Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kiwi adventure: 2000 km in one week

It's funny how pliable time is.  They say that time flies when you are having fun, but when you travel, frequently you squeeze so much in, that it's hard to believe how little time it took.  Similar to my time in Antarctica, my R&R in New Zealand seemed to both stretch out infinitely and be over in an instant.  Through a combination of semester schedules and the advice of several friends who have either lived in or visited New Zealand, I found myself on a road trip of the south part of the South Island, followed by several days visiting my friend in Christchurch.

Road trip route

To give you a brief overview of our adventure, here is our itinerary:

Day 1:  Christchurch to Dunedin 
Day 2:  Otago peninsula 
Day 3:  Catlins to Te Anau 
Day 4:  Milford Sound to Queenstown
Day 5:  Queenstown 
Day 6:  To Christchurch
Day 7:  Akaroa
Day 8 onwards:  Christchurch

Traveling with another person definitely saved on costs, with expenses split about equally between rental car, fuel, food, lodging, and entertainment.  Of course, picking up food at a grocery store and finding places to stay with fully equipped kitchens is another good way to save money.  Buses may have been slightly cheaper, but the flexibility and challenges of driving a rental car on the wrong side of the road certainly add to the adventure.  

First sight back from Antarctica, the colors of the Botanic Gardens in full summer bloom.

I'll take a couple of posts to share the highlights of the trip, including what I'd recommend and what I'd skip if I did it again.  Of course, the next time I'm in New Zealand, I'm sure I'll be chomping at the bit to see other parts I didn't have enough time for, including Nelson and Abel Tasman, plus some of the North Island.  I must say that New Zealand has felt the most welcoming and familiar out of all the countries I've visited, and it is definitely at the top of the list for places to visit again.  

P.S.  If anyone knows of a way to convince your camera to remove date stamps from photos after the fact, I'm all ears!


Sus Mettler said...

Stupid date stamps. Is there anyone in the world that really ever WANTS the date stamped on their photo??

But anyway, I look forward to reading stories to go with the pictures : )

pecwanpete said...

I can't wait for more. I had a sneak peek at your Facebook pictures and it looks like it was an amazing trip!