We’ve come in contact with a lot of great people in NZ — whether that’s coworkers, neighbors, friends of friends. However, there is always something really nice about seeing someone in NZ from your “days back in the US.” I don’t think I blogged about it before, but one of my grad school professors came to give a lecture in Christchurch a couple of months ago and I was SO nice to see someone I knew from the States. So you can imagine the excitement when Keith gets an email, out of the blue, from one of his best high school friends — Andrew — that he’d like to come visit.
Andrew’s been traveling around the world, starting in Peru, since June. We figured throughout his Nepal & other Asia work and travels he had been eating a lot of rice, so we went all out and cooked a roast and mashed potatoes after we picked him up from the airport Sunday night.
The plan was that we’d drop Andrew off to hitchhike and meet him in Queenstown on Saturday. On Wednesday we drove him to the edge of town and dropped him off. We outfitted him with directions and handy hitchhiking sign, but apparently it didn’t help for a good several hours. It didn’t help that it was pouring across the country for the next couple days. Luckily he eventually landed a few great rides and messaged us Saturday morning that he was in Wanaka and would meet us in Queenstown (QT) later that night. Well lucky for all of us, we really wanted to see Wanaka–Keith and I had never been–plus it was a mere 15 minute detour from QT. After a day in Wanaka and relaxing on its beautiful beach we all headed to QT.
We arrived at our hostel — Butterfli lodge. This may have been the best-view hostel I’ve ever stayed at. I had to share our view from the front porch–
Our whole weekend in QT was so relaxing. The first night we grabbed a couple of beers, headed down to the beach, and watched the sunset….at 9:30pm.
Well….QT was relaxing….other than the BUNGEE jump! Andrew and Keith decided they would do something adventurous in Queenstown, so bungee was the activity of choice. After a light breakfast and trying to relax on the hostel porch, I drove the boys to the Kawarau bridge jump–the first commercial bungee jump in the world! Luckily they checked right in and were harnessed up within minutes. Kawarau has a great lookout point for spectators and I shakily took a couple of videos and photos of the guys.
After getting a well-deserved beer, we drove up to Glenorchy to take in the scenery.
The next day we headed back to Christchurch with a pit stop at Mt Cook–the highest mountain in New Zealand, and the mountain Sir Edmond Hillary trained on for Everest.
We walked the Hooker Valley Track, and got some pretty epic photos along the way…
Once we arrived at Hooker Glacier and the base of Mt Cook we asked another hiker to take a group photo. And preceded to discover the worst-photo-taker-ever. Note to all–when someone asks you to take a photo of them in front of a BEAUTIFUL GIANT MOUNTAIN, you make sure you get the mountain in there…
The guys then continued to throw rocks at ice for the next several minutes…
Overall a pretty great weekend–very scenic, perfect weather, relaxing, great company.
All, I literally JUST finished up work! I am done for 2 weeks–the longest adult vaca I’ve had since the wedding. Keith and I are ready for 2 weeks of holiday and look forward to another epic blog post!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!