(the above link is to my flickr site, you can follow along with the pics if you like)
We flew out of Melbourne on the 27th January. We had to be at the airport 2 hours before the flight left, I thought this was a bit excesive, check-in couldn’t take that long could it? what was I going to do for the other 1.5hrs *sigh*. As it turned out, that two hours was just enought time to checkin, collect a few last minute things (like my motion sickness tablets and these really wonderful earplugs that regulate the air pressure, ahhhh wonderful things they really are), we then had a few minutes to sit down and relax, read our books and take a few pre-flight-I’m-so-excited-I’m-going-on-holidays photos.
I really was very excited, this was only my second time overseas, and even though it was just New Zealand I was still very very excited. Craig was a little more blazay about the whole thing as he’d been there before when he was little.
The flight was rather uneventful (thankfully), it was rather depressing to see just water under me window (yes I got posession of the precious window seat). But once we reached land, Craig and I really got excited about the whole affair, leaning over each other to see out the window, pointing out sites and landmarks (btb we were flying into Christchurch at this point). For someone who has never seen the coast of another country from the air (it was night when I arrived at New Caledonia in 1995), it was just amazing, I would never have believed a country so close to Australia could really look that much different, but even the layout of the farm lands was so very different, the pictures taken from out plan window don’t capture the lovely colours of the patchwork ground but you can get an idea of the layout.
There where so many parts of the landscape that impressed me one of these was the river paths, I’m not sure if these rivers ever have more water then they did as we flew in, but from the air, they looked to me like veins of silver in the landscape, the photos really don’t do justice to the colours unfortunatly but you can get an idea of what I saw. Another impressing sight was the connection between open sea to coast and followed by chocolate mountains, it was really really amazing to see.
This wonderful view of the South Island continued after we landed in Christchurch as we collected our baggage, checked into our domestic flight to Dunedin and continued our arial tour.
I can’t say we were very impressed with Dunedin once we arrived. To us it seemed very dusty and uncaired for. Apparently most of the housing in Dunedin is rental properties to students who populate the town only during the middle part of the year and then it is abandoned for the summer. The owners of these houses don’t bother to maintain them at all as the students will pay about $100pw just for a room (that’s steep in my book). I found it really sad to see so many derilict looking buildings, Dunedin looked tired and depressed.
The reason we had started our trip in Dunedin was because we were meeting our frinds Bill & Kelly. Bill had been attending a Lynix conference here for the past week which was to finish up on Saturday, so until then Craig, Kelly and I amuzed ourselves.
We jumped on a double-decker buss in town and took a tour of Dunedin. We saw the world’s steepest street (which Bill and Kelly had walked up the night before – they even have a certificate to prove it). We saw the historic train station (which is impressive but I think Albury’s one is nicer, but I could be biased), and we learnt how Dunedin had reclaimed most of its land by cutting the tops off all the hills and tossing it into the water, and this was before tonka trucks people).
The next day we had a tour of the Otago museum, oddly though Kelly and I took lots of photos of the stunning tradional Japanes Clothing display rather then the things related to NZ (there were two photo’s of the Moa bird, giant prehistoric bird, but I’m having a “I’m fat” issue at the moment and hated myself in those photos so they didn’t make the cut, sorry people).
Craig and Bill left Kelly and I at the museum to collect our hier car. Poor boys thought it would be a short walk, ooops – a long time later – they returned with the car, and we really started our trip (with only 1 wrong turn and a bit of a detour in the oposite direction), tonight we would be in Te Anau.