Monday, August 5, 2013

New Zealand, Sept. 2012

      I flew to New Zealand a week before my Internship began (I'll tell you more about this later) to travel around a bit. I decided to see what the southern island was all about since I would be staying in the northern island for the duration of the Internship. I travelled with a company called Magic Bus which has different set itineraries with buses coming through the towns every day or 2 and you can can hop off and on as you like. We started in Nelson and made our way south to Queenstown.  

Before I came to New Zealand I would say that Switzerland was the most beautiful country I had been to. I was wrong. New Zealand is THE MOST. BEAUTIFUL. COUNTY. EVER!  No other country (that I have been to) compares. The people are friendly, the weather is warm, the beaches are beautiful and there is even snow skiing in the south. The only down side is that it very expensive!

Here are several pics of the country.

I took this out of the bus window. There was not a lick of wind this day. 

It was very rainy and overcast many of the days I was there.

All those white dots in the distance are sheep.

New Zealand has 2800 deer farms with about 1.1 million deer. That is a lot of Bambi's running around!  The deer were brought in from England for sport, but they rapidly multiplied and then became pests.  Eventually they started capturing and exporting them. 

People say that sheep outnumber people in New Zealand 20 to 1. 

There were tons of waterfalls along the road.

Wild seals!!!

One day I did a half day hike on Fox Glacier. Fox is a 13 km glacier on the west coast of NZ that terminates in a rain forest. This was the view of the valley we drove up to get to the glacier. 

They outfitted us in a rain suit, toboggans, gloves, hiking boots, and clamp-ons for the bottom of our boots. 

Our guide was from Australia. He is chiseling out some steps for us here.

Hiking through the crevices.

This was a pretty cool experience. I had never hiked on ice before!

This is Wanaka, NZ. Unfortunately I didn't get to spend but about a hour here because I decided to head on down to Queenstown so I had time to see the Milford Sound. 

The bus ride from Wanaka to Queenstown had some amazing views!! And these were out the window of the bus!

The Kea is one of the 10 endemic parrot species in New Zealand.

We couldn't stop along the way to Milford Sound because of Avalanche danger…yikes!!

You can see through the bus window where the snow had "avalanched" down and across the road. 

Milford Sound is a fjord in the southern island of New Zealand and has been deemed one of the world's top travel destinations. 

Mitre Peak

Seals sunning on the rock. 

The most amazing waterfalls ever...

I finished the trip off with an Afghan biscuit which is a chocolate cookie topped with chocolate icing and a walnut. 

One of my favorite towns, Queenstown. 

This was my first time to travel alone. It was a pretty good experience overall. I met some girls from Germany that I roomed with in the hostels and usually ate with a girl from Wales, a guy from Great Britain, and another from Spain. Everyone on our bus was around my age or older which was nice. I would have preferred to have my favorite traveling buddy with me, my husband, but I guess I will have to return to this country with him some day!!

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