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Fox Glacier, Punakaiki and Christchurch

all seasons in one day

Hello my lovelies,

So to start off my trip, I got myself a free car relocation from Queenstown to Christchurch. It turned out I got a REALLY nice car (it had buttons for EVERYTHING!) and I had 2 days to drop it off in Christchurch, where I was also going to meet Laura and Catherine to start our road trip. I drove to Fox Glacier first and stayed on Ricole’s sofa. Ricole is a friend who I met through Marie. She’s a kiwi and works in Fox and was kind enough to put me up AND get me a free helihike onto the glacier in the morning! Such a star.

The helihike was awesome. I’ve only ever been on a helicopter once, in New York with my mum and sister. With a group and a guide, we flew to the glacier and landed on it. Then it was time to get geared up. We were given these claw things that tie to the bottom of your boots. It was pretty small and I wasn’t too sure whether it would stop me from slipping. Very important when you are walking on ice! The trick is to trust the grips and you can just walk normally on the ice. We were shown around the glacier, going through tunnels, over streams. It was pretty epic! We then got picked back up in the helicopter and dropped back to town.

After saying my goodbyes to Ricole, I started driving up the west coast to Punakaiki. Massive cliffs and amazing beaches, rainforest inland… it as completely different to the bare mountains around Queenstown. I stayed at the cutest retreat, tucked away in the rainforest, a 10 minute walk to the Beach. I had my own room in a tiny lodge; there was no internet or reception for my phone. So relaxing! The next morning I went to go see the Pancake Rocks which are rocks that look like pancakes (duh!). I wasn’t really expecting much, but they were pretty cool! It’s weird how these things happen and no one knows how it happened! Bit like the Moeraki Boulders on the east coast.

I then started the long journey to Christchurch through Arthurs Pass. I cannot go on enough about the landscape of this country. I’m so glad I decided to drive instead of get the bus. I drove down never ending straight roads through the plains, steep winding roads of the valleys, saw unbelievable sights. Every new turn a new horizon amazed me. I was literally driving around going “WOW!””WOW!” I stopped for a photo opportunity and when the car stopped, a massive BANG hit the roof. Then scratching noises and something that sound like someone was hammering the top of the car! I slowly get out and see a massive bird (later finding out it was a Kea) trying to eat the car! Cheeky! After about 10 minutes of trying to get it off, it finally flew away and I took this chance to drive off. Apparently, Kea’s are known for doing a lot of damage to cars.

When I started off in Punakaiki, the weather was miserable. Then went inland and it was a glorious day. Started going through the mountains and it grey and raining. Turn the corner and then there are blue skies! Another thing I can’t get over is how quickly the climate and the weather changes here! You have to be prepared for all occasions.

After a very long drive, I finally arrived in Christchurch, dropped off the car and immediately met up with Laura at a pub with her friend Hollie who is also coming on the road trip with us! A couple of wines later, Catherine shows up and takes us to her house where we get ready for the start of GIRLS ON TOUR!!

To be continued…

Posted by sophie.lee 12:06 Archived in New Zealand

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