Monday, 8 March 2010

New Zealand

Six days is not enough to visit New Zealand. I knew that before I came, but what can you do? I wasn't going to come all the way out here and not visit. Still, I'm ashamed to tell the Kiwis I meet how short my stay has been - I don't want to offend them.
I had 2 days in Auckland, a day on the Overlander train to Wellington, a day in Wellington, a day en route to Christchurch by ferry and then train, and about a day and a half in Christchurch. No bungy-jumping or skydiving but it feels like I've been running the whole time.
The Interislander ferry trip was great. It was a beautiful day, the water was calm and the views are spectacular. Of the cities Wellington was my favorite. Both the botanical gardens overlooking the city and the Te Papa museum are really impressive and free (bonus!), and I could have spent a lot more time in each.
Auckland was much hillier than I expected. I had no idea it was built on old volcanoes (didn't get the guidebook until a couple of days before). I spent a day walking around Rangitoto island, which has only existed for 600 years. That was pretty amazing.
Christchurch suffered a little because I was exhausted by the time I got here, but I've had a nice, relaxing time, strolling around town and enjoying the botanical gardens.
It has been a really good visit, and each of the cities has a lot of charm. There are just so many things I haven't done: the west coast, kayaking, hot springs, glaciers... Another month should do it.

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