Hello again, 

Now where did we leave off - I think it was the 31 May! We had an early start that morning to get to Wellington for 8.30am. Got to the ferry terminal, picked up tickets and boarded the ferry with no problems. Watched a movie during the crossing and arrived in Pickton at 12.30pm. We took the Quenn Charlotte route via Nelson to Kaiteriteri. It had started to pour on the way for the first time since we arrived in NZ!! And this was supposed to be the sunniest part of NZ!! The route was fairly scenic - though the rain didn't help. The campsite was right by the beach - again not much use in the rain. Kaiteriteri was on the southern end of the Able Tasman National Park.

The next morning we had planned to go kayaking or on taking a water ferry. But it was still raining when we awoke. The rain cleared once we finished breakfast and we drove along the coast to Split Apple rock - rock formation in the sea that looks like a split apple! We carried on down the West coast towards Westport and onto Greymouth. Had a stop at Pancake rocks and blowhole to view more rock formations and ofcourse we stoppeed for a plate full of pancakes too at nearby cafe!! Just as well as it had started raining again. From Greymouth we drove on Hokitika - had to cross 2 long shared rail/ motor bridges in the pouring rain and dark - not a fun experience!! Stayed at Hokatika that night.

From Hokitika we drove to Franz Josef glacier (quick stop at a jade centre!). Had a look at the glacier along 2 walks and headed down to Fox glacier hoping to do a helihike. Unfortunately although the rain had stopped the helihike had been cancelled - did a glacier walk instead. That was great fun - had to wear clampons to walk on the ice. I had also put on several layers but the weather wasn't too bad - ended up taking off few layers!! On the way back saw some of the ice crashing into the river. Decided to spend the night to do the helihike the following morning - as there was a pink sky that evening (shepards delight!) 

The next morning went to Lake Matherson - did walk around the lake. Can see the reflection of Mt. Tasmin and Mt Cook on a clear day and we were lucky it was a beautiful day. From there went to helihike station. Boarded onto helicopter for 10 minute flight to glacier - saw Victora falls on the way ( waterfalls into the glacier - impressive) and had great view of the glacier. Did a 3 hour wlk on the glacier through ice caves, bridges and several other amazing ice formations. The ice was an amazing blue colour. Glad to return after 3 hours - as lovely as it was, we had our fill of glaciers! On returning we drove down to Haast. 

The next day drove fron Haast to Wanaka - along the scenic Haast pass - several waterfalls, rivers. In Wanaka we visited a winery - did a quick tasting and bought a couple of bottles - supposed to be NZ's most photographed winery because of beautiful scenery - and it was lovely. En route to Queenstown stopped at Puzzling World - did a maze and saw lots of holograms. Arrived in Queenstown around 5.00pm. Had a tough decision on which bungy to do and eventually opted for the highest in NZ - Nevis bungy (Paul's choice mum!!). HAd a wander around town - Paul got an All Blacks shirt and then we had a Thai meal fo dinner - yummy!! 

Had to be up early - although didn't get too much sleep - I think Paul had something to do with that!! Got to the Nevis jump point at 9.10am - had to get there on 4 wheel drive! Had our first view of the cable car we were going to be jumping off - and it looked bloody high!!! 134meters to be exact!! Once we put on our safety harnesses we were taken across to the cable car (the harness was required to take you to the platform!!). It seemed even higher from the platform and suddenly couldn't remember why we had deciced to do this!! Realised I was to be the last jumper as they were going in weight order!!! Just great - I had wanted to go before Paul. I knew he really didn't want to be here. Watched the first couple of people jump and they seemed to go on forever. And then it was Pauls turn - I wathched him get strapped up and felt sick as a dog!! But we had been told that it was more dangerous to do a glacier walk than a bungy - this wasn't much comfort though!! They counted down from 5,4,3,2,1 and I watched him jump. He screamed all the way down - couldn't make out what he was saying!! And then finally it was my turn - I was strapped up and standing on the ledge. The chap asked you to look at the rapids ahead as he did his countdown but he got to 1 and I looked down and couldn't jump. He had to do the countdown again and this time I did jump - it didn't feel half as long when you were actually jumping. It felt really good once the bungy kicked in., When I got back to the top I wanted to do it again (sorry mum!!). Headed back to Quuenstown and booked a trip to Milford Sound for the next day. Also covinced Paul to do a tandem jump that afternoon off Kawarau bridge - the original bungy site - only 43 meters. Again once we were both strapped together and on the platform I wondered why the hell we were doing this!! We had to place one arm around the others waist and jump on 1. We both jumped - Paul swore the whole way down and held onto me tightly with both arms!!! He's convinced he saved my life - I think he must have forgotten I was strapped up too!! This was much worse as our combined weight gave us extra bounce and the blood definately rushed to our heads. Went to an Indian restaurent that night and it was packed full with Indians!! I couldn't believe it and the food was good too. It turned out they were a tour group. 

Early start the next morning - up at 6.00am for a coach trip to Milford Sound. The was 5 hours long with about 5 scenic stops along the way, including mirror lake and a long tunnel through the mountains. At Milford Sound we boarded our boat for a 2.5 hour cruise along the sound. It was a beautiful day and scenery was impressive. There were lots of waterfalls and sheer cliffs. Sailed into the Tasman sea and on the way back spotted 40 dolphins and a few seals. On returning we drove straight back to Queenstown. It was a really cold night -4 degrees. 

Next day we had planned to go skiing but it was too cold and couldn't get out of bed!! Instead in the afternoon we went to the Gibson winery for a yummy lunch and quick tour and tasting. After that we drove upto Coronet Peak to look at the ski resort. The views with the sun setting were lovely. Had a short wander around and threw a few snowballs at Paul!! Went back to the Indian restaurant for another meal. It was much quieter this time and the food was still good. 

Next morning after another freezing night we went for 4 WD up to Skippers Canyon. The drive was impressive - saw lots of icicles. Got to the pipeline bungy point - should have done gold panning but the water was frozen - had a cup of hot chocolate instead. Then went for a jet boat ride. This was a really unpleasant experience - it was freezing cold and the ride was very sedate!! I had icicles form on my glasses!! On returning we decided to try and fit in some dolphin swimming in Kaikoura so we headed up North in the afternoon stopping 1.5 hours south of Kaikoura. The site we stayed at had a number of train sleeper carriages as apartments - very cool!! 

Next morning we drove upto Kaikoura. Paul spotted a whole group of seals basking in the sun on route. Booked a trip to swim with dolphins after lunch. Got kitted out in a full wetsuit including thermals, gloves, boots, heatgear and snorkelling equipment. Had to walk down the main highstreet in all our gear - not a very good fashion statement!! Got on the boat and headed straight for the dolphins. There were researchers in the area who told us where they were. Arrived in 15 minutes. There were at least 1000 dolphins swimming in a pod. We got in the water and swam with them for half an hour - truely amazing and they really played with us. Had two more sims before showering. Paul had drank a bit sea water and was throwing up. I was the only one to miss it - poor chap - he half filled the bucket apparently!! On the way back the dolphins were joined by another pod - we were surrounded by at least 2000 dolphins. When the boat got to the dock we were pulled onto land before disembarking. Got back to campervan and headed back to Christchurch. 

Next morning we packed and had a slap up breakfast and then headed to the aiport for flight to Australia. 

We had a really great time in NZ, the scenery was excellent, the people friendly and the facilities good. Wouldn't have missed it for the world. 

Hope everyone is well and do e-mail us. 

Love & Hugs, Pip & Paul