be showing you a bit of the wonderful South Island, where Christchurch, Queenstown (famous for its bungee-jumping locations), Dunedin, and Nelson can be found surrounded by crystal clear lakes, and glaciers on top of the Alps. Location for many scenes from the Lord of the Rings films it surely will take your breathe away!

During my time down under I took a spontaneous trip to the astonishing South Island, where I originally wanted to go, to visit some of those places. Starting and ending my adventure in super friendly Christchurch, I happened to run into a street art festival which filled the city with impressive sculptures and the craziest of shows, from human-statues to sword-swallowers, to street discos and a handy crafts market...there was something for all tastes. 

Another amazing fact about Christchurch and which made me love it even more was the amount of green areas and parks in it, no wonder people call it the "Garden City", it is the perfect size to go on a relaxing stroll around. With the colonial buildings, it's a refreshing sight after the skyscreepers and modern buildings one finds in bigger cities like Madrid or Los Angeles. One can hardly walk 2 meters without running into a park or river or garden. Incredibly relaxing!

Or maybe head to the Botanic Gardens and meet with my dearest friends Mrs and Mr Duck, most gracious hosts, showed me around their home! (Note: may look a bit scruffy but after all it was winter! Not bad huh?)

But if you aren't of the walking type, you can always take a trip around on the old tram. Takes you back a hundred years in just a few seconds and you can hop-on-hop-off whenever you want (within the stops of course!)

I stayed at the local YHA, you can find it in 5 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch. Staying in hostels is a great way to travel on a budget, usually located in central and easy to reach locations, and with the plus of social activities organised regularly, as well as job banks for work and travel backpackers. There I was suggested visiting the Gondola that takes you to the top of Mt Cavendish, and it is only a short bus ride (number 28 from platform B at the city Exchange) away from the city. The views from there are breathtakingly beautiful. Mount Pleasant, Pegasus bay, Godley Beach Park, Lyttelton Harbour/ Whakaraupo, Quail Island...360ยบ of pure beauty suround you on top of that hill. And I was lucky enough to go at the right time to see a beautiful sunset while enjoying my danish.

Frist you go up...up...up...

 Until you reach the sky and above. Then the views hit you, am I in heaven? no, just New Zealand!

 These Kiwis think of everything...

Sadly at some point, it comes time to leave, but fear not, there's time for more adventures!
After the first taste of what the South Island has to offer, I booked myself for the next day's Tranzalpine train through the New Zealand Alps all the way to Greymouth on the west coast of the South Island.

Lord of the Rings' fans, does it start to look familiar?? ;)

It takes about 4 hours there and another 4 hours back so I would suggest making a stop and head to Queenstown with a car and visit the Franz Josef Glacier. General tip, Kiwis don't really have much of a public transport system when it comes to intercity travelling, although it is very cheap to buy used cars that you can sell after you are done using them. That way you get to move around without having to worry about schedules and connections. And worse case scenario, you can always sleep in it too!

One last thing I'd recommend before wrapping it up for today, for those more museum inclined, Christchurch has a wonderfully rich Natural and Human History Museum (Canterbury Museum) that can be visited for free. The museum presents a magnificent array of items from all sorts and shapes, also organizes regular events and activities for all. I'm a sucker for a good museum and if there's history involved, you got me hooked, i could spend hours in there.

Unfortunately, I was there only a couple of days, it left me wanting more, so I'll be definitely coming back some day! This country in general has so much to offer! And still haven't had the guts to go bungee-jumping!
Hope you enjoyed this and are looking forward to next weeks post about "The Golden State"

NOTE: Due to the earthquakes some of the things and places above mentioned may not be open/available anymore. Please check beforehand!

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