Monday, November 2

South New Zealand weekend get-away

Took a flight to Christchurch as a weekend get-away. Once flown into Australia and being all the way our here might as well spend the weekend doing some sightseeing and see something new. I have never before been THIS far away from home. 

Took Air New Zealand to Christchurch, they have the BEST videos when it comes to the security and fasten seat belt before taking off. Last time it was made with a Lord Of The Rings theme, this time Men In Black by All Blacks rugby team. Hilarious clip, check them out: HERE

Once I got out of the airport went to pick up my car, they told me that cannot do a rental without a translation of my driving licence. Luckily there was a company who was able to translate it but that would take 1 hour. Suited me perfectly fine because the Arctic Center is by the airport 10 minute walk from the terminal. Here you can see the different expeditions done to the south pole, ride an arctic vehicle called Hagglund and see some blue penguins. There is also a 4D movie about the south pole, looks amazing. One place I have to get to later on! Picked up my car and drove to the hotel, trying to get used to how it was to drive on the left side of the road again. Booked a prison cell for 2 days to stay in, yes you read right. They remade an old prison into a hotel/hostel. But when you stay in a prison there are some comforts you will not have. For example no own shower or toilet. I took a private room because feel too old to live in a hostel by now.

Welcome to my crib 

Original cells looked like this
To and from the south pole
The small blue penguins, cute

Time to go for a ride

Inside Hagglund
Going up! It's much steeper than the picture shows 
Floating, doors are waterproof. That's why the driver shut it so well after I got in :D 
Arctic expedition
 Experience the artctic storm in a freezing room with storm. It was kinda cold...But someday have to get to south pole
Not too long ago Christchurch was hit by an earthquake and is still in a recovering phase. There is new construction all around downtown and a lot of buildings are still half ruined. The big Cathedral in central downtown got hit really badly and is under construction. The new “Re-Start” mall is made out of shipping containers and there is also a church made out of cardboard as a temporary solution.

Love the sky down here, it's always so red in the evening. So is Australia 

Only parts remain of some houses 
Mountains surrounding the whole village. Tomorrows drive will be great! 

Christchurch isn't a very big city 
The Re:Start mall made out of containers while the new mall is being build 

Destroyed cathedral in the city center

This looks like something out of Berlin 
Fluffy flowers to Mona 
River running through the city 
I guess personal space is like in Finland here
The green!!
Downtown square

Wires holding some art up in the park 
Again, Berlin 
Memorial of white chairs 
Cardboard church 

Woke up 5 am in the morning and packed the car, and set towards Lake Tekapo. People say that New Zealand is beautiful and I’ve seen some pictures. But seeing the scenery in life was something else. The beauty of nature here is breathtaking! The pictures I’m posting is merely a dent to how it really looks like. The only place I ever seen anything that comes close to this is when I drove around Iceland.

Had breakfast by the lake with probably one of the most beautiful sceneries I ever seen. Does NOT get any better than this. And it’s so quiet too, like being back home. Good to get out from those gigantic cities and take it easy.

Millions of sheep around the country 

Drove all the way to Queenstown, it’s a city in the midst of mountains. Streets are very steep and narrow. Would have been great to stay here 1 night if I would have had time. After that down to Dunedain and then up to Christchurch all the way. Total milage for this day was about 1200 km, equal to driving from Shanghai to Beijing or Helsinki to Lappland. Driving in the middle of night in darkness after 1000 kilometer already was kinda tiring. Was just waiting to come back to my cell. Nevertheless, it was a FANTASTIC day drive!!!! Would do it again but stay 1 night in each city instead.
7 am breakfast with a view fit a king 
When you drive and the suddenly see mountains coming up in the horizon. Just amazing 
Dog transporter...
Wow wow wow

You will see a lot of this between Lake Tekapo & Queenstown drive 

Another break and admire the views
Its almost like a vulcano 
Lake Tekapo
Mount Cook 
Amaziiiiing!! Eye candy this whole days roadtrip 

If there would be a competition for the "Best Church" this one would win! 
Like a postcard

Scruffy needs to shave

Lake Pukaki

Niiiice bike trail 

Leaving Mount Cook behind
Towards Queenstown!

Welcome to Waitaki 

Cromwell, a little town just outside Queenstown 

This small cafe in Cromwell had a map with visitors location and quite a lot of money. Cool!
Clyde - Dam 
Roaring Meg, found the name funny. Waterfalls 
And all the trees are dead, Meg really roared a lot here 
Old goldmine shacks used by the early settlers 
Clay Cliffs 

Took a snack break here, not a person or car in many many kilometers 
Queenstown fantastic view 
Lot of wineries just outside Queenstown 

You can also do a Bungee here :)
Come here by winter for skiing 
Dunedin, far south. Name of the city sounds like something from Lord of The rings

They even had an old big cathedral in the center of the city
Empty beaches! There was a guy who went surfing in the middle of the cold night. Alone! 

About 1200 km done in a day...Last 250 km in the dark were booooring

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