I imagine that most people come into New Zealand through Auckland or Wellington which bring you into the two largest cities in New Zealand. I came into Queenstown, which is a bit more like coming into Southampton… assuming Southampton is in the mountains and is cool and hip.
New Zealand is one of those lovely countries that has both snow-capped mountains and sea within sight of each other… at least from the air!!
(nb – SOPA/PIPA protest means this photo may be darkened for up to 24hrs, you’ll just have to come back!!)
Now I will have to admit, I really liked Queenstown, it’s small and nestled away up in the mountains and if you’re an adrenaline junkie this is the place for you. Not only are there the usual mountain activities of skiing, mountain biking, hiking there is also jet boating, zip-lining, sky diving, 4×4 and famously bungee jumping.
Queenstown was also where I met up with the friends that I was going to be travelling around with.
And whilst some activities such as jet boating and zip-lining were acceptable, no matter how I suggested it I just couldn’t convince them that they really did want to do a bungee jump… which was a shame cause it was simply awesome!! AWESOME!!!
And I kid thee not, that feeling of freefall is a truely great feeling. It’s not quite like flying… but maybe falling with style…
Something else that you can do in Queenstown is play frisbee golf in the park, and afterwards head off to Ferg Burger for a burger!! Nom nom nom!!
Incidently, the native New Zealand reptile, the Tuatara is so special it’s part of it’s own special order… and everyone knows about the Kiwi, but did you know that the kiwi has a largest egg (compared to the bird) in the world…
And if you thought I wasn’t going to say any more about the bungee jump… well, you were wrong!! ;o) GERONIMO!!!!
I’ve been away all of last week working in an empty warehouse in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, but I took advantage of being that far north by visiting a good friend of mine over in Bangor. Tea, gossip and playing trains with the boy (tis a hard life). I did take advantage of the fact that it was sunny (!!!) in North Wales to drive there via the A5 through the mountains… OMG, I’d forgotten just how beautiful they are and how much I missed them.
Whether I’d have thought that if it had been raining and miserable is a slightly different question… though I’d have like to think so.
However, a few gratuitous photos…
this from Bangor Pier;
and this on the way back along Bangor Pier having gotten to the end;
and I did purposely take a longer way home just so I could see a few more mountains…. so I’ll give you Moel Siabod
In an attempt to ruin my one and only New Year resolution work has decided to send me Up North for the week to work in some warehouse… but you never know, this might be a good excuse for trying out something new on the smart phone.
But I am disgressing.
I don’t know about most people, I tend to write these posts in the evening and then set them to go “live” the next morning… I don’t know why. Maybe I just feel that it’s better for blog posts to go out in the morning than late at night.
Of course, I am very much a night owl… which always amuses me considering that you’d have thought that after however many years that I’ve been having to get up earlish to go to work I’d have slipped more into getting to bed before 1am… or later at times.
Admitedly I have never been able to work out how it can be I can be sitting in this chair, barely able to keep my eyes open, and then go to bed and just not fall asleep… but there are many puzzles in this world and I think that’s one of the lesser ones!!
They say (eventually, when you get round to writing it) that you are either a Melbourne person, or a Sydney person. And they are both very different cities. Melbourne feels very people-centric, very colonial. Sydney on the other hand is a much more modern city. As you can tell I felt a lot more at home in Melbourne. Though before you think I’m coming too down on Sydney there are certainly parts of it that were great.
Having arrived late evening by train I was quite glad that I had picked the YHA right opposite. And this was a pretty impressive hostel… as well as the regular hostel things they had a cinema. A roof-top swimming pool with decking. A sauna… And during the roof-top bbq I even had a kangaroo hotdog… nom nom nom!! 😀
Walking through the city (looking for a charger for my camera… knew there was something I’d forgotten) this was my first view of the Harbour Bridge… a pretty decent work of engineering if I do say so myself!!
Of course, being Sydney there will follow pictures of the most famous of Sydney’s (if not Australia’s) buildings… that and is of course Sydney Opera House. This is one of those buildings that has just simply become iconic world wide and when you see it you can see why!! And if that wasn’t enough the story behind how it came to be is equally amazing. A rough sketch, picked up off the floor, ten years late and fourteen times over budget… and did you know that you can hire it… if you wanted to hold a wedding there??
But I will have to say that the area around the Opera House was one of those areas that I quite enjoyed… that and Darling Harbour which had several nice bars, a swing bridge, a submarine AND a wonderful aquarium with some truely massive tanks!!
Next stop is New Zealand… I have liked Australia, and there is so much more of it to explore as I’ve only seen Melbourne, Sydney and what is visible from the train between the two… add it to the list!!
EDIT – I knew there was something I’d forget… I’ve got video from Sydney Aquarium… so if you like fish, enjoy!!
I really don’t know what’s come over me*… I swear at this rate it’ll take me longer to write up this trip than it did to take it. However, this is a new year and so I promise to roll my sleeves up and actually write posts rather than just think about writing them…
So the one resolution that I intend to keep is to actually update more frequently… much more frequently!! Oh those early days when enough was happening that it was possible to post an almost daily blog… But whilst I don’t think that I can ever make my life that entertaining (if it was back then anyway) a couple of posts a week shouldn’t be all that hard…. especially when I still holiday trip to cover!!