Goodbye New Zealand, Hello Emirates

Sadly my time in New Zealand had come to an end. The six weeks had flown by and the beauty of the country had surpassed all my expectations. The Magic Bus proved to have been a great choice for my adventure and a childhood dream has now been realised. With the adventure over all that was left was the long journey home.

Emirates Flight EK 419 waiting at the gate of Christchurch Airport

I am probably one of the few people who chooses flights based on what aircraft are flying rather than price or time. I just love flying. I could have flown cheaper, I could have flown faster but I chose Emirates and my route via Sydney and Dubai because I would get to fly on the Airbus A380. Not only fly on it but be on it for 16 hours from Sydney to Dubai. After the short 3 hour flight from Christchurch to Sydney landing at sunset over the harbour bridge it was a 3 hour wait before I boarded the next leg to Dubai. I waited for the boarding queue to die down before making my way to check-in. They scanned my ticket and warning beep sounded while a red light flashed. There was a problem, my heart sank. I had pre-booked my seat, at the bulkhead and started thinking that a family with a small child had checked in now I was going to be reassigned a seat further down the plane. I was told to stand aside while they flipped through a stack of tickets. They quickly found it and said, “You’ve continue reading & see 5 more photos

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The Versatile Blogger Award

I must thank Pommi for the award! It was very unexpected, and nice bit of inspiration to share more.

In the past I have received a similar, but different, award for my China blog and I think it’s a great way to share the blogs we both write and read with fellow bloggers who may not have stumbled across them yet.

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:                                                                           

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award Pic on your blog post.

Here goes,my fifteen nominations, in the order that they were drawn out of a hat: Continue reading

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Day 36 – Lake Tekapo to Christchurch, my last day on the Magic Bus

We had an early start on the Magic Bus because of the earthquake damage in Christchurch they now don’t overnight there and instead have to get all the way up to Kaikoura. I however would be getting off in Christchurch as my 5 week adventure had come to an end. Knowing this I got up early for one last chance to take some photos of the awe-inspiring Lake Tekapo at sunrise and it didn’t disappoint.

dawn over a still Lake Tekapo

Walking down to the edge of the lake I was spellbound as the continue reading, see 4 more photos & 1 video

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Day 35 – climbing out of Dunedin to the breathtaking Lake Tekapo

On our way out of Dunedin on the Magic Bus we stopped at Baldwin Street, the Steepest Street in the World as verified by the Guinness Book of Records. I was a bit of a sceptic as we have some very steep streets back home in Cape Town but after walking up to the top I had to concede it is very steep, at its steepest it has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 or 19°.

Baldwin Street - The Steepest Street in the World

Our next stop was Koekohe Beach where you find these unusually large and spherical boulders lying on the beach. Known as the Moeraki Boulders they are quite incredible to see with the larger ones up to two metres in diameter.

the unusual, spherically shaped, Moeraki Boulders

After picking up some provisions in the historic wool town of Oamaru we headed inland up towards the mountains and the beautifully blue coloured glacial lakes in the Mackenzie Country. The surreal blue hue of the lakes is the result of continue reading & see 13 more photos

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Day 34 – Queenstown to Dunedin and the most photographed building in NZ

We had been trying to figure out who our next Magic Bus driver would be and to our pleasant surprise it was Gregg who had taken us from Picton-Nelson. Taking the back road out of Queenstown we drove through the small and quaint Arrowtown, one of the original gold mining towns of the area. Then it was back onto the highway through Cromwell, past the Clyde Dam and to Alexandra where we stopped for morning tea at the excellent Sidewalk Cafe famous for its coffee, scones and banana pancakes. Next stop was Milton where I said goodbye to Karin who was going to work at a B&B there for a few days and then just 30 minutes down the road we arrived in Dunedin. As we drove in it reminded me a bit of Durban with highways through undulating terrain and the coast in the distance.

After settling into the hostel I went for a walk down to the Dunedin Train Station which is apparently the most photographed building in New Zealand and well I just had to go and get a photo for myself.

the most photographed building in New Zealand - Dunedin Train Station

I guess it is quite impressive, but even more so from the other side with some Continue reading

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Day 33 – Queenstown and the exhilarating Kawaru Jet Boat

It dawned another cold but sunny day so first up it was off to the supermarket to pick up some food before heading back into town to buy a few more souvenirs and then back to the hostel to make wraps for lunch.

the view from the pier in Queenstown

After lunch we walked down to the pier where we were meeting up with Elise, a fellow Magic Bus traveler, for our jet boat ride, something that I associate with New Zealand and was one of my must do activities. There are three different jet boat companies in Queenstown and they are all similarly priced but we chose the K Jet because continue reading, see 5 more photos & a video

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Day 32 – Queenstown, in and around

After an exciting few days it was time for another lazy day. Slept in, checked email and watched some TV. Then headed into town do some souvenir shopping for the family. Then booked a jet boat ride for the next day.

looking down the main street in Queenstown

Although it was sunny it was still continue reading and see 1 more photo

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