We started our day with an interesting degustation: tasting possums, whitebaits, dears, etc. at the Bushman centre. Some were tasty, some had a little bit of gamey flavour but I am glad I tasted them all. Who would have thought I’d give possum a try! Haha!
Then we headed to Franz Josef to do our heli hike. A-maaaa-zing!!!!!!!! J I was there 3 years ago, I remember there was more ice, but still, the heli ride on top of the glacier through the rainforest is just sensational. The guide was very professional, it was quite impressive to see him make us ice stairs so easily to safely go up the glaciers. We sadly learnt that the glacier is receding fast and won’t be there anymore in approximately 80 years. It made me value how lucky I am to be able to see this amazing wonder of nature. After a great hike, another heli ride back to town and again, the view was amazing! The glacier ticket gives you a free entry at the hot pool, highly appreciated after a day of hiking! With their nice water and wind proof jacket, it was not even slightly cold!
The rainforest retreat where we stayed at Franz Josef was sooooooo nice!!!!!! I wanted to stay more than 2 nights. The set up, rooms, restaurant, owner and staff were all topping up each other and I would give them 10/10, brilliant job. We had a yummy roast for dinner.
Second day there, we got some free time in the morning and did some kayaking in the afternoon. My kayaking buddy and I were quite bad at kayaking, but we still enjoyed our peaceful and fun experience, floating in the lake surrounded by the glacier and mountains.
We then made our way to the hot pools and oh, that was well needed. There are a few pools with different water temperatures, we all went quiet just soaking our bodies in lovely hot pools... Rainforest retreat is pretty much across the road from the hot pool so you can head back to the accommodation without losing the warmness you have just enjoyed!
Dinner for the night was all you can eat pizza and the variety of the pizza was professional level!
We sadly said good bye to the Rainforest retreat and headed to our next destination, Lake Wanaka with a few stops again, like the beautiful Lake Matheson and Falls. This day was the only time it really rained but we still managed to do walks around the lakes and the view was still amazing!
Once we arrived in Wanaka, we checked in to Base Backpackers Wanaka and we headed into the town centre to explore. We did our own thing until dinner time. We headed to Mint bar, Base Wanaka’s onsite bar. Burgers, stir-fry, curry, I was quite amazed with the selection they had!
The DJ who played at the Mint bar that night, I must say, was AMAZEBALLS!!! We danced until we pretty much dropped, it was such a good night!
We headed to Queenstown in the morning with sore heads but it was worth it: Nevis bungy here we come! We drove through gorgeous snowy mountains, Cardrona, and made our way to the Nevis bungy site.
Once we checked ourselves in to the Nevis Bungy... harnessed up... Oh gosh, I don’t know how to explain that feeling. I went so quiet for sure! The music was pumping and the staff was cheering us, but didn’t hear much of it... Once I stood up on the edge of the pod, I was not sure anymore, could I do this?! Really?! The staff was so good and I didn’t want to give up so close... 3, 2, 1.... I DID IT!!!!!! I don’t even remember how I jumped off in the end, but I did it. I could not stop smiling, it took me 3 years to do this jump and I am soooo glad I did it! I would definitely recommend it to whoever has never done it J
We also did the Nevis Arc, it was piece of cake after the bungy jump!! We did a few different styles of tandem swings, it was a good laugh!
After all that adrenaline, we got to check out the Kawarau bungy site where we had a well deserved yummy burger.
We were invited to Base Queenstown’s recently renovated Loco bar for dinner and drinks. The tacos were amazing just as the variety of their Tabascos and most importantly Tequilas!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say we had GREAT night again.
We travelled to Milford Sound. The weather was absolutely perfect for it.
With a few photo stops on the way, we made it to the cruise, it was just beautiful. While we were cruising around the Milford sound, we got to spot the rare leopard seals, very exciting moment! Baby penguin even said hi to us! It is a long drive (150km one way) but this gorgeous view is so worth it.
This was our mystery day and to start with, we went up with the Gondola to enjoy the gorgeous view of Queenstown and also to enjoy a few rides on the Skyline Luge!!!!!! I had done this before but how much fun is this!!! I nearly tripped myself at the corner with a little bit of high speed, but this is definitely highly recommended!
We had a breakfast pizza at their restaurant, cooked in the pizza oven, tasty!
Then we headed to do the Shotover jet, the skipper amazed me with his driving skills! The boat can speed up to 80km/h. The guy sitting next to me said ‘Oh my god!’ about a 100 times!
Then we got picked up from the Shotover jet to head to the Canyon swing! Oh those adrenalin adventures, it doesn’t matter how often you do it, you still get nervous and pumped every time... You can try so many different styles, their staff is amazing, they are so good at making it more fun and scary at the same time! Hahaha! I have done this 4 times now, but I still can’t get enough of this fun swings.
Sadly time to say good bye to Queenstown and our new friends. A few of us headed to Christchurch. To be honest, I love this drive, this might be my favourite drive in entire NZ. The view is just sensational, you get snow mountains, Green grass with sheep, rainforest and blue green emerald lakes in just one picture! Our lunch break was at the Lake Tekapo, I had fresh salmon sashimi from their salmon farm, while I was eating with this gorgeous view, I seriously thought this could happily be my last supper! J
I can’t thank CK and Cam, the Kiwi crew, enough for making this trip simply amazing! I will always think of it when I talk about the NZ South Island. The travel buddies I met on the trip are going to be my long term mates and I cannot wait to catch up with them again and have a laugh!
New Zealand is such a beautiful country with sooooo many things you can do to experience, push your limits and play with the nature, come and see me at the Base Auckland Travel Desk to book your very own adventure!
Cheers again guys and happy travels!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Ai / Travel Guru Base Backpackers Auckland
Loco Cantina Bar
Franz Joseph Glacier